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PhD Studentship Opportunity in Viscoelastic Damping of Vibrations that Occur in Space Flight

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Wednesday, September 30, 2020
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

During flight vibrations up to 2000 Hz may be experienced. These vibrations can affect the behaviour of sensitive components and potentially the overall flight characteristics of the system.

The purpose of this research will be to develop methods of measuring, modelling, and tailoring the behaviour of viscoelastic polymer materials at high frequencies and over a range of temperatures.
Materials of interest include filled composites, rigid foams, soft rubber foams, silicone pottings, and adhesives. The response of the materials may be tailored perhaps by altering the molecular structure or perhaps by the use of additives such as fillers, or by varying the level of cure/polymerisation of the materials used to form the damper.

This project constitutes an internal collaboration at the University of Surrey between the Centre for Engineering Materials and Structures and the Surrey Space Centre, combining a wide pool of expertise and resources, including vacuum, thermal and vibration testing facilities, as well as SEM, XPS, STEM, and tof-SIMS. Facilities also available at Surrey outside the two departments mentioned include DMA and DSC to perform full characterisation of the thermo-mechanical properties of the polymers at coupon level, and to perform curing studies if necessary.

It is envisioned that this project will interface with a Centre of Excellence in Ageing Testing at Surrey at a later stage to establish how the materials developed perform over time (changes in density, elasticity, crosslinking) in various environments, including vacuum.

This is a 3.5 year project, commencing in October 2020.

Entry requirements:
First Class or an Upper Second in a Physical Science degree. IELTS: 6.5 overall with 6.0 in each band.

How to apply:
Please contact the Centre Manager, Noelle Hartley (), in the first instance to lodge an expression of interest in the project. The Centre does not accept direct applications – it is important to contact the Centre Manager to discuss your interest at the earliest opportunity.

This project is part of the EPSRC CDT in MiNMaT. References are taken up at interview stage. The University reserves the right to close the advert if a suitable candidate is found.

Funding Notes

University fees will be covered for the duration of the course with a stipend of £17,000 per annum for UK/EU students.

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