Research Studentship in Impact Engineering

Project: The role of defects on the dynamic fragmentation behaviour of additively manufactured materials

4-year DPhil studentship

Supervisor: Professor Daniel Eakins

Additive manufacturing (AM) technology presents an extraordinary opportunity for materials in extreme dynamic environments. As AM moves from a novel manufacturing technique into the mainstream, the importance of understanding the physical/mechanical properties of this new class of AM materials, and their corresponding behaviour under impact is increasing.

This project will investigate the dynamic failure response of additively manufactured metals and alloys, with a view to understanding how specific defect types typical of the selective-laser-melting (SLM) process affect the development and character of damage under high-rate loading. A combination of detailed pre- and post-test characterisation, coupled with state-of-the-art high-speed visible and synchrotron X-ray imaging will be used to develop an overall picture of damage evolution in SLM materials, which in turn will help underpin new models for damage and failure. This project is also being conducted in collaboration with Sandia National Laboratories, with opportunities to perform hypervelocity impact experiments at their unique STAR facility.

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


This is an iCASE studentship jointly funded by ESPRC and AWE, and is open to UK students (full award – fees plus stipend).

Award Value

Course fees are covered at the level set for UK students (c. £7970 p.a.). The stipend (tax-free maintenance grant) is c. £18,309 p.a. for the first year, and at least this amount for a further three 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 also highly desirable:

  • Ability to program in Matlab or similar
  • Strong laboratory-based skills

Application Procedure

Informal enquiries are encouraged and should be addressed to Professor 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 20ENGMM_DE in all correspondence and in your graduate application.

Application Deadline

Applications will be considered as and when they are received and this position will be filled as soon as possible. The studentship will close on a Friday at a week’s notice. Please check the Courses open for studentships page for up-to-date information on the closing date.

Start Date

October 2020