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PhD Scholarship in Thermo-mechanical controlled processing for fatigue-resistant steel

   School of Engineering

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  Prof Sean Leen, Dr Mingming Tong  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Fully Funded PhD Scholarship in Thermo-mechanical controlled processing for fatigue-resistant steel Mechanical Engineering, School of Engineering, College of Science and Engineering and Ryan Institute for Marine, Environment and Energy

Application(s) are invited from suitably qualified candidates for full-time funded PhD scholarship(s) starting in September, 2023 affiliated to the Mechanical Engineering, School of Engineering, College of Science and Engineering and Ryan Institute for Marine, Environment and Energy at the University of Galway.

University of Galway

Located in the vibrant cultural city of Galway in the west of Ireland, the University of Galway has a distinguished reputation for teaching and research excellence For information on moving to Ireland please see Detailed Project Description. The TAILORED MANUFACTURING FOR SAFE, SUSTAINABLE OFFSHORE WIND TURBINE SUPPORT STRUCTURE MATERIALS (TRANSFORRM) project, funded by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), aims to develop a multi-scale, process-structure-property-performance (PSPP) framework for manufacturing-informed design of safe, sustainable structures for upscaling of offshore wind turbines (OWTs). TRANSFORRM will develop methods to achieve increased safety, reduced cost and longer life for offshore renewable energy (ORE) structures (e.g. monopiles, jackets) via through-process design and thermo-mechanical controlled processing (TMCP) and welding of state-of-the-art high-strength low-alloy (HSLA) steel.

The specific focus will be on increased material strength and increased resistance to fatigue crack initiation (FCI) and growth in welded connections, via control of manufacturing-induced microstructure. In partnership with industrial collaborators, TRANSFORRM will thus provide the key building blocks for a digital twin for OWTs and novel structural design and condition monitoring techniques. TRANSFORRM will involve close collaboration with relevant key national and international academic, research and industry partners.

The position will involve international travel for collaboration visits (up to 6 months in duration) and conference attendance. International collaborators include IMDEA Materials Institute (Madrid, PFM and multi-scale modelling), Imperial College London (residual stresses and FCG in welds), Universities of Plymouth (offshore renewables), Nottingham (fixed OWT design, analysis), Strathclyde (floating OWT design, analysis) and DTU Denmark (Design Codes and Standards), as well as Univ of Limerick (EBSD, CPFE).

This PhD will focus primarily on thermo-mechanical controlled processing (TMCP) aspects, mainly experimental aspects, but will also undertake modelling of the process in parallel with the experimental research developments. The objective is to develop a laboratory-scale experimental method for characterisation of through-thickness microstructure (grain size and texture) evolution during TMCP of high strength, low-alloy (HSLA) steel. The researcher will develop and manage the experimental programme of thermo-mechanical (isothermal) plane strain compression and physically-simulated (Gleeble), as well as microstructure evolution (SEM, EBSD, TEM) and mechanical characterisation (cyclic stress- and strain-controlled) testing of physically-simulated TMCP specimens. This person will liaise closely other PhD and post-doctoral researchers, to provide calibration and validation process-microstructure data for process modelling, phase field modelling and crystal plasticity modelling etc. The PhD student will be trained on the new thermo-mechanical physical simulation (Gleeble 3500) system at University of Galway, recently funded under the SFI Infrastructure fund. Strain- and stress-controlled fatigue testing of simulated TMCP specimens will facilitate assessment of effects of process conditions. This will provide calibration and validation data for multi-scale fatigue and constitutive modelling. Fatigue crack growth testing of TMCP steels will be conducted in collaboration with Imperial College.

Living allowance (Stipend): €19,000 per annum, [tax-exempt scholarship award]

University fees: €5,500 per annum

Start date: 1st September, 2023

Academic Entry Requirements:

1st class or 2.1 honours Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Mechanical engineering or closely related discipline (e.g. Civil, Structural, Manufacturing or Biomedical Engineering, Materials Engineering or Materials Science).

Candidates must possess excellent written and verbal communication skills in English and a strong passion and motivation for excellence in engineering research, with a view to publication, international conference presentations and collaborations. Candidates must also be motivated to work within a team to achieve overall project objectives.

To Apply for the Scholarship:

Expressions of interest comprising submission of a covering letter, CV, statement of personal research interests, evidence of performance or equivalent and the contact details of two referees, to be submitted via e-mail to [Email Address Removed], [Email Address Removed]

Contact Name: Prof Seán Leen and Dr Mingming Tong

Contact Email: [Email Address Removed] or [Email Address Removed]

Application Deadline: 01/07/2023 (1st July, 2023) and time 17:00 (Irish time 24hr format)

Primary Supervisor name (if applicable): Prof Seán Leen and Dr Mingming Tong

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