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Multifunctional composites with integrated sensing and repair capabilities

School of Engineering and Materials Science

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Dr H Zhang No more applications being accepted Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

Queen Mary University of London is launching a miniCDT in graphene materials with significant co-funding from the EU Graphene Core 3 Flagship programme. QMUL will establish this new activity with a cohort of five fully funded PhD studentships in the School of Engineering and Materials from September 2020.

Polymer composites are widely used for the manufacture of macroscale components with enhanced properties. For example, the combination of carbon fillers or nanofibers with polymeric materials is used extensively to create versatile, light-weight and high-strength materials, for applications in aerospace, automotive, renewable energy and sports equipment sectors. Two-dimensional nanomaterials such as graphene offer significant potential when incorporated into novel polymer nanocomposites due to their exceptional intrinsic mechanical, thermal, electrical and barrier properties.

The range of projects will suit graduates from a wide range of chemistry, physics, chemical engineering, engineering or materials science backgrounds. In particular applicants with an interest in nanocomposites, graphene materials, polymers and materials engineering are encouraged to apply. The projects will be based at the London campus of QMUL. A supervisory group of 9 academics has been established under the leadership of Prof James Busfield and Prof Nicola Pugno.

Project 5 Details: Multifunctional composites with integrated sensing and repair capabilities (Dr Han Zhang, Dr Emiliano Bilotti & Prof Nicola Pugno) (Reference: 2020 SEMS Graphene CDT 5)

Do you want to be part of the next generation of composite materials, contributing to the development of futuristic performances like bioinspired integrated sensory network for online structural health monitoring, environmental friendly de-icing for aircraft and wind turbines that no longer use solvents, and self-healing systems that can repair internal damages? QMUL research aims to turn these ideas into reality, with strong training and access to processing equipment for both thermoplastic and thermoset nano-composites, as well as advanced characterisation technique. From the design, processing, to testing of the hierarchical composites, you will be a core part of the process to realise these integrated functionalities for future composites for example as filaments used in additive manufacturing.

QMUL Research Studentship Details

Available to Home/EU Applicants only.
Full Time programme only
Applicant required to start in September 2020
The studentship arrangement will cover tuition fees and provide an annual stipend for up to three years (Currently set as £17,285 in 2020/21).
The minimum requirement for these studentship opportunities is a good Honours degree (minimum 2(i) honours or equivalent) or MSc/MRes in a relevant discipline.
If English is not your first language you will require a valid English certificate equivalent to IELTS 6.5+ overall with a minimum score of 6.0 in Writing and 5.5 in all sections (Reading, Listening, Speaking).
Please note that this studentship is only available to Home/EU Applicants. (See: for details)
Supervisor Contact Details:

For informal enquiries about these positions, please contact Dr Han Zhang via E-mail: [Email Address Removed]

Application Method:

To apply for this studentship and for entry on to the Materials Science programme (Full Time) please follow the instructions detailed on the following webpage:

Research degrees in Materials:

Further Guidance:

Applicants should identify the projects from the ones listed above that appeal most and as part of a personal statement explain why they are suited for this role, and how will this PhD help your future career. Please be sure to include a reference to ‘2020 SEMS Graphene CDT 5’ to associate your application with these studentship opportunities.

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