Tuesday, June 14, 2016

PhD Studentship in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, UK

PhD Studentship (Sponsored by Lloyds Register Foundation) - Vibration-based structural health monitoring through self-diagnosing structural components made of nano enriched composites

Course Description

The main goal of this proposal is to develop th
e foundations of dynamically self-sensing and self-diagnosing structures capable of measuring their vibrations and using them to diagnose their structural integrity. The background stems from vibration-based structural health monitoring, which uses the structural vibrations to make conclusions about its integrity and health. This is combined with the idea of using conductive or piezo-electric nano-inclusions as sensors, which is based on the piezo-resistive and piezo-electric properties of some materials. The first relate the conductivity and the strain of the structure and hence its vibrations, while the latter convert the strain into voltage and vice versa and they are used for dynamic/vibration transducers. Another approach will consists on the inclusion of ferromagnetic mesh materials which is based on the magnetoelastic effect (Inverse magnetostrictive effect) that can be used as sensor when mechanical stresses are applied to the sample. This proposal suggests to employ piezoresistive, piezo-electric nano-inclusions and/or ferromagnetic mesh materials for measuring and assessment of the structural vibrations and use these vibrations to assess the structural health.

Project Outline

The idea of self-diagnosing structures opens the road towards autonomous structures, capable to not only self- diagnose their condition but eventually even take some repair steps. This is applicable for a wide variety of structures including aerospace, mechanical and civil engineering ones like e.g. aircrafts, turbine blades, buildings and bridges.

The suggested approach is based on a no-intervention principle, coupled with new integrated within the structure measurement and vibration assessment technology. It proposes a unified approach for structural health monitoring comprising 1) a new self-sensing theory, coupled with 2) a vibration-based monitoring and diagnostic methodology for detecting anomalies in both short term (damage) and long term ( fatigue or wear) scale. This research will advance the concept of vibration-based structural health monitoring expanding it to self-health monitoring by applying piezo-resistive, piezo-electric nano and ferromagnetic mesh inclusions. It will also promote our understanding for the dynamic properties and behaviour of piezo-resistive, piezo-electric and ferromagnetic materials and nano-inclusions and their influence on the global dynamic properties of the structure in which they are included.

About the Industrial Sponsor

The Lloyd’s Register Foundation funds the advancement of engineer-related education and research and supports work that enhances safety of life at sea, on land and in the air, because life matters. Lloyd’s Register Foundation is partly funded by the profits of their trading arm Lloyd’s Register Group Limited, a global engineering, technical and business services organisation.


NSIRC is a state-of-the-art postgraduate engineering facility established and managed by structural integrity specialist TWI, working closely with, top UK and International Universities and a number of leading industrial partners.NSIRC aims to deliver cutting edge research and highly qualified personnel to its key industrial partners.

About the University

The University of Strathclyde is a leading International University with around 20,000 students from more than 100 nations. The mission of the University to increase opportunities for people from every background. It offers a wide portfolio of graduate and post graduate degrees in engineering, science, humanities and business. The Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering is the largest and the best in Scotland. The goal of the Department is to train the best engineering professionals and leaders, to conduct high-impact, world-class research and support industry for the good of the Scottish and UK economies. The academics conduct world-leading research in energy systems, space engineering, materials and fluid systems. The Department offers a world-class environment and a warm welcome to collaborators from around the globe.

Candidate Requirements

Candidates should have a relevant degree at 2.1 minimum, or an equivalent overseas degree in mechanical and/or materials engineering. Candidates with suitable work experience and strong capacity in numerical modelling and experimental skills are particularly welcome to apply. Overseas applicants should also submit IELTS results (minimum 6.5) if applicable.

Funding Notes

This project is funded by Lloyds Register Foundation, TWI and academic partners. The studentship will provide successful Home/EU students with a stipend of £16k/year and will cover the cost of tuition fees. Overseas applicants are welcome to apply, with total funding capped at £24k/year.
Data Protection Statement
By registering your application you agree that your details may be held, processed and disclosed within TWI for the sole purpose of recruitment (and subsequent employment if applicable) and for compliance with applicable laws and regulations to which TWI is subject to. We will never provide, share or sell your personal information to a third party.  TWI follow strict procedures in the storage of information and will retain the information you submit for recruitment for up to six months in case any questions arise in relation to the recruitment process. Thereafter, the information will be destroyed in a secure manner.

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