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Postgraduate Research

Mechanical Engineering

School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering | PhD
Entry Year
Academic Year 2022/23
Entry Requirements
2.1

Overview

Doing a PhD in the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering is a highly rewarding experience. You will carry out your research in a friendly and supportive environment, supervised by academics who are leaders in their field, using well-equipped laboratories and research facilities, alongside students from all over the world. At any time we have around 100 students enrolled on a PhD. The School has a vibrant PhD student mentoring programme and a student led Research Culture Committee.

The School’s research is focused around six interconnected research themes: Advanced Manufacturing and Processing, Future Aircraft, Composite Materials and Structures, Simulation Technologies, Clean Energy and Biomaterials and Biomechanics.

PhD opportunities are available in a wide range of subjects aligned to the specific expertise of our PhD supervisors. Many are linked with leading companies and organisations.

Key Facts

Research students are encouraged to play a full and active role in the research activities undertaken within the School. Students attend international conferences and participate in academic and industrial networks worldwide.

  • The School has strategic partnerships with Rolls-Royce and Wrights supported by multiple large programmes (funders EPSRC, Innovate-UK, Advanced Propulsion Centre etc). There are opportunities for cutting edge, impactful PhDs within vibrant teams.
  • The school also partners with a number of leading companies on a range of research challenges, including: