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Automatic Digital Twin for Critical Nuclear Island Components Through Novel Machining Data Acquisition


   Department of Materials Science and Engineering

  Dr Daniel Cogswell  Thursday, June 30, 2022  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

In this project, you will work on a new technique to create digital twin data during machining. You will develop the technique further and work with multinational companies to apply it to critical components in the nuclear sector.

By measuring cutting forces during machining, it is possible to generate an incredibly data-rich digital twin of the microstructure and mechanical properties at the surface of a machined component. The process is unobtrusive to the manufacturing process so offers an excellent opportunity to generate serial number-specific materials data without destructive testing of components. The opportunities for application in any sector are numerous and developing this on the most arduous of safety-focussed industries will provide an example of what is achievable.

To date this technique has produced exceptional results on aero-engine components and materials weighing 10s of kg, this programme will seek to achieve two goals specific to the nuclear sector:

1) Detailed measurements on dissimilar metal welds and associated heat affected zones which are common in nuclear plants and also pose the greatest concern in safety assessment; and

2) Scale up of the technique to the machining of large nuclear pressure vessel components weighing 100s of tonnes; here the forces involved are an order of magnitude higher and the industrial environment presents challenges on the handling and transport of the large amounts of data created.

Initial trials and development will be at the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, Sheffield, developing bespoke equipment that will be deployed into an industrial environment while also of being of low impact to any existing set up. Materials characterisation will be undertaken in world-class facilities offered by the Henry Royce Institute and Sorby Centre at the University of Sheffield. You will explore and develop understanding of the implications of your findings on the safety assessment of these components.

We are aware that the timing of this advert is over the examination period and that potential applicants may be focussed on completing their undergraduate studies. We welcome expressions of interest and enquiries by email () throughout this time; however, a formal application is required before the closing date to be considered.

Applications should be submitted through the University system by using our standard online PhD application form. Please indicate that you are applying for this advertised post.


Funding Notes

The project is funded for a UK Home-qualified student, with a stipend at the UKRI rate, and Home tuition fees, for a duration of 3.5 years.
International applicants will be considered that hold academically awarded sponsorship or scholarships that provide funding in support of the full duration of this PhD programme and must have an IELTS standard of 6.5 or higher overall.

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