Engineering: Fully Funded KESS II PhD Scholarship at Swansea University: Reliability analysis of a highly deformable elastomeric wave energy converter through extensive characterisations

  • Phd
  • Full cost of UK/EU tuition fees, plus a stipend
  • 31 July 2018

\This scholarships is part funded by the Welsh Government’s European Social Fund (ESF) convergence programme for West Wales and the Valleys.\*
PhD Scholarship for UK or EU applicants in the field of: Mechanical Engineering/Computational Engineering/Polymer Sciences/Material Engineering/Material Sciences
Subject study: Reliability analysis of a highly deformable elastomeric wave energy converter through extensive experimental and computational characterisations
In this project we will conduct experimental studies on filled elastomers that have been utilised by a Wave Energy Harvester company. To characterize filled elastomers, widely used experiments suitable for a highly viscous elastomer will be performed. These include single and multi-step stress relaxation tests, hysteresis loops in cyclic loading, stretchability (elongation at break) and stiffness enhancements with respect to filler volume fraction and filler type. Different experimental characterization techniques, using Dynamic Mechanical Analysis (DMA), Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) and Thermomechanical Analysis (TMA), will be utilised. The ultimate target of this project is to find an optimum filled elastomer that will have a reduced dissipation behaviour with optimum mechanical and thermal properties in subsea exposure. Moreover, in order to do reliability analysis of a highly deformable elastomeric wave energy converter made of a filled elastomer, the lifetime of the material will be predicted by performing relevant experiments, mainly of the above tests taking in account of various degradation mechanisms under harsh subsea conditions. These include physical, chemical, and oxidative ageing. The degradation behaviour of the filled elastomer will be examined and evaluated in a media such as: sea water, distilled water, freshwater as well as different salt solutions. Once sufficient experiments are performed and enough data are available, computational material models will be developed and implemented in a commercial or in-house Finite Element (FEM) software.
The project is in close collaboration with Bombora Wave Power, a wave energy harvester company based in Pembrokeshire, Wales (UK). The project will be based at the Zienkiewicz Centre for Computational Engineering (ZCCE) and the Energy Safety Research Institute (ESRI) of the College of Engineering in Swansea University (Bay Campus). The ZCCE has an internationally leading record, established over several decades, in computational and material modelling.
Scholarships are collaborative awards with external partners including SME’s and micro companies, as well as public and third sector organisations. The scholarship provides 3 years of funding with a 6 month period to complete the thesis. The achievement of a postgraduate skills development award, PSDA, is compulsory for each KESS II scholar and is based on a 60 credit award.


Candidates should have a 2.1 or above in their undergraduate degree : Mechanical Engineering/Computational Engineering/Polymer Sciences/Material Engineering/Material Sciences or a related subject. They should also be eligible for UK/EU Fees.
We would normally expect the academic and English Language requirements to be met by point of application. For details on the University‚Äôs English Language entry requirements, please visit ‚Äst


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The scholarship covers the full cost of UK/EU tuition fees, plus a stipend. The bursary will be limited to a maximum of £14,483 p.a. dependent upon the applicant's financial circumstances.
There will also be additional funds available for research expenses.


Please visit our website for more information.

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