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Below you can find the current vacancies and studentships available in BCAST.

Four full time PhD studentships at BCAST

Applications are invited for four full time PhD studentships at BCAST, Brunel University London beginning 1st February 2018 or later, to be agreed at interview. BCAST is a speciality research institute focusing on solidification related research with an international reputation and is the host of the national centre of excellence in liquid metal engineering (the Future LiME Hub). Our research covers fundamental research, technological development and industrial applications in the field of solidification and materials processing. BCAST is well equipped with state-of-the-art facilities for both solidification processing and materials characterisation. 

Successful applicants will receive an annual stipend of £16,553 plus payment of their full time home/EU tuition fees for a period of 48 months. Applicants must have been resident in the UK for 3 or more years, not wholly or mainly for the purpose of receiving full time education, to receive the studentship. The successful applicants will be supported by a number of research fellows working in these project areas:

1. Formation of Intermetallics during Solidification of Aluminium Alloys (one position).  You will study the formation of intermetallics in aluminium alloys as a function of processing conditions and alloy chemistry. The project aims to understand the nucleation of intermetallics during solidification of aluminium alloys and to develop practical approaches to refine such intermetallics. This project involves alloy preparation, solidification processing under various conditions and materials characterisation at different length scales.

2. Heterogeneous Nucleation during Solidification of Light Metals (two positions).  You will work on experimental investigation of heterogeneous nucleation of primary phases in light metals, such as aluminium and magnesium alloys produced by advanced casting technologies. These projects aim to advance our understanding of heterogeneous nucleation of primary phases during solidification of light metals and to exploit the heterogeneous nucleation concept in the microstructural refinement and defect control. These projects involve alloy preparation, solidification processing under various conditions and materials characterisation at different length scales.

3. Microstructure and Mechanical Properties of Aluminium Alloys Processed by Vacuum Assisted High Pressure Die Casting (one position). You will study the microstructure and mechanical properties of novel aluminium alloys processed by vacuum assisted high pressure die casting. The relationship between the process, microstructure and the mechanical properties will be set up through this study by experimental research or by theoretical understanding. The effect of casting defects on the mechanical properties will be also addressed through computer tomography and/or other necessary techniques.

Informal enquiries should be directed to Professor Isaac Chang, Head of LiME Training Centre at isaac.chang@brunel.ac.uk or +44(0)1895 268491


Successful candidates are required to have a first degree at or equivalent to 2:1 or above in a suitable engineering discipline, e.g. materials science, chemistry, physics, etc. A Master’s level qualification is desirable but not essential. Experience in solidification processing of metallic materials, skills in microstructural characterisation using various microscopy techniques and a working knowledge of mechanical testing of metallic materials is an advantage.  In addition, he/she should be highly motivated, able to work in a team and have good communication skills. 

How to Apply

If you wish to apply, please email the following to isaac.chang@brunel.ac.uk AND cedps-pgr-office@brunel.ac.uk

Your up-to-date CV;

Your single A4 page, single-spaced personal statement setting out why you are interested in undertaking this project;

Your degree certificate(s) and transcript(s);

Evidence of your English language capability to IELTS 6.5 or equivalent, if appropriate;

Names and contact details for two academic referees;

Please state clearly which project you are applying for.

PhD Studentship - Effect of partial pressure of hydrogen on high temperature vacuum brazing

The ability to introduce a partial pressure of hydrogen into a vacuum furnace during processing has offered the possibility to alter the brazing atmosphere. This could have several advantages, notably surface conditioning, reduction of and prevention of re-forming of oxides on parent metal surfaces and improving the flow characteristics of the braze filler alloy which could result in improvements to process cycle time and the ability to create a high integrity braze joint.

This studentship will investigate the effect of the use of hydrogen in the brazing process for stainless steel and nickel based alloys with silver- and nickel-based braze filler fillers. A range of different base materials will be used, including materials produced by additive manufacturing. A key part of the work will be to understand the effect on both the brazed microstructure and the parent material.

The objectives of this PhD project are as follows:

-       To study the effect of a hydrogen partial pressure on the wetting of selected braze filler metals to different base metals.

-       To study the effect of a hydrogen partial pressure on the brazing of selected joint configurations.

-       To undertake mechanical testing of brazed joints to investigate effect of process conditions on mechanical properties and correlate this to joint microstructure.

Industrial Sponsor

TWI is a world leading research and technology organisation. Over 800 staff give impartial technical support in welding, joining, materials science, structural integrity, NDT, surfacing and packaging. Services include generic research, confidential R&D, technical information, technology transfer, training and qualification.


NSIRC is a state-of-the-art postgraduate engineering facility established and managed by structural integrity specialist TWI, working closely with lead academic partner Brunel University, top UK and International Universities and a number of leading industrial partners. NSIRC aims to deliver cutting edge research and highly qualified personnel to its key industrial partners.

About Brunel University

Brunel University London is a leading multidisciplinary research-intensive technology university delivering economic, social and cultural benefit. It has established strategic partnerships with industry. Phd students are admitted to an environment which provides support for doing and learning about research and where excellent research is occurring. Graduate school provides professional, personal and research skills workshop.

Funding Notes

This project is funded by TWI and academic partners. The studentship will provide successful Home/EU students with a minimum stipend of £16k/year and will cover the cost of tuition fees. Overseas applicants are welcome to apply, with total funding capped at £24k/year.


Applications are open throughout the year and Candidates should have a relevant degree at 2.1 minimum, or an equivalent overseas degree. Candidates with suitable work experience and strong experimental skills are particularly welcome to apply. Overseas applicants should also submit IELTS results (minimum 6.5) if applicable.

To apply contact Professor Hari Babu Nadendla by email: Hari-babu.nadendla@brunel.ac.uk or NSIRC by email: enquiries@nsirc.co.uk