Research Studentship in High Strain Rate Properties of Metals

3.5 year funded D.Phil studentship (subject to eligibility requirements below)

Closing date – Noon, 16 August 2013

Research Area This research project involves investigation of the mechanical behaviour of metals at high temperatures and high strain rates. The studentship provides full funding (fees and stipend) at the home / EU level for 3.5 years. The successful applicant will be supervised by Dr Clive Siviour and Professor Roger Reed in the Solid Mechanics and Materials Engineering Group and Dr Simon Bray, Rolls-Royce plc, and will spend at least three months performing research activities at Rolls-Royce in Derby.

The project will investigate the behaviour of Nickel Superalloys to loading at high strain rates (up to 10,000 s-1) and temperatures. The student will investigate the effect of microstructure on the rate and temperature dependence, and the evolution of microstructure under deformation, in order to build a unique understanding of how these alloys behave. These data will be used to inform appropriate constitutive models.

Whilst the focus will be on better understanding the material behaviour, the student will also have the opportunity to apply the data obtained to modelling work in Rolls-Royce through placements at the company. The successful applicant will be a member of the Solid Mechanics and Materials Engineering Group, which has recently developed a high temperature high strain rate testing system, and is investing heavily in state-of-the-art thermo-mechanical testing and microstructural characterisation facilities.  

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Further information can be found at, and informal enquiries can be addressed to

Award value The studentship covers University and College fees at the level set for UK/EU students and in addition provides a stipend (tax-free maintenance grant) of 18000 p.a. for the first year, and at least this amount for a further two and a half years.

The studentship is available to all applicants, but the University fees are covered only at the UK/EU rate. Therefore, overseas students would have to provide the difference between the UK/EU and the overseas student rates for University fees from some other source, such as a private scholarship or personal funds.

Candidate Requirements Prospective candidates will be judged according to how well they meet the following criteria:

  • A first class or high 2.1 honours degree in Engineering, Physics, Mathematics Materials Science or a similar subject
  • Excellent record of academic and/or professional achievement
  • Interest and experience in experimental science
  • Enthusiasm to undertake the research required for a doctorate
  • Ability to work independently and guide own learning
  • Good English written and spoken communication skills

The following skills are desirable but not essential:

  • Experience of numerical modelling
  • Ability to program in Matlab
  • Experience of Windows and data acquisition software and hardware

Application Procedure

To apply for this studentship:

  • Candidates are required to send a covering letter (explaining your suitability for the study, what you hope to achieve from the PhD and your research experience to date) to


Please quote SIVIOUR-STRAIN-2 in all correspondence to the Department and in your graduate application.

Application deadline: Noon, 16 August 2013

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