This project is devoted to design, creation, and development of new multifunctional smart materials and improved performances that will underlie the technologies of the future. Within this proposal, the potential PhD candidate will develop smart lightweight hierarchical graphene-based bulk nanocomposite material based on a novel concept for intelligent components with nacre nanolaminated architectures that integrate self-healing functionality and high damping performance for structural applications. This smart material with enhanced structures and its integrated functionality enable ease communication and interaction with their surroundings, and accurate reactions to external spurs. The project also aims to produce new technologies and techniques and advance their development approach in a unique direction to create, fabricate, process and model the novel advanced materials to be used in transport sector (automotive and aerospace industries). The nanolaminate architecture consists of the assembly of planar oriented nanoscopically thin laminae, which is capable of producing a broad range of functional and structural behaviours and remarkable performance. The integration of self-healing into polymer nanocomposites offers innovative directions towards sustainable, safer and longer-lasting materials for multifunctional applications. In particular, the implementation of self-healing features within the hosting matrix would lead to a new vision in the damage tolerant design and in the maintenance strategies of the composite structures during their operative life.
This project proposal also aims to establish and strengthen the link between the development of novel graphene-based nano-structure-based polymer composites with unique syntheses and functionalities, and the improvement of the modelling capability and the need of getting refined results in the application for the design of real structural components.
Please note eligibility requirement:
* Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. 2:1 (or equivalent GPA from non-UK universities [preference for 1st class honours]) in Mechanical, Materials, Automotive Engineering or other related sciences and/or engineering degree; or a Masters (preference for Merit or above); or APEL evidence of substantial practitioner achievement.
* Appropriate IELTS score, if required
This project is well suited to motivated and hard-working candidates with a keen interest in advanced nanocomposites and their unique applications. The applicant should have excellent communication skills including proven ability to write in English.
For further details of how to apply, entry requirements and the application form, see https://www.northumbria.ac.uk/research/postgraduate-research-degrees/how-to-apply
Please note: Applications that do not include a research proposal of approximately 1,000 words (not a copy of the advert), or that do not include the advert reference (e.g. SF18/MCE/ELMARAKBI) will not be considered.
Start Date: 1 March 2019 or 1 June 2019 or 1 October 2019
Northumbria University takes pride in, and values, the quality and diversity of our staff. We welcome applications from all members of the community. The University hold an Athena SWAN Bronze award in recognition of our commitment to improving employment practices for the advancement of gender equality and is a member of the Euraxess network, which delivers information and support to professional researchers.
1. Elmarakbi, A., Bertocchi, F., Cristiano, F., Innocente, F., Ciappa, A. and Villaro, E. “Method of Forming Graphene Nanoplatelets, Graphene Nanoplatelets So-Obtained and Composites Comprising Said Nanoplatelets” Graphene Flagship, UK/EU Patent No. 1615688.7. International No. WO 2018/051095/ PCT/GB2017/052712 (22nd March 2018).
2. Elmarakbi, A. and Azoti, W. (2018) “State of the Art of Graphene Lightweighting Nanocomposites for Automotive Applications” Experimental characterization, predictive mechanical and thermal modeling of nanostructures and their polymer composites. Edited by Francesco Marotti De Sciarra and Pietro Russo. Elsevier, Oxford, United Kingdom, Chapter 1, pp. 1-23, ISBN: 978-0-323-48061-1
3. Elmarakbi, A. and Azoti, W. (2018) “Mechanical Prediction of Graphene-based Polymer Nanocomposites for Energy-Efficient and Safe Vehicles” Experimental characterization, predictive mechanical and thermal modeling of nanostructures and their polymer composites. Edited by Francesco Marotti De Sciarra and Pietro Russo. Elsevier, Oxford, United Kingdom, Chapter 4, pp. 159-177, ISBN: 978-0-323-48061-1
4. Azoti, W. and Elmarakbi, A. (2017) “Multiscale Modelling of Graphene Platelets-based Nanocomposite Materials” Composite Structures. Vol. 168, pp. 313–321.
5. Azoti, W. and Elmarakbi, A. (2017) “Constitutive modelling of ductile damage matrix reinforced by platelets-like particles with imperfect interfaces: Application to graphene polymer nanocomposite materials” Composites B. Vol.113, pp. 55-64.
6. Elmarakbi, A., Azoti, W. and Serry, M. (2017) “Multiscale Modelling of Hybrid Glass Fibres Reinforced Graphene Platelets Polyamide PA6 Matrix Composites for Crashworthiness Applications” Applied Materials Today. Vol. 6, pp. 1-8.