PhD studentship in Oxidation Protection of SiC-SiC Ceramic Matrix Composites for Jet Engine Application

Supervisors: Professor William E. Lee, Dr Doni Daniel and

Dr Adam Chamberlain from Rolls-Royce, USA

Duration: 42 months

We are seeking applications from enthusiastic graduates for a 42 months PhD studentship as detailed below. The project will be based in the Department of Materials at South Kensington Campus.

The use of ceramic matrix composites (CMC’s) in rotating components of jet engines has the potential to save 1000kg in weight per engine with enormous consequences in fuel savings and performance due to the higher potential operating temperatures. This project will develop environmental barrier coatings (EBC) on a melt infiltrated SiC/SiC CMC containing Hi-Nicalon or Hi-Nicalon Type S fibres using test specimens supplied by Rolls-Royce. Oxidation of these will be examined from 900-1300ºC and based on oxidation behaviour samples selected for development of oxidation bonded reaction sintered (OBRS) EBC coatings based on the potential reaction (i.e. RE2O3 + SiO2 → REaSibOc).    Water vapour and mechanical property testing including fast fracture and flexure fatigue will be performed along with microstructural characterisation using advanced characterisation techniques such as SEM, FIB, TEM and SIMS.

You will work within a team of dynamic PhD Students and Research Associates, in newly refurbished laboratories on the South Kensington Campus. In addition you will be working in collaboration with other departments within Imperial as part of a Rolls-Royce funded project.

We are seeking candidates with a minimum 2:1 first degree (or equivalent) in any discipline including Materials Science, Engineering, Chemistry or Physics. This 42 month studentship is available from December 2013 and due to funding restrictions will cover tuition fees at the home/EU rate plus the standard maintenance stipend of £15,726 per annum for students who have been ordinarily resident in the UK for 3 years. Applications will be processed as received.

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This project will be supervised by Professor William E. Lee and Dr Doni Daniel. Informal enquiries should be sent to Professor Lee

How to apply:

The prospectus, entry requirements and application form (under ‘how to apply’) are available at:

For questions regarding the admissions process, please contact Fiona Thomson ( The prospectus, entry requirements and application form (under ‘how to apply’) are available from the Apply link below.

Formal applications can be completed online (only after informal enquiries):, while information about the Department can be found at

Closing date: 5 December 2013

Committed to equality and valuing diversity. Imperial is also an Athena Silver SWAN Award winner, a Stonewall Diversity Champion and a Two Ticks Employer.

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