PhD Studentship “Scalability analysis of carbon-fibre-reinforced polymer bi-stable booms for space applications"



The Surrey Space Centre at the University of Surrey is a world leading Centre of Excellence in Space Engineering. We are currently offering a fully funded EPSRC Industrial CASE PhD studentship (tuition fees + bursary).

Structural members which can be rolled into a compact coil and deployed on demand in space have been a feature of numerous space missions for over 30 years. The Surrey Space Centre, in collaboration with RolaTube Technology UK is seeking to extend this technology using advanced composite materials, and new analysis techniques. We are focussed on the development of real space hardware to demonstrate concepts, as well as the exploration of new manufacturing, testing, and analysis methods.

We are seeking a full time PhD student to investigate the scalability of ultra-lightweight ‘gossamer’ deployable space structures based on carbon-fibre-reinforced polymer bi-stable booms. As the call for larger and larger space reflectors, solar arrays, solar sails, sun shields and radars increases, so does the call for the structures required to support them. Bi-stable composite booms are a promising candidate structural member, but the engineering challenges involved in increasing the scale of such members to hundreds of metres (or more) are significant.

The successful candidate will have a keen interest in developing novel space structures, experience in finite element analysis of composite structures, a good understanding of structural mechanics and a strong mathematical background. It is expected that the student will contribute actively to academic life at the University of Surrey, and present the results of his/her research at relevant conferences and in appropriate academic journals.

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Please apply online by clicking on the ‘Apply‘ button below.

In the field labelled “Intended Research Area” enter “Space Structures-SSC iCASE Studentship B”. Please also send a copy of your CV, a cover letter (including a brief description of your research interests), and copies of any academic transcripts to Mrs Karen Collar, Administrator, Surrey Space Centre, BA Building, University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey GU2 7XH, or by email to [email protected].

Frequently asked questions about Industrial CASE studentships can be found here: http://www.epsrc.ac.uk/funding/students/coll/icase/Pages/faqs.aspx

Bursary: £20,000 p.a. (additional travel funding also available)

Collaborating industrial partner: RolaTube Technology (http://rolatube.com)

Start date: April 2013

For informal inquiries contact: Professor Vaios Lappas ([email protected])

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