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Suspension plasma sprayed (SPS) ceramics for extreme environment (Eng 1399)

Faculty of Engineering

Dr T Hussain Applications accepted all year round Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

Applicants are invited to undertake a 4 year fully-funded PhD studentship within the Coatings and Surface Engineering Group at the University of Nottingham. In the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014) the Faculty of Engineering ranked 3rd in the General Engineering Panel, with 89% of its research output classified as world-leading or internationally excellent in quality. This project is funded by Rolls Royce which provide products and services for civil and defence aerospace. Rolls-Royce has a vested interest in reducing maintenance costs and increasing the service life of their components, developing next-generation coatings for extreme environments, which can fulfil the stringent aerospace safety requirements.

The PhD Project

Aero engines manufacturing is a growing industry with an estimated annual production of ~228,000 engines by 2030. These aero engines will require surface engineering solutions to protect from wear: unlubricated and lubricated, fretting and abradable conditions. In addition, the aerospace industry is committed to achieving lower emission and environmentally friendly solutions using sustainable materials.

This PhD project will focus on the development of novel ceramic coatings compositions for extreme environments using an emerging Suspension Plasma Spray (SPS) technology: a high power, high efficiency and high velocity three cathode plasma source with axial injection. SPS is a coatings deposition technique where material feedstock is injected in a plasma jet, melted and accelerated towards a substrate where it rapidly solidifies in forming a coating.

The project will involve the deposition of new ultra-high temperature resistant coatings, the development of new methods for spray feedstock treatment, the study of coatings through advanced in-situ microscopy techniques and wear testing under high-temperature (1000 °C) conditions. Material characterisation will include in-situ microscopy techniques as high-resolution scanning and transmission electron microscopy and Raman spectroscopy.


This position is only open to Home/EU students. The candidate must have at least an equivalent of a UK 2.1 class degree in materials/mechanical/ manufacturing/chemical engineering. Applications are also welcome from graduates with an applied physics or chemistry degree. The candidate must meet the English language requirement of the University of Nottingham. This is an experimental research project, and the candidate is expected to spend majority of the time at the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Nottingham. Also, Rolls Royce will host the candidate for short secondment. The campus offers leading experimental facilities in thermal spray, mechanical characterisation and materials science at the Nanoscale and Microscale Research Centre (nmRC).

Funding Notes

The PhD studentship will cover full Home/EU university tuition fees and a tax-free stipend up to £20 k per annum for the duration of the project.

Applications, with a detailed CV and a cover letter, together with the names and addresses of two referees, should be sent directly to Dr. Tanvir Hussain ().

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