Joint MTC-UoB PhD Scholarship on High-Speed ​​Laser Micro-Hole Drilling Process for Zero-Emission Transportation, Low-Carbon Energy and Clean Aerospace Applications at University of Birmingham

Funding: £24,021 per annum (TAX free stipend) and tuition fee for 3.5 years

Supervisors: Professor Stefan Dimov (Mechanical Engineering, UoB) and Dr Sundar Marimuthu (MTC)

Eligibility: Funding requirements dictate only UK nationals can apply.

Start Date: ASAP but not later than October 2022

This is a PhD Scholarship jointly funded by the MTC and the UoB. The outline description of the PhD research is provided below. It is expected that the PhD student will spend some time at the MTC in order to ensure engagement and drive value for the MTC and the University of Birmingham. The research will be carried out on state-of-the-art laser processing systems both at the MTC and also at the UoB. The PhD project will be focused on addressing the specific requirements of the MTC industry members that will be agreed with them in the 1st year of this PhD project. For further information and inquiries please contact Prof. Stefan Dimov, ssdimov@bham.ac.uk.

Project brief

Laser drilling is extensively used in high-value manufacturing for the last thirty years to make holes of various size (0.5mm-2mm) and shape. Recently, there has been an increased interest on high-aspect-ratio (10-20) micro-hole drilling (diameter 30-50 µm) process in applications like zero-emission transportation, low-carbon energy and clean aerospace. The current expertise and knowledge on laser drilling is predominantly based on macro-hole drilling and very little information available in the public domain on micro-hole drilling process. The initial work at the MTC on this topic proved that several technical aspects need to be understood to accomplish the high-speed laser micro-drilling process. This PhD project will focus on generating fundamental and applied knowledge, and expertise on micro-hole drilling process (diameter 30-50 µm with aspect-ratio of 10-20). The research will focus on both nozzle based and galvo-based beam delivery, with various laser sources (from single-mode continuous wave laser to picosecond laser). The PhD project will also include some elements of process monitoring and modeling/simulation.

The project will build on the results of recently completed H2020 and industry funded programs at MTC and the UoB. In addition, the PhD project is expected to involve and be relevant to some MTC member companies, eg Rolls-Royce, IPG, DMG-MORI, BAE Systems and Synova. In addition, the PhD project will benefit from the capital investment at the UoB in a multi-axis laser micro processing system as part of the ESIF SmartFub project.

UoB Supervisor: Prof. Stefan Dimov

MTC supervisors: Dr. Sundar Marimuthu

PhD candidate specification

The successful applicant will have studied Mechanical, Materials or Manufacturing Engineering, Applied Physics or a closely related discipline. A good knowledge or demonstrated awareness of fundamental aspects of laser-material processing and applied knowledge in laser processing is desirable. Experience in using a range of technologies/techniques for surface characterization would be an advantage. Candidates should have a BEng or BSc with a master’s degree or a MEng undergraduate degree. The ideal candidate will have a first-class undergraduate degree and/or a distinction at master’s level with first-class project work.

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