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Synthesis and characterization of smart materials using 4D printing (Advert Reference: SF18/MCE/KHALIQ)

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

Smart electronics or more commonly called as internet of things is a developing field in health monitoring, aerospace and in the electronics field. There is an increasing trend in developing inexpensive and easy to processes to manufacture smart materials.

4D printing is a new and innovative technique to manufacture smart materials. In this new branch of additive manufacturing, materials respond to external stimuli and in the form of a functionality. This can be either charge, self-healing or other similar output. During recent investigations, it has been demonstrated that 4D materials cannot be made at low cost; they can also be environment friendly, which helps to reduce the impact of materials on the environment.

Therefore, the proposed research aims to develop state of the art environment friendly materials, which will be used for sensing applications. The success of the research will depend upon selection of a processing parameters and insight into materials selection criteria. These materials will be characterized using scanning electron microscope (SEM), x-ray diffraction (XRD) and other electric and mechanical characterization equipment. After successful synthesis and characterization of the materials, these will be tested for automotive applications.

Applicants with degrees in Materials Science/Engineering, Physics, Chemistry, or a related subject with a materials component will be preferred. Knowledge of fundamental electrical engineering is highly desirable.

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]) in Materials Science/Engineering, Physics, Chemistry, or a related subject with a materials component (preferred); or a Masters (preference for Merit or above); or APEL evidence of substantial practitioner achievement.
* Appropriate IELTS score, if required

This project is well suited to motivated and hard-working candidates with a keen interest in Materials science. The applicant should have excellent communication skills including proven ability to write in English.

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. SF18/MCE/KHALIQ) will not be considered.

Start Date: 1 March 2019 or 1 June 2019 or 1 October 2019

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 hold an Athena SWAN Bronze award in recognition of our commitment to improving employment practices for the advancement of gender equality and is a member of the Euraxess network, which delivers information and support to professional researchers.

Funding Notes

This is an unfunded research project


• J. Khaliq, J. A. C. Frescas, P. Vollenberg, T. Hoeks, S. van der Zwaag and P. Groen,
Ceramics International, 2017, 43 (2), 2774

M. N. Khan, N. Jelani, C. Li and J. Khaliq, Ceramics International, 2017, 43 (4), 3923

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