Our research cuts across the traditional disciplinary boundaries, and we therefore invite applications for research leading to the PhD degree from scientists and engineers in all appropriate subjects who have an interest in any of our research areas. The main application sectors addressed by our research are: energy conversion; environmental protection; transport; electronics/optoelectronics; and healthcare. Across all themes the research is carried out with strong support from and involvement of industrial organisations. This close collaboration with industry, alongside our first class facilities, ensures that the Department is at the forefront of Materials Science and Engineering research.

Postgraduate Research Courses

PhDs

Novel Crystal-inspired Hierarchical Lattice Design by 3D Printing 
Additive manufacture (AM) via 3D printing holds great potential for manufacturing high-end bespoke products in aerospace, automobile and medical applications.  However, there are challenges in making high performance and reliable products by AM. At Imperial College London, we currently pursue a novel approach inspired by strengthening mechanisms in crystals to manufacture strong lightweight but damage tolerant components by 3D printing.

Supervisors: Dr Minh-Son (Son) Pham

>>Find out more (pdf)

Start date: October 2017
Duration:
36 months
Position available: 1

Funding:
Only to applicants who have been ordinarily resident in the UK for three years prior to the start date, or EU nationals

Deadline: 
1 September 2017

>> How to apply

Summary of the table's contents
Understanding key processes governing luminescence temperature memory coating sy 
This project will aim to understand and improve the behaviour of the Thermal History Technology, developed by SCS, at elevated temperatures. The Thermal History Technology is currently successfully used in industrial applications up to 1,000°C – this project will see its extension towards 1400°C. Based on the understanding of the existing systems, the candidate will design, manufacture, test and apply a new material system.

Supervisors: Professor Stephen Skinner

>>Find out more (pdf)

Start date: 1 May 2017
Duration:
36 months
Position available: 1

Funding:
Please contact:  s.skinner@imperial.ac.uk for information

Deadline:
10 March 2017

>> How to apply

Summary of the table's contents
PhD in Next-generation Aircraft Propulsion Materials

New and improved alloys are providing the opportunity to reduce weight and increase operating temperatures, thus improving flight efficiencies whilst reducing polluting emissions. Understanding the behaviour and performance of these materials are crucial to optimise their design and hence minimise damaging effects to our environment.  Successful applicants will join Imperial’s BIAM Centre for Materials Characterisation, Processing and Modelling in which we integrate experiment, characterisation and modelling for materials optimisation. Two key projects are currently available with strong industrial linkage:

i)              Understand the role of microstructure on high temperature mechanical behaviour of superalloys. S/he will need to establish the relationships between long-term response and microstructural evolution based on macro/micro-mechanical testing and scanning/transmission electron microscope (S/TEM) and electron backscattered diffraction, together with subsequent modelling.

ii)             Establish new computational modelling methods at the appropriate linked scales from molecular dynamics, discrete dislocation and crystal-level approaches in order to aid mechanistic understanding and provide quantitative predictive tools for materials design.


Supervisors: Dr Minh-Son (Son) Pham, Professor Fionn Dunne FREng

>>Find out more (pdf)

Start date: October 2017
Duration:
36 months
Position available: 2

Funding:
Only to applicants who have been ordinarily resident in the UK for three years prior to the start date, or EU nationals

Deadline:
1 September 2017

>> How to apply

Summary of the table's contents
Graphene solar cells  


Graphene is a unique material with many fascinating properties. For example, electrons in two-dimensional graphene sheets behave like massless Dirac fermions and exhibit ultrahigh mobilities. This makes graphene a promising candidate for a new generation of electronic nano-devices. In this PhD project, you will investigate the potential of graphene for applications in solar cell devices.


Supervisors: Dr Johannes Lischner, Professor Norbert Klein

>>Graphene solar cells (pdf)

Start date: October 2017
Duration:
36 months

Funding:
Only to applicants who have been ordinarily resident in the UK for three years prior to the start date

Deadline: 
1 September 2017

>> How to apply

Summary of the table's contents
Room Temperature Masers 
At Imperial we’ve solved the 60 year old mystery: we have a maser that functions at room temperature, and without the need for an external magnet.  Potential applications for the maser include more sensitive medical scanners; chemical sensors for remotely detecting explosives; advanced quantum computer components; and better radio astronomy devices.  Our maser uses pentacene in a P terphenyl host matrix and we are looking for other molecules.  We are also interested in inorganic materials – possibly using defect centres in diamond for example.


