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EngD in Development of In-Process NDE Machining Force Feedback Analysis for Titanium Alloy Component Texture Analysis

   Department of Materials Science and Engineering

   Applications accepted all year round  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

This project sits within the Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Advanced Metallic Systems - a distinct research centre formed by a partnership between the Universities of Sheffield and Manchester and the I-Form Advanced Manufacturing Centre, Dublin. Our doctoral students undertake a different doctoral programme, which includes a compulsory intensive technical and professional skills training programme throughout the 4-year project. For more information on our training programme content, aimed at converting graduates from a non-materials topic into metallurgy, please review our website (linked below).

This EngD project is based at the Department of Materials at the University of Sheffield, and is sponsored by Rolls-Royce. We are seeking a candidate with a 2.1 or 1st class degree in a STEM discipline.

Titanium alloys are used in high performance rotating components in the aerospace industry, particularly compressor discs, as they possess high strength/weight ratios and excellent fatigue and corrosion re- sistance. Titanium alloy products are generally forged and machined, and over recent years, the ma-chining force feedback response has been used to provide an indication of grain structure in forged mate-rial and the influence of upstream forging on texture development.

A key aim of this EngD project is to develop the force feedback approach as a non-destructive evaluation technique for titanium alloy components and upstream forged conditions. One aspect is to detect delete- rious micro-texture regions in forged material that may be more prone to performance limiting features in- service and develop a microstructural digital twin from such force feedback data.

This project is hugely important in the manufacture of advanced materials, particularly considering the move to high speed machining for enhanced productivity, as there is no viable non-destructive inspec-tion method capable of determining microstructural variation on-line as the material is being machined. This severely limits the advancement of both new materials and machining techniques. If a reliable in-process NDE approach can be developed, this will provide a vast manufacturing advantage not just in forged product but in other processes that require subtractive machining, such as additive manufacturing. The development will work will also provide the framework of a digital twin of the workpiece material through key solid state processing steps.

During your PhD, you will develop core skills in machining science and metallurgy, such as microstruc-tural characterisation, process metallurgy and data analytical approaches. You will work collaboratively with a broad range of engineers and researchers and have access to high performance manufacturing and characterisation facilities in the Henry Royce Institute and the Advanced Manufacturing Research Cen-tre. You will develop an insight into the technical advanced manufacturing challenges in the aerospace sector and work closely with engineers at Rolls-Royce.

The project would suit a good Materials Science, Physics, Aerospace Engineering or Mechanical Engineering graduate with an interest in advanced manufacturing and digitisation of microstructure.

The Centre for Doctoral Training in Advanced Metallic Systems is a partnership between industry and the Universities of Sheffield, Manchester and I-Form Advanced Manufacturing Centre, Dublin. CDT students undertake a 4-year doctorate with an in-depth compulsory technical and professional skills training programme. Please review our training programme, application process and full entry requirements at

For more information on the research scope of the project please contact Martin Jackson at . Informal enquiries about the AMS CDT training programme should be sent to .

Please note that this project will close before the advertised end date if a suitable applicant is secured. We suggest that you do not delay submitting your PGR application to The University of Sheffield.

Funding Notes

UKRI rate (£17,668 p.a. in 2022-23) plus £5,000 per year top-up
This project will close as soon as a suitable applicant is secured. We suggest that you do not delay submitting your PGR application to The University of Sheffield. Enquires via FindaPhD are not considered as applications.

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