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Topological composite phononic crystals for advanced engineering applications

Project Description

Mechanical metamaterials are engineered media whose structure gives them novel mechanical properties, including negative Poisson’s ratio, non-conventional bandgap properties and negative refraction. Recently, inspired by the concept of quantum topological insulators, a new paradigm for their design has emerged that consists in the implementation of ideas from topology, the mathematical branch describing properties that are unchanged by smooth deformations. Topological mechanical metamaterials are characterised by the presence of robust phononic edge mode states that owe their existence to a topological invariant, the so-called Chern number, characterising the bulk interior of the system.
The main aim of the project is to combine recently designed and studied topological structures, such as for example gyroscopic lattices, to propose innovative metamaterial concepts made of different topological phases, leading to topological composite media where the phononic band structure is determined by both topological and non-topological effects due to the modulation of the phases. The final goal is to provide a general guideline for an effective design of innovative topological composite metamaterials. In particular, the following milestones will be pursued:
i) identification and analysis of the dispersive properties of different topological composite materials such as for example topological laminates (1st year); ii) investigation of the topological invariants and study of their influence on topological band gaps in the designed composite media (2nd year); iii) analysis of edge modes in topological composite phononic crystals (3rd year); iv) identification of design guidelines for the use of topological composite metamaterials to design advanced phononic structures for industrial applications (final six months).


You should have obtained, or be about to obtain, a First or Upper Second Class UK Honours degree, or the equivalent qualifications gained outside the UK.

Applicants with a Lower Second Class degree will be considered if they also have a master’s degree. Applicants with a minimum Upper Second Class degree and significant relevant non-academic experience are encouraged to apply.

Funding Notes

Full awards, including the Tuition fee and maintenance stipend (Approx. £14,777 in 2018/19), are open to UK Nationals and EU students who can satisfy UK residency requirements. To be eligible for the full award, EU Nationals must have been in the UK for at least 3 years prior to the start of the course for which they are seeking funding, including for the purposes of full-time education.


Applications should be made online at:

Please note the following when completing your online application:

The Programme name is Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering with an October 2019 start date.

In the "Research proposal and Funding" section of your application, please specify the project title, supervisors of the project and copy the project description in the text box provided.

Please select “No, I am not self-funding my research” when asked whether you are self-funding your research.

Please quote “project ID” when asked "Please provide the name of the funding you are applying for".

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