Supervisor: Professor Neil Alford MBE FREng

>> Find out more (pdf)

Start date: Flexible
Duration:
36 months

Funding:
Only to applicants who have been ordinarily resident in the UK for three years prior to the start date

Deadline: 
Enquiries can be made at any time

>> How to apply

Summary of the table's contents
PhD in Computational techniques for crystal twin nucleation and growth in hcp polycrystals 
Twinning is an interesting microstructure-level deformation phenomenon which occurs in commercially useful Ti and Zr alloys. Quantitatively predictive computational crystal plasticity techniques remain elusive and difficult to establish firstly because of the absence of a sound mechanistic understanding and secondly, because of the inherently unstable nature of twin formation leading to local non-equilibrated stress states in the analysis techniques. This project aims to utilise both quasi-static and dynamic testing with  advanced characterisation in order to develop mechanistic understanding together with the establishment of novel computational  crystal plasticity techniques to provide quantitative predictive capability.


Supervisor: Professor Fionn Dunne FREng

Start date: Flexible
Duration:
36 months

Funding:
Only to applicants who have been ordinarily resident in the UK for three years prior to the start date

Deadline: 
Enquiries can be made at any time

>> How to apply

Summary of the table's contents
PhD in Crystal plasticity modelling techniques for x-ray diffraction studies of polycrystal deformation 


X-ray diffraction techniques are employed to measure the straining developed in polycrystal alloys at the level of the microstructure. The measurements give rise to distributions of crystallographic lattice spacing distributions (called peaks) which are observed to broaden, as a result partially because of the development of dislocation structures, but also because of elastic lattice distortions. The measurements obtained are sometimes difficult to interpret because of the absence of knowledge of the underlying physical mechanisms, but also because of the averaging and superposition of diffracted waves utilised in the x-ray technique. This project aims to establish crystal plasticity modelling techniques which address and eliminate the superposition problem, and which provide insight and quantitative detail for the interpretation of the experimental measurements.

Supervisor: Professor Fionn Dunne FREng

Start date: Flexible
Duration:
36 months

Funding:
Only to applicants who have been ordinarily resident in the UK for three years prior to the start date

Deadline: 
Enquiries can be made at any time

>> How to apply

Summary of the table's contents
PhD in Modelling methodologies for microstructure-sensitive crack growth in aero-engine PM Ni alloys 
Powder metallurgy (PM) produced nickel alloys are increasingly important for aero-engine components (such as turbine discs). A life-limiting factor is the nucleation and growth of defects which sometimes originate from key microstructural features. A considerable fraction of component life is potentially determined by the subsequent growth of the cracking which remains sensitive to the local microstructure. This project focuses on the establishment of computational modelling techniques with which microstructure-sensitive crack growth may be accurately captured in order to enable reliable component lifing analysis codes. The project is in collaboration with Rolls-Royce plc.

Supervisor:
Professor Fionn Dunne FREng

Start date: Flexible
Duration:
36 months

Funding:
Only to applicants who have been ordinarily resident in the UK for three years prior to the start date

Deadline: 
Enquiries can be made at any time

>> How to apply
Summary of the table's contents
PhD in Development of New Biomaterials for Regenerative Medicine 
This project aims to synthesise polymer-based materials designed according to the requisites in bone or cardiovascular tissue engineering. A major goal will be the elucidation of the physical and chemical properties at the cell-material interface using state of the art materials-based characterisation techniques. The key features of the materials’ properties on the influence of cells in 2D and 3D culture will then be assessed.


Supervisor:
Professor Molly Stevens FREng

Start date: Flexible
Duration:
36 months

Funding:
Only to applicants who have been ordinarily resident in the UK for three years prior to the start date

Deadline: 
Enquiries can be made at any time

>> How to apply
Summary of the table's contents
PhD in Development of New Biomaterials for Biosensing 
This project will focus on the development of new nanomaterial-based assays that detect biomarkers specific to cancer and infectious diseases according to relevant biomarker concentrations and cost-amenability. The physical proper ties of the assay will need to be completely characterised to understand the effects of agglomeration and influence of surrounding proteins. This project includes preclinical tests using patient samples.

Supervisor: Professor Molly Stevens FREng

Start date: Flexible
Duration:
36 months

Funding:
Only to applicants who have been ordinarily resident in the UK for three years prior to the start date

Deadline: 
Enquiries can be made at any time

>> How to apply
Summary of the table's contents
PhD in Fatigue cracking in jet engine titanium alloys 
 
Understanding and avoiding fatigue cracking is a critical concern for jet engine manufacturers. In this project, sponsored by Rolls-Royce, we will examine three aspects of fatigue, using SEM, TEM and specimen fatigue testing, possibly aided by synchrotron X-ray tomography. Firstly, in dwell fatigue, there is a concern about the crack growth rates in the facetting regime for hard-oriented grains at low DeltaK, and especially the effect of H content. Secondly, we would like to examine the effect of colony orientation on crack growth, and the micro-mechanisms of deformation ahead of the crack tip. Finally, we would like to examine striation and facet formation in Ti-6242 vs Ti-6246, as there is relatively little information on these alloys, as compared to the traditional Ti-64 alloy.

