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DTA - Building Organisational Capacities for UK Smart Circular Textile and Apparel Systems

   Department of Materials

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  Dr Jo Conlon, Mr Stephen Doyle, Mrs Charlene Gallery  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The UK textile and apparel manufacturing is enjoying a great renaissance, responding to a growing domestic demand for speed to market, convenience and stability as well as increasing interest from international consumers looking for high quality UK-made product (UKFT). Growing awareness of provenance, quality, supply chain transparency, flexibility and speed to market is re-energising the sector which previously suffered when companies chased low-cost labour around the world. The implementation of digital operations technologies as part of the digital transformation process is key to maintaining and futureproofing this position. The UK Fashion and Textiles industry with its diverse and highly fragmented value chains can benefit significantly through the adoption of digital operations technologies and Industry 4.0 solutions to redesign traditional organisational structures and processes to encompass the whole product lifecycle and generate data, information and knowledge within the supply chain supportive of the transition to the Circular Economy.

This research project centres on the digital technologies that facilitate a smart information cycle to enable a more sustainable future through the application of data to support the life-cycle management of products. This project initially focuses on exploring the digital knowledge and capabilities in the UK Fashion and Textiles workforce and the supporting management attitudes to expand knowledge of existing management practice, workforce barriers and benefits associated with I4.0 in the UK textile and apparel system, to identify key business analytics factors (organizational capabilities and resources) to effectively leverage CE strategies specific to the industry. The project will then propose an end-to-end Internet of Things (IoT) application to support a smart information cycle along the whole product lifecycle of a UK textile and apparel product.

One main challenge is that despite the potential for significant gains, the sector has been slow to adopt technologies in recent years. The size and complexity of supply chains coupled with uncertainty in market demand and number of SMEs has inhibited investment to date. Where adoption has begun, a human-centric approach that acknowledges creativity and collaboration has been supportive of successful implementation activities.

Academic background of candidates

A minimum 2.1 honours degree in a relevant subject area.

At the University of Manchester, we pride ourselves on our commitment to fairness, inclusion and respect in everything we do. We welcome applications from people of all backgrounds and identities, and encourage you to bring your whole self to work and study. We will ensure that your application is given full consideration without regard to your race, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, nationality, disability, age, marital or pregnancy status, or socioeconomic background. All PhD places will be awarded on the basis of merit.

To apply please follow the link below:

Funding Notes

This is a 3.5 year EPSRC DTA CASE studentship with Airbus. Funding will cover UK tuition fee and stipend only. The University of Manchester aims to support the most outstanding applicants from outside the UK. We are able to offer a limited number of scholarships that will enable full studentships to be awarded to international applicants. These full studentships will only be awarded to exceptional quality candidates, due to the competitive nature of this scheme.
Start date: September 2022
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