Dispersion strengthened alloys for automotive engineering

   Brunel Centre for Advanced Solidification Technology (BCAST)

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  Prof H B Nadendla  Applications accepted all year round  Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

Brunel Centre for Advanced Solidification Technology (BCAST): PhD Studentship 

Applications are invited for a PhD studentship for the project “Dispersion strengthened alloys for automotive engineering”. Successful applicants will receive an annual stipend (bursary) of £18602 (including London weighting) plus payment of their full-time home tuition fees.

The successful applicant will join the internationally recognised researchers in the Brunel Centre for Advanced Solidification Technology (BCAST). Magnesium, as the lightest structural metal combined with superior damping capacity, has tremendous potential in achieving lightweighting in vehicles with improved noise, vibration and harshness performance. The automotive industry is aiming to increase Mg content significantly by 2030. To help realise this growth and to meet the stringent design and safety criteria for lightweighting, it is necessary to enhance the strength of existing cost-effective alloys significantly. The role of precipitation hardening in Mg alloys could be fulfilled by ex-situ phase particles, if they are dispersed within the Mg matrix rather than segregated at the grain boundaries. This PhD project aims to understand the particle pushing/trapping behaviour by the Mg solidification front. A wide range of alloys and selective particulates will be considered and this study. The project also investigates the criteria for the stability of nano-colloids and their solidification behaviour, which could help establish process maps suitable for manufacturing DSM alloys using practical casting processes. The doctoral researcher will be working closely with the industrial partner(s), which will provide additional experience.

Applicants will be required to demonstrate their understanding, skills and experience in key metallurgical principles, microstructure versus mechanical property relationship, and testing methods.

Please contact Professor Hari-Babu Nadendla at [Email Address Removed] for an informal discussion about the project.


Applicants will have or be expected to receive a first or upper-second class honours degree in Materials Science, Metallurgy or a similar discipline. A Postgraduate Masters degree is not required but may be an advantage.

Applicants should be highly motivated, able to work independently as well as in a team, collaborate with others and have effective communication skills.

How to apply

Please email your application documents (see list below) by 17:00 on 3rd of May 2022 to Professor Nadendla and the PGR Office at [Email Address Removed] Interviews will take place in May 2022.

  • Your up-to-date CV;
  • Your personal statement (300 to 500 words) summarising your background, skills and experience;
  • Your Undergraduate/Postgraduate Masters degree certificate(s) and transcript(s);
  • Evidence of your English language skills to IELTS 6.5 (or equivalent, 6.0 in all sections), if appropriate;
  • Contact details for TWO referees, one of which can be an academic member of staff in the College.

Remember to state the title of the project at the top of your personal statement.

Research journey

Doctoral research programmes (PhDs) take a proud place in the world-class research environment and community at Brunel. PhD students are recognised and valued by their supervisors as an essential part of their departments and a key component of the university's overall strategy to develop and deliver world-class research.

A PhD programme is expected to take 3 years full-time or 6 years part-time, with intakes starting in January, April or October.

The general University entrance requirement for registration for a research degree is normally a First or Upper Second Class Honours degree (1st or 2:1) or an international equivalent. A Masters degree is a welcome, but not required, qualification for entry.

Research support

Excellent research support and training

The Graduate School provides a range of personal, professional and career development opportunities. This includes workshops, online training, coaching and events, to enable you to enhance your professional profile, refine your skills, and plan your next career steps as part of the Researcher Development Programme. The researcher development programme (RDP) offers workshops and seminars in a range of areas including progression, research management, research dissemination, and careers and personal development. You will also be offered a number of online, self-study courses on BBL, including Research Integrity, Research Skills Toolkit, Research Methods in Literature Review and Principles of Research Methods.

Library services

Brunel's Library is open 24 hours a day, has 400,000 books and 250,000 ebooks, and an annual budget of almost £2m. Subject information Specialists train students in the latest technology, digital literacy, and digital dissemination of scholarly outputs. As well as the physical resources available in the Library, we also provide access to a wealth of electronic resources. These include databases, journals and e-books. Access to these resources has been bought by the Library through subscription and is limited to current staff and students. 

Dedicated research support staff provide guidance and training on open access, research data management, copyright and other research integrity issues.

Careers support

You will receive tailored careers support during your PhD and for up to three years after you complete your research at Brunel. We encourage you to actively engage in career planning and managing your personal development right from the start of your research, even (or perhaps especially) if you don't yet have a career path in mind. Our careers provision includes online information and advice, one-to-one consultations and a range of events and workshops. The Professional Development Centre runs a varied programme of careers events throughout the academic year. These include industry insight sessions, recruitment fairs, employer pop-ups and skills workshops.

Engineering (12) Materials Science (24)

Funding Notes

Successful applicants will receive an annual stipend (bursary) of £18602 (including London weighting) plus payment of their full-time home tuition fees.
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