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Name of scholarship/program

PhD Studentship in Nano-mechanics

Important description
Loughborough University Graduate School is delighted to offer a funded studentship in Nano-mechanics. This studentship is part of the University funded ‘Towards zero prototyping in ceramic component design’ Mini-Centre for Doctoral Training (Mini-CDT). Three other projects will run in parallel to this studentship. As part of the mini-CDT, this project is aimed at transforming the manufacturing of products using ceramics and ceramic-based composite materials to allow mechanical properties to be tailored for the desired performance. The current approach involves extensive use of trial-and-error methods with empirical modelling approaches. The proposed project seeks to replace this approach with a robust framework involving the use of novel modelling and simulation techniques, enabling product and process designers and manufacturers to eliminate the need for physical prototypes. Such an approach will improve the overall design process, speed up the design cycle, reduce costs and create better designs. Application of ceramics in essential products like body/vehicle armours, engines, and prosthetics is critical for maximising their performance, but much less understood in comparison to metallic materials, signifying opportunities for growth in the future. Some interesting observations made from post-ballistic testing analysis of recovered fragments of SiC ceramic material shows dominant plastic flow on the fracture surfaces. This demonstrates the underlying complexity of deformation mechanisms in a nominally brittle material. The project aims to achieve a paradigm for zero prototyping at the component level. To achieve this an in-depth knowledge of material behaviour is required ranging from the smallest temporal and spatial lengths scales to the largest. Our team of academics consists of modelling experts who will help develop physics based models of material response from the smallest length scales to the largest. We also have characterisation and material processing experts who will study the influence of material processing and manufacturing techniques on the mechanical response of components and validate the models. The Nano-Mechanics studentship will investigate the fundamental nature of deformation on the smallest scale with the aid of atomic scale simulations. This study will help to elucidate the various mechanisms of plastic deformation and fracture in these brittle materials This project will be primarily based in the School of Science (Mathematics), in collaboration with the Wolfson School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering. Internationally renowned for its research excellence, the University has a vibrant research student community of around 1200 students supported by a £6 million annual investment. In the most recent Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) every department was found to be undertaking research that is internationally recognised, with many regarded as ‘world leading’. Comfortably ranked in the top 20 of all major university league tables, the University was awarded The Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-2009 and was voted The Times Higher Education ‘Best Student Experience’ in England for six years running. For an informal discussion please contact: Dr Steven Kenny, S.D.Kenny@lboro.ac.uk Deadline for applications: 16 June 2014

Eligibility and other criteria

Application deadline
* June 16, 2014

Additional information, and important URL

Applications are now invited from exceptionally well qualified students who want to embark on a full-time research degree programme commencing in Autumn Term 2014. The studentship is for three years and is valued at £13,863 plus tuition fees at the UK/EU rate. Non UK applicants must meet the minimum English language requirements (details available on the Loughborough University website) Candidates should use the reference GSS14 in the funding section of the application form http://www.lboro.ac.uk/study/apply/research/ and apply to the Department of Mathematics http://www.lboro.ac.uk/study/apply/research/

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