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  Engineering Crystalline Microstructures through Laser Ultrasonic Imaging - (ENG 1607)

   Faculty of Engineering

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  Dr Rikesh Patel  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project


To determine the mechanical performance of a manufactured structure, the material properties at the nanoscale (chemical composition), microscale (microstructure) and macroscale (geometric shape) all need to be considered. While designing the nano and macro-scale is possible, it is difficult to manufacture material, such as engineering alloys, with a desired crystallographic arrangement. This is due to the random nature of developing crystal seed points – however through live imaging of the developing material’s microstructure, it is possible adjust production parameters to develop preferred grain orientation and distribution. Spatially Resolved Acoustic Spectroscopy (SRAS, is a revolutionary non-destructive laser ultrasonic materials characterisation technique – it is one of only a handful of techniques in the world capable of imaging material crystallographic orientation, and the only one that can be used in a production environment.

Research Project

This PhD programme will aim to develop a laser ultrasonic imaging system capable of real time measurements in a production environment – this will include the designing and construction of optical equipment, as well as software development that will derive material properties from acoustic measurements and feedback into manufacturing processes (training will be provided). In addition to exploring traditional methods of materials production, research will also incorporate future manufacturing processes such as additive manufacture.

The suitable candidate should demonstrate an enthusiasm for multidisciplinary research and has/expects to obtain a 1st class or a high 2:1 honours degree, or a combination of qualifications/experience equivalent to this level in engineering, material science, physics or computer science.


The research will be supported by the University of Nottingham’s Optics and Photonics Research Group, utilising their extensive knowledge and expertise in the field. Students may also utilise the facilities provided by the Nottingham Nanotechnology and Nanoscience Centre, Centre for Additive Manufacturing, and our numerous industrial collaborators to further develop the technology during the programme.


Applications to and enquiries about this opportunity can be made to Dr Rikesh Patel ([Email Address Removed]) - please include a copy of your CV when making an enquiry. 

Computer Science (8) Engineering (12) Materials Science (24) Mathematics (25) Physics (29)

Funding Notes

PhD Studentship: Fully funded PhD studentship paying for home students' tuition, research/training expenses, and UKRI stipend (

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