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Enhancing the long-term performance of advanced engine materials by controlling microstructure

Wolfson School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering

About the Project

Metal alloys used in automotive and aerospace industry are subjected to extreme loading and environmental conditions. Large strains developed during manufacturing or under operational conditions often lead to localisations and fractures across different scales. Hence, the accurate description and modelling of the mechanical performance in these settings is a challenge for the understanding of materials’ failure and the design of structural components that operate under extreme conditions.

The proposed research project aims at the systematic observation, quantification, and prediction of localised deformation modes triggered by the microstructure, in a class of lightweight metal alloys. The project workplan offers a unique opportunity for skills development as it comprises experimentation and advanced numerical simulations. Specifically, state-of-the art monitoring techniques (SEM, HR-DIC) will be used to quantify specific microstructural features that drive deformation at the microscale. In parallel, numerical codes at the crystalline level capable of predicting localisation and fracture (peridynamics, XFEM) will be developed and validated against the obtained experimental datasets. These tools are expected to have real world impact and affect the future design of such engineering alloys.

Loughborough University

Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF, 2014) and an outstanding 66% of the work of Loughborough’s academic staff who were eligible to be submitted to the REF was judged as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’, compared to a national average figure of 43%.

In choosing Loughborough for your research, you’ll work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from our Doctoral College, including tailored careers advice, to help you succeed in your research and future career.

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Entry requirements

Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 honours degree (or equivalent e.g. GPA of 7.5/10 or higher) in mechanical engineering, materials engineering, aerospace engineering, civil engineering or a related subject. A relevant master’s degree and/or experience in one or more of the following will be an advantage: mechanical engineering, materials engineering, aerospace ngineering, civil engineering.

English language requirements

Applicants must meet the minimum English language requirements. Further details are available on the international website:

How to apply

All applications should be made online. Under school/department name, select 'Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering'. Please quote reference KB-UF-2020.

The deadline for applications is 31 May 2021.

Funding Notes

This is an open call for candidates who are sponsored or who have their own funding. If you do not have funding, you may still apply, however Institutional funding is not guaranteed. Outstanding candidates (UK/EU/International) without funding will be considered for funding opportunities which may become available in the School.

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