This studentship aims to develop a computational framework capable of simulating damage and failure in such multifunctional energy-storing composite materials/structures.
- Qualification Type: PhD
- Hours: Full Time
- Title of project: Failure modelling and lifetime prediction of structural battery fiber composites for next-generation electric aircraft
- Placed On: 1st February 2022
- Closes: 15th May 2022, or until places have been filled.
Applications are invited for a PhD studentship in the Department of Engineering. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to work on the development of computational models for failure analysis of multifunctional structural battery composites.
The next stride in the aviation sector is believed to lie in the electrification of airplanes or hybrid airplanes, evident from focussed investments across the world, including the UK.
The success of electric airplanes is hindered by the limited range/endurance of electric airplanes, which in turn is due to the limited battery capacity.
Multifunctional composite structures, that doubles up as a battery in addition to the traditional load-bearing functionality, hold the key to making medium-to-long-range electric airplanes a reality. Such a concept potentially eliminates the need for additional batteries to improve the range, as the wing and fuselage structures store electrical energy.
However, one of the major hurdles in adopting such energy-storing structural composites is the poor understanding of their failure mechanisms especially under the multiphysical loading conditions (mechanical + electrochemical) that has a direct impact on safety.
In this context, the PhD project aims to develop a computational framework capable of simulating damage and failure in such multifunctional energy-storing composite materials/structures.
The research vision is to realise a set of multiphysics tools for the analysis and design of structural components of next-generation aircraft and automotive vehicles made of such multifunctional composite materials.
The outcomes of the research are expected to be of significant interest to the aviation and automotive industry at large.
The student will be encouraged to publish results of their research at leading international conferences and in top-tier mechanics and aeronautical/mechanical engineering journals. The student will be encouraged to communicate directly with potential industrial partners, leading to potential further collaborations.
Eligibility and requirements
The candidate should have an upper second-class BEng/MEng (or equivalent, or higher) degree in aeronautics/aerospace engineering, or mechanical engineering. They should demonstrate aptitude for original research.
The candidate should possess a good understanding of composite materials, fracture or damage mechanics and computational/finite element (FE) modelling.
A candidate who demonstrates exceptional aptitude in one or more of these areas (as evidenced, for instance, through strong academic credentials or research papers in reputable, peer-reviewed journals/conferences) may be accorded preference.
Any prior experience in the following areas is advantageous, but not a pre-requisite: constitutive damage or fracture models using FE user subroutines (e.g. UEL/UMAT in Abaqus or similar), multiphysics and multiscale modelling and composite micromechanics.
A doctoral candidate is expected to meet the following pre-requisites for their PhD:
- Demonstrate a sound knowledge of their research area
- Achieve and demonstrate significant depth in at least a few chosen sub-areas relevant to their primary research area
- Demonstrate the ability to conduct independent research, including a critical assessment of their own and others’ research
Having published high-quality papers in reputable peer-reviewed conferences and journals will be an advantage for the candidate.
The studentship is for 3 years and will provide full coverage of tuition fees (Home and Overseas) and an annual tax-free stipend of £12,000.
Each student would also have the opportunity to earn around £2.2K pa on an average (max. is around £4.3K pa) through a teaching assistantship. We shall prioritise these scholarship holders while allocating the teaching assistantships.
How to apply
If you are interested in applying, you are encouraged to email initial informal enquiries to Dr Sathiskumar Anusuya Ponnusami.
Visit our Mechanical Engineering and Aeronautics research degrees web page for further information on making a formal application.
When submitting your application, enter the title “Failure modelling and lifetime prediction of structural battery fiber composites for next-generation electric aircraft” and you will automatically be considered for this studentship.
You do not need to submit a proposal as part of your application as the project has already been outlined.
The online application can be found in the ‘How to apply section’ in the web link above and should include the following supporting documents:
- Copies of Degree Certificates and Transcripts in official English translation - original will be requested before an offer is made.
- Official work e-mail addresses (not private ones) for two referees (one of which must be an academic).
- Proof of English Language proficiency (minimum average score of 6.5 IELTS, with a minimum of 6.0 in each of the four components) if English is not your first language.
The outcome of the selection process should be announced by the end of June. The successful candidate will formally start their doctorate either in July or in October 2022.
For queries regarding the application process, please email the School.
Equality, diversity and inclusion
City, University of London is committed to promoting equality, diversity and inclusion in all its activities, processes, and culture, for our whole community, including staff, students and visitors.
We welcome applications regardless of gender, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, race, nationality, ethnic origin, religion or social class. For more information on our approaches to encouraging an inclusive environment, please see our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion pages.