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PhD Studentship: Design and fabrication of multi-metal components for nuclear fusion applications


Location:  University Park
Closing Date:  Friday 31 May 2024
Reference:  ENG1756

PhD opportunity:

Design and fabrication of multi-metal components for nuclear fusion applications

 Supervisory team: 

Dr Marco Simonelli

Dr Ian Maskery

Project description

The vision for next-generation Additive Manufacturing (AM) is to control the composition of every deposited volume to make functional materials (FMs) directly from digital designs. These FMs could replace assemblies that are currently made by joining multiple components and could also significantly enhance performance by engineering the mechanical properties at small scale.  For fusion energy, the most immediate application of this technology will be in the creation of two-metal parts (e.g., W-Cu) that can act as either plasma facing components or heat-transfer interfaces.

The objective of this PhD project is to address the knowledge gap around metallic FMs and establish new design methods for multi-metal AM. To achieve this, the project will focus on determining the structural and thermal behaviour of the interface regions of the printed component, where dissimilar materials are in contact.

The project builds on the Centre for Additive Manufacturing (CfAM)'s expertise in applying computational materials science techniques to laser AM. The PhD student will be able to conduct research using a state-of-the-art multi-beam laser powder bed fusion platform equipped with a multi-metal deposition system (a one-of-a-kind facility in the UK).  This partnership with UKAEA is intended to ensure the multi-metal AM technology is guided appropriately toward a high-end application, and to see that the technology more broadly is developed in a way that aligns with the UK’s fusion science and advanced manufacturing goals.

The student will develop multi-metal structures using a combination of AM and metrology techniques, advanced materials testing for plasma facing components, microscopy, and numerical modelling, gaining a broad set of skills and knowledge relevant to advanced manufacturing and materials research. The student will work as part of a dynamic interdisciplinary team at CfAM, one of the world's largest research centres for additive manufacturing and 3D printing, to advance the state-of-the-art in this field, and will also benefit from the guidance and support of UKAEA scientists, world-leading researchers in fusion energy and associated materials. The PhD student will work in the Centre for Additive Manufacturing at Nottingham, which is regarded internationally as a centre of excellence for AM research.  


Applicants should have, or expect to obtain, a first-class or 2:1 degree in Engineering, Physics, Chemistry or a science related discipline.  This position is only available for Home (UK) applicants.

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.

Funding duration

Three years

Expected start date

October 2024

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