EngD in Engineered Materials for High Performance Applications in Aerospace and Related Technologies
The course is administrated from the EngD Centre at the University of Birmingham, and all taught modules are delivered there.
Each EngD research programme is company-based, with at least one industrial and one academic supervisor. The programme will be coordinated from the EngD Centre at Birmingham, but can be networked between any of the five EngD partner universities (Birmingham, Cambridge, Oxford, Swansea and Southampton) giving wide access to specialised techniques and equipment.
The research programme may consist of a single project or a group of linked projects with a common theme. This aspect of the scheme is designed to be of particular relevance to permanent employees seconded from the industrial partners.
Training Programme: Advanced Materials
The formal training programme comprises a series of modules designed to develop your knowledge in Advanced Materials. The modules typically comprise a week long residential course normally at the University of Birmingham, and the equivalent of a week of private study. Accommodation and travel expenses for these residential courses are covered by the EngD Centre. The modules are designed to cater both for Metallurgy/Materials graduates and graduates from a range of engineering subjects with a broad materials content (eg Aeronautical, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering). Each module is self-contained and assessed formally - most with a two-hour written examination directly at the end of each module. Most of these courses are held at the EngD Centre at Birmingham. The remainder of all years are spent on a research project or projects, usually based at company locations.
Training Programme: Professional Development
Four professional modules are to be taken. Presently these are:
Effective Project Management
Presentation and Communication Skills; Team Skills Development
Supervision, Monitoring, Progression and Assessment
You will have at least one industrial and one academic supervisor: you will meet on a weekly basis with your industrial supervisor and have regular meetings with your academic supervisor, together with quarterly review meetings.
There is an annual EngD conference, which is a major opportunity for student/company/academic interactions across the spectrum of EngD activities.
The final assessment is submission of the thesis, which may, If appropriate, be presented as a series of linked reports (within an overarching theme), rather than an individual investigation of the type normally found in a PhD thesis. As with a conventional PhD, the EngD thesis must contain material of sufficient quality which demonstrates individual merit and contribution.
Research Project/Industrial Partners
Projects are available in areas of materials research and development pursued by the participating industrial sponsors. General information is given below. In the early stages of recruiting for the EngD, specific projects will be developed to suit the interests and capabilities of individual candidates. New industrial partners are likely to become involved in the near future.
Main Industrial Partners to date
Advanced materials performance, microsystems materials, advanced battery materials, structural materials integrity, and biomaterials.
The effects of processing on high performance materials in the manufacture of structural aerospace components.
Manufacture of highly engineered components for tolerance-critical applications in Aerospace, Industrial Gas Turbine, Automotive and Medical markets, titanium, nickel alloys, steels and aluminium alloys.
Die forgings, seamless rings and superalloys for aerospace and nuclear, automotive and oil industries.
Aerospace technology, high strength stainless steels, cobalt chrome alloys, chrome alloys, joining methods, near net shape manufacture.
Honeywell-Hymatic Engineering Company Ltd
Engineering design and manufacture. A leading specialist in the field of cryogenic cooling for the military infrared market.
A materials consultancy that provides technical expertise, contract research, analytical and testing services and specialises in the manufacture and use of aluminium alloys for packing, architectural, automotive and mass transportation applications.
Microstructure, coatings and composites, aeroengines and airframes, nickel, titanium; process modelling.
Aerospace and marine technology; oil and gas; environmental degradation of materials, manufacturing technology, titanium, nickel, gas turbine engines.
The Welding Institute
All aspects of research, development and application of welding and joining technologies.
Our research facilities for materials preparation range from vacuum melting and casting for special alloys, through crystal growth equipment for rare-earth and very reactive alloys to melt-spinning facilities for the production of rapidly cooled alloys, atomizers to make metal powders and laser ablation equipment for the production of multilayer and superconducting materials.
Surface engineering facilities allow plasma nitriding, boriding, carburising and other surface treatments to be carried out on a range of alloys under controlled conditions, and we have recently installed plasma-spray equipment to produce coatings. There are polymer-processing laboratories and the IRC possesses a large plasma-melting furnace, HIP equipment, direct laser fabrication, a laboratory for the hydrothermal synthesis and colloidal processing of ceramics, and the ?8 million Net Shape Manufacturing Laboratory.
The physical techniques laboratory contains a range of equipment for processes including VSM, dilatometry, differential scanning calorimetry, electrical resistivity and density measurements. The world-class mechanical testing laboratories consist of approximately 30 facilities for fracture and fatigue studies over the temperature range of -196 to 1,500?C, and are accredited by Rolls-Royce for the acquisition and interpretation of data.
Seven creep machines from Nuclear Electric form the basis of a creep-testing laboratory, and thermogravimetric balances, also donated by Nuclear Electric, allow sensitive oxidation measurements to be made at temperatures up to 1,400?C. There is specialised mechanical testing for polymers and foams, at strain rates from creep to impact. X-ray diffraction facilities provide essential back-up to the crystal growth and alloy preparation activities.
Microstructural assessment is well provided for, with a wide range of optical microscopes and quantitative image analysis, and extensive electron microscope facilities. The Electron Microscope Centre provides a service to all schools in the University, as well as to the Midlands region. The five SEMs include
a JEOL 7000F with WDX, EDX and EBSD;
an FEI FEG ESEM with cryo and heating (1500?C) stages.
The TEMs include
a 200 kV FEI Tecnai F20 FEG(S)TEM with PEELS, EDX and HAADF.
A scanning Auger facility with an X-ray photo-electric spectrometer (XPS) is available for a wide range of surface studies and we also have an atomic force microscope.
The new hydrogen technology laboratory has a range of equipment to characterize the properties of materials in hydrogen. This includes two constant pressure Thermogravimetric Analysers, and a volumetric PCT system to measure the uptake and sorption kinetics of hydrogen storage materials.
A recent addition has been the Netzch differential scanning calorimeter (DSC) with simultaneous thermal analysis (STA). Nicolet Magna-IR infrared and Raman spectrometers are being used to study polymer and ceramic-type materials. Other novel analytical equipment in this category include simultaneous DSC and FTIR, DSC and non-contact thermo-mechanical analysis.
The Department has good facilities for the fabrication and characterization of optical fibre sensors including sensor systems for strain, temperature, vibration, acoustic emission and chemical sensing. The autoclave-based processing of advanced fibre reinforced composites is carried out in the Astro-Physics Department.
We have excellent workshop facilities and a large suite of networked PCs, housed in a computing laboratory provided by Corus, which supplements the extensive computer facilities in individual research groups.