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Shedding new light on additive manufacturing for aerospace applications

Department of Mechanical Engineering

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Prof P Lee No more applications being accepted Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

Additive Manufacturing (AM) is a disruptive manufacturing technology and is already implemented in a number of aerospace applications. Funded via an EPSRC industrial CASE (iCASE) award, the successful applicant will join a dynamic group from UCL Mechanical Engineering based at the UK’s largest science campus, Harwell. Using the lastest synchrotron and neutron sources and unique in situ AM machines, you will image the AM process to address key fundamental and applied challenges facing the AM industry. The PhD project is jointly supervised by Prof. Peter Lee (UCL) and Dr Ben Saunders (Rolls-Royce plc.), and supported by Dr. Alex Leung.

You will use the unique AM process replicators to observe powder, molten pool, and defect dynamics during an AM build using X-ray and neutron real and reciprocal space imaging techniques; (e.g. see Nature Communications, The successful candidate will help apply and further develop a new generation AM process replicator that enables users to image microstructural feature formation during realistic build conditions, including multi-hatch and multi-layer builds, using a combination of optical, thermal, and high-speed X-ray imaging. The results will be used conjunction with traditional X-ray computed tomography and other microscopy techniques. You will also have the opportunity to work collaboratively with the modelling teams at Rolls-Royce and other Universities, providing novel insights in the AM process to inform and validate advanced process simulation models.

Person Specification
Applicants should ideally have a first class undergraduate degree (or equivalent) in Mechanical or Electrical Engineering, Materials, Physics, Mathematics or a related discipline. You should have a strong interest in additive manufacturing, including materials, mechanical properties and process control. Excellent organizational, interpersonal and communication skills, along with a stated interest in interdisciplinary research, are essential.

Ideally you would have experience in a number of the below, learning the others as part of the PhD:
• additive manufacturing
• Image analysis
• programming (for image analysis, open and closed loop control)
• modelling of heat, mass and momentum transfer
• metallurgy
• experimental design
• synchrotron or neutron experiments

Closing Date and Start Date
We will be continuously having informal discussion with interested candidates until this position is filled.

Application Process
Eligible applicants should first contact Prof Peter Lee, ([Email Address Removed]) quoting the Job reference. Please enclose a cover letter (including the names and contact details of two referees), one-page research statement and two pages CV.

The supervisory team will arrange interviews for short-listed candidates. After interview, the successful candidate will be given instructions to formally apply online via the UCL website. For further information, see

Funding Notes

Full tuition fees and stipend of up to £18,000 per annum (for 3 years). This funding is for UK/EU nationals. Please do not enquire about this studentship if you are ineligible. Please refer to the following website for eligibility criteria:
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