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Research Studentship in Impact Engineering Daniel Eakins 2

Research Studentship in Impact Engineering

Project: On the Response of Discontinuous Interfaces to Impact Loading

4-year DPhil studentship
Supervisor: Professor Daniel Eakins

This research project seeks to advance understanding of the behaviour of discontinuous interfaces when subjected to sudden, dynamic loading. This scenario can affect the safety and reliability of many high-performance engineering systems (i.e. engines, vehicle chassis, airframe), which contain a vast number of bolted/mechanically-affixed joints. The research project will provide the opportunity to develop a new experimental strategy, involving the mechanical design and commissioning of a bespoke impact testing platform, inspired by our existing suite of in-house gas guns. By using a combination of ultrafast diagnostics, which includes high-speed imaging, laser velocimetry, and X-ray imaging, details of the mechanics of complex interfaces during and after impact events will be used to provide validation of numerical modelling approaches. Typical phenomena of interest will include (but not be limited to) dynamic friction, surface finish, frictional heating, static, dynamic and modal response of bolted structures, and material/geometric non-linearity, etc. It is also expected that multi-scale effects and their importance in providing full structural understanding will need to be considered as part of this project. The ultimate destination for this work will be to inform the design of gas turbine engines for load cases such as Fan Blade Off where there is a multiplicity of bolted joints that affect directly the response of the structure and its ultimate integrity.

This project offers the opportunity to undertake fundamental research in the field of impact engineering, involving elements of materials science, mechanics, and ultrafast diagnostics.


This studentship is funded through the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Industrial CASE award and is open to Home students (full award – home fees plus stipend). Full details of the eligibility requirements can be found on the UK Research and Innovation website.

Award Value

Course fees are covered at the level set for Home students (c. £8290 p.a.). The stipend (tax-free maintenance grant) is c. £15285 p.a. for the first year, and at least this amount for three more years. 

Candidate Requirements

Prospective candidates will be judged according to how well they meet the following criteria:

  • A first class honours degree in Engineering, Physics or Materials Science
  • Excellent English written and spoken communication skills

The following skills are desirable but not essential:

  • Programming experience (i.e. Matlab, Python, etc.)
  • Experience with CAD software
  • Strong laboratory-based skills

Application Procedure

Informal enquiries are encouraged and should be addressed to Prof Daniel Eakins (

Candidates must submit a graduate application form and are expected to meet the graduate admissions criteria.  Details are available on the course page of the University website.

Please quote 21ENGRR_DE in all correspondence and in your graduate application.

Application Deadline

Noon on 22 January 2020 (In line with the January admissions deadline, set by the University)

Start Date

October 2021