PhD Studentship (funded by Rolls-Royce plc) Technology Centre in Gas Turbine Transmission Systems

Faculty of Engineering 

Low Temperature TMF Testing and Microstructural Investigation of Wrought and Cast Aluminium Aero-Engine Structure Materials

The Rolls-Royce University Technology Centre (UTC) in Gas Turbine Transmission Systems at the University of Nottingham is active in researching a number of areas which are critical to the further improvement of performance of gas turbine engines. Its main areas of excellence are in (1) Structures and Dynamics and (2) Thermofluids for gas turbine transmission systems. In these the UTC undertakes experimental & numerical work on a series of transmission components ranging from shaft to bearing chambers and gearboxes, but also develops methods contributing to their specification and design. On the numerical front the UTC possesses three groups respectively dedicated to mathematical analysis, CFD and FE analyses, and has access to significant numerical modelling resources including a broad range of codes and access to internal and University-wide clusters and HPCs. The UTC is currently 35-strong.  Further details about the UTC are available at:

The UTC has support from Rolls-Royce plc to fund a PhD studentship on the project entitled “Low Temperature TMF Testing and Microstructural Investigation of Wrought and Cast Aluminium Aero-Engine Structure Materials” and we are now seeking applications from suitably qualified candidates to be considered for this opportunity.

Replacing cast alloys with wrought has the potential to offer cost and performance advantages.  Understanding the behaviour and degradation of any replacement materials under conditions of Thermo-Mechanical Fatigue (TMF) is vital to ensure their reliability in service. The main elements of the research will involve comprehensive mechanical testing in conjunction with advanced microscopy techniques (such as Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM)) to elucidate the failure processes. As part of the UTC, the PhD candidate will have the opportunity to interact with and report to Rolls-Royce plc. on a regular basis as part of formal reports as well as working meetings with their technical customers.

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The studentship will fully fund PhD registration fees and a stipend will be paid for three years for a HEU (see *Note) Student only. The stipend will commence at £15.6k (tax free) per annum and the studentship is expected to start from January 2013 onwards.

(*Note: Home/EU – ie. UK or European Union students)

The requirements for the full studentship are that students:

(i) Should expect or have an upper second or first class undergraduate degree OR expect or have an MSc with Distinction, Merit, or other indicator of excellent performance;

(ii) Can demonstrate a substantial amount of degree-level learning in Mechanical Engineering, preferably in the area of Materials. Familiarity with the use of advanced microscopy techniques would be an advantage.

For informal enquiries prior to making an application please contact Dr. Chris Hyde: (please note that applications sent directly to this email address cannot be accepted).

If you are interested in being put forward for this exciting studentship opportunity, application forms and notes of guidance can be obtained online, from: and select ‘Engineering Faculty’.  Please quote ref. ENG/656.  This studentship will remain open until filled.

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