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Methods for Smart Sustainable Electrochemical Drilling

School of Computing, Engineering & the Built Environment

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Dr A Gomez , Prof A De Silva Applications accepted all year round Self-Funded PhD Students Only
Glasgow United Kingdom Manufacturing Engineering Mechanical Engineering

About the Project

Reference number: SCEBE-20-005-AAGGSF

Aim & Scope

The development of novel materials for the aerospace, and oil and gas industries requires the development of advanced and efficient manufacturing processes such as Electrochemical Machining (ECM). ECM is a non-conventional process which is able to machine specialised materials such as titanium, nickel, chrome, etc. with high precision and without the generation of a detrimental heat affected zone in the machined material. Despite its multiple advantages, currently, the use of ECM in industry is limited due to its associated drawbacks, e.g. high energy consumption and use of acid based electrolytes.

In the School of Computing, Engineering and Built Environment at Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) and under the framework of “Sustainability via Efficient Systems”, we aim to develop an ECM system which uses a sustainable electrolyte (non-acidic) for the high precision drilling of titanium alloys (in particular drilling of cooling holes in turbine blades). The definition of the machining parameters is planned to be done via Multiphysics simulation and machine learning algorithms. Non-traditional tool designs, such as vibrating tools, will be also explored. It is anticipated that this approach will improve the accuracy and energy efficiency of the new ECM process.

The main goal is to develop a smart, efficient, and sustainable ECM system which leverages, in a novel way, sustainable manufacturing processes and machine learning technologies. In reflection to the current and future trends in the aerospace and, oil and gas industries in Scotland and in the rest of the UK, the new approach aims to achieve high adaptability to these industries via its increased accuracy and high energy efficiency.

The successful candidate will have a BEng(Hons) or MEng in Chemical/Mechanical/Manufacturing Engineering 2.i or better. Knowledge of computational tools (CAD, FEA, COMSOL) is essential.

How to Apply

To apply, please use the links below:

· As a full-time student:

· As a part-time student:

Funding Notes

Applicants are expected to find external funding sources to cover the tuition fees and living expenses. Alumni and International students new to GCU who are self-funding are eligible for fee discounts.
See more on fees and funding.


For further information, please contact:
Dr Gomez -
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