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PhD Studentship (Sponsored by Lloyd’s Register Foundation) – A mechanistic approach to predicting the realistic long-term corrosion performance of coatings

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  • Full or part time
    Dr S Paul
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Applications are invited to undertake a PhD programme in partnership with Lloyd’s Register Foundation.


“Assurance of coatings” is one of the priorities for future development. A barrier to the application of novel coatings is an understanding of how coatings perform over long durations of time in their operating environment through short- term testing. This barrier is causing severe delays in the uptake of coating solutions available in one market sector to another. The research proposed herein aims to minimise the risk of unexpected coating failure on offshore structures in ambient, arctic and hot subsea environments, and improve understanding of the long-term performance of thermally sprayed coatings from relatively short-term tests.

Project Outline

The first objective of this project is to develop a method of accelerated pre-conditioning to produce a standard, stable coating system so that short-term testing can then be undertaken to measure the stable corrosion rate in response to coating variables such as coating composition, coating microstructure, use of sealants and the introduction of coating defects. The method of accelerated pre-conditioning will investigate the effect of the following factors on the deposition of the calcareous layers. The major focus of the work will be the production of bespoke specimens created in engineered environments by short-term exposure which will simulate the state of a damaged coating exposed to a subsea (arctic, ambient and hot) environment for long periods of time. The second objective of this project is to investigate the effect of coating composition, coating microstructure, use of sealants and the introduction of new coating defects using quantitative electrochemical techniques. The novel accelerated test approach developed in this project will help the understanding of how both existing and new coatings perform over long durations of time in their operating environment through short-term testing. This will further facilitate the industrial uptake of novel coatings in the future.

About the Industrial Sponsor

The Lloyd’s Register Foundation funds the advancement of engineer-related education and research and supports work that enhances safety of life at sea, on land and in the air, because life matters. Lloyd’s Register Foundation is partly funded by the profits of their trading arm Lloyd’s Register Group Limited, a global engineering, technical and business services organisation.


NSIRC is a state-of-the-art postgraduate engineering facility established and managed by structural integrity specialist TWI, working closely with, top UK and International Universities and a number of leading industrial partners. NSIRC aims to deliver cutting edge research and highly qualified personnel to its key industrial partners. For more information about The National Structural Integrity Research Centre, visit

About the University and the EPSRC CDT in Innovative Metal Processing (

The IMPACT CDT aims to train the future technical leaders in metal processing with the required combination of experimental, analytical, computational and professional skills that are needed to lead innovation. This multi-disciplinary training programme provides students from different disciplines with coherent knowledge of a range of metal processing technologies and develop their expertise in solving industrially relevant problems, to enable the UK manufacturing industry to remain the most innovative and greatest value added globally.

Candidate Requirements

Candidates should have a relevant degree at 2.1 minimum, or an equivalent overseas degree in Engineering, Materials, Chemistry or Physics subject. Candidates with suitable work experience and strong capacity in numerical modelling and experimental skills are particularly welcome to apply. Overseas applicants should also submit IELTS results (minimum 6.5) if applicable.

Funding Notes

Funding Notes
This project is funded by Lloyds Register Foundation, TWI and academic partners. The studentship will provide successful Home/EU students with a stipend of £16k/year and will cover the cost of tuition fees. Overseas applicants are welcome to apply, with total funding capped at £24k/year.

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