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PhD Studentship (Sponsored by Lloyds Register Foundation) – Minimisation and quantification of weld defects for rail and oil & gas sector applications

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  • Full or part time
    Dr G Melton
  • 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.

Background -

The rail sector is currently exploring the opportunity for introducing arc-process surface cladding to allow the extension of rail wheel life. Whilst this offers the potential for large savings to fabricators, the consequences of in-service failure that may result from defective repairs are severe. As such, there is a need to explore and quantify the level of flaws or defects associated with process parameters/procedures required for this application.

Project Outline -

The overall objective of this project is to develop and validate a viable production process for extending rail wheel life by arc cladding and specifically to establish the relationship between welding process variables and resulting material properties and defect type/frequency, for the substrate/cladding material combination under consideration. This will involve development of a design of experiment programme that incorporates weld process parameters, metallurgy, defect morphology and which also considers the limitations of current non-destructive testing methods. The project will map out the working process window for the arc-process under consideration, in terms of identifying parameter combinations that consistently produce minimal levels of weld flaws in and around the weld deposit; whilst maintaining the desired material/mechanical properties for the industry application.

About the sponsor -

The Lloyd’s Register Foundation is a charity set up in 2012, which became fully operational in 2013, with a mission to enhance the safety of life and property and to advance public education in engineering-related subjects. For more information about the Lloyd’s Register Foundation, its activities and latest news visit our website:

About NSIRC -

Projects will be based at NSIRC, a state-of-the-art postgraduate facility established and managed by structural integrity specialist TWI in Cambridge. NSIRC is sponsored by TWI, BP and Lloyd’s Register Foundation and students will work to deliver industry relevant research. PhDs will be supervised and awarded by one of our academic partners such as Brunel University London, Cambridge, Manchester, Loughborough, Birmingham, Leicester, Strathclyde, Edinburgh, Nottingham, Leeds, Cranfield and Coventry. For more information about The National Structural Integrity Research Centre, visit

Candidate Requirements -

Candidates should have a relevant degree at 2.1 minimum, or an equivalent overseas degree in Mechanical/Manufacturing engineering, Material Science, Metallurgy or Physics. 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

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 £20k/year.

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