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PhD Research Topics

Enquiries are very welcome from those who are keen to pursue PhD and MSc degrees to investigate the use of Additive Manufacturing and Design. Joint supervision, industry partnerships and collaborative research opportunities are also very welcomed. Potential PhD Research Topics include, but are not limited to:

  1. Developing a Novel Approach for the Virtual Simulation of 4D Printed Parts - 4D Printing requires accurate methods of simulation for computer-generated models. The purpose of this research will be to design and develop an intelligent computer-based algorithmn that can predict how stimuli-responsive materials will behave when subject to fluctuations in the environment. The results of this work will enable designers and engineers to overcome the current trial-and-error approach of designing 4D Printed Parts.
  2. The Integration of Mixed Reality and 4D Printing - The design of 4D Printed parts is often represented as a static computer generated model, in which the use of mixed reality media could offer a collaborative advantage for designers and engineers working together. This work will investigate the use of suitable digital media, interfaces and also the hardware requirements.
  3. Building a Knowledge Repository - Shape Memory Materials for Additive Manufacturing - The use of stimuli-responsive materials for Additive Manufacturing has gained popularity in recent years. This research aims to develop a comprehensive database and to map out existing and potential applications linked to the properties of those materials. It is hoped that this combined knowledge will support novel products to be developed by designers and manufacturers.
  4. An Investigation of the Structural Integrity of the Shape Memory Components - 4D Printing is associated with the use of smart materials that can sense fluctuations in the external environment and generate a response by either changing the material properties or geometries. This research aims to build an understanding of non-destruction techniques (NDT) using different methods, including vibrometers for dynamic stress and strain measurement, ultrasonic testing for defect detection, and undertaking tensile, flexion and vibration tests. It is expected that the outcome will be a framework that can enable better inspection of shape memory components.
  5. Improving Aerodynamic Structures through the use of Shape Memory Materials for Additive Manufacturing - The use of smart materials for Additive Manufacturing has the potential to be applied for aerospace parts. This research aims to investigate how morph-able structures can be better designed and created, with a view of improving the efficiencies of wingtip surfaces and wind generator turbines. It is hoped that the results may lead to significant increase in wind energy production or better aerodynamic lift for air flow control.

PhD projects for research students

Developing a Computer Aided Design Interface for Multi-Material Additive Manufacturing (3D Printing)

The next generation of Additive Manufacturing technologies will utilise the combination of different materials at extremely small scales to produce multi-functional structures. Existing Computer Aided Design systems for generating, editing and visualising complex multi-material components in a three-dimensional space does not exist. The aim of this PhD is to investigate the use of Virtual Reality such as the Oculus Rift / HTC Vive / Google Daydream headset that can enable a more intuitive and seamless approach towards the design and manipulation of multi-material structures. At Brunel University, you will be supported with dedicated supervision and guidance from experts throughout your study. Project Description We are seeking highly motivated candidates to embark on this leading-edge doctoral programme. You will gain an understanding of existing VR interfaces that are suitable for Computer Aided Design, with a view of identifying enablers and barriers to Multi-Material Additive Manufacturing technology. You will develop an appropriate control interface, and suggest a data transfer format that can support new CAD approaches and computational modelling capabilities. You will be based in our campus in London, with a potential to spend some research time with our research partner in Spain. In addition to academic support, the university will provide the successful candidate with training to enhance your future employability, such as research management, teaching skills and career guidance. Students will also have the opportunity to participate in regular department forums and to present their work at exhibitions such as the Made in Brunel Show. Entry Requirements Applicants should have a first or second class UK honours degree or a recognised equivalent from an overseas university in a related discipline, such as computer programming (computer science, information systems) will be beneficial. A Masters level qualification is desirable. Applicants who are non-native speakers must possess an English language qualification acceptable by the university. The ideal candidate should be detail oriented with good analytical skills. We welcome candidates who are sponsored or who have their own funding.

Developing Computer Models for 4D Printing / Additive Manufacturing

4D Printing has been recognized to herald the next generation of Additive Manufacturing components that are intelligent to perform a series of controlled and programmed shape-deformation over time when exposed to stimuli.

The aim of this PhD is to develop software that can model the change of 3D CAD parts when they are subject to different environmental conditions. You will be expected to have a good knowledge of computer science and an understanding of computer-aided design. At Brunel University, students will be supported with dedicated supervision and guidance from experts throughout your study. We are looking for candidates who are sponsored or have their own funding.

