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DURAADE - DURability of Aluminium Airframes in the Defence Environment

   Department of Materials

  ,  Friday, February 24, 2023  Competition Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

Advanced airframes in both civilian and defence applications rely on high-performance aluminium alloys in their load bearing structures. To meet this need, the aluminium industry continually designs new alloys to give performance benefits. Recently, a family of novel aluminium alloys based on the 7xxx series has been developed and are now deployed in new generation fighter aircraft. To ensure safe and economic performance of these alloys throughout the lifetime of the aircraft requires a fundamental understanding of alloy behaviour under the harsh conditions experienced in service.

This project will involve performing detailed characterization of the microstructure of advanced aluminium alloys using the internationally leading electron microscopy and other facilities at the University of Manchester. Links will be established between microstructural features and alloy performance in environments such as high humidity or salt-water exposure. The candidate will join a vibrant research group working on related topics at Manchester for both civilian and defence aerospace sectors. They will be based in the Sir Henry Royce institute, a brand-new, state-of-the-art facility that is the national hub for material science in the UK.

The work is supported by DSTL, an executive agency of the Ministry of Defence whose goal is to maximise the impact of science and technology for the defence and security of the UK. The project will involve working in collaboration with expert DSTL scientists, with opportunities for workplace experience both within UK MOD and internationally. Candidates will require a degree in metallurgy, materials science, physics, or a related engineering subject.

Academic background of candidates 

Applicants are expected to hold, or about to obtain, a minimum upper second class undergraduate degree (or equivalent) in metallurgy, materials science, physics, or a related engineering subject.

Equality, diversity and inclusion is fundamental to the success of The University of Manchester, and is at the heart of all of our activities. We know that diversity strengthens our research community, leading to enhanced research creativity, productivity and quality, and societal and economic impact. We actively encourage applicants from diverse career paths and backgrounds and from all sections of the community, regardless of age, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation and transgender status.

We also support applications from those returning from a career break or other roles. We consider offering flexible study arrangements (including part-time: 50%, 60% or 80%, depending on the project/funder).

All appointments are made on merit.

Contact for further Information

Professor Joseph Robson

Funding Notes

This is a 4 year EPSRC iCASE studentship with Defence Science and Technology Organization (DSTL). It covers fees, consumables and stipend (£15,609 in 2021-22).
Open to UK applicants only
Start date: September 2023

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