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Integrated Computational Materials Engineering Methodology Development for Unibody Die Casting of Aluminum Alloy

   Industrial Design

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  Dr G Gong, Dr Shiyao Huang, Dr Xue Zhang  Applications accepted all year round  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Unibody die casting of aluminum alloy has attracted considerable attention among the automotive industry recently. To gain wide applications, there are several topics in which further research is needed, such as new alloy development, part geometry distortion, local properties variation, etc. The aim of this study is to develop integrated computational materials engineering methodology for high pressure die casting of aluminum alloy, where the root causes of part geometry distortion and local properties variation will be investigated. Meanwhile, simulation framework will be integrated into CAE software to predict part geometry distortion and local properties distribution.

For more information about doctoral scholarship and PhD programme at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XJTLU): Please visit


The candidate should have at least a first class or upper second class honours degree, or preferably a master’s degree (or equivalent qualification) in mechanical engineering, materials engineering, applied mechanics or related fields. Evidence of good spoken and written English is essential. The candidate should have at least an IELTS score of 6.5 (or equivalent), if the first language is not English. This position is open to all qualified candidates irrespective of nationality.


The student will be awarded a PhD degree from the University of Liverpool (UK) upon successful completion of the program.

Supervisor Profile:

Principal Supervisor:

Dr. Gong is an associate professor in civil engineering at Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XJTLU). He obtained his first degree (honours) and master degree in civil engineering both from Hua Zhong University of Science and Technology (HUST) in China, and then a PhD in geotechnical engineering from the University of Birmingham (UK) in 2008. He worked in consultant companies including Mott MacDonald Limited (head office in London) and URS-Scott Wilson (Hong Kong office). He also worked in Harbin Institute of Technology (Shenzhen, China) as an academic fellow before joining XJTLU. His research interests include micromechanics of granular materials, soil liquefaction, constitutive elastic-plastic models, structural dynamics and vibration, concrete filled steel tubes, finite element method and discrete element method.

JITRI co-supervisors:

Dr. Weijian Han received his Ph.D of Mechanical Engineering in Tulsa University, served as Director of Research and Advanced Engineering for Asia Pacific at Ford before retirement (24 years of service). He led the team to carry out more than 100 research projects in China, published 8 books and over 40 academic articles on vehicle engineering. His technical expertise includes lightweight materials, joining technologies, smart manufacturing, and environmental sciences. In 2020, Dr. Han joined Advanced Materials Research Institute, Yangtze Delta and served as Director, focusing on the industrial materials database/platform construction and data-driven product design tools development. Dr. Shiyao Huang is a Senior Research Manager at Yangtze Delta Region Institute of Advanced Materials. After receiving the PhD degree from Shanghai Jiao Tong University in 2011, he has worked in the automotive industry and household appliance industry for over ten years. His current research interests include, integrated computational materials engineering, big data analysis in materials engineering, etc.

How to Apply:

Interested applicants are advised to email (XJTLU principal supervisor) or (JITRI supervisor) the following documents for initial review and assessment (please put the project title in the subject line).

  • CV
  • Two reference letters with company/university letterhead
  • Personal statement outlining your interest in the position
  • Proof of English language proficiency (an IELTS score of 6.5 or above)
  • Verified college transcripts in both Chinese and English (for international students, only the English version is required)
  • Verified certificates of education qualifications in both Chinese and English (for international students, only the English version is required)
  • PDF copy of Master Degree dissertation (or an equivalent writing sample) and examiners reports available 

Funding Notes

This PhD project is a collaborative research project between XJTLU (View Website) in Suzhou and JITRI (Jiangsu Industrial Technology
Research Institute) Yangtze Delta Region Institute of Advanced Materials in Suzhou. The student will be registered as an XJLTU PhD student but is expected to carry out the major part of his or her research at the Institute in Suzhou.
The PhD studentship is available for three years subject to satisfactory progress by the student. The studentship covers tuition fees for three years (currently equivalent to RMB 80,000 per annum).
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