Supervisor: Professor David Dye

Start date: Flexible
Duration:
36 months

Funding:
Only to applicants who have been ordinarily resident in the UK for three years prior to the start date

Deadline: 
Enquiries can be made at any time

>> How to apply
Summary of the table's contents
PhD in In-situ studies of deformation in semi-solid steels 

This project will study the fundamental microstructural response to load in partially-solid alloys by time-resolved synchrotron X-ray video microscopy.  We will use concepts from soil and magma mechanics to measure individual grain displacements during l oading, the coupling of grain motion and liquid flow and develop new insight into defect formation in the casting of steels.

SupervisorDr Chris Gourlay

Start date: Flexible
Duration:
36 months

Funding:
UK students - bursary and fees. EU students - fees only. International students must be self-funded

Deadline: 
Enquiries can be made at any time

>> How to apply

Summary of the table's contents

Centres for Doctoral Training

EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Fuel Cells and their Fuels EPSRC logo

Imperial College London is pleased to offer two PhD studentships funded through the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Fuel Cells and their Fuels. The projects will be based at Imperial College London, under the supervision of Professor Stephen Skinner and/or Dr Ainara Aguadero, with integrated training activities taking place at the University of Birmingham.

  1. In operando analysis of the electrochemical processes governing solid oxide fuel cell electrode degradation
  2. Water splitting by thermochemical redox reactions
  3. Anode reaction mechanisms in intermediate temperature solid oxide fuel cells

Supervisors: Dr Ainara Aguadero, Professor Stephen Skinner

>> ‌ CDT Fuels cells and their fuels (pdf)


Start date:
October 2017
Duration: 48 months (PhD)
Positions available: 2
Funding: Only to applicants who have been ordinarily resident in the UK for three years prior to the start date
How to apply: Use our Online Application Portal

EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in the Advanced Characterisation of Materials (ACM CDT)  EPSRC logo

Multiscale characterisation of 2D nanomaterials in the environment for assessment of their potential hazards

We are inviting applications for a fully funded 4-year PhD project in the area of advanced characterisation and environmental toxicology in the research groups of Dr Alexandra E. Porter and Professor Milo Shaffer in the Departments of Materials and Chemistry at Imperial College London. This funding stream is available for UK citizens and EU nationals who have spent the last five years in the UK.  The studentship will cover tuition fees plus the standard maintenance stipend of £16,296 per year (this year’s rate).

Engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) can have extraordinary intrinsic properties and have aroused enormous interest in both their fundamental scientific behaviour and potential technological applications. However, before widespread implementation, it is critical to understand the potential fate and behaviour of ENMs if released into the environment, either accidentally or deliberately. In particularly, it is important to understand how the ENMs can affect micoorganisms in stream sediments and soils.  This project will assess the potential environmental hazards of 2D nanomaterials, such as graphene and graphene oxide, which have been mooted for a wide range of applications, including those intrinsically involving environmental exposure, such as water treatment. You will join dynamic multidisciplinary research teams that have pioneered the use of nanoanalytical characterisation techniques to detect carbon nanomaterials in complex environmental media. The project will combine cutting edge characterization techniques with advanced materials synthesis to reveal the underlying pathways for the evolution and influence of these materials as they partition through a waste water treatment plant to the environment to stream sediments and hydrated soils.  The student will also assess how these materials interact with microbial organisms and the resulting toxicological effects on ecosystems.

Supervisors: Dr Alexandra Porter, Professor Milo Shaffer

>> Find out more about this project (pdf)


Start date:
October 2017
Duration: 48 months (PhD)
Funding: Only to applicants who have been ordinarily resident in the UK for three years prior to the start date
How to apply: Stage 1: Send a full CV, including the marks (%) for all (undergraduate) modules completed to date and including a clear description of previous research project experience, as well as a covering letter and contact details of two academic referees, to Dr. Alexandra Porter (a.porter@imperial.ac.uk). Stage 2: Suitable applicants will be interviewed, and if successful invited to make a formal application.

