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SpARC (Specialized Aluminium Reinforced Composites)

EPSRC DTP PhD Studentships: Specific Project Advert

Applications are invited for our EPSRC funded Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) PhD studentship for the “SpARC (Specialized Aluminium Reinforced Composites)” Project starting 1st October 2021. Successful applicants will receive an annual stipend (bursary) of £17,609, including inner London weighting, plus payment of their full-time tuition fees for a period of 36 months (3 years).

The majority of studentships are available to applicants who are eligible for home (UK) tuition fees but a limited number are available to overseas and EU nationals who meet the academic entry criteria.

The Project

The successful applicant will join the internationally recognised researchers in the Brunel Centre for Advanced Solidification Technology (BCAST). This exciting research project is focused on tailoring the microstructure of Aluminium Composite alloys in order to control the functional and mechanical properties of the material. The properties of Al can be significantly changed with the selective addition of filler and reinforcement material. Aluminium is light weight and has excellent electrical and thermal conductivity, whereas fillers such as mineral fibres, are insulators and can have EM shielding properties. When these composite alloys are processed using a variety of techniques the position of the filler material can be controlled thereby changing the directional properties.

Please contact Dr Brian McKay at brian.mckay@brunel.ac.uk to arrange an informal discussion about the project.

 

Eligibility

Skills and Experience

Applicants will be required to demonstrate experience in Materials Science, Metallurgy and Materials Characterisation. You should be highly motivated, able to work in a team as well as independently, collaborate with others and have good communication skills. The project requires you to produce a written thesis, independently critically appraise data and orally present results. You should have an inquisitive mind and a keen desire to learn more about the topic.

Academic Entry Criteria

You will have or be expected to receive a 1st class or 2:1 honours degree in a suitable engineering or science discipline, e.g. metallurgy, materials science, mechanical engineering, chemical engineering, manufacturing engineering or physics. A masters degree is not required but may be an advantage.

If applicable, you should hold an English Language proficiency qualification of or equivalent to an overall score of IELTS 6.5 (minimum 6.0 in all sections).

How to apply

How to Apply

Please submit the documents below) to cedps-pgr-office@brunel.ac.uk by Noon on Friday 4 June 2021. Interviews will take place in June/July 2021.

  • Your up-to-date CV;
  • Your 300 to 500 word personal statement summarising your background, skills and experience;
  • Your Undergraduate/Postgraduate Masters degree certificate(s) and transcript(s);
  • Your English language qualification, if applicable;
  • Contact details for TWO referees, one of which can be a member of Brunel University academic staff.

Remember to state the title of the project at the top of your personal statement.

 


Meet the Supervisor for this Studentship

Brian McKay - Dr Brian McKay is currently a senior lecturer in BCAST at Brunel University. Prior to this he was a university assistant at the Institute of Casting Research (ICR), University of Leoben, Austria (2003-2009) and a research fellow at UMIST (2003). He obtained his DPhil from Oxford University, MSc from The Queen’s University of Belfast and BEng from the University of Ulster. He has over 20 years’ experience in solidification research with 1 Patent on novel metal composites (UK Patent No. 1714401.5), 1 trademarked product (Basaltium), and over 30 papers and two co-edited monographs published in the field. His main expertise lies in the fields of castings, composites, interfaces, coatings, and their characterisation using advanced electron microscopy techniques. Whilst his research interests in the past have been centred on understanding heterogeneous nucleation during solidification, these interests now also include Metal Matrix Composites/Nano-composites, Powder Metallurgy and Electroplating. Over the past 9 years Brian has been involved in 11 successful grant awards totalling ~£30M. He is currently PI on a new €11M Horizon 2020 project LightMe, was the Co-ordinator and PI of a €1.6M EU-FP7 grant, HardAlt, involving 12 partners from 6 countries that focused on finding an alternative nano-composite coating for Hard Chrome, a CoI on the £4.5M EPSRC - LiME grant that investigated solidification mechanisms, PI on the £150k “Characterization and Processing of High Thermal Conducting Al-MMCs” grant sponsored by the Korean Institute of Technology (KITECH) that examined the potential of CNT MMCs for High Power Light emitting Diodes (HPLeD’s), PI on the £300k STORM Innovate UK/EPSRC in which a new composite Al core was produced for offshore marine energy mooring connectors and Co-I on the £10M EPSRC Manufacturing Hub grant. He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and Institute of Cast Metal Engineers and has sat on the Technical/Educational Board of the latter as an adviser since 2012. In addition he is a member of the EPSRC Peer Review College and an Associate Editor of the International Journal of Cast Metal Engineers. Over the years Brian has collaborated with many companies including, LSM, BMW, Alcoa and Alcan. He has given several invited presentations throughout Europe and in 2006 he received a TMS Magnesium Application Award for his work in nucleation and more recently has been a recipient of the Rushlight Responsible Product or Service Award 2017-18 for the STORM connector.