PhD Studentship Understanding Advanced Composite Material Systems for Compression Moulding

The Aerospace and Manufacturing cluster based in the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the Queen’s University of Belfast, specialises in simulation methods for the design and manufacture of advanced engineering structures. Work conducted within the cluster over the past 20 years has made the school a recognised centre of commercial as well as academic expertise in engineering simulation and digital manufacturing. One specific area of expertise lies in the domain of composite materials which offer significant benefits to the aerospace and automotive sectors. With ongoing commercial and regulatory pressures to consume less material, design more efficient structures, and maximise manufacturing efficiency according to customer demand, the economic stakes are high for manufacturers in this area.

As a result we are seeking to recruit a Ph.D. student to work as part of our team in collaboration with Creative Composites – one of the UK’s most advanced composite component manufacturers. We are looking for a suitably qualified candidate capable of developing structural simulations for products formed using the compression moulding process using advanced composite materials. The work seeks to integrate manufacturability with automated methods in structural optimisation and cost analysis and will develop corresponding experimental protocols for the validation of virtual simulations. Applicants need to demonstrate skill sets in practical engineering in a production environment as well as high levels of computer literacy. Experience in the use of computer aided design (CAD), finite element analysis (FEA) and knowledge of the mechanics of polymers and polymer based composites are essential. The successful applicant will be based in Creative Composites in Lisburn, Northern Ireland and will be expected to engage with professional design and manufacturing teams as well as companies in their supply chain. Good self management and communication skills are therefore essential. Basic knowledge of data acquisition and instrumentation would also be an advantage.

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Applicants for the studentship should have or expect to obtain a first or upper second class honours degree or equivalent, in Mechanical or Aerospace Engineering. A Master’s degree in a relevant subject or post graduate industrial experience in a relevant area would be advantageous but are not essential. 

Applications will be assessed as received and all applicants should follow the standard University postgraduate admissions process (via 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 Joe Butterfield (

The studentship offers a stipend of £18,000+ per annum (tax free) depending on experience and covers fees at the UK/EU student rate.

Closing date 18th October 2013

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