PhD in Advanced Composites

Applications are invited from exceptional candidates across all engineering and science subjects to take advantage of an outstanding opportunity to become involved in exciting groundbreaking research in composite materials and structures technologies. We are looking for students from aeronautical, civil, materials and mechanical engineering, chemistry or physics, and will consider graduates from other relevant areas.

This four-year fully funded programme includes a taught element in the first year and offers students a choice of PhD projects towards the end of the year 1. The DTC programme provides individuals with the opportunity to become elite specialists in the field of composite structures and composite materials. A series of taught units and mini-projects will facilitate the broadening and deepening of core engineering skills and promote the exploration of the interfaces between science and engineering. In 10 years’ time, imagine shape changing aircraft, cars and marine craft which have thermal management, sensing, actuating and self-repair functionality embedded within the materials and structures, and you start to get the idea. This is an exciting time to join this rapidly developing industry and drive the technological revolution!

The technical aspirations of the ACCIS DTC are:

  • to challenge current approaches and rules that limit composite performance by developing novel solutions;
  • to increase composite functionality; and
  • to develop the design methodology and innovative application of ‘next generation composite materials’.

Our vision is two-fold: we aim to deliver highly skilled people to the industrial sector and develop the next generation of composite materials technologies. We expect 50% of students to work closely with industry on projects with nearer-term application, and 50% to work on more open ‘blue-sky’ projects at the interface of science and engineering to produce the multifunctional composite materials of the future. In all cases students will gain significant exposure to, and engagement with, our numerous industrial partners.

The Advanced Composites Centre for Innovation and Science (ACCIS) is a world-leading research centre and is at the heart of the UK Government Composites Strategy such that the newly created National Composites Centre is based in Bristol. The ACCIS centre was established in 2007 and is made up of over 100 researchers, many of them working on industrially relevant projects within the Aerospace Industry. Current grants exceed £20M and involve strong partnerships with Rolls Royce, GE Aviation, Airbus, Vestas, GKN and AgustaWestland Helicopters.

10 places are available annually on the four-year cross-disciplinary PhD programme.

More information can be found here:

Useful Links:

Candidate requirements: We are seeking applicants holding or expecting to obtain an upper-second class degree in a relevant subject (or equivalent qualification).

Funding: Successful applicants will be offered enhanced EPSRC studentships of up to £18K per annum. Due to funding requirements, this is only open to UK/EU students. Full eligibility details can be found here:

How to apply: For details of the application process please click on the ‘Apply’ button below.

When applying, in the Programme Choice section, select ‘Advanced Composites (PhD)’.

Contacts: For further information please contact:

Deadline for applications: Position open until 31 December

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