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Investigation on the behaviour of self-pierced rivets (SPR) in high strength 6xxx aluminium alloys


   Brunel Centre for Advanced Solidification Technology (BCAST)

   Monday, August 15, 2022  Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

Applications are invited for our EPSRC iCASE funded PhD studentship in BCAST for the project “Investigation on the behaviour of self-pierced rivets (SPR) in high strength 6xxx aluminium alloys” starting 1 October 2022. Successful applicants will receive an annual stipend (bursary) of £21,000, which will increase by £500 per annum plus payment of their full-time tuition fees for a period of 48-months (4 years).  

Applicants must be classified as a home (UK) tuition fee paying student to be eligible for this studentship. 

The Project

 Self-Piecing-Riveting (SPR) is an advanced solid-state joining technology for producing lightweight structures in automotive industry. This project aims to develop an understanding of the mechanical behaviour of high strength 6xxx aluminium alloys joined by SPR in a variety of stacking combinations and to investigate joint strength characteristics, microstructures and failure mechanisms, corrosion resistance, and the effect of material conditions and processing parameters on the SPR joint quality.

Please contact Dr Yan Huang at to find out more about the project or arrange an informal discussion about the position. 

 Skills and Experience

 Applicants should have a background in metallurgical or mechanical engineering with familiarity and interest in metals and alloys and their processing. Exposure and training in mechanical testing, optical and electron microscopy, and electrochemical analysis would be considered a bonus. 

 The applicant will need to demonstrate a high level of motivation as well as the ability to study independently and think critically. You should also be able to work independently as well collaborate with others and communicate effectively orally or in writing.

Academic Entry Criteria

 You will have or be expected to receive a 1st class or 2:1 honours degree in Engineering. A postgraduate masters degree is not required but may be an advantage.

 How to Apply

 Please submit the documents below as a single PDF file by email to by 16:00 on Monday 15 August 2022.  

·      Your up-to-date CV;

·      Your 300 to 500 word personal statement setting out why you are suitable for this project, including your relevant skills and experience;

·      Your Undergraduate and Masters degree certificate(s) and transcript(s);

·      Your English Language qualification of IELTS 6.5 overall or equivalent, if applicable;

·      TWO references, one of which should be academic and can be from a member of Brunel University staff.

Interviews will take place in the third week of August 2022.


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