You should be a highly motivated candidate to embark on this doctoral research programme. You will gain an understanding of 4D Printing to help construct your knowledge for this work. You will be expected to leverage on your contribution to new knowledge of this topic and we are also happy to consider other research project proposals which could be negotiated between the applicant and the supervisor. Applicants should have a first or second class UK honours degree or a recognised equivalent from an overseas university in a related discipline, such as computer science, mechanical engineering or mathematics will be beneficial. A Masters level qualification is desirable. Applicants who are non-native speakers must possess an English language qualification acceptable by the university. The ideal candidate should be detail-oriented with good analytical skills. We welcome candidates who are sponsored or who have their own funding.

Stimuli and shape recovery forces for 4D printing

4D Printing is a growing field within Additive Manufacturing, where components are able to have controlled and programmed shape-deformation over time when exposed to stimuli.

The aim of this PhD is to understand existing stimuli, the effects of stimuli and to develop a framework to understand the shape changing behaviours and shape recovery forces. This could be conducted with the support of our labs or carried out using virtual simulation.

At Brunel University, students will be supported with dedicated supervision and guidance from experts throughout your study. You should be a highly motivated candidate to embark on this doctoral research programme. You will gain an understanding of 4D Printing to help construct your knowledge for this work. You will be expected to leverage on your contribution to new knowledge of this topic and we are also happy to consider other research project proposals which could be negotiated between the applicant and the supervisor. Applicants should have a first or second class UK honours degree or a recognised equivalent from an overseas university in a related discipline, such as Mechanical Engineering or Computer-Aided Design will be beneficial.

A Masters level qualification is desirable. Applicants who are non-native speakers must possess an English language qualification acceptable by the university. The ideal candidate should be detail-oriented with good analytical skills. We welcome candidates who are sponsored or who have their own funding.

Commercial and industrial applications for 4D printing

4D Printing has been recognized to herald the next generation of Additive Manufacturing components that are intelligent to perform a series of controlled and programmed shape-deformation over time when exposed to stimuli.

The aim of this PhD is to understand existing industrial applications, propose future commercial applications and to also provide a framework to encourage companies and businesses to consider the use of 4D Printed parts. Aspects of business models, marketing strategies and other mechanisms should be explored in this study.

At Brunel University, students will be supported with dedicated supervision and guidance from experts throughout your study. You should be a highly motivated candidate to embark on this doctoral research programme. You will gain an understanding of 4D Printing to help construct your knowledge for this work. You will be expected to leverage on your contribution to new knowledge of this topic and we are also happy to consider other research project proposals which could be negotiated between the applicant and the supervisor. Applicants should have a first or second class UK honours degree or a recognised equivalent from an overseas university in a related discipline, such as business or marketing will be beneficial. A Masters level qualification is desirable. Applicants who are non-native speakers must possess an English language qualification acceptable by the university. The ideal candidate should be detail-oriented with good analytical skills. We welcome candidates who are sponsored or who have their own funding.

Mathematical Models for 4D Printing

The aim of this PhD is to develop mathematical algorithms and key principles for the Design of 4D Printing (Df4DP), with a view of evaluating and applying these fundamental concepts. We are looking for candidates who are sponsored or have their own funding, and highly motivated candidates to embark on this leading-edge doctoral programme.

You will gain an understanding of 4D Printing in order to build your expertise in mathematical concepts that shape the transformational effect. We are also happy to consider other research project proposals which could be negotiated between the applicant and the supervisor.

Applicants should have a first or second class UK honours degree or a recognised equivalent from an overseas university in a related discipline, such as mathematics or computer science will be beneficial. A Masters level qualification is desirable. Applicants who are non-native speakers must possess an English language qualification acceptable by the university. The ideal candidate should be detail-oriented with good analytical skills. We welcome candidates who are sponsored or who have their own funding.

Product design applications for 4D printing

The next generation of Additive Manufacturing (AM) technologies will utilise smart materials to enable novel applications for products. The aim of this PhD is to develop a better understanding of how 4D Printing could be applied for high value industrial products. This could cover aerospace, marine or biomedical sectors. You will be expected to design and develop functional products with a view of proposing a framework for the design process. We are looking for candidates who are sponsored or have their own funding. We are seeking highly motivated candidates to embark on this leading-edge doctoral programme.

Applicants should have a first or second class UK honours degree or a recognised equivalent from an overseas university in a related discipline, such as Product Design and Computer Aided Design will be beneficial. A Masters level qualification is desirable. Applicants who are non-native speakers must possess an English language qualification acceptable by the university. The ideal candidate should be detail-oriented with good analytical skills. We welcome candidates who are sponsored or who have their own funding.

Virtual Reality for 4D Printing

The next generation of Additive Manufacturing technologies will utilise the combination of different digital media with Computer-Aided Design to represent multi-functional structures. The aim of this PhD is to develop a Virtual Reality interface, with a view of producing a working demonstrator.

You will gain an understanding of 4D Printing to build your expertise in 4D Printing and develop the necessary code in a Unity SDK platform (or equivalent). We are also happy to consider other research project proposals which could be negotiated between the applicant and the supervisor.

Applicants should have a first or second class UK honours degree or a recognized equivalent from an overseas university in a related discipline, such as computer programming or digital media will be beneficial. A Masters level qualification is desirable. Applicants who are non-native speakers must possess an English language qualification acceptable by the university. The ideal candidate should be detail-oriented with good analytical skills. We welcome candidates who are sponsored or who have their own funding.

Principles of Design for 4D Printing (Df4DP)

The next generation of Additive Manufacturing technologies will utilise the combination of different smart materials with Computer-Aided Design to produce multi-functional structures. The aim of this PhD is to develop design rules and key principles for the Design of 4D Printing (Df4DP), with a view of producing several working demonstrators. At Brunel University, we will provide you with consistent and dedicated supervision, as well as access to leading facilities to support your study. Please note that we are looking for candidates who are sponsored or have their own funding. Project Description We are seeking highly motivated candidates to embark on this leading-edge doctoral programme. You will gain an understanding of 4D Printing in order to build your expertise of the design rules and principles that influence the shape change effect. Following which you will be expected to demonstrate your contribution to new knowledge by producing several practical product components such as smart valves and actuators. We are also happy to consider other research project proposals which could be negotiated between the applicant and the supervisor. You will be based in our campus in London, with a potential to spend some research time with our research partner in Spain. In addition to academic support, the university will provide the successful candidate with training to enhance your future employability, such as research management, teaching skills and career guidance. Students will also have the opportunity to participate in regular department forums and to present their work at exhibitions such as the Made in Brunel Show. Entry Requirements Applicants should have a first or second class UK honours degree or a recognised equivalent from an overseas university in a related discipline, such as computer programming or mathematics will be beneficial. A Masters level qualification is desirable. Applicants who are non-native speakers must possess an English language qualification acceptable by the university. The ideal candidate should be detail oriented with good analytical skills. We welcome candidates who are sponsored or who have their own funding.

Advanced Computer Aided Design Modelling – Developing Intelligent Surfaces and Textures from 4D Printing

4D Printing has been recognised to herald the next generation of Additive Manufacturing components that are intelligent to perform a series of controlled and programmed shape-deformation over time when exposed to stimuli. The aim of this PhD is to understand how functional textures and surfaces that can be programmed to change when exposed to different environmental conditions can be achieved. You will be expected to have a good knowledge of computer-aided modelling, and with a view of producing several working demonstrators. At Brunel University, you will be supported with dedicated supervision and guidance from experts throughout your study. Please note that we are looking for candidates who are sponsored or have their own funding. Project Description You should be a highly motivated candidate to embark on this doctoral research programme. You will gain an understanding of 4D Printing and functional surfaces and coatings to help construct your knowledge for this work. You will be expected to leverage on your contribution to new knowledge of this topic and produce several product demonstrators. We are also happy to consider other research project proposals which could be negotiated between the applicant and the supervisor. You will be based in our campus in London, with a potential to spend some research time with our research partner in Spain. In addition to academic support, the university will provide the successful candidate with training to enhance your future employability, such as research management, teaching skills and career guidance. Students will also have the opportunity to participate in regular department forums and to present their work at exhibitions such as the Made in Brunel Show. Entry Requirements Applicants should have a first or second class UK honours degree or a recognised equivalent from an overseas university in a related discipline, such as material science, mechanical engineering or mathematics will be beneficial. A Masters level qualification is desirable. Applicants who are non-native speakers must possess an English language qualification acceptable by the university. The ideal candidate should be detail oriented with good analytical skills. We welcome candidates who are sponsored or who have their own funding.

Materials for 4D Printing (Df4DP)

The next generation of Additive Manufacturing technologies will utilise the combination of different smart materials with Computer-Aided Design to produce multi-functional structures. The aim of this PhD is to develop a better understanding of Polymeric materials for the 4D Printing, with a view of producing several working demonstrators.

We are looking for candidates who are sponsored or have their own funding. We are seeking highly motivated candidates to embark on this leading-edge doctoral programme. You will gain an understanding of 4D Printing in order to build your expertise in the materiality and principles that influence the shape change effect. Following which you will be expected to demonstrate your contribution to new knowledge by producing several practical product components from 4D polymers, such as smart valves and actuators. We are also happy to consider other research project proposals which could be negotiated between the applicant and the supervisor.

Applicants should have a first or second class UK honours degree or a recognised equivalent from an overseas university in a related discipline, such as Material Science or Mechanical Engineering will be beneficial. A Masters level qualification is desirable. Applicants who are non-native speakers must possess an English language qualification acceptable by the university. The ideal candidate should be detail-oriented with good analytical skills. We welcome candidates who are sponsored or who have their own funding.

Shape Memory Materials for Additive Manufacturing

Additive Manufacturing or 3D Printing is an emerging technology that has gained popularity within the disciplines of design, engineering and manufacturing. The aim of this PhD is to build a knowledge repository that can enable the effective use of Shape Memory Materials for Additive Manufacturing. The PhD programme at Brunel University will provide you with dedicated supervision and training from experts for your research and future career. Please note that we are looking for candidates who are sponsored or have their own funding. We are seeking highly motivated candidates with good communication skills to embark on this exciting doctoral programme. You will develop an understanding of the fundamental principles of Additive Manufacturing and identify shape memory composites that are suitable for 3D Printing. You will also develop an interactive database to comprehensively map existing and potential applications linked to the properties of smart materials. It is hoped that this repository of knowledge will foster the development of novel products for the commercial sector. We are also happy to consider other research project proposals which could be negotiated between the applicant and the supervisor. You will be based in our campus in London, with a potential to spend some research time with our research partners in Spain, Italy, China or Singapore. In addition to academic support, the university will provide the successful candidate with training to support, shape and direct your research to enhance your future employability. This training includes research management, teaching skills and career guidance. Students will also have the opportunity to participate in regular department forums and to present their work at exhibitions such as the Made in Brunel Show. Entry Requirements Applicants should have a first or second class UK honours degree or a recognised equivalent from an overseas university in a related discipline, such as mechanical engineering, material science, computational simulation or physics. A Masters level qualification is desirable. Applicants who are non-native speakers must possess an English language qualification acceptable by the university. The ideal candidate should have an aptitude for good research and we welcome candidates who are sponsored or have their own funding. This is an exciting opportunity to be involved in cutting-edge research with both applied and theoretical implications. We would love to hear from you and welcome informal enquiries. 

Artificial Intelligence and Additive Manufacturing

The next generation of Additive Manufacturing (AM) technologies will utilise the aspect of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to enable better design and manufacturability of parts. The aim of this PhD is to develop a better understanding of how Artificial Intelligence can shape Additive Manufacturing processes, including but not limited to Material Extrusion or FDM. We are looking for candidates who are sponsored or have their own funding. We are seeking highly motivated candidates to embark on this leading-edge doctoral programme.

You will gain an understanding of Additive Manufacturing in order to build your expertise in how the use of AI can potentially contribute towards better design and manufacturability of AM parts. We are also happy to consider other research project proposals which could be negotiated between the applicant and the supervisor. You will be based in our campus in London, with the potential to spend some research time with our research partner in Spain.

Applicants should have a first or second class UK honours degree or a recognised equivalent from an overseas university in a related discipline, such as computer programming or computer science will be beneficial. A Masters level qualification is desirable. Applicants who are non-native speakers must possess an English language qualification acceptable by the university. The ideal candidate should be detail-oriented with good analytical skills. We welcome candidates who are sponsored or who have their own funding.