PhD Studentship: Composite materials in extreme environments

Imperial College London

Departments of Aeronautics

PhD Studentship

Composite materials in extreme environments

Applications are invited for a Ph.D. studentship in the Departments of Aeronautics. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to conduct cutting-edge research in the field of composite materials.

Composite materials are widely used in engineering because of the various benefits they offer (e.g., lightweight, corrosion resistance, multifunctionality, etc.). These materials make a vital contribution to our path towards net zero in applications ranging from offshore wind turbine blades to hydrogen storage pressure vessels. To design safe and long-lasting structures, the performance of these materials under the extreme in-service conditions encountered in some applications (high/low temperatures, impact loads, etc.) needs to be fully understood. The aim of this PhD project is to improve the current understanding of some of the intrinsic deformation and failure mechanisms that change under certain extreme environments. The project will benefit from advanced in-situ observations and computational simulations at micromechanical level.

Applicants should have a strong background in solid mechanics, and knowledge of fibre reinforced composites would be an advantage. The applicants should also have a proven aptitude or willingness to conduct practical work (experimentation, design/build, etc.) and a genuine passion for research. Applications are invited from candidates who possess (or expect to gain) a first-class honours MEng or higher degree or equivalent in Aeronautics, Mechanical/Aerospace Engineering, Materials or related areas. The successful candidate will also be expected to submit publications to academic journals and to present their findings at major international conferences.

Imperial College is consistently ranked as one of top universities in the world and top 3 universities within the UK. In 2019/20 Imperial ranked 9th in the world in the QS and 10th in the world in the THE rankings. It has been ranked as the most innovative university in Europe. Imperial staff and alumni include 15 Nobel laureates, 2 Fields Medalists, 70 Fellows of the Royal Society, 82 Fellows of the Royal Academy of Engineering and 78 Fellows of the Academy of Medical Sciences. There will also be collaboration opportunities with colleagues from the University of Oxford and the University of Bristol.

This studentship is available for students eligible for home fees. Information on fee status can be found at

The studentship is for 3.5 years and will provide full coverage of tuition fees and an annual tax-free stipend of £19,668. Information on fee status -

Start date: October 2023, with flexibility.

For informal enquiries, you can contact Dr Gustavo Quino (

To apply ).

For queries regarding the application process, please contact Ms Lisa Kelly or phone on +44 (0)20 7594 5056. Imperial College is committed to equality and valuing diversity. We are an Athena Silver SWAN Award winner and a Stonewall Diversity Champion.