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  Optimal cutting, grasping and packing of irregular-shaped tokamak waste components

   Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences

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  Prof J Bennell, Dr H Carr, Prof B Hanson  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The project is jointly funded by RACE (Remote Applications in Challenging Environments), UK Atomic Energy Authority Remote Maintenance Department, GREEN Centre for Doctoral Training and the University of Leeds. 

The project is concerned with the safe and efficient storage of irregularly shaped radioactive components. These are three dimensional components that may be cut to facilitate minimal volume storage. Due to the safety hazards arising from handling nuclear components, any grasping and cutting of the 3D objects must be done through robotic handling. In order to build a solution approach to this problem, we will employ computation and mathematical modelling of the geometric shapes, contact modelling and optimisation algorithms for cutting and packing. We will draw from the fields of operational research, computer science and mathematics. The supervision team will be led by Prof Julia Bennell (Prof of Operational Research) with co-supervision from Prof Hamish Carr (Prof of Computer Science) and Prof Bruce Hanson (Prof of Nuclear Process Engineering) as well as a UKAEA/RACE Engineer. 

The mission of the UK Atomic Energy Authority is to lead the commercial development of fusion power and related technology, and position the UK as a leader in sustainable nuclear energy. 

Based at Culham Science Centre near Oxford, UKAEA runs the UK fusion research programme and operate the Joint European Torus (JET) experiment on behalf of scientists from 28 European countries. UKAEA is keeping Britain at the forefront of fusion as the world comes together to build the first reactor-scale experiment, ITER; one step away from electricity from fusion. The UKAEA aims to make the UK the place where the first fusion power stations are designed.

UKAEA works with national laboratories, universities and technology businesses to secure benefits for British industry and science, improve the nuclear capability of the UK, and exploit links in areas such as advanced materials, robotics in hazardous environments, nuclear modelling, tritium science, integrated systems and engineering. 

We advise that you apply at the earliest opportunity as the application and selection process may close before the stated deadline, should a suitable candidate be appointed. 

Business & Management (5) Engineering (12)

Funding Notes

A highly competitive joint-funded studentship in partnership with EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Nuclear Energy (GREEN-CDT), RACE (Remote Applications in Challenging Environments), UK Atomic Energy Authority and Leeds University Business School, consisting of the award of fees with a maintenance grant (currently) £15,609 for session 2021/22) for 4 years. This opportunity is open to all applicants. All candidates will be placed into the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Nuclear Energy (GREEN-CDT) Studentship  Competition and selection is based on academic merit.

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