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  Science and Engineering: Fully Funded Swansea University and KLA PhD Scholarship: Metrology and Process Integration for defect mapping of next generation semiconductor materials and devices

   School of Aerospace, Civil, Electrical and Mechanical Engineering

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  Prof Mike Jennings  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Funding providers: Swansea University's Faculty of Science and Engineering and KLA

Subject areas: Computer Science / Electrical Engineering / Physics 

Project start date: 

  • 1 July 2024 (Enrolment open from mid-June)
  • 1 October 2024 (Enrolment open from mid-September)


  • Professor Mike Jennings (Electrical Engineering - [Email Address Removed])
  • Dr Matt Roach (Computer Science)
  • Professor Cinzia Giannetti (Computer Science)
  • Dr Mohammed Monfared (Electrical Engineering)
  • Professor Owen Guy (Chemistry - [Email Address Removed])

Aligned programme of study: PhD in Electronic and Electrical Engineering or Computer Science

Mode of study: Full-time

Project description: 

This PhD project will harness the power of Artificial Intelligence for application in semiconductor technologies. 

The automotive semiconductor market, valued at $35 billion in 2020, is thriving due to the surge in Electric, Hybrid, and Autonomous Vehicles. To sustain this growth, achieving defect-free semiconductor devices with yields exceeding 90% is imperative. The industry anticipates a 98% efficacy boost through AI adoption, particularly in automated inspection and defect recognition. Over the next decade, AI is poised to revolutionize the semiconductor sector, enhancing quality control and yield.  

Critical to this transformation is KLA, the global premier metrology company specializing in chip and substrate manufacturing applications. KLA's systems, encompassing design-manufacturability verification, new process characterization, and manufacturing process monitoring, ensure precise measurement of various parameters, enabling tight process control for improved performance and yield. The collaboration with KLA aims to integrate wafer production and metrology for advanced semiconductor materials like Silicon Carbide and Gallium Nitride. Device manufacturing, using these materials, comprises processes including wafer production, photolithography, insulator growth, deposition, etching and metal deposition). Each process step has variables, which can lead to defects.   

This PhD project requires a highly motivated student with a Physics, Computer Science or Electrical Engineering background (or similar discipline).  

Further project description for RS611

Centre for Integrative Semiconductor Materials (CISM)


Computer Science PhD - Candidates must hold an undergraduate degree at 2.1 level in Computer Science, Mathematics or a closely related discipline, or an appropriate master’s degree with a minimum overall grade at ‘Merit’ (or Non-UK equivalent as defined by Swansea University). English Language: IELTS 6.5 Overall (with no individual component below 6.0) or Swansea University recognised equivalent. 

Electronic and Electrical Engineering PhD - Candidates must hold an undergraduate degree at 2.1 level (or Non-UK equivalent as defined by Swansea University) in Engineering or similar relevant science discipline. English Language: IELTS 6.5 Overall (with no individual component below 5.5) or Swansea University recognised equivalent. 

If you are eligible to apply for the scholarship but do not hold a UK degree, you can check our comparison entry requirements. Please note that you may need to provide evidence of your English Language proficiency. 

This scholarship is open to candidates of any nationality.


Please note that the programme requires some applicants to hold ATAS clearance, further details on ATAS scheme eligibility are available on the UK Government website. 

ATAS clearance IS NOT required to be held as part of the scholarship application process, successful award winners (as appropriate) are provided with details as to how to apply for ATAS clearance in tandem with scholarship course offer. 

Computer Science (8) Engineering (12) Physics (29)

Funding Notes

This scholarship covers the full cost of tuition fees and an annual stipend at UKRI rate (currently £18,622 for 2023/24 and £19,237 for 2024/25).
Additional research expenses will also be available.
International Fee Eligible Students:
Swansea University is pleased to offer the Swansea University International Postgraduate Research Excellence Scholarship (SUIPRES) which covers the difference between the International and the Home/UK tuition fee for the duration of the PhD/Professional Doctorate programme. All International applications will be considered for a SUIPRES Scholarship. You will be informed whether a SUIPRES Scholarship will be offered within your offer letter.

Where will I study?