PhD Studentship Numerical modelling of stretch blow moulding for optimal design of packaging

The Advanced Materials and Processing cluster based in the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the Queen’s University of Belfast specialises in research in simulation of polymer processing. 

One specific area of expertise lies in the area of stretch blow moulding which is used to manufacture containers for packaging and medical applications.  The work that has been conducted over the past 20 years has made Queen’s a centre of commercial, as well as academic, blow-moulding expertise.  With ongoing pressures to use less material, produce stronger containers, and redesign containers according to customer demand and consumer whim, the economic stakes are high. The University’s skill set is now in demand from leading multinational companies around the globe. As a result we are seeking to recruit a Ph.D. student to work as part of our team in collaboration with one of our industrial collaborators, a major multinational fast moving consumer goods company.  

We are looking for a suitable qualified candidate capable of developing finite element simulations of the stretch blow moulding process and to develop corresponding experimental protocols for validation. Experience in the use of FEA (ideally Abaqus), knowledge of mechanics of materials especially polymers and basic knowledge of data acquisition and instrumentation would be an advantage. The successful applicant would be expected to be engaged with industrial collaborators on regular basis so good communication skills are essential.

Applicants for the studentship should have or expect to obtain a first or upper second class honours degree or equivalent, in a relevant aspect of Engineering, Mathematics, Physics, Computing, or other strongly quantitative discipline. Good computing skills are required. A Master’s degree in a relevant subject would be advantageous but is not essential.

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Applications will be assessed as received and all applicants should follow the standard University postgraduate admissions process, please click the Apply button below.

Should you have any queries regarding the application process please contact Ms Sandra Traynor by email to:

Informal enquiries and request for additional information for this post can be made to Dr Gary Menary (

Funding is available for UK and EU fee status applicants. The studentship offers a stipend of approximately £18,000 per annum (tax free) and covers fees at the UK/EU student rate.

Closing date: 13th September 2013

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