EPSRC Imperial-Cambridge-Open Centre for Doctoral Training in Nuclear Energy (ICO-CDT)  EPSRC logo


Founded in 2014, the EPSRC Imperial-Cambridge-Open Centre for Doctoral Training in Nuclear Energy (ICO-CDT) was established to train civil nuclear energy leaders for global markets. In the UK, new build of Generation III reactors is imminent, a new generation of small reactors is being scoped out, and safe geological disposal of a diverse nuclear waste inventory needs to be demonstrated and implemented. The UK needs a new generation of experts in reactor design and operation, materials performance, nuclear safety and security, the nuclear fuel cycle, and waste reprocessing and disposal.

Applications are welcome from applicants who have obtained, or are expected to obtain, at least an upper-second (2.1) degree (or international equivalent) in a relevant subject (e.g. Materials, Mechanical, Civil, Electrical, Chemical Engineering, Physics, Chemistry or Earth Sciences). To be eligible for a studentship, you must you be a UK citizen or an EU national who has been resident in the UK for the past three years. Funding is unavailable for international students: we welcome applications for qualified international students, but only if they are self-funded.

For more information please visit imperial.ac.uk/nuclear-cdt/programme/

Start date:
October 2017
Duration: 48 months (MREs +PhD)
Funding: Only to applicants who have been ordinarily resident in the UK for three years prior to the start date
How to apply: Use our Online Application Portal

EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in the Advanced Characterisation of Materials (ACM CDT)  EPSRC logo

This joint CDT in the Advanced Characterisation of Materials will provide you with a PhD training programme in the application of state-of-the-art characterisation techniques to materials challenges in key thematic areas of societal importance such as Energy, Information Technology, Nanomaterials, Healthcare, Security, Environment and Transport.  Each project will involve experts at both University College London and Imperial College London and you will spend time at both sites during your project.  You will also have a three-month placement at a leading international university, research institute or industrial partner. 

Specially designed training modules in characterisation will be interwoven with your PhD research project, and you will also receive professional development training delivered by our award-winning Graduate Schools. Your personal development and the world-leading research you are engaged in will be closely linked with real-world applications as the projects will be aligned with the priorities of our network of industrial partners.  On graduation you will be ideally qualified to follow a career path either in academia or industry.  Our training philosophy is that our graduates will provide the innovation and creativity required to lead the world in the development, characterisation and manufacture of new materials, making a significant contribution to the quality of life of future generations.


Start date:
October 2017
Duration: 48 months (PhD)
Funding: Only to applicants who have been ordinarily resident in the UK for three years prior to the start date
How to apply: Applications to the CDT will be handled in two stages. Stage 1:  Send a full CV, including the marks (%) for all (undergraduate) modules completed to date, the names and contact details of two referees as well as a covering letter to the CDT team at admin@cdt-acm.org. Applications that do not provide this information cannot be considered. Stage 2: Suitable applicants will be interviewed, and if successful invited to make a formal application.

EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Plastic Electronic Materials  EPSRC logo


The Plastic Electronics CDT academic cohort comprises over 30 academics from the Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Materials and Physics departments at Imperial, the School of Engineering and Materials Science at Queen Mary University, London, and the Physics and Materials departments at the University of Oxford. This ensures expertise in all aspects of the science of printable electronics, from material synthesis to advanced characterisation and modelling, to device design and fabrication. The PE-CDT aims to produce graduates with interdisciplinary experience and capability in the science and applications of printable electronic materials and devices, with an understanding of the associated industry, and with the ability to adapt and develop new technologies and applications.

For more information please visit: imperial.ac.uk/plastic-electronics-cdt/postgraduate-training/projects-available-for-october-2017-start/

Start date:
October 2017
Duration: 48 months  (MREs +PhD)
Funding: Only to applicants who have been ordinarily resident in the UK for three years prior to the start date
How to apply: Use our Online Application Portal

EPSRC Imperial-Cambridge-Open Centre for Theory and Simulation of Materials (TSM-CDT)  EPSRC logo

The 4 year PhD programme in Theory and Simulation of Materials combines the one year MSc in TSM with a 3 year PhD research project. The first year provides a rigorous training in the required theoretical methods and simulation techniques through the taught MSc programme and includes a 3-month research project which normally acts as an introduction to the PhD research project that follows.

On completion of the MSc in TSM, students undertake their PhD research project, which occupies years 2-4. Each student has at least two supervisors (one of whom may be based in industry or at another university) whose combined expertise spans multiple length- and/or time-scales of materials theory and simulation. Students do not have to make a choice of their research project until May of year 1 and there will be a large range of projects to choose from.

For more information please visit: imperial.ac.uk/theory-and-simulation-of-materials/programmes/4-year-phd/

Start date:
October 2017
Duration: 48 months (MSc +PhD)
Funding: Only to applicants who have been ordinarily resident in the UK for three years prior to the start date
How to apply: Use our Online Application Portal