EPSRC Future Composites Manufacturing Research Hub: Meso-scale modelling of 3D woven composites

Closing Date
Tuesday, 31st December 2019

Applications are invited for a PhD student to conduct research on modelling and optimisation of lightweight aerospace composite materials. 3D woven textiles are often used to create near-net shape preforms as well as structural elements (e.g. T-stiffeners) and 3D woven composites provide superior out-of-plane properties. However, their complex internal geometry makes the design of composites more challenging. 

The project will address key challenges in modelling 3D woven composites such as damage and delamination. It will aim to develop new approaches to modelling fibre reinforced composites and especially 3D woven composites with a particular focus on meso-scale modelling of damage and non-linear behaviour. The project will be aligned with one of the Hub Core project “New manufacturing techniques for optimised fibre architectures” and include an opportunity to perform experimental validations of the modelling approaches and to work closely with the industrial and academic partners.

We are seeking talented candidates with :

  • First-class or upper second-class Honours degree (or equivalent) in a relevant discipline, such as engineering, material science or physics. 
  • Background or knowledge of composites and/or composite processing 
  • Experience in computer programming (e.g. Matlab, Python, C++)
  • Experience in finite element modelling and composite modelling (e.g. Abaqus, Ansys)
  • Self-motivated and capable of working under pressure to meet deliverables
  • Good communication skills for regular interaction with other stakeholders.

The successful candidate will join the University of Nottingham’s Composites Research Group which leads the EPSRC Future Composites Manufacturing Research Hub, a £10.3m investment in fundamental research that aims to deliver a step change in the production of polymer matrix composites. More information on the Hub can be found at

Successful applicants will be based at Nottingham and will:

  • Work directly with leading academics and industrial partners from the composites supply chain, including leading UK aerospace and automotive companies, offering excellent career opportunities following graduation
  • Have the opportunity to undertake a 3 month secondment with an industrial partner or one of the supporting High Value Manufacturing Catapult centres, or to spend up to 3 months visiting one of 23 international research institutions, via the International Researcher Network
  • Have access to industry-relevant taught modules delivered by the Industrial Doctorate Centre (IDC) in Composites Manufacture at the University of Bristol
  • Receive a travel and consumable allowance to support the research project
  • Have access to world-leading facilities and a well-founded composites laboratory

Research will be conducted under the supervision of Dr Louise Brown and Prof. Andy Long. 

For further information please contact: or


Successful applicants will receive a tax free bursary of up to £19,000 p.a. (equivalent to £23,000 gross p.a.) and tuition fees for three years, subject to satisfactory research progress. This funding is for UK and EU applicants only. Candidates should be available to start on, 1st December 2019, 1st April 2020 or 1st October 2020.

How to apply:

To apply for a research studentship, please upload a CV and covering letter to quoting reference number ENG1308