PhD Opportunity in Automation of Welding – Process Control and Human Skills EPSRC National Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Intelligent Automation

The EPSRC National Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Intelligent Automation is part of a government funded initiative to support the development of new technologies that will underpin future growth in high value manufacturing.

The Centre is a collaboration between Loughborough and Cranfield Universities and industrial partners Rolls-Royce, Airbus, Aero Engine Controls and the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC). The EPSRC Centre has a physical presence at both Universities allowing joint access to state of the art facilities and rapid transfer of knowledge between researchers and industrial partners via the MTC and the Cranfield exploitation network.

This PhD project is about understanding the level of interaction between welders and the welding process. Traditional methods of welding (TIG/MIG) are in essence, all about accommodating variation by the skills of the individual welder. The individual overcomes variation from a range of sources (e.g. part fit up, joint configuration, part tolerances, gaps), by changing parameters such as filler wire angle, torch speed and height. Some of these parameter adjustments are very subtle and not obvious from a superficial observation. If automation is to be considered and developed, the accommodation of component and process variation by the human function must be replaced by adaptive automation. This must also accommodate additional variation inherent in the automation equipment (e.g. robot joint inaccuracies, wire feed tolerances). The research is multi-disciplinary involving human factors, welding process understanding, theoretical modelling and experimental validation.

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Applications are invited for a full time three-year PhD based at Loughborough University’s Wolfson School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering.

 Award value: The studentship is valued up to £23,000 (the exact amount depends on fee status and experience). Due to funding restrictions this covers University fees at the level set for UK/EU students and in addition provides a tax-free maintenance grant. Overseas students are liable to account for their own living costs.

Candidate Requirements Prospective candidates will be judged according to how well they meet the following criteria:

A first class or high 2.1 honours degree in Mechanical, Manufacturing Engineering or a similar subject

Excellent record of academic and/or professional achievement

Enthusiasm to undertake the research required for a doctorate

Ability to work independently and guide own learning

Good English written and spoken communication skills

Application Procedure

To apply for this studentship:

Candidates are required to send a resume and covering letter (explaining your suitability for the study, what you hope to achieve from the PhD and your research experience to date) to 

Further details about making a graduate application are available by clicking the Apply link below.

Please quote EPSRC IA-CIM in all correspondence to the Department and in your graduate application.

Application deadline: Noon 30th Sept 2013

Applicants seeking additional information are invited to contact Centre Administrator Ms. Smita Jenna (

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