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PhD in Manufacturing Engineering Modular and Adaptable Plug-and-Produce Manufacturing Software Solutions


Location:  UK Other
Closing Date:  Wednesday 26 July 2023
Reference:  ENG1665

Start Date

1st October 2023


Prof Svetan Ratchev (Primary)


We are looking for a highly motivated PhD candidate to undertake research in the development of modular and adaptable plug-and-produce manufacturing software solutions. The successful candidate will address existing research gaps and propose novel methodologies for creating flexible, interoperable, and reusable manufacturing software solutions. 

This 3.5 year PhD is fully funded by the EPSRC and includes UKRI minimum stipend and tuition fees per year for UK applicants, subject to them meeting the conditions of admission and funding. International students may be eligible for a full or partial studentship, depending on circumstances.


The key objectives of this PhD project are to address the research gaps in existing manufacturing systems, focusing on the development of digital manufacturing solutions, their re-usability, deployment, and the choice of methodologies for creating these solutions. The PhD candidate will:

  1. Research a unified method for creating interoperable, modular and plug-and-produce digital manufacturing solutions that seamlessly integrate into existing systems without extensive manual intervention.
  2. Identify the re-usability and deployment methods for developed solutions for similar manufacturing processes, highlighting strategies for streamlining implementation and reducing duplication of effort across different production environments.
  3. Develop an approach and methodology for the creation of digital manufacturing solutions, with an emphasis on the development of individual system modules that can be readily adapted, reused and distributed across a variety of applications and processes.

Through these objectives, the PhD candidate will contribute to the advancement of flexible and adaptable manufacturing systems that can efficiently respond to changing market requirements and maintain competitiveness in the global industrial landscape. They will gain valuable experience in manufacturing software development, system modularity, and adaptability.

Entry Requirements

Applicants should have, or be expected to gain, a first or second class UK honours degree or equivalent in a related engineering discipline, computer science or information technology. This project would suit an applicant with a strong interest in developing unified manufacturing solutions, investigating re-usability and distribution potential, and creating adaptable system modules. Excellent problem-solving, programming, and communication skills are required.

The applicant should be a UK home student. International students may be eligible but should contact us to discuss before applying.

Further Information

For any enquiries about the project, please email Prof Svetan Ratchev (

When applying for this studentship, please include the reference (beginning ENG) within the personal statement section of the application. This will ensure your application is sent directly to the academic advertising the studentship.

Please apply here

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.

The Faculty of Engineering provides a thriving working environment for all PGRs creating a strong sense of community across research disciplines. Community and research culture is important to our PGRs and the FoE support this by working closely with our Postgraduate Research Society (PGES) and our PGR Research Group Reps to enhance the research environment for PGRs. PGRs benefit from training through the Researcher Academy’s Training Programme, those based within the Faculty of Engineering have access to bespoke courses developed for Engineering PGRs. including sessions on paper writing, networking and career development after the PhD. The Faculty has outstanding facilities and works in partnership with leading industrial partners.

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