PhD Studentship in Theoretical development and modelling the mechanics of multiscale natural and structural materials

Applications are invited for a research studentship in the field of theoretical and computational modelling of the mechanics of materials, leading to the award of a PhD degree. Due to funding restrictions the post is supported by a bursary and fees (at the UK/EU student rate) provided by EPSRC. Candidates should therefore fulfil the eligibility criteria for this Award (please check your suitability at

Many natural materials (eg nacre and bone) and state-of-the-art structural materials (eg nano-reinforced carbon-fibre composites) have very complex internal microstructures, with multi-scale levels of reinforcement organised in a hierarchical manner. Modelling the deformation and fracture of such materials is a challenging and fascinating problem, whose solution requires combining Solid Mechanics, Mathematics, Physics and Statistics.

This research project aims to develop models for the mechanical response of complex and hierarchical materials, in which deformation and failure processes operate at several inter-related scales. These models will not only be used to predict properties of materials for high-tech structural applications, but also to improve our understanding on how to design materials with enhanced performance.

During this PhD project, the research student will:

•    Propose, implement and analyse novel analytical and/or computation models for the deformation and failure processes of complex structural materials, both synthetic and natural;

•    Use modelling to understand the mechanics of existing materials, and identify how their mechanical properties can be improved;

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•    Write scientific papers for publication in top-level journals in Materials Science/Physics/ Numerical Methods/Mathematics;

•    Present his/her research in international conferences, research meetings and outreach events;

•    Work in close collaboration with the supervisor, while being the driving force for his/her own PhD.

You will be an enthusiastic and self-motivated person who meets the academic requirements for enrolment for the PhD degree at Imperial College London. You will have (or be about to obtain) a 1st class (or equivalent) degree in Mechanical Engineering, Mathematics, Physics, or other relevant subject. You will become a skilled communicator who is comfortable in an international situation. Good team-working, observational and communication skills are essential.

To find out more about research at Imperial College London in this area, go to:

For information on how to apply, go to the Apply link below.

For further details of the post contact Dr Soraia Pimenta
Interested applicants should send an up-to-date curriculum vitae to Dr Pimenta on the above e-mail address. Suitable candidates will be required to complete an electronic application form at Imperial College London in order for their qualifications to be addressed by College Registry.

Closing date: 19th September 2013

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