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PhD Studentship in Advanced Manufacturing Systems: Thermo optical friction stir welding

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  • Full or part time
    Dr G Panoutsos
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round

Project Description

Applications are invited for a fully funded PhD studentship starting on 28 September 2015 (or as soon as possible thereafter) to work on the creation of a process-monitoring framework for Friction Stir Welding (FSW).

This studentship is offered by the Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering, in partnership with The National Structural Integrity Research Centre (NSIRC) and TWI Ltd. UK.

Thermo optical friction stir welding

The project will take advantage of expert process knowledge and TWI’s advanced FSW instrumentation and facilities to create a process-monitoring framework for FSW, based on systems and control theory, as well as compressed sensing principles. Emphasis will be given to real-time modelling approaches, human-centric systems, robust assessment of the performance of the manufacturing process and estimation – non-destructively – of the resulting product quality.

Specific research aspects of this work include:
1.Compressed Sensing and Model-Based Systems. A simplification of the current ARTEMIS monitoring system and assessment of the process knowledge that can be extracted from the simplified version using principles of model-based compressed sensing and sparse methods.
2.Decision Support for Tool Design. The extraction of meaningful process performance indicators with or without the use of process experts/operators (semi-autonomous or autonomous operation) and the link of such process indicators to tool design.
3.Real-time capable modelling techniques that rely on data-driven approaches to intelligently ‘learn’ (self-earning) from process data.
4.A human-in-the-loop overall system design philosophy for the monitoring system, to investigate aspects of efficient human-machine interaction (for process performance assessment) and linguistic-based feedback – of the performance monitoring results – to the process operators (such as natural language feedback).

A funded PhD studentship is available for suitable candidates with a strong interest in fundamental and applied research in the area of structural integrity. For UK/EU students, this studentship covers full UK/EU PhD tuition fees and an annual, tax-free stipend of £12,000 for a period of three years.

For non-EU students, this studentship will provide an annual, tax-free stipend of £12,000 and a contribution of £4,000 towards tuition fee costs for a period of three years.

Funding Notes

Candidates should have, or be about to achieve, a degree in Systems and Control, Electrical/Electronics Engineering, Mechanical/Manufacturing Systems Engineering or other relevant area at 2.1 minimum (or overseas equivalent). Candidates with suitable work experience and strong capacity in mathematical modelling are particularly welcome to apply. Overseas applicants should also submit IELTS results (minimum 6.5) if applicable.


To apply please submit a PhD application using our online application system via the Apply link at

You should indicate this project and enter Dr George Panoutsos as your proposed supervisor in your application. If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Dr George Panoutsos via email at [email protected]

For more information about The National Structural Integrity Research Centre, visit

For more information about TWI Ltd., visit

How good is research at University of Sheffield in General Engineering?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 21.80

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