BAE Systems Sponsored PhD in Smart Manufacturing Systems (Bursary: £22-25k pa for 3 years) – focusing on new digital and Industry 4 technologies to optimise operations of flexible factories in response to changes in batch size.


   Faculty of Engineering and Science

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  Prof J Gao  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

BAE Systems (Rochester) manufactures high value complex aerospace products and systems. Both product requirements and batches change frequently, thus the company adopts a ‘design to order’ and ‘manufacture to order’ operation model. Pulled by the changing customer demands and pushed by fast developing digital technologies, the company is developing a new flexible and responsive smart factory. This PhD work will be focused on enabling a batch-size-one paradigm to common manufacturing processes to achieve reduced unit costs through catering for high product variability across all product lines.

The PhD researcher will need to identify suitable candidate processes that could be combined for all product lines, and take a holistic system’s view of the company’s manufacturing transformation cycle with an aim of assessing the new factory and suggesting areas for improvements based on the optimisation methods and tools to be developed during the project. Methods and tools to be developed during the project, such as simulation, automation, lean, agile, Industry 4 (cyber-physical systems) and Industry 5 (human-machine interaction).

We are looking for candidates with a background in manufacturing engineering, systems, operations, or related disciplines, with strong knowledge and skills in Information and Communication Technologies. Candidates should have or expected to achieve an undergraduate degree (2:1 or above). Candidates with postgraduate degree and/or practical experience in research or industry are encouraged to apply. The successful candidate will benefit from both academic research and collaboration with world-class manufacturing companies.

Computer Science (8) Engineering (12)

Funding Notes

Bursary available: £22,000 - £25,000 per year (tax-free) for 3 years. In addition, the successful candidate will receive a contribution to tuition fees equivalent to the university’s Home rate, currently £4,712, for the duration of their scholarship and travel expenses paid to attend appropriate conferences and seminars. International applicants will need to pay the remainder of the tuition fee (currently £16,300), for the duration of their scholarship. This fee is subject to an annual increase. Teaching assistance opportunity is available for this post which would be additional to the bursary.

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