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

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

A collaboration between industry and academia to develop new nano-indentation based testing methods to improve safety of sample transport and testing by radically reducing the volume of radioactive material, for safer structural health monitoring and life extension of nuclear plant.

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.

The 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.

Training and Development

The successful candidate will receive comprehensive research training including technical, personal and professional skills.
All researchers at Coventry University (from PhD to Professor) are part of the Doctoral College and Centre for Research Capability and Development, which provides support with high-quality training and career development activities.

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.
PLUS
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)

Funding Notes

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.

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