PhD studentship Sponsored by Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl)

Closing Date
Saturday, 28th July 2018

This four-year PhD studentship, is part of the Enabling Next Generation Additive Manufacturing (3D Printing) project in the University of Nottingham. Initially focussing on novel electronic and pharmaceutical/healthcare applications, the research team aims to move beyond single material AM by exploiting the potential to deposit multiple materials contemporaneously for the delivery of spatially resolved function and structure in three dimensions (3D). This Programme Grant seeks to develop that understanding through theoretical, computational and practical approaches that focus on the behaviour at the interfaces, and how this can form discrete surfaces or can result in interphases and crucially, what impact that has on the properties, and how we can use this understanding to create control.

The successful candidate will also be part of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Additive Manufacturing and 3D Printing, which will equip them with the broad experience and specific knowledge to be part of this manufacturing revolution. During year one, students will primarily focus on completing taught modules in Additive Manufacturing. From year two, you will focus on your research project, research activities and project specific training. For further information please visit:

Project title: 

“Embedding structural health monitoring (SHM) capabilities into additive manufactured (AM) metallic parts for military applications.”

As AM components increase in complexity, ensuring their through-life performance through external inspection using traditional non-destructive testing (NDT) techniques will become increasingly difficult. However, AM affords the opportunity to integrate advanced damage detection technologies directly into structures as they are being manufactured; enabling intelligent self-monitoring structures to be developed. 

This project will initially review and identify promising SHM technologies that could be embedded into metallic AM parts for damage detection, prior to designing and developing a suitable SHM system for an AM part, initially of simple geometry. SHM embedded AM metallic parts will be manufactured and the capability to detect, locate and quantify damage assessed. It is also expected that the project will identify and understand the impact that the embedding SHM system has on the mechanical properties and failure mechanisms of the AM part, in addition to assessing the relationship between damage detected and the reduction in mechanical properties / performance. 

It is likely that this work will contribute to an International Collaboration involving the US, Australia, New Zealand and Canada; this will be through Dstl as the sponsoring organisation.

The successful candidate will:

  • Receive the training needed for a professional career in Additive Manufacturing and 3D printing 
  • Receive full Dstl studentship (fees and stipend) for 4 years 
  • Work directly with leading academics and industrialists
  • Receive Travel and consumable allowance


Applicants should possess a minimum 2:1 in Physics, Chemistry, Engineering, Biological Sciences or a related discipline. Due to Dstl’s security restrictions, this studentship is available for UK nationals only. The successful candidate will be required to obtain Baseline Personnel Security Standard (BPSS) and Security Clearance (SC).

How to apply

Please send your covering letter, CV and academic transcripts to referring to the project title. Please note applications without academic transcripts will not be considered.

The successful candidate will be available to start on 1st October 2018.