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Composite components with bio-inspired micro-structures: Exploiting improved damage tolerance

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

Project Description

Applications are invited for a Ph.D. studentship in the Department of Aeronautics. The successful candidate will have the opportunity of working with a dedicated team involving various academics within a larger project with Rolls-Royce. The successful candidate will have the exciting opportunity to interact closely with Rolls-Royce during this project.

The project aims to develop original and improved CFRP solutions to implement alternative release planes in CFRP fan blades and to improve the energy dissipation in CFRP containment casings during blade-off events. This will be achieved by manipulating the microstructure of the CFRP to achieve greater damage tolerance and bespoke translaminar fracture properties at component level.
The post will involve designing and developing bespoke microstructures, prototyping them, assessing their relative performance, identifying applications, selecting microstructures for study at larger scale, and carrying out this study.

In addition, the successful candidate will be expected to submit publications to refereed journals. There will be a requirement for travel and for close interaction with Rolls-Royce.

Applicants should possess a keen interest and/or a solid background in mechanics, composites and fracture mechanicas, as well as a genuine passion for research. Applications are invited from candidates with (or who expect to gain) a first-class honours MSc degree or equivalent in Aeronautics, Mechanical Engineering, Materials or related areas.

Imperial College is consistently ranked as one of top universities in the world and top 3 universities within the UK. In 2016/17 Imperial ranked 9th in the world in the QS and 8th in the world in the THE rankings. It has been ranked as the most innovative university in Europe. Imperial staff and alumni include 15 Nobel laureates, 2 Fields Medalists, 70 Fellows of the Royal Society, 82 Fellows of the Royal Academy of Engineering and 78 Fellows of the Academy of Medical Sciences.

If you are interested in applying, I will be happy to address initial informal enquiries you may have (Prof. S Pinho, ). To apply, you can then follow the standard College on-line application procedure ( For queries regarding the application process, please contact Ms Lisa Kelly by email to or phone on +44 (0)20 7594 5056.

Imperial College is committed to equality and valuing diversity. We are an Athena Silver SWAN Award winner and a Stonewall Diversity Champion.

Funding Notes

The studentship is for three years starting around October 2020 and will provide full coverage of tuition fees (at home rate) and an annual tax-free stipend of circa £17,009 for 3.5 years.

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