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New nano-indentation test methods for safer nuclear structural health monitoring

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  • Full or part time
    Dr X Hou
  • Application Deadline
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  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About This PhD Project

Project Description

This fully funded project will develop new nano-mechanical testing methods for condition monitoring and life extension of nuclear plant that will improve the safety of sample transport and testing by radically reducing the volume of radioactive material tested and associated radioactive waste. Smaller samples will enable a step-increase in the number and/or frequency of testing of surveillance samples, enabling better risk assessment, modelling, and safer condition monitoring of nuclear energy generation plant life extension. The capability of the new methods will be demonstrated in a case study of Magnox reactor ex-surveillance samples provided by United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA). Whilst the first impact of this project is expected to be improved/safer condition monitoring in the nuclear sector, the test methods developed are applicable to a wider range of industrial sectors including Oil and Gas pipelines, and vessels in the marine/transport sector.

The project will benefit from close collaboration between Coventry University and UKAEA, where the Materials Research Facility (MRF) has been established to analyse material properties in support of both fission and fusion research. The student is expected to spend a substantial amount of time at MRF with access to world-class facilities, supported by professional trainings and expert supervision.

This PhD project is fully funded by the Lloyd’s Register Foundation International Consortium of Nanotechnologies (ICON). The student will benefit from the ICON international network. This project also provides an exciting collaboration between prestigious industrial collaborator (UKAEA) and academia (Coventry University), fully funded with a stipend starting at £16,500.00 pa. The studentship will also cover the cost to work at Materials Research Facility (MRF) in UKAEA, to attend international conferences and other training opportunities.

Coventry University

Coventry University has been voted ‘Modern University of the Year’ three times running by The Times/Sunday Times Good University Guide. Ranked in the UK’s top 15 (Guardian University Guide), we have a global reputation for high quality teaching and research with impact. Almost two-thirds (61%) of our research was judged ‘world leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014. By joining the University’s Faculty of Engineering, Environment and Computing (EEC), you will benefit from state-of-the-art facilities and partnerships with some of the biggest names in industry, including Jaguar Land Rover, GE Aviation, Cummins and Intel.

Other benefits include

• Our research strategy is underpinned by a £250m investment in research and facilities
• Dedicated Doctoral College and Centre for Research Capability Development deliver high quality professional support for researchers, from PhD to Professor
• Free training: research career planning, managing your doctorate, research communication skills, research ethics, research impact, research integrity, research methods and research supervision
• Coventry is a member of the Doctoral Training Alliance (DTA), the largest multi-partner and only nationwide doctoral training initiative of its kind.

Candidate Specification

Entry criteria for applicants to PHD
A minimum of a 2:1 first degree in a relevant discipline/subject area with a minimum 60% mark in the project element or equivalent with a minimum 60% overall module average.
• the potential to engage in innovative research and to complete the PhD within a 3.5 years
• a minimum of English language proficiency (IELTS overall minimum score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component)
For further details see: https://www.coventry.ac.uk/research/research-students/making-an-application/

UKAEA and Coventry University are looking for an exceptional candidate who is highly motivated, persistent and confident in pursuing pioneering solutions. The successful recipient of the grant will be excited about exploring the topic beyond current conventions and to challenge both industry and academia with fresh thinking. They will accept to closely work with UKAEA in their Materials Research Facility as well as using all the opportunities and facilities of the university.
• An experimentalist, preferably with some experience of equipment or instrumentation development
• Degree level understanding of materials science, especially the structure and strength of materials
• Basic computer coding and/or modelling/simulation skills


Apply on line https://pgrplus.coventry.ac.uk/

Submitting full supporting documentation, and covering letter, plus a 2000-word proposal addressing the research theme

Duration of study: Full-Time – between three and three and a half years fixed term/Part-Time – five years fixed term

Start date: January 2019

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