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Recycling Composites for Construction Applications (Advert Reference RDF20/EE/MCE/SHYHA)

  • Full or part time
    Dr Islam Shyha
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, January 24, 2020
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

In the UK, glass fibre reinforced plastic (GFRP) contributes to 75,000 tons end of life waste in addition to 6,200 tons production waste. Because 90% of the UK’s FRP currently goes to landfill, the development of recycling solutions for composites is necessary. This is also due to the recent adoption of strict environmental legislation (such as the EU’s End of Life Vehicles Directive which aims to reduce the automotive waste disposed in landfill by setting targets for re-use, recycling and recovery of materials). This has also led to increased restrictions and costs of landfill composite disposal (Composite in Manufacturing, CIM December 2019, pp 59). On the other hand, the use of composite materials is considerably rising in many industries including aerospace, automotive, sports and medical equipment. Polymeric composites, such as CFRPs and GFRPs, are typically manufacturing by laying up pre-impregnated sheets and hence machining processes are necessary to achieve the required geometrical & dimensional accuracy and create features such as holes for assembly.

This project aims to critically investigate different methods of recycling/reuse the composite waste (either as production waste or end of life waste) in order to develop methods for manufacturing functionalised construction structures entirely/partially made from waste. The project is experimentally based and will include the use of equipment such as 3D printers, CNC machining centre, optical and electron microscopy. The project will also create an advanced computer model using ABAQUS to investigate the structural behaviour of GFRP and CFRP composite structures made from recycled materials. The models will be validated using experimental results and then will be used in a detailed parametric study. Finally, a new set of design equations based experimental and numerical studies will be developed to determine the structural capacities GFRP and CFRP composite structures made of recycling materials.

The principal supervisor for this project is Dr Islam Shyha. The second and third supervisors will be Dr Brabha Nagaratnam and Dr Keerthan Poologanthan.

Eligibility and How to Apply:

Please note eligibility requirement:
• Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. 2:1 (or equivalent GPA from non-UK universities [preference for 1st class honours]); or a Masters (preference for Merit or above); or APEL evidence of substantial practitioner achievement.
• Appropriate IELTS score, if required.
• Applicants cannot apply for this funding if currently engaged in Doctoral study at Northumbria or elsewhere.

For further details of how to apply, entry requirements and the application form, see

Please note: Applications that do not include a research proposal of approximately 1,000 words (not a copy of the advert), or that do not include the advert reference (e.g. RDF20/EE/MCE/SHYHA) will not be considered.

Deadline for applications: Friday 24 January 2020
Start Date: 1 October 2020

Northumbria University takes pride in, and values, the quality and diversity of our staff. We welcome applications from all members of the community. The University holds an Athena SWAN Bronze award in recognition of our commitment to improving employment practices for the advancement of gender equality.

Funding Notes

The studentship is available to Home/EU/ Worldwide students where a full stipend, paid for three years at RCUK rates (for 2019/20, this is £15,009 pa) and full fees.


• Experimental Investigation on Micro Milling of Polyester/Halloysite Nano-Clay Nanocomposites, Nanomaterials, 2019
• Composite machining tool, Patent 2018
• Dynamic simulation of machining composites using the explicit element-free Galerkin method, Composite Structures, 2018
• Experimental and numerical investigations of CFRP strengthened short SHS steel columns, Engineering Structures, 2018
• Heat transfer modelling of CFRP strengthened and insulated steel tubular columns, Construction and Building Materials, 2018

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