Vacancies

The PRISM2 group are at the forefront of ICME research and implementation in the UK.

We work closely with industry in research areas from fundamental science to commercial applications. If you would like to be part of this exciting initiative please see below for opportunities.

 

PhD projects 

Title: Improving design against fatigue

Supervisors: Dr. Hector Basoalto and Dr. David Gonzalez

Project Description:

Fatigue life prediction in the aerospace components relies on fracture mechanics for relatively long cracks (>1mm). Nevertheless, most of the fatigue life is spent while the crack is relatively short (<1mm). However life of short cracks is far from well understood leading engineers to apply over conservative safety factors which involves environmental and economic losses. The material 3D microstructure is responsible for the large life uncertainty in short cracks. Recent experimental techniques, such as high-resolution X-Ray diffraction combined with tomography, have opened up exciting opportunities to in-situ fully characterize the 3D microstructure (grain shapes and orientations). The techniques also allow monitoring the deformation and crack propagation in-situ and in 3D. Imaged-based models can be built from the reconstructed microstructure to provide a unique opportunity to improve crystal plasticity models for fatigue initiation.

 

The student will build image-based crystal plasticity models from data obtained by diffraction combined with tomography obtained at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF). This would allow validation of the finite element models implemented in ABAQUS software. The student will use and further develop user material subroutines (UMAT) to model the crystal plasticity, user element subroutines (UEL) and post-processing tools. The aim is to improve our understanding on the microstructure-mechanical properties relationships and how short fatigue cracks initiate and propagate.

Applicant and funding:

We are looking for a self-motivated individual with skills and/or interest in solid mechanics, physics, mathematics, materials and computer programming (Fortran, Python etc). Knowledge in finite element modelling would be an advantage but is not essential.

Due to funding restrictions this position is only available for UK or European Union candidates. Funding covers tuition fees and tax-free annual maintenance payments of at least the UK Research Council minimum (currently £14,777) plus a top-up of £3,500 per annum for 3 years. The position is available for a start preferably in October 2018.

Informal enquiries can be made to Dr. Gonzalez (D.GonzalezRodriguez@bham.ac.uk) or to Professor Jeffery Brooks (J.Brooks@bham.ac.uk)

 

 

Title: Improving design against stress corrosion cracking in additively manufactured parts

Supervisors: Dr. Hector Basoalto and Dr. David Gonzalez

Project Description:

Additive manufacturing (AM) introduces a range of variabilities which have an impact on the mechanical performance of components such as residual stresses, microstructural variation and porosity. This can lead to premature failure under cyclic loading or stress corrosion cracking. The stress corrosion performance is highly dependent on the microstructure and the residual stress (RS) which, if unknown, leads to undesirable “overdesign”. On the other hand, the processing parameters (laser power, geometry and passing speed) during manufacturing have a profound effect on the resulting microstructure and the RS. Therefore, there is a need to establish relationships between processing conditions and mechanical properties to deliver guidance for engineers when estimating the service life against stress corrosion cracking and fatigue in AM components.

The student will predict thermal history and stress history at the component level as well as at the microscale level using user material subroutines (UMAT) to model the crystal plasticity. The stress predictions will be validated against experimental techniques such as neutron diffraction. This would allow validation of the finite element models implemented in ABAQUS software. The student will use a number of already developed multiscale modelling techniques to predict and validate the resulting microstructure from manufacturing and to estimate the stresses at the grain boundaries using user element subroutines (UEL) and post-processing tools.

 

Applicant and funding:

We are looking for a self-motivated individual with skills and/or interest in solid mechanics, physics, mathematics, materials and computer programming (Fortran, Python etc). Knowledge in finite element modelling would be an advantage but is not essential.

Due to funding restrictions this position is only available for UK or European Union candidates. Funding covers tuition fees and tax-free annual maintenance payments of at least the UK Research Council minimum (currently £14,777) plus a top-up of £3,500 per annum for 3 years. The position is available for a start preferably in October 2018.

Informal enquiries can be made to Dr. Gonzalez (D.GonzalezRodriguez@bham.ac.uk) or to Professor Jeffery Brooks (J.Brooks@bham.ac.uk)

 

 

A microstructure-informed model to predict the deformation and shear bands formed during a nickel superalloy machining operation

The School of Metallurgy and Materials is seeking a high calibre candidate for a PhD studentship in materials modelling.

The PhD is sponsored by Rolls-Royce plc and will be supervised through the Partnership for Research in Simulation of Manufacturing and Materials (PRISM2) modelling group within the School of Metallurgy and Materials. PRISM2 is a research centre, at the University of Birmingham, with expertise in the modelling of materials, manufacturing and design for high technology applications in the aerospace and power generation sectors. The project will focus on developing state-of-the-art modelling tools and capabilities to simulate the response of materials during manufacture.

Aerospace manufacturers utilise machining and bulk material cutting operations widely to produce complex metallic components for aeroengine applications. In particular, nickel superalloys are an important family of materials within aerospace machining operations. Numerical and computer-based modelling of such processes has increased in importance to the industry with the developments of so-called integrated computational materials engineering methods, whereby microstructure-level variations can be included within modelling strategies to determine their effect upon the large-scale (macro-scale) machining operation.

The PhD project would see the student working toward creating a physics-based simulation framework, considering the correct physical phenomena from both a materials and a processing basis, to allow for an integrated modelling methodology to link the microstructure evolution to the macro-scale process.

The successful candidate for this PhD project will have an undergraduate degree in either Metallurgy, Materials Science, Mechanical or Civil Engineering or a physical science subject, possess a strong understanding of metallic alloy systems (preferably nickel-based superalloys), a good background understanding of computer coding, will be proficient in one or more coding languages including python, fortran, C++ and possess very good numeracy skills.

Please apply at https://sits.bham.ac.uk/lpages/EPS024.htm stating the PhD project title and supervisor names Professor Jeffery Brooks and Dr Hector Basoalto.