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  Prof C Torres-Sanchez, Prof P Conway  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Shape, topology and chemistry of materials and structures are the ingredients to achieve multifunctionality. Combining mechanical and thermal, or permeability and bio-instructive properties in the same high-performance product require novel design, manufacture, and validation techniques, both in silico and experimentally. Traditionally this process takes a lot of time, it is slow, and often the decision to progress from design concepts to prototype is taken without a complete set of information.

Wouldn’t it be great to have a “cyber engine” that could guide the design and manufacture stages, instead of having to rely on trial-and-error tests? Could Machine Learning-based tools help process parameter optimisation? This will lead to right-first time product realisation, with the corresponding efficiencies in capital investment, saving time and minimising waste and resources consumed.

This PhD studentship falls within the EPSRC Programme Grant ‘RIED’ (Re-Imagining Engineering Design), a multi-institute project investigating new concepts for the future of high-value manufacturing.

This project is seeking candidates with a profound interest in the design, manufacture and validation of high performing lightweight, multifunctional products. We are looking for candidates who are interested both in the simulation aspects of the work as well as the experimental work. The candidate will be joining a multidisciplinary team in a lab where we design, make and test materials and structures.

This PhD will expose the successful candidate to a myriad of news techniques and much sought-after skills demanded by Industry, including the following:

  • Design of experiments, data harvesting/analysis and interpretation of results to derive insight.
  • Development of novel processing manufacturing techniques that allow the realisation of new design solutions
  • Modelling techniques at the macro scale, that can inform the direction of experimental activity (e.g. finite element simulations and numerical computations)
  • Physical, mechanical and materials characterisation techniques
  • Data-driven approaches to aid process parameter optimisation
  • Management (including self-management) techniques, scaffolded by the ‘Transition

Zone’ ethos that supports Researchers’ professional development. 

Find out more: 

The Wolfson School provides a prestigious and inclusive environment for research, with a thriving doctoral community. Renowned for impactful research with global benefits, we rank 62nd worldwide in Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering (QS 2023). Our research has achieved a 100% 'world-leading' or 'internationally excellent' rating (REF, 2021). PhD students at Wolfson receive generous additional funds to support individual development, including opportunity to attend conferences, and training programs. The School is one of the largest engineering schools of its kind in the UK, comprising 130 academic staff, 50+ research staff, 170+ PhD students and 66 technical and support staff. 

We welcome applicants from all backgrounds. The School is dedicated to supporting an equitable, diverse, and inclusive research environment – to create a better world, together. The diverse backgrounds, characteristics and opinions within our research community are one of our great strengths and are key to our pursuit of research and educational excellence.

The School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering has seen 100% of its research impact rated as 'world-leading' or 'internationally excellent' (REF, 2021).


Primary supervisor: Professor Carmen Torres-Sanchez

Secondary supervisor: Professor Paul Conway

Entry requirements

Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in Engineering subjects (e.g., Mechanical, Design, Manufacturing), Applied Physics, Applied Mathematics or a related subject. A relevant Master’s degree and/or experience in one or more of the following will be an advantage: Mechanical Engineering, Manufacturing Processes, Design Methodologies, CAD, Simulations, Finite Element Analysis.

Applicants must meet the minimum English language requirements. Further details are available on the International website.

How to apply

Applications should be made online. Under programme name, select Electronic, Electrical & Systems Engineering and quote the advert reference number FP-CTS-2024 in your application.

To avoid delays in processing your application, please ensure that you submit your CV and the minimum supporting documents.

The following selection criteria will be used by academic schools to help them make a decision on your application. 

Apply now

Creative Arts & Design (9) Engineering (12) Materials Science (24) Mathematics (25) Physics (29)

Funding Notes

The studentship is for 3 years and provides a tax-free stipend of £18,622 per annum for the duration of the studentship plus tuition fees.

Where will I study?

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