EPSRC DTP Studentship Advanced surface engineering with digital fabrication techniques

University of Cambridge
February 28, 2023
Offerd Salary:Negotiation
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Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Negotigation
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EPSRC DTP Studentship Advanced surface engineering with digital fabrication


Large glass products are manufactured around the world, including in the UK, using the float glass technique 1 and are shipped globally to be found in many sectors, such as automotive and architectural. These are functionalised with nanoscale layer deposition techniques to create antimicrobial, anti- reflection, or conductive surfaces before the glass is then formed into curved shapes. Current manufacturing of float glass and advanced coatings is highly efficient with continuous production. This research focuses on late-stage functional customisation of products 2, exploring nanoscale precision direct-writing techniques needed for the embedding of sensors, conductive tracks and interconnects and enabling the smart glass materials of the future. The overarching hypothesis driving this PhD project is that new hybrid and digital technologies are needed to complement existing manufacturing processes such as CVD and lithography, to shape materials of the future, to deliver ultra-precision resolution, to ensure the advanced functions survive, and to deliver the new methods that will help drive sustainability. The candidate will be carrying out core research into precision patterning, nanoscale thickness control and surface structuring to enable embedded electronics. This can include studies into digital additive (for example inkjet, aerosol, extrusion) and subtractive (nano/femto second laser ablation 3) technologies to enable creation of integrated devices, developing state-of- the-art understanding of the surface and surrounding aerodynamic behaviours, using unique high frame rate image capture capabilities in the Fluids in Advanced Manufacturing research group. The work is also supported by the R&D Incubator at NSG Pilkington, world leaders in innovating and manufacturing of glass across a range of architectural, automotive and advanced technical sectors. A wide range of advanced simulation, formulation, fluid flow, laser processing and analysis techniques are anticipated to be employed. There is local support to help learn each of these approaches and industrial engagement and support for the project in terms of research and insights into applications. The proposed work tackles the research barriers facing wide-area printed and embedded sensors on large non-flat components in late-stage manufacturing and are perfectly aligned with the capabilities, equipment, and industry links at IfM and the team involved. References 1 https: // www. pilkington.com/en/global/knowledge-base/glass-technology/the- float-process/the-float-process# 2 https: // www. themanufacturer.com/articles/exploring-technologies-for- customisation-at-scale/ 3 J. Macdonald, H. de Fossard, N. Gabban, W. O'Neill, R. Daly Material ejection dynamics in direct-writing of low resistivity tracks by laser-induced reverse transfer, Applied Surface Science, 2020, 536, 147924.

Applicants should have (or expect to obtain by the start date) at least a good 2.1 degree in material science, chemical engineering or an engineering related subject. A basic understanding of modelling, aerodynamics, surface science or fluid mechanics is a plus.

EPSRC DTP studentships are fully-funded (fees and maintenance) for students who are eligible for Home Fees. Further information about eligibility for Home Fees can be found at https: // www. postgraduate.study.cam.ac.uk/finance/fees/what-my-fee-status

To apply for this studentship, please send your two page CV and a cover letter to Ronan Daly (rd439@cam.ac.uk), to arrive no later than 28th February 2023.

Please note that any offer of funding will be conditional on securing a place as a PhD student. Candidates will need to apply separately for admission through the University's Graduate Admissions application portal; this can be done before or after applying for this funding opportunity. The applicant portal can be accessed via: www. graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/courses/directory/egegpdpeg. The funding is conditional on submitting this application before 31 March 2023.

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.


Department of Engineering, Cambridge






15 December 2022

Closing date

28 February 2023

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