PhD Studentship Embedding smart technology into carbon fibre composite structures

Application deadline: 15th December 2013
Supervisor: Professor Peter Foote E: T: +44 (0) 1234 754153
Duration of award: 3 years
Award type: PhD

Funded by EPSRC and BAE Systems, due to funding restrictions this studentship will cover the tuition fees at the UK/EU rate only and provide a bursary of up to £19,000 p.a for three years*

Cranfield University has an exciting research opportunity in the development of smart composite structures. The successful applicant will investigate how devices such as sensors, microelectronics, fibre optics and other functioning devices can be embedded reliably in polymer composite structures during their manufacture.

The possibility of incorporating electronic and optical devices into structural materials is opening entirely new possibilities for industries such as aerospace and marine. For example, sensors can be embedded into composite materials allowing the structures in which they are used to become smart and ‘self-aware’.

Traditional structural materials can be revolutionised by adding intelligent functions such as communication electronics, optical fibre, energy generation and storage devices. This project will explore the methods and techniques, at the material level, for successfully integrating these types of technologies into state of the art composite materials and manufacturing processes.

The focus is the optimised selection of materials and components to blend with manufacturing of composite structural items and the design of durable interfaces between components and structures. This will be based on an understanding of the materials involved and their behaviours under the conditions of manufacturing and subsequent usage.

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It will involve optical and electrical sensors for structural monitoring as well as embedded electronic and electrical components for other novel intelligent structure applications.

This is a three year PhD position fully funded as an Industrial CASE Studentship with the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and BAE Systems. It will be in the School of Applied Sciences, Manufacturing and Materials Dept., Enhanced Composites and Structures Centre at Cranfield University.

Entry Requirements

Applicants should have a First or Second Class UK honours degree, or equivalent, in a relevant discipline such Physics, Engineering or Material sciences. A strong interest in composite materials, materials sciences, electronics, photonics are also desirable.


* Funded by  EPSRC and BAE Systems due to funding restrictions this studentship will cover the tuition fees at the UK/EU rate only and provide a bursary of up to £19,000 p.a for three years. To be eligible for this funding, applicants must have:

  • no restrictions on how long you can stay in the UK, i.e. no visa restrictions or have ‘settled status’, and
  • have been ‘ordinarily resident’ in the UK for 3 years prior to the start of the grant and
  • not been residing in the UK wholly or mainly for the purpose of full-time education. (This does not apply to UK or EU nationals).

All EU nationals are eligible to receive a fees-only award if they do not have ‘settled status’ in the UK.

All non-EU nationals are very unlikely to be eligible for this funding under the Education (Fees and Awards) Regulations 1997.

How to apply

If you are eligible to apply for this research studentship, please complete the online application by clicking the Apply link below.

For further information contact us today:
School of Applied Sciences
T: +44 (0)1234 754086

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