Postgraduate research opportunities

In-process Material Evaluation of Welding and Additive Manufacturing

A 42-month full-time, fully-funded PhD, supported by EPSRC and two departments (EEE & DMEM) at University of Strathclyde, focusing on Robotics, Non-destructive Testing & Evaluation (NDT&E), Additive Manufacturing, Welding, Industry 4.0, ‎Automated Inspection, and Process Modelling.‎

Number of places

1

Funding

Home fee, Travel costs, Stipend

Opens

5 February 2021

Deadline

7 March 2021

Duration

42 months

Eligibility

To be considered for the project, candidates must:

  • Possess an upper second (2.1) UK BEng Hons or MEng degree in a relevant engineering or physics related subject
  • Have skills and/or understanding of material, manufacturing and inspection
  • Be a UK national and adhere to Research Council (RCUK) eligibility criteria

Expertise in experimental research in welding, additive manufacturing and NDT&E would also be preferable.

UKRI Studentship Eligibility

The eligibility criteria for UKRI funding has changed for studentships commencing in the 2021/22 academic year. Now, all home and international students are eligible to apply for UKRI funding which will cover the full stipend and tuition fees at the home rate (not the international rate). Under the new criteria, UKRI have stipulated a maximum percentage of international students that can be recruited each year against individual training grants. This will be managed at the institutional level for all EPSRC DTP and ICASE grants. For EPSRC CDT grants, this will be managed by the individual CDT administrative/management team. For ESRC and AHRC studentships the final funding decision will be made by the respective grant holder.

 

To be classed as a home student, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a UK national (meeting residency requirements), or
  • Have settled status, or
  • Have pre-settled status (meeting residency requirements), or
  • Have indefinite leave to remain or enter.

 

The residency requirements are based on the Education (Fees and Awards) (England) Regulations 2007 and subsequent amendments. Normally to be eligible for a full award a student must have no restrictions on how long they can stay in the UK and have been ordinarily resident in the UK for at least 3 years prior to the start of the studentship (with some further constraint regarding residence for education).

If a student does not meet the criteria above, they will be classed as an international student. The international portion of the tuition fee cannot be funded by the UKRI grant and must be covered from other sources. International students are permitted to self-fund the difference between the home and international fee rates.

Project Details

This project aligns directly with one key deliverable in the 5-year plan entitled “Towards Industry ‎‎4.0: In-process Repair of Welding and Wire Additive Manufacturing (IRWWAM)‎” associated with ‎the new Strathclyde Chancellor’s Fellow joint appointment between the EEE and DMEM for the ‎primary supervisor (Dr Javadi). The core of this ambitious plan is fully automated Non-Destructive Evaluation ‎‎(NDE) in robotic welding and Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM), where the three main ‎research themes are: (I) in-process defect detection, (II) in-process residual stress measurement ‎and (III) in-process material evaluation. When these three core research themes are coupled with ‎process modelling and simulation, the project will deliver an Industry 4.0 adopted system in which ‎the sample can be fully inspected and importantly, repaired during the manufacturing process, if ‎deemed necessary by the system. The in-situ measurement systems will be also linked to the ‎manufacturing system for improving the quality control and creation of a closed-loop feedback ‎system. Manufacturing within the IRWWAM framework will save time and energy ‎‎(which is usually ‎wasted in backward transmissions between the manufacturing and inspection ‎stations) and hence ‎will be better for the environment. ‎The main plan is then in line with the national UK ‎government post-COVID recovery plan.‎

This PhD will focus on the in-process monitoring of the material evolution during welding and ‎additive manufacturing. The necessity of “in-process” evaluation has been justified by Center for Ultrasonic Engineering (CUE) when ‎the in-process inspection was established for the multi-pass welding [Javadi et al, Materials & ‎Design, ‎Volume 191, 2020]. However, this was not extended to the material evaluation and there is ‎currently no NDT method to monitor the material evolution during the welding and additive ‎manufacturing. The in-process material evaluation will be considered in this project and it is then desired that the candidate is familiar with (or enthusiastic to learn) the following research and technical activities:‎ NDE material evaluation, finite element simulation, process ‎modelling and verification, in-process inspection, in-process repair, and Industry 4.0.‎

More details can also be found in this link: https://www.findaphd.com/phds/project/in-process-material-evaluation-of-welding-and-additive-manufacturing/?p129606

Funding Details

Funding is provided for full tuition fees (Home applicants), along with a generous stipend, support with travel costs for the duration of the project and a Research Training Support Grant (RTSG) of £1,500 per annum.

How to apply

Candidates interested in applying can email yashar.javadi@strath.ac.uk for an informal discussion. They should submit their CV, academic transcript, and a covering letter outlining their suitability for the position, to him. Following review of the application submissions, selected candidates will be invited for interview. Application submission deadline is 7 March 2021. The project will start on 1 October 2021.