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Integrated Piezoelectric Wafer Sensors for Composite Material Damage Monitoring

   School of Engineering

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  Dr Anil Prathuru, Prof Nadimul Faisal  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Robert Gordon University, through School of Engineering is offering a PhD studentship within the Advanced Materials research group.

The study aims to develop and fabricate piezoelectric wafers and integrate them into composite panels to monitor the fatigue damage accumulation over long loading durations. In addition, energy harvesting possibilities will also be explored using the same integrated wafers.

Composite materials are being extensively used in a wide range of industries. The development of smart materials and their implementation in composite material damage monitoring has been the area of significant focus in composite structures. The monitoring of damage accumulation within composites is crucial, especially in structures such as wind turbine blades which are subjected to wide range of environmental loads leading to fatigue damage accumulation.

The objective of the study is to identify the best suitable materials to fabricate embeddable wafer sensors to monitor damage accumulation in composite panel test coupons. The best suited fabrication method must be identified so as to increase the performance of the wafers. The impact due to the embedded wafers on mechanical performance of the composite test coupons will also need to be studied as a significant impact is likely a major deterrent. The project will take a material optimisation/mechanical testing approach to the problem with material characterisation to establish the wafer performance. Hence the ideal candidate will have experience working with material design, characterisation and mechanical testing. 

Desirable skills and knowledge: Materials characterisation skills such as SEM, DMA, UV Vis spectrophotometry etc. Knowledge or experience of composites, material design and mechanical testing is advantageous.

Applications should be emailed to Dr. Anil Prathuru at [Email Address Removed]

The applications should consist of a covering letter or personal statement of interest, academic transcripts and a CV.

It is expected that candidates are available to register and commence study on 01 Feb 2023. In addition, the successful candidate will be expected to submit publications to refereed journals and to present their findings at international conferences.

Questions should initially be addressed to: 

Dr. Anil Prathuru

School of Engineering, Robert Gordon University, Sir Ian Wood Building, Garthdee Campus, Aberdeen, AB10 7GJ United Kingdom

T: +44 (0) 1224 263176 

E: [Email Address Removed]


Entry Requirements

Applicants should have a First- or Second-Class UK honours degree, or equivalent CGPA from non-UK universities in a relevant discipline such as Mechanical Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, Polymer Technology, Nanotechnology or Materials Science and Engineering. An MSc in a relevant subject is highly desirable. Knowledge or experience of polymer composites and mechanical testing/relevant standards is advantageous.

Keywords: Composites, sensors, piezoelectrics, dielectrics, damage accumulation

Funding Notes

Applicants are eligible for a fee waiver studentship for the duration of the 3 years. This studentship will cover the tuition fees only for qualified home or overseas students. Interested candidates will have to secure their own financial support to support their living costs during the duration of the PhD study.

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