PhD studentship Application of laser shock peening to control and moderate fatigue crack growth in aircraft structures

Supervisor: Dr Supriyo Ganguly and Prof Phil Irving

Duration of award: 3 years

Award type: PhD

Application deadline: 31st January 2014

Start Date: 15th February 2014

Supported by Airbus Operations Ltd, and The Materials Engineering department of the Open University as academic partner, this studentship will provide a bursary of £17,000 p.a. (tax free) plus fees due to funding restrictions* for three years.

The Fatigue and Damage Tolerance group at Cranfield University, in collaboration with Airbus, is offering an exciting research opportunity in new techniques to control and manage fatigue cracks in future generations of metallic aircraft. In this project, the capability of laser surface treatment to control fatigue crack trajectory and propagation rates will be explored. Understanding the fundamental principles of fatigue crack and residual stress field interaction is vital if the benefits of new laser treatments and new aircraft materials are to be safely exploited in future aircraft. The work will be performed in partnership with the Open University Materials Engineering group who have significant expertise in measuring and predicting residual stress state by using both destructive and non-destructive techniques.

The successful candidate will cover research activities such as:

  • Measurement and analysis of fatigue crack growth behaviour through laser induced residual stress fields.
  • Development of numerical models of laser induced stress fields and their interaction with propagating fatigue cracks.
  • Develop criteria for specification of laser surface treatments to produce desired effects on fatigue crack behaviour.
  • Work with Airbus and the OU in applying the findings in future aircraft designs.

The student will be based at the Cranfield University Fatigue and Damage Tolerant group which is a part of the Manufacturing, Materials and Design department. The student will use the newly commissioned mechanical testing laboratory and fatigue testing facility for experimental purpose and the latest computing facilities offered by Cranfield University.  

As a part of working in this industrially sponsored project, the student will work in close collaboration with Airbus, UK and Germany and with Open University research partners. He/she will need to present their research findings quarterly to the combined project team.

Entry Requirements

Applicants should have a first or second class UK honours degree or equivalent in a related discipline, such as mechanical engineering, materials or physics. The ideal candidate should have some understanding in the area of fatigue and fracture mechanics or in numerical modelling. The candidate should be self-motivated, have good communication skill, for regular interaction with other stake holders, with an aptitude for industrial research.  

How to apply

If you are eligible to apply for this research studentship, please complete the online application form.

For further information on the details of this project, please contact either Dr Supriyo Ganguly: or Professor Phil Irving  

For further information, contact us today:

School of Applied Sciences

T: +44 (0)1234 754086


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