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Fully Funded PhD scholarship in modelling of Composite Materials

Noel ODowd's picture

Modelling 3D printed Continuous Fibre Composite Parts for Automotive Application

Irish Composites Centre and Confirm Centre for Smart Manufacture

Prof. Noel O’Dowd 

Composite materials are widely used due to their specific strength and stiffness. The manufacturing of composite parts has been developed from hand lay-up to automated fibre placement with a very high precision in laying individual fibres with minimum scrap. Recently, additive manufacturing (AD) techniques have been developed to manufacture parts with continuous fibre reinforced composites. Adoption of this manufacturing technique has to potential to revolutionise the automotive industry. However, there are still several gaps which limit the widespread adoption of AM composites in industry.  One such gap, the lack of accurate and robust modelling and design methods will be tackled by this PhD project.

The PhD student will develop a multiscale modelling approach to predict the mechanical properties of a component manufactured using 3D printing, using the representative volume element (RVE) technique, considering the available microscopic observations and manufacturing constraints. The predictive properties are expected to be used to investigate the fracture toughness characteristics. At the macroscale, a 3D printed vehicle bumper is expected to be optimized for improved crashworthiness.

We are looking for a self-motivated individual with skills and/or interest in solid mechanics, composite materials and simulation (e.g. finite-element analysis). An understanding of AM techniques and programming (FORTRAN, visual basic, MATLAB) would be an advantage. A first class honours Master’s degree (or equivalent) is required. However, students with an excellent academic profile finishing their master during the next months are encouraged to apply. The initial deadline for application is 15 August 2018 and subsequently the candidate will work with Prof. O’Dowd and Dr Sebaey to prepare a submission to the Irish Research Council (IRC). The IRC scholarship covers tuition fees in addition to a monthly salary for up to 4 years. The expected starting date is the first of March 2019.


To apply, please drop an email with your CV and supporting materials to the search committee A short proposal of research is also required with a maximum of two pages.

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