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Novel high temperature capable electromagnetic materials for Rolls-Royce

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

Project Description

This project is funded by the UK’s Ministry of Defence and involves Rolls Royce and the University of Birmingham. It is a PhD studentship that is focused on developing new materials that both possess specific electromagnetic properties and are also capable of withstanding high temperatures. The project will thus suit graduates who are naturally inquisitive, have a good quality first degree in materials science & engineering, chemistry, physics or similar subject and who enjoy working on industrially-related projects that offer training in both science and engineering skills. The successful candidate will undertake their research in a very supportive environment within a research team of around 15 individuals.

Materials that can control the reflectivity and transmission of electromagnetic waves in the microwave range are important for the survivability of people and equipment. Sometimes it is necessary to deploy such materials in demanding environments typified by high local temperatures, typically up to 1000oC, and significant imposed stresses, typically up to 400 MPa.

In this context, oxide fibre reinforced oxide matrix ceramic composites offer a potentially interesting combination of high temperature capability, structural strength and low dielectric permittivity.

Recent advances in the development of such oxide/oxide ceramic composites, including the continuing EXCITE programme (involving the University of Birmingham, Rolls-Royce and the UK National Composites Centre), are advancing the understanding of the properties and manufacturing routes for fibre-reinforced ceramics. This work offers the opportunity to explore the potential for the addition of fillers into the ceramic matrix in order to generate microwave management functionality.

One of the key challenges is to introduce electromagnetically active substances within the ceramic manufacturing process; this is a particular challenge when combined with fibre reinforcement.

The scope of this PhD will be to;

• Review UK-based oxide/oxide manufacturing capability that could be available by 2030.
• Identify potential means of adding electromagnetically active fillers to these ceramics within an industrially-viable manufacturing process.
• Conduct small-scale experiments to demonstrate the efficacy of the manufacture of these materials.
• Generate laboratory scale samples of new electromagnetically active high temperature capable materials.
• Experimentally characterise the electromagnetic properties, structural strength and temperature capability of these novel materials.

The focus will be on the underlying science and technology rather than the system design.

Funding Notes

This PhD is funded by the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, DSTL, in the UK and has major involvement from Rolls-Royce. As a result of the funding source, the opportunity is only open to UK nationals. Home fees and a standard stipend (£14,777) will be provided, together with opportunities to interact with Rolls-Royce and attend national and international conferences.

How good is research at University of Birmingham in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Metallurgy and Materials?
Metallurgy and Materials

FTE Category A staff submitted: 29.10

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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