Rolls-Royce sponsored international PhD scholarship – Laser Ablation Controlled-Depth (Milling) Machining for on-wing repair of Safety Critical Aerospace Components

Closing Date
Tuesday, 31st July 2018

Rolls-Royce University Technology Centre (UTC) in Manufacturing and On-Wing Technology, University of Nottingham 

Applications are invited to undertake a 3 year PhD programme in partnership with industry to address key challenges in advanced manufacturing engineering. The successful candidate will be based at the Rolls-Royce University Technology Centre (UTC) in Manufacturing and On-Wing Technology at the University of Nottingham. Having state-of-the-art purpose built facilities, the UTC offers a world-class environment for the realisation of high impact research projects. 

We are seeking applicants for an anticipated September 2018 start on a project with Rolls-Royce plc. however, early start is also possible. 

The Rolls-Royce funded Studentship is the result of the expanding activities sponsored at the Rolls-Royce UTC dealing with use of advance manufacturing technique for on-wing repair of safety critical aero-engine components.

The project will deal with the influence brought on material microstructure, as well as to the mechanical integrity of the repaired component, during laser ablation of the target workpiece. This will involve using a wide range of sophisticated testing fully developed within the Rolls-Royce UTC at Univ. of Nottingham and analysis techniques including Scanning electron microscope (SEM), Electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD), X-ray diffraction (XRD) for residual stress measurements as well as development of analytical models to achieve in-process monitoring and control during the repair process.

This project will explore novel ideas regarding the use of laser ablation as advanced manufacturing technique, to develop optimal strategies for machining of advanced aerospace materials and complex geometries, followed by investigations on novel methods to evaluate workpiece integrity after machining. Internationally recognised Rolls-Royce specialists in the field will be available throughout the project to provide the PhD student with support and guidance if required.

For mutual interest the project can be offered as a "package" - this will include:

  • Appropriate training within Rolls-Royce for a period to be agreed. The training will enable the understanding of the technical issues related to the project, as well as developing a good partnership with the appropriate technical teams.
  • Joint academic and industrial supervision. In this way, the student will develop both academic and industrial skills with multiple career opportunities at the end of the PhD study.
  • For PhD students wishing to pursue an academic career, the opportunity to participate in teaching activities will be sought.

The bursary covers the tuition fees and provides a tax-free stipend of approximately £16,000.00 per year for the duration of the project (three years) – starting from September 2018 or earlier. 

This is an excellent opportunity for an enthusiastic first or upper second class graduate in mechanical/manufacturing/materials science/physics to build strong knowledge in both manufacturing and material science while building strong relationships with both academic and industrial areas at international level. Graduates finishing their degrees in June 2018 are also encouraged to apply. The position is open international students as well.

Please contact the Rolls-Royce UTC director for further information.

UTC Director: Prof. Dragos Axinte


Tel: 011595 14117

Deadline: Until the position is filled