Developing crashworthy cellular composites using machine learning

   School of Engineering and Materials Science

This project is no longer listed on and may not be available.

Click here to search for PhD studentship opportunities
  Dr W Tan  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

The global transition to zero-emission vehicles has sparked an increasing demand for lightweight and crashworthy structural materials to improve operational efficiency and meet safety regulations. Synthetic cellular composites are porous cellular materials inspired by natural materials such as wood. With unique combinations of multiple material constituents and architecture, cellular composites can absorb higher crash energy than many existing single-constituent cellular materials such as polymer foams and honeycombs. However, the lack of scalable manufacturing techniques and reliable models for crash assessments have prevented the wider adoption of these materials.

This PhD studentship is associated with the EPSRC project “CELLCOMP: Data-driven Mechanistic Modelling of Scalable Cellular Composites for Crash Energy Absorption”, to address the challenges in developing lightweight cellular composites for future zero emission vehicles. The overarching aim of this project is to develop a scalable manufacturing technology and significantly improve the accuracy and efficiency of crush modelling for cellular composite by bridging the solid mechanics, materials engineering and data science.

The specific focus of this PhD project is to substantially address this bottleneck by unravelling the structure–property relationships in cellular composites via a coordinated endeavour of experimental investigations and computational mechanistic models. The project will encompass various tasks: scalable manufacturing, crush tests, finite element modelling and machine learning. The project will suit graduates from a wide range of mathematics, physics, engineering or materials science backgrounds. In particular applicants with an interest in composite materials, additive manufacturing, computational modelling and data science are encouraged to apply.

The research student will work with another postdoctoral fellow in the Mechanics of Composite Materials Group (MCM) at Queen Mary. The student will also collaborate closely with colleagues within the School of Engineering and Materials Science and other collaborators from Imperial College, TU Delft and University of Washington. The student will have opportunities to disseminate research outcomes to the academic and industrial partners within the CELLCOMP project as well as at international conferences.


PhD Research Studentship Details

  • Available to Home applicants only.
  • Applicant required to start in September 2021.
  • The studentship arrangement will cover home tuition fees and provide an annual stipend for up to three years (Currently set for 2021/22 as £17,609).
  • The minimum requirement for this studentship opportunity is a good Honours degree (minimum 2(i) honours or equivalent) or MSc/MRes in a relevant discipline.
  • If English is not your first language you will require a valid English certificate equivalent to IELTS 6.5+ overall with a minimum score of 6.0 in Writing and 5.5 in all sections (Reading, Listening, Speaking).
  • Please note that this studentship is only available to Home applicants. (See: for details)

Supervisor Contact Details:

For informal enquiries about this position, please contact Dr Wei Tan Tel: 020 7882 8943

E-mail: [Email Address Removed]

Application Method:

To apply for this studentship and for entry on to the Mechanical Engineering programme (Full Time) please follow the instructions detailed on the following webpage:

Research degrees in Engineering:

Further Guidance:

Please include a reference to ‘2021 SEMS WT’ to associate your application with this studentship opportunity.

Open days

PhD saved successfully
View saved PhDs