PhD Studentship in Control Technologies for Plastic Electronic Film Handling

Up to £19,000 per annum (tax free) plus UK/EU fees*

Closing date: 15 Dec 2013

Start date: 2nd Feb 2014

Supervisors: Professor Paul Shore                                                       

Duration of award: 3 years

Future displays will be based on plastic and thin glass film substrates. Developing a means to precisely move them during processing is critical to their effective fabrication.

We are seeking a high calibre engineering graduate to undertake research and development, leading to new methods and control engineering principles and practices. The created approaches and principles will be applied to a new large scale ultra precision research platform being created at Cranfield. This platform is being developed to be capable of rapidly producing plastic and thin glass film displays and other forms of active substrates for emerging products.

This PhD vacancy is within the EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Ultra Precision. This Centre is led by world leading researchers from Cranfield and Cambridge Universities and aims to develop the next generation of production machines, metrology systems and processes.

Industrial sponsorship is available that will increase the EPSRC funding allowance up to a premium rate. All fees will be industrially funded. A short period of industrial placement should be expected. Industrial / academic employment opportunities are very good in this emerging sector.

Nature of research project:

To review the control system approaches and principles that can be applied to positioning plastic/glass films of up to 1.4 metres width at high speeds to micrometre levels of accuracy. Subsequently, to develop and then to implement, control systems and supporting measuring system that prove high speed control capability for large scale thin films moving in two directions. It is important to recognise that plastic films and thin glass webs behaviour during processing is not comparable to handling silicon wafers. An understanding of the materials’ properties will be needed to solve this control problem.

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Entry requirements:

Suitable applicants will be expected to have a First or Upper Second Class honours degree in a relevant electrical engineering, control, mechanical or materials science based discipline. Previous experience in control systems, motion systems and materials handling will be of value.


Please contact the following for further discussion:

*Due to funding restrictions we require that applicants are under no restrictions regarding how long they can stay in the UK i.e. have no visa restrictions or applicant has “settled status” and has been “ordinarily resident” in the UK for 3 years prior to start of studies and has 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.

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