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Nanofluidic Energy Absorption Materials

   Department of Mechanical Engineering

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  Dr Yueting Sun  Applications accepted all year round  Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

Mechanical energy absorption is important for protections from mechanical impact, vibration, and explosion. Current state-of-the-art energy absorption materials rely on processes such as extensive plastic deformation, cell buckling, and viscoelastic dissipation, and it has been challenging to create materials that can provide efficient protection from multiple impacts.

Recently, a new process has been discovered to enable efficient and reusable mechanical energy absorption, which is based on the pressurised intrusion of aqueous solutions into water-repellent nanoporous materials, such as zeolites and metal-organic frameworks. It's found that such process can create remarkably effective energy absorbers at realistic, high-rate loading conditions, and this phenomenon is associated with the mobility of water molecules in the nanoframework structures.

The proposed research will look into the material design, performance control, and engineering applications of such nanofluidic energy absorption materials. The candidate will be trained on multidisciplinary knowledge and skills across engineering, mechanics, chemistry, and physics, so this post welcomes applications from different backgrounds who are interested in interdisciplinary research.

Funding Notes

Those wishing to apply should email CV to Dr Yueting Sun ([Email Address Removed]). Prospective students should hold at least a 2:1 Honours degree in a relevant subject, or an alternative qualification and/or relevant experience. More information about the course details and entry requirement can be found at the departmental Graduate Studies Webpage ( For excellent UK/EU applicants with 1st class (or equivalent) in their first degree, there is potential for funding covering 3.5 year tuition fee and stipend. Other possible scholarships can be searched at the Postgraduate scholarship and funding database (


Sun, Y., Rogge, S.M., Lamaire, A., Vandenbrande, S., Wieme, J., Siviour, C.R., Van Speybroeck, V. and Tan, J.C., 2021. High-rate nanofluidic energy absorption in porous zeolitic frameworks. Nature Materials, pp.1-9.
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