Don't miss our weekly PhD newsletter | Sign up now Don't miss our weekly PhD newsletter | Sign up now

  PhD opportunity in lunar construction and in-situ resource utilisation

   School of Mathematics and Physics

This project is no longer listed on and may not be available.

Click here to search for PhD studentship opportunities
  Dr Sungwoo Lim, Dr K Ryden, Dr James Bowen  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

​​The Lunar Construction and Resource Extraction Group at the Surrey Space Centre, University of Surrey, have a primary goal: to develop both the theory and practical application of construction processes and materials in extraterrestrial environments, particularly on the Moon and Mars. These efforts are closely aligned with the ESA’s Terrae Novae 2030+ Strategy roadmap.  

​Various governmental Space Agencies and the space industry recognise the Moon a steppingstone to future Mars exploration and the foundation for a deep space gateway roadmap. This perspective has generated a growing need for establishing long-term human settlement on the Moon. To achieve lunar construction, infrastructure, and resource extraction, we foster interdisciplinary collaboration across fields like the Built Environment, Engineering, Manufacturing, Material Science, Space Engineering, and Planetary/Space Science.  

​As part of our journey, we are seeking a dedicated PhD student to contribute to our group. The successful candidate will work on pre-defined research projects bringing us closer to fulfilling humanity’s dream of space exploration, akin to a “Space Oddysey”.  

  • ​Investigation of extraterrestrial construction processes using Additive Manufacturing techniques 
  • ​Curved-layered adjustable 3D Printing path strategy for extraterrestrial habitat construction 
  • ​Estimation of the optimal thickness of the protection cover for lunar habitats against space radiation and (micro)meteoroid impact 
  • ​Understanding the Melting, Processing, and Solidification of lunar (or Mars) regolith 

​We recommend applicants contact the research group lead for more information on available projects.​ 

Supervisors: Dr Sungwoo Lim, Professor Keith Ryden and Dr James Bowen.

Entry requirements

Open to any UK or international candidates. Up to 30% of our UKRI funded studentships can be awarded to candidates paying international rate fees. Find out more about eligibility. Starting in October 2024.

You will need to meet the minimum entry requirements for our Space Engineering PhD programme.

​​Applicants should have a first class or upper second-class or MSc degree (or equivalent) in a relevant discipline, which may include Engineering, Space Engineering, Construction or planetary science. Any previous experience in using 3D Printing, CNC/robotic programming, FEM with relevant simulation software (e.g., COMSOL Multiphysics), SEM/EDS/XRD, or lunar/Mars simulant would be an advantage. ​ 

How to apply

Applications should be submitted via the Space Engineering PhD programme page. In place of a research proposal, you should upload a document stating the title of the project that you wish to apply for and the name of the relevant supervisor.

Architecture, Building & Planning (3) Engineering (12) Materials Science (24) Physics (29)

Funding Notes

UKRI standard stipend (currently £18,622 p.a.) with an additional bursary of £1,700 p.a. (for the full 3.5 years) for exceptional candidates. Full home or O/S fees (as applicable) covered. A research, training and support grant of £3,000 over the project is offered. Open to any UK or international candidates. Up to 30% of our UKRI funded studentships can be awarded to candidates paying international rate fees.

How good is research at University of Surrey in Engineering?

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

Click here to see the results for all UK universities
Search Suggestions
Search suggestions

Based on your current searches we recommend the following search filters.