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Lightweight materials and structural systems for extreme marine loadings

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  • Full or part time
    Prof PJ Tan
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

University College London’s Department of Mechanical Engineering is offering a three year funded studentship focusing on the development of lightweight materials and structural systems for extreme marine loadings. The studentship offers full fees and an annual stipend of £16057.

Studentship Description
The traditional strategy to counter blast and impact threats is to deploy thicker blast shields or armour plating with special reinforcements. However, recent trends in the civil, mechanical and defence sectors have moved towards using high-strength, yet lightweight, alternatives to reduce weight without compromising on cost, performance or safety.

Innovative lightweight materials and lightweight construction technologies are finding applications in transportation, buildings and construction, body armour and protection systems, mechanical components, sports and leisure goods, and packaging. This is typically achieved through a reduction in mass of the material used or the reduction in the weight of the final structure by employing novel design techniques or combinations of lightweight materials and/or hollow or sandwich structures. The need to balance reduced material mass with structural integrity, in particular for applications in harsh environments and/or under extreme loading conditions, poses new and unique sets of challenges for researchers involved in structural integrity research.

The focus of this project will be on developing advanced lightweight materials and structural technology to enable lightweight systems to better resist extreme (blast and impact) loadings for applications in ships and/or the marine environment. This project will involve theoretical modelling, numerical simulations (finite element), and applying inverse techniques to optimise microstructure and macroscopic properties of sandwich construction for spall debris containment. It will also examine how the proposed lightweight system performs against the combined effects of blast and fragment loading. The aim is to develop a methodology to simulate numerically the synergistic interactions and explore novel combinations of ‘micro-architectured’ core topological construction with different combinations of composite/ceramic face for combined shock and fragment mitigation. Performance charts for different core topologies and face sheet materials against combined blast and fragment threats will be formulated.

Person Specification
Applicants must have a UK-equivalent first degree in mechanical/materials engineering or solid mechanics or structural engineering. Experience with ABAQUS (finite-element software) is a significant advantage. Only students with a UK-equivalent First Class Honours degree, or are expecting to receive one, and/or a MSc degree with distinction will be considered.

Funding requirements dictate ONLY UK and EU passport holders need apply. Please DO NOT enquire about this project if you are ineligible.

Funding Notes

The studentship offers full fees and an annual stipend of £16057.

How good is research at University College London in Aeronautical, Mechanical, Chemical and Manufacturing Engineering?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 54.16

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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