Postgraduate research opportunities

Developing Polymer Composite Structures for Processing Corrosive Fluids

Long-term resistance against concentrated chemicals remains challenging for polymer composites. Design for this type of applications can be further complicated when the structure is used to process chemical fluids. This project is aimed to address key challenges in this area.

Number of places



Home fee, Stipend


5 February 2020


9 March 2020


4 years


Students applying should normally have (or expect to achieve) a minimum 2.1 undergraduate degree in a relevant mechanical engineering, materials science and engineering, ocean and marine engineering, and design manufacture, and be highly motivated to undertake cutting-edge research in the field of polymer composites. Candidates with a background in composite materials and structure design and additive manufacturing are strongly encouraged to apply.

Project Details

Despite the fact that polymer composites have been extensively used in various chemical-related applications (e.g. tanks and pipes), long-term resistance against hot concentrated chemicals still remains extremely challenging for most polymer composites today. Composite design for this type of applications can be further complicated when the composite structure is going to be used to process chemical fluids such as rotatory propellers in engineering pumps. As a result, fluid-structure interaction needs to be investigated for composite design under coupled thermochemical environment. This project is aimed to develop a novel design process and manufacturing route to producing corrosion-resistant composite structure for controlling chemical fluids such as sulphuric and phosphoric acids. The key challenges that will be addressed in this project involve 1) material selection and characterisation for chemical resistance at elevated temperatures, 2) composite structure design for fluids control using FEA, and 3) component prototyping using 3D printing for complex geometry.  

During the project, the student will have an opportunity to work and collaborate closely with both academic and industrial experts in composites design and manufacture and will get involved in the cutting-edge development of composites for challenging environment. The student will join Advanced Composites Group ( – home for a dynamic international team and world-class facilities for composites manufacturing and characterisation. The student will also study at one of the UK top 10 departments in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering ( at University of Strathclyde situated at the heart of vibrant city, Glasgow in Scotland. The University of Strathclyde is a multi-award-wining institution in education, research, and entrepreneurship (

This PhD project is sponsored by the Scottish Research Partnership in Engineering (SRPe) and the Weir Group PLC through the Industry Doctorate Programme in Advanced Manufacturing.

Funding Details

Funding will cover Home/EU  tuition fees, and provide a monthly stipend (currently £15009 for the academic year 2019/20). Please note international applicants are welcome to apply, however will require to cover the difference between the Home/EU and International tuition fee

Further information

If you require further information, please contact Dr L Yang

How to apply

Please forward a covering letter, CV and two references to Dr L Yang, for consideration