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Doctor of Engineering (EngD) - Optical sensors for monitoring and control of ultra-short pulsed laser manufacturing processes (MTC)

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  • Full or part time
    Prof D Reid
    Prof D P Hand
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

Project Description

Project not available to non UK/EU applicants.

The EngD is an alternative to a traditional PhD aimed at students wanting a career in industry. Students spend about 75% of their time working directly with a company in addition to receiving advanced-level training from a broad portfolio of technical and business courses. On completion students are awarded the PhD-equivalent EngD.
The successful applicant will be a registered student of Heriot-Watt University.

Truly industrial laser processes must be capable of running 24/7 and so reliable techniques for process monitoring and control are essential. With laser welding processes for example, real time welding monitoring is not only critical for product quality and integrity; but is a key commercial driver for manufacturing productivity as it eliminates high scrappage levels that otherwise make automation commercially inviable.

Many different sensing techniques have been developed, with the most successful being based on optical measurement, both high speed single point sensors and lower speed spatially-resolved sensor arrays (cameras). A class of sensor recently commercialised relies on optical coherence to determine the depth of machined features etc. This has been successfully applied to cw laser welding, providing continuous measurement of the welding keyhole and hence indirectly the weld penetration depth.

Key processes that will be studied are micro-machining and surface modification of a range of substrates, in particular multi-layer or composite structures where it is typically important to determine whether a particular material layer has been completely removed.

Candidate Essential Criteria
- Excellent practical experimental skills
- Physics or mechanical engineering degree

Company information
The Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) was established in 2010 as an independent Research & Technology Organisation (RTO) with the objective of bridging the gap between academia and industry – often referred to as ‘the valley of death’. It represents one of the largest public sector investments in UK manufacturing and, after four years of planning and a 16 month build, the facility opened at Ansty Park in Coventry at the end of 2011.Since opening, the MTC’s rapid growth has seen the expansion of our campus with the construction of three more facilities, including the opening of the Advanced Manufacturing Training Centre and the National Centre for Additive Manufacturing. Our role has also increased to cover not only R&D but also Training, Advanced Manufacturing Management and Factory Design. We now have over 700 talented employees working with us.
During this time we have helped hundreds of companies across a range of industries and over 100 of them have become members of the MTC. Our Vision is to inspire Great British manufacturing on the global stage. We provide integrated manufacturing system solutions for customers large and small, across sectors as diverse as automotive, aerospace, rail, informatics, food & drink, construction/civil engineering, electronics, oil & gas and defence.

Flexible Research Working
The MTC has access to a wide range of laser processing equipment and projects related to photonics and is always open to have discussion with potential candidate on direction of research and project to work on. The range of photonic related processes that is available at the MTC including welding, cutting, drilling, cleaning and texturing/ ablation. MTC also has a range of sensors including LIBS, LDD, etc which can be used for inline monitoring of photonic based processing.

The MTC is an equal opportunity employer and is fully committed to a policy of treating all of its employees equally, which apply to EngD and PhD student that MTC sponsors. The MTC embrace diversity in its workforce and avoid any unlawful discrimination in all aspect of employment including recruitment and selection, promotion, transfer, opportunities for training, pay and benefits, other terms of employment, discipline and dismissal. MTC also operate a flexible working policy for its staff which will also be applied to EngD and PhD students during their placement here at the MTC.

Funding Notes

This 4-year (including CDT taught-courses) project is funded jointly by the EPSRC CDT in Applied Photonics, run by Heriot-Watt University and the Industrial Sponsor. The annual stipend is approximately £20,000, which includes an enhancement from the Industrial Sponsor. A substantial consumables and equipment budget is provided by a concurrent EPSRC grant. Travel funding for conference presentations is also available.

Project not available to non UK/EU applicants.

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