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

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Monday, January 28, 2019
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Application details

Reference number: WS08
Start date of studentship: 1st October 2019
Closing date of advert: 28th January 2019
Interview date: TBC


Primary supervisor: Dr Konstantinos Baxevanakis
Secondary supervisor: Prof. Vadim Silberschmidt

Loughborough University

Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF2014). 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.

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Full Project Detail

Structural materials used in modern engineering applications are more than ever today subjected to extreme loading and environmental conditions. The development of large strains either during manufacturing or under operational conditions often leads to non-trivial deformation modes, such as localisations and microfractures, which are precursors to catastrophic failure. Besides geometrical factors, these events have their roots to the material microstructure. Therefore, the accurate description of the long-term mechanical behaviour of these materials is still a challenge.

The proposed research project aims at investigating the role of microstructure in the long-term performance of advanced materials used in automotive industry (e.g. engine components). Hence, this is a unique opportunity to have real world impact as it directly affects the design of structural components that operate under extreme conditions. The project workplan consists of material characterisation and experimentation using state-of-the art monitoring techniques in order to quantify specific microstructural features that drive deformation at the microscale under high temperature conditions. Besides, numerical codes at the mesoscale will be developed to incorporate the experimental information and predict the mechanical behaviour under different loading scenarios.

Entry requirements

Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Applied Mathematics 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, Computational Solid Mechanics, Experimental Mechanics.

Contact details

Name: Dr Konstantinos Baxevanakis
Email address:
Telephone number: +44 (0) 1509 227030

Funding Notes

Please note that studentships will be awarded on a competitive basis to applicants who have applied to this project and other advertised projects with reference ‘WS’ for the School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering.
If awarded, each 3-year studentship will provide tuition fees at the UK/EU rate and a tax-free stipend at the UK Research and Innovation rate. The UKRI stipend value for 2019/20 has not yet been announced but the value for 2018/19 was £14,777. While we welcome applications from non-EU nationals, please be advised that it will only be possible to fund the tuition fees at the international rate and no stipend will be available. Successful candidates will be notified by 26th March 2019.


K.P. Baxevanakis, B. Wisner, S. Schlenker, H. Baid and A. Kontsos, 2018. Data-driven damage model based on nondestructive evaluation, ASME Journal of Nondestructive Evaluation, Diagnostics and Prognostics of Engineering Systems 1, 031007-1-031007-12. doi: 10.1115/1.4040040.

K.P. Baxevanakis, C. Mo, M. Cabal and A. Kontsos, 2018. An integrated approach to model strain localization bands in magnesium alloys, Computational Mechanics 61, 119-135. doi: 10.1007/s00466-017-1480-6.

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