Microstructural and surface integrity in machining of specialist composite
materials for next generation aero-engine applications
Tuesday, 30th November 2021
Rolls-Royce University Technology Centre (UTC) in manufacturing and On-Wing
Technology, The University of Nottingham.
Applicants are invited to undertake a 3-year PhD programme in partnership with
industry to address key challenges in manufacturing engineering. The
successful candidate will be based at the Rolls-Royce University Technology
Centre (UTC) in Manufacturing and On-Wing Technology at The University of
Nottingham. Having state-of-the-art, purpose built facilities, the UTC offers
a world-class environment for the realisation of high-impact research
The Rolls-Royce funded Studentship is the result of the expanding machining
activities sponsored at the Rolls-Royce UTC dealing with in-depth
investigations of the response of difficult-to-cut materials to various
machining operations in the scope of robust manufacture of safety critical
The project will seek an understanding of the microstructural changes during
machining of anisotropic, heterogeneous and semi-brittle composite materials
for high temperature applications used in the latest generations of civil and
military aero-engines. This will involve using performance monitoring
techniques during the machining such as dynamometers, high-speed imaging
systems, accelerometers and acoustic emissions sensors that are complemented
by advanced material characterisation techniques such as Scanning Electron
Microscopy (SEM), Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), 3D optical
profilometry and X-Ray Diffraction (XRD).
This project will also involve an analytical/numerical modelling of the
material micro-mechanical behaviour during the machining process with the aim
of understanding and predicting the surface integrity and mechanisms of
material damage (i.e. fibre pull out, delamination, crack formation or local
deformations). Internationally recognised Rolls-Royce specialists in the
field will be available throughout the project to provide the PhD student with
support and guidance if required.
For mutual interest the project can be offered as a "package" - this will
•Appropriate training within Rolls-Royce for a period to be agreed. The
training will enable the understanding of the technical issues related to the
project, as well as developing a good partnership with the appropriate
•Joint academic and industrial supervision. In this way, the student will
develop both academic and industrial skills with multiple career opportunities
at the end of the PhD study.
This is an excellent opportunity for an enthusiastic first or upper second
class graduate in mechanical/manufacturing/materials science/physics to
develop strong knowledge in both manufacturing and material science while
building strong relationships with both academic and industrial areas at an
For PhD students wishing to pursue an academic career, the opportunity to
participate in teaching activities will be sought.
The scholarship on offer comprises a tax-free stipend of over £15,000 a year;
tuition fees paid and a generous study package.
Interested in this studentships? To find if you are a suitable and
eligible candidate contact Prof Dragos Axinte. Do not submit your application
via the My Nottingham platform without having contacted our team first.
Informal enquiries may be also addressed to Prof. D. Axinte, Director of
Rolls-Royce UTC, tel: 0115 951 4117 or Email: Dragos.Axinte@Nottingham.ac.uk.
Information for candidates ( pdf doc )