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  ZENITH PhD Project: Sustainable production processes for composite aerospace components

   Department of Mechanical Engineering

  , ,  Thursday, May 30, 2024  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Bath is inviting applications for this funded PhD project expected to start in September 2024.

An enhanced stipend of £21,010 per year is available to candidates who qualify for Home fee status and, thanks to the University of Bath’s Vice Chancellor’s International Scholarships initiative, a stipend of £13,890 can be offered to International students meeting the criteria for this scholarship. Please see the Funding Eligibility section below for more information.

Project description

Manufacturing of aircraft structures is an essential component of achieving a truly sustainable aviation industry. Material and process selection are critical to minimize waste during production, whilst ensuring performance in service. Composite structural parts are either formed from flat fibrous layers or robotically assembled using fibre placement but material systems and material assembly processes are continuously evolving. Thorough comparative explorations of options and trade-offs are limited in the literature, adding to existing challenges for designers and production engineers. At the same time, a switch to sustainable fuels subverts the existing calculation on the impact of manufacturing vs in-service emissions. This project will map the landscape of both conventional and novel production processes for corresponding material systems and candidate geometries. Using case studies of specific structural components, it aims to identify gaps in manufacturing capabilities and opportunities for new process development to reduce all types of production waste. The project will link these opportunities to past and ongoing work on waste-free production processes at Bath as well as to extensive prior work on in-service performance. 

The closing date for applications is 30th May 2024

EPSRC Prosperity Partnership ZENITH (Zero emission: the next generation of integrated technologies for hydrogen)

This PhD is one of seven projects funded through an exciting new collaboration between the University of Bath and GKN. The other PhD projects are advertised separately.

View more information on the partnership, its aims, and technical objectives.

Candidate requirements

Applicants should hold, or expect to receive, a first-class undergraduate master's degree or an MSc degree with distinction (or non-UK equivalents) in a relevant subject area within Engineering, Chemistry, Materials Science, Physics, Statistics or Mathematics.

International candidates must meet the English language entry requirements to be considered for funding.

Enquiries and applications

Informal enquiries are welcomed and should be directed to Dr Evripides Loukaides -

Formal applications should be made via the University of Bath’s online application form for a PhD in Mechanical Engineering.

On your application form, in the 'Funding your studies' section, you must select 'Other' from the dropdown menu and specify 'ZENITH studentship' in the free-text box. You must also provide the supervisor's name and project title in the 'Your PhD project' section. Failure to complete these steps will result in a delay to the processing of your application and may cause you to miss the deadline.

More information about applying for a PhD at Bath may be found on our website.

Equality, diversity and inclusion

We value a diverse research environment and aim to be an inclusive university, where difference is celebrated and respected. We welcome and encourage applications from under-represented groups.

If you have circumstances that you feel we should be aware of that have affected your educational attainment, then please feel free to tell us about it in your application form. The best way to do this is a short paragraph at the end of your personal statement.

Funding eligibility

Candidates eligible for the Home tuition fee rate will be considered for a maintenance stipend of £21,010 per year.

Candidates eligible for the Overseas tuition fee rate, who meet the criteria for the Vice-Chancellor International Scholarship, will be considered for a maintenance stipend of £13,890 per year. You may require additional personal funds to support you while living in Bath - a sample postgraduate budget is found here.

Successful candidates will have their tuition fees covered, and have access to a research and training budget.

To check your tuition fee status, see our website or the UKCISA guidance.


Composites, Hydrogen, Aerospace, Manufacturing, Structures, Materials, Sustainable, Decarbonisation, Cryogenics

Engineering (12)

Funding Notes

Candidates will be considered for a 3.5-year studentship, funded by the University of Bath and GKN, covering tuition fees and providing a research/training expenses budget. Candidates who qualify for Home fee status will be eligible to receive an enhanced stipend of £21,010 per annum. Please see the section on Funding Eligibility above to ensure you qualify for Home fees. Overseas candidates will be eligible to receive a stipend of £13,890 per annum and should note that funding does NOT cover the cost of moving to the UK, obtaining a student visa or payment of the UK healthcare surcharge View Website.

How good is research at University of Bath in Engineering?

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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