PhD International Studentships in Advanced Ceramics Discovery for Aerospace Propulsion

  • Phd
  • Full tuition fees + £15,609 p.a. (UK)
  • 30 November 2021


Dr Tanvir Hussain at the University of Nottingham was awarded a five-year fellowship - funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) - to find new materials, modelling and processing techniques that will overhaul the design and manufacture of advanced ceramic materials for the next-generation of air and space travel- details here.

In support of this exciting funding, applicants are invited to undertake several 3.5 year fully-funded PhD studentships within the Coatings and Surface Engineering Group, a dynamic group of researchers who place equity, diversity & inclusion at the core. The University of Nottingham has a Centre of Excellence in Ceramic Coatings with state-of-the-art facilities.

The PhD Projects

Aero engines manufacturing is a growing industry with an estimated annual production of ~228,000 engines by 2030. The new composition and microstructure for coatings, such as Thermal Barrier Coatings (TBCs) on nickel-based superalloys and Environmental Barrier Coatings (EBCs) on ceramic matrix composites (CMCs), are critical for sustainable aviation. The aerospace industry needs sustainable materials and processing solutions to meet NetZero2050 targets.

The PhD projects will develop novel ceramic coatings compositions using the UK’s only Suspension Plasma Spray (SPS) facility: a three cathode plasma source with axial injection. SPS is a coating deposition technique where material feedstock is injected in a plasma jet, melted and accelerated towards a substrate that rapidly solidifies in forming a coating.

The experimental PhDs will involve the discovery of new materials in a materials discovery apparatus (MDA) informed by artificial intelligence, the development of new methods for spray feedstock, the study of coatings through advanced in-situ microscopy techniques and testing under high-temperature (>1200 °C) conditions. We have world leading characterisation facilities in materials science at the Nanoscale and Microscale Research Centre (nmRC). The modelling PhD will involve high-fidelity simulation of the suspension breakup using a coupled volume of fluid and discrete phase model, and finite element modelling of predicting stresses in the coatings.


This is an excellent opportunity for enthusiastic first or 2.1 class graduates in materials/ mechanical/chemical/ physics/ chemistry to build strong knowledge in fundamental materials science while working with eight international academic and industrial partners.


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For UK applicants, the PhD studentship will cover full Home tuition fees and a tax-free stipend at EPSRC rate of £15,609 per annum. For international and EU students, only full tuition fees will be covered.


Applications, with a detailed CV and a cover letter explaining suitability, should be sent directly to Dr Tanvir Hussain (

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