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Finite element analysis and experiments on hybrid laser assisted high-speed machining

School of Engineering

About the Project

Depending on the specifications (type, pulse, energy and power), a Laser can either be used for efficient material removal, forming, bending, joining or for deposition. Due to being such a versatile tool and the fact that is a contact-less manufacturing method, laser manufacturing has gained world-wide attention. A lot of research in the past has been done on improving our understanding on the laser-matter interaction but the subject is so rich in knowledge that is still offering many new insights and has continued to remain one of the most researched area in manufacturing at present. A hybrid manufacturing method relying on laser assistance is lately gaining popularity. It is also called as thermally assisted machining. The method relies on traversing a laser source ahead of the cutting tool. The presence of laser heating just ahead of the cutting makes the cutting material more compliant and amenable to be machined

especially, difficult-to-cut metal alloys. The laser source by preheating the material, enhance plasticity by the virtue of thermal softening.
While the concept, its principal and a limited understanding on this laser hybrid machining process exist, a lot of questions are still unanswered such as:
1. What should be the ideal horizontal gap between a laser source and the tool tip?
2. Is this distance dependent on the strain rate applied during cutting?
3. What is the correlation between the laser parameters, cutting speed and material’s absorptivity?
4. Can a combination of laser heating and high pressure jet coolant be used to improve the machinability even more than what is usually achieved by simple laser machining?
5. In light of the recent knowledge ( which suggests that at specific laser wavelengths, the absorptivity of material decreases with increased temperature can the laser energy be saved to make the operation energy efficient?

To answer such questions, the project will aim to use analytical and numerical models in conjunction with the experiments to unravel and elucidate fresh insights onto the laser assisted cutting process. On this project, the student will have a unique opportunity to gain familiarity with ABAQUS numerical FEA modelling as well as performing cutting experiments.

Supervisory Team:

The successful applicant will be working Dr Saurav Goel who beside LSBU, also works for Cranfield University and University of Cambridge. He manages two Centres of excellence namely, “Centre for Doctoral Training in Ultra-Precision Engineering” and “Networkplus in Digitalised Surface Manufacturing”. As part of this project, you will be benefitted by a wide range of training tools. Informal enquiries should be directed to Dr Saurav Goel (). You will also join the London Centre of Energy Engineering and work alongside a range of students as a team member.


Applicants must be able to demonstrate merit and willingness to learn and should have (or be expected to gain) either a first class or an upper second class Honours degree (or the international equivalent). Enthusiastic and self-motivated candidates from all countries with a background in either Engineering, Physics or Mathematics or a related discipline are encouraged to apply. Candidates should be able to demonstrate that they are highly motivated, have excellent communication skills and undertake challenging tasks using their own initiative.

The School of Engineering at London South Bank University is an ambitious and progressive centre of research strength, ranked 25th nationally for research power in the last Research Excellence Framework. We have a fabulous central London location and are looking for talented potential students interested in research to work with our academic faculty in areas of strength. We are offering a number of funded PhD scholarships below. These studentships are available to UK nationals & EU citizen’s and overseas applicants*. Those in possession of their own funding (e.g. via a non-EU government scholarship) are also welcome to apply for a place of study.

Further details on each PhD project as well as application information are provided via this link ( but the PhD scholarship benefits from the following:
• Training in advanced engineering topics
• Mentoring from industry on the application and context of research
• Bespoke technical training
• Enterprise and innovation skills training
• Transferable skills development opportunities to increase employability
• 3-year studentships of ~£15,000 per annum living stipend (tax free)
• Payment of all tuition fees*
• A school supported consumables and travel budget to support additional specialist research training courses, access to specialist equipment and travel to international conferences, seminars and workshops
• Industry sponsored* cutting-edge research projects
• Wide choice of PhD projects ranging from applied to blue-sky research
• State-of-the-art research facilities in the centre of London
• Opportunities for overseas secondments to industrial partners and universities
• Excellent career prospects on completion of the PhD
* for eligible students only

LSBU Research Centres Website:, please click on the link here ( to see the specific PhD posts available.

Closing date for applications: 15th of July 2020
PhD Start: 1st October 2020

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