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Development of Novel Low Energy Laser Shock Peening

   Institute for Future Transport and Cities

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  Prof M Fitzpatrick, Dr P Shukla, Dr D Tanoko Ardi  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Coventry University and the Agency for Science, Technology and Research in Singapore (A*STAR) are inviting applications from suitably qualified UK/EU/international graduates for one fully-funded PhD studentship for the project ‘Development of Novel Low Energy Laser Shock Peening’. By engaging in research in the United Kingdom and Singapore, the programme offers researchers the opportunity to access to the state-of-the-art research facilities and advance their knowledge and expertise in the fields of materials and manufacturing engineering, whilst developing their intercultural skills and making international networks and collaborations.

The Research Project
Useful life of metal components operating under dynamic stresses and severe environment conditions can be enhanced by peening the surface. Laser shock peening (LSP) is a surface enhancement method with a unique capability of generating deep compressive stressed layer (1 mm approx.) at low cold work resulting in excellent resistance to fatigue damage. The application of this process is largely limited to aero-engine and nuclear applications due to its high cost. Currently, LSP utilizes a high energy (~1-10 J) nanosecond pulsed laser with low frequency (~5-10 Hz).

The aim of the proposed programme is to address the high cost associated with the use of high energy laser system in the current LSP by developing a novel low energy laser peening process (~100 mJ). With the recent development of fibre lasers operating in low energy regime, the laser systems have reduced requirement of the auxiliaries (optics system and cooling system) and compact size. This project will investigate the use of such fibre laser for peening applications in other industry sectors apart from aerospace and nuclear, with the effect almost comparable to that of current LSP.

The successful candidate will undertake research activities such as:
- Develop appropriate laser peening conditions by altering laser parameters, implementing new methods to increase plasma induced shock wave pressure, configuring the most appropriate beam spot shape and size and identifying the optimum viscosity of confinement medium.
- Demonstrate use of low energy LSP for new applications such as MEMS, thin sheets and microwelds.
- Measure and analyse surface characteristics, integrity, residual stress of peened components and compare it with that of conventional high energy LSP.
- Work with industry in applying the findings and developing the system for real application.

How will the joint programme work?

The successful candidate will enrol at Coventry University, UK as their home institution and will spend up to 2 years at the A*STAR Advanced Remanufacturing and Technology Centre (ARTC).

A typical 4-year pattern of attendance is shown below, although the actual plan of study and timings at each location will be developed in the light of the details of the proposed research project as defined in the early stages of the project, and with the mutual agreement of the supervision team.

Year 1 Coventry Uni, UK
Year 2 ARTC Singapore
Year 3 ARTC Singapore
Year 4 Coventry Uni, UK

Coventry University and A*STAR jointly offer one (01) fully-funded PhD studentship to UK/EU or international applicant as part of the A*STAR Research Attachment Programme (ARAP).

Each studentship will include:

• full tuition fees
• a stipend for up to 4 years (c.a. £15000/year) subject to satisfactory progress
• a one-time airfare to and from Singapore
• a one-time settling-in allowance in Singapore
• medical insurance for the period in Singapore
• conference allowances.

• c.a. £15,000pa
• One-time return airfare to Singapore
• One-time settling-in allowance in Singapore
• Medical insurance for the period in Singapore
• Conference allowances

Other Benefits
• Throughout the programme the candidates will have a joint supervisory team and work in close collaboration with industry stakeholders in both UK and Singapore.
• The successful candidates will receive comprehensive research training including technical, personal and professional skills at the Doctoral College and Centre for Research Capability and Development at Coventry University:
• The supervisory team offers a substantial track record in successful doctoral supervision and expertise in the thematic areas identified.

Entry Requirements
• A minimum of a 2:1 undergraduate degree in (including but not limited to) Mechanical Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering, Materials Engineering, Laser Processing, Physics or a related discipline with a minimum 60% mark in the project element or equivalent with a minimum 60% overall module average;
• In the event of an undergraduate degree classification of less than 2:1, a Master’s Degree in a relevant subject area as mentioned above will be considered as an equivalent;
• The Masters must have been attained with minimum overall marks at merit level (60%). In addition, the dissertation or equivalent element in the Masters must also have been attained with a minimum mark of merit level (60%);
• Minimum English language proficiency of IELTS Academic 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component, if you are an EU (non-UK) or international applicant.

For further details see:

Desirable Specifications
o A self-motivated candidate with a passion to conduct innovative research, a drive to find solutions and complete the PhD within 4 years;
o Practical and/or theoretical knowledge of lasers and processing of materials, laser physics, and optical engineering obtained through previous experience;
o Previous knowledge, for example through project work, of residual stress measurement and analysis and/or materials characterization would be advantageous;
o Knowledge of related software (Abaques, Comsol, Ansys, Zemax) and or some understanding of Artificial Neural Network Modelling Technique.
o Ability to think innovatively and critically analyse data, results and interpret them into technical writing; 
o A good level of English writing and oral communication skills;
o A willingness to produce academic articles. Some record of presenting papers at conferences and of publishing peer reviewed research papers is desirable; 
o Ability to take instructions, work independently and also as part of a local and international multidisciplinary team;
o Willingness to take on roles to enhance research team’s activities and profile.

How to Apply
All applications require full supporting documentation, a covering letter, plus a 2000-word supporting statement/proposal showing how the applicant’s expertise and interests are relevant to the project.

Informal enquiries are essential before application; please contact Professor Michael Fitzpatrick ([Email Address Removed]), Dr Pratik Shukla ([Email Address Removed]) and Dr Dennise Tanoko Ardi ([Email Address Removed])

Submit application online at

For further details see:  

Start date: September 2020

Duration of study: Full-Time – up to 4 years fixed term

Interview dates: Will be confirmed to shortlisted candidates

Informal enquiries are essential before application; please contact Professor Michael Fitzpatrick ([Email Address Removed]), Dr Pratik Shukla ([Email Address Removed]) and Dr Dennise Tanoko Ardi ([Email Address Removed]

Funding Notes

Coventry University and A*STAR jointly offer one (01) fully-funded PhD studentship to UK/EU or international applicant as part of the A*STAR Research Attachment Programme (ARAP).
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