Skip to main content
View All Vacancies

PhD Studentship- Engineering Crystalline Microstructures through Laser Ultrasonic Imaging


Location:  UK Other
Closing Date:  Tuesday 31 January 2023
Reference:  ENG1607

iCase PhD Studentship: Four year fully funded PhD studentship paying for home students an enhanced stipend (£17,668pa + industrial top-up for 22/23), tuition and research/training expense.

Supervisors: Prof Matt Clark, Dr Richard Smith, Dr Rikesh Patel, Dr Wenqi Li


To determine the mechanical performance of a manufactured structure, the material properties at the nanoscale (chemical composition), microscale (microstructure) and macroscale (geometric shape) all need to be considered. While designing the nano and macro-scale is possible, it is difficult to manufacture material, such as engineering alloys, with a desired crystallographic arrangement. This is due to the random nature of developing crystal seed points – however through live imaging of the developing material’s microstructure, it is possible adjust production parameters to develop preferred grain orientation and distribution. Spatially Resolved Acoustic Spectroscopy (SRAS) is a revolutionary non-destructive laser ultrasonic materials characterisation technique – it is one of only a handful of techniques in the world capable of imaging material crystallographic orientation, and the only one that can be used in a production environment.

Research Project

This four-year PhD programme will aim to develop a laser ultrasonic imaging system capable of real time measurements in a production environment – this will include the designing and construction of optical equipment, as well as software development that will derive material properties from acoustic measurements and feedback into manufacturing processes (training will be provided). In addition to exploring traditional methods of materials production, research will also incorporate future manufacturing processes such as additive manufacture.

The suitable candidate should demonstrate an enthusiasm for multidisciplinary research and has/expects to obtain a 1st class or a high 2:1 honours degree, or a combination of qualifications/experience equivalent to this level in engineering, material science, physics or computer science.

Funding and Support

The EPSRC four-year iCase studentship is offered in partnership with the NDE Research Association (NDEvR) through the CDT in Future Innovation in NDE (FIND-CDT). The research will be supported by the University of Nottingham’s Optics and Photonics Research Group, utilising their extensive knowledge and expertise in the field. Students may also utilise the facilities provided by the Nottingham Nanotechnology and Nanoscience Centre, Centre for Additive Manufacturing, and our numerous industrial collaborators to further develop the technology during the programme.


Formal applications should be made through the appropriate link on this website prior to the application deadline of Tuesday 31 January 2023.

Informal enquiries about this opportunity can be made to Prof Matt Clark (, Dr Richard Smith (richard.j.smith@nottingham) or to Dr Rikesh Patel ( - please include a copy of your CV when making an enquiry.

Email details to a friend


Forgotten Details


This site requires the use of cookies as defined by our Terms and Conditions.  We have provided a detailed description of how cookies work and are used on the site.  To accept cookies, please click the "Accept Cookies" button.