PhD Studentship 3D printed/Additive Manufactured Surface Textures for high-performance applications

Applications are invited for the above PhD studentship within the Design School at Loughborough University, from UK and EU applicants only.

Biomimetics (the study of Nature) has provided constant inspiration for new materials, optimised designs/structures and intelligent systems, and has now highlighted surface textures as an exciting new area for Design and 3D printing research.

In Nature, surface textures have been employed to overcome obstacles such as gravity (Gecko), friction and both aerodynamic and hydrodynamic drag (Shark-skin). However, current (man-made) surface textures are generally produced as a consequence of the manufacturing process utilised or through some secondary technique, for example knurling to increase grip or friction on metal components. As the complexity of the texture geometry increases, so does the time, cost and skill associated with its production, meaning that the manufacture of functional surface textures by conventional manufacturing techniques can be extremely costly, complex and ultimately impossible.

3D printing (Additive Manufacturing) techniques allow us to print any complexity of geometry that can be 3D modelling and provides us with the capabilities to mimic the build strategies of Nature to reproduce complex, functional surface textures for a range of high-performance applications. Potential applications include; drag reduction (air and water) for transportation and sports, textured medical implants promoting hard/soft tissue integration, insulation / heat exchange, capillary action, antibacterial and camouflage.

The aim of the research is to investigate the design, modelling and manufacture of functional surface textures using 3D printing (Additive Manufacturing) techniques while addressing the following objectives:

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Determine the range potential applications of 3D printed functional surface textures

Establish design and performance criteria for selected applications

Investigate and develop design and 3D modelling strategies for their 3D data

Produce, test and validate 3D printed textured samples against established criteria

Students must have a first or upper second class academic qualification in a Design and /or Engineering-related subject, or a relevant Masters qualification.

The Graduate School studentship provides a tax free stipend of £13,726 per annum for a period of three years plus tuition fees at the UK/EU rate. Due to funding restrictions, the studentship is open to UK and EU applicants only. Non UK applicants must the minimum English language requirements, details available here: 

Informal enquiries about the project should be made to Dr Guy Bingham: or +44(0)1509 222653

Information about Loughborough Design School can be found at:

Details about the application process can be found here:

Please click on the ‘Apply’ button below to apply forthis role. Please note that we require all online applications to be accompanied by a 2 page research proposal as described in this link. This proposal should be emailed to at the same time as submitting an online application.

Please quote the following reference when applying: GBAMT/LDS2013

Deadline for applications: 30 September 2013. We are looking for a start in October 2013 or January 2014.

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