PhD (DPhil) Research Studentship in Solid Mechanics and Impact Engineering

Project: Contact Modelling in Large-Scale Simulations

4-year D.Phil. studentship

Supervisors: Professor Nik Petrinic and Professor David Hills

The “Advanced Simulation and Modelling of Engineering Systems” (ASiMoV) Prosperity Partnership is a ground-breaking 5-year project that seeks to develop the next generation of engineering simulation and modelling techniques, with the aim of developing the world's first high-fidelity simulation of a complete gas-turbine engine during operation. It will require breakthroughs across the simulation domain (mathematics, algorithms, software, security and computer architectures) and uniquely combines fundamental engineering and computational science research to address a challenge that is well beyond the capabilities of today’s state-of-the-art. The project is jointly led by EPCC, the supercomputing centre at the University of Edinburgh, and Rolls-Royce; collaborating with the Universities of Bristol, Cambridge, Oxford and Warwick. ASiMoV is looking to recruit a cohort of a total of 10 PhD candidates to join the existing body of researchers.

This particular studentship will be hosted within the Solid Mechanics and Materials Engineering Group in the Department of Engineering Science at Oxford, where the student will work closely within the project team and the wider research group, as well as collaborate and meet regularly with corresponding academic research teams in ASIMOV consortium, including researchers from Rolls-Royce plc. This will enable the selected candidate to focus on the challenges arising from analyses of contact mechanics aspects of complex multi-body assemblies and their numerical simulations on advanced high-performance computing platforms (HPC).


This studentship is funded through the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Doctoral Training Partnership and is open to both UK students (full award – fees plus stipend) and EU students (partial award – fees only). Full details of the EPSRC eligibility requirements can be found here.

Award Value

Course fees are covered at the level set for UK/EU students (c. £7730 p.a.). The stipend (tax-free maintenance grant) is c. £15009 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 Computer Science or Computational Mechanics
  • Deep understanding of computer architectures
  • Good programming skills of Matlab, Python, Tcl/Tk, Fortran or C/C++
  • Basic knowledge of Linux and the following programming tools: git, CMake, IDEs for C/C++.
  • Demonstrable experience in implementation of numerical methods for solving partial differential equations
  • Excellent English written and spoken communication skills

The following skills are desirable but not essential:

  • Familiarity with CAD, Finite Element Method based discretisation (meshing) and simulation software such as: Solidworks, HyperMesh, Abaqus, LS-DYNA or COMSOL.
  •  Programing experience, multi-platform, from desktop to HPC.

Application Procedure

Informal enquiries are encouraged and should be addressed to Prof Nik Petrinic ( and Dr Mattia Montanari ( 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_NP(contact) in all correspondence and in your graduate application.

Application deadline: 20 March 2020

Start date: 27 April 2020