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PhD Studentship: Rolls-Royce sponsored PhD scholarship – Laser Beam Processing of Aerospace Materials


UK Other

Closing Date
Tuesday 01 October 2024


Applications are invited to undertake a 3 year PhD programme in partnership with industry to address key challenges in 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.

We are seeking applicants for an anticipated October 2024 start, or earlier (depending on the candidate availability, on a project with Rolls-Royce plc. The Rolls-Royce funded Studentship is the result of the expanding its on-platform repair activities sponsored at the Rolls-Royce UTC dealing with investigations on development of the bespoke high-tech laser beam processing methods for surface treatment and repair of aeroengine components.

The project will deal with study of a new laser processing method to enable in-situ surface treatment and repair of safety critical rotating parts and further understand the correlation between surface quality, metallurgical characteristics and functional performance of the components and the key process parameters. The project will deal with design of special process setups, testing its working principles and performances followed by assessment of the part quality; this will involve development of laser beam processing on specific aerospace materials, and model to understand the fundamental  mechanisms of the process to identify optimal operating conditions and followed by surface analysis techniques (e.g. Scanning electron microscope, X-ray diffraction for residual stress measurements, Electron Back-Scattered Diffraction and Transmission Electron Microscopy).

To support this, the Rolls-Royce UTC has excellent facilities in laser beam processing, process monitoring, metrology/materials inspection to support this research project.  Students will benefit from the strategic partnerships with industry and collaborations with world-class specialists in manufacturing technologies.

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.
  • 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.

The bursary covers the tuition fees and provides a tax-free stipend of approximately £19,237 per annum for the duration of the project (three years). The position is available immediately.

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 establishing relationships with both academic and industrial areas at international level. Previous experience in modelling/experimental methods of laser beam processes will be considered an advantage.

Interested in this studentship? Applications with a CV, cover letter and academic transcripts should be sent to Prof Dragos Axinte. Suitable applicants will be interviewed, and if successful, invited to make a formal application. Do not submit your application via the My Nottingham platform without having contacted our team first.

Informal enquiries may be also addressed to Prof. D. Axinte, Director of Rolls-Royce UTC, tel: 0115 951 4117 or Email:

Please note only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and notified.


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