Engineering: Fully Funded EngD at Swansea: Characterisation of sustainable materials for can making

  • Phd
  • Full cost of UK/EU tuition fees, plus a stipend
  • 23 August 2019

Engineering: Fully Funded M2A EngD Scholarship: Characterisation of sustainable materials for can making

Start date: October 2019

Supervisor: Dr E Jewell, Dr L Jones and Dr Tijssen

Sponsoring company: TATA Steel Packaging and Crown Packaging

Steel packaging is the product of choice for many food and beverage applications. Being recyclable, it is increasingly being seen as a replacement for plastic packaging and also plays a key role in reducing food waste allowing safe CO2 free storage for extended periods. It is a $900Bn industry working across supply chains from substrate supplier through can make to food filler producing 98 billion units a year in Europe alone.

There has been significant R&D activity within the partner organisations in order to overcome the twin questions brought about by the need to eliminate Chrome VI and BPA (Bis-Phenol-A) from the can manufacturing process. Replacement materials must meet the same stringent performance requirements when subjected to the harsh cooking process where the cans must endure high pressures and chemical (foodstuff) attack at steam temperatures of greater than 120 °C. The project will examine how alternative materials and processing can be used to improve the performance of developmental materials during the can making and cooking process. Utilising a suite of engineering and scientific techniques, the complex interactions between the substrate surface, mechanical forming and exposure conditions will be explored.

The successful candidate will join a well-resourced research group in packaging materials, offering plenty of opportunity for peer learning as well as access to training on a wide range of engineering and high-end analytical equipment. Crown packaging provides the highest quality steel packaging for premier international brand owners in food, beverage and premium goods. Crown have the European R&D centre in Wantage, Oxfordshire and there is ample opportunity to make use of their facilities as part of the project if required. TATA packaging has their R&D base in IJmuiden, the Netherlands. There is opportunity for research work to be carried out in the Netherlands if required. Both partners are open to technical and scientific publications with numerous examples of past studies in the public domain.

This project offers the opportunity for an enthusiastic researcher to develop scientific insight and innovative technical solutions to important commercial and academic issues.

The aims of the project are:

  • To develop an understanding of the interactions of the impact of the mechanical, chemical and thermal stress on packaging steel during retort.
  • To develop novel test methods which can measure and simulate the can forming / retort process
  • To quantify the impact of surface structure on product performance

Ideally, a solution will be developed where a feature / device is added can be added / printed to steel packaging which provides additional benefits for the consumer, brand owner, filler and packaging decorator.


We welcome applications from candidates with an Engineering or Physical Science degree (minimum level 2:1), or a combination of degree and equivalent relevant experience to the same level, to join the M2A community of research engineers.

To be eligible for WEFO funding, applicants should:

  • Be a UK or EU citizen (eligible for home tuition fees at Swansea University) and have the right to work in Wales at the end of their studies.
  • Be resident within West Wales and the Valleys at the time of enrolment and for the duration of the candidature.
  • Must not be financially able to participate in study for a postgraduate research degree without the award of this funding

To be eligible for EPSRC funding, applicants should:

  • Be eligible for home tuition fees at Swansea University.
  • Have settled status in the UK, meaning no restrictions on the length of stay in the UK; and be ‘ordinarily resident’ in the UK for 3 years prior to the start of the grant, apart from temporary or occasional absences.
  • Not have been residing in the UK wholly or mainly for the purpose of full-time education. This does not apply to UK nationals and EU nationals who were ordinarily resident in the EU immediately before the period of full-time education.

If English is not your first language you will need an acceptable pass in an approved English Language qualification to make sure you get the full benefit from studying at Swansea. We consider a wide range of qualifications, including the Swansea University English Test, the British Council IELTS test (with a score of at least 6.5 and 5.5 in each component).


Do you wish to become an international student next year?
Demonstrate your English skills with IELTS.


The scholarship covers the full cost of UK/EU tuition fees, plus a tax free stipend of £20,000 p.a. for a period of four years.


Please visit our website for more information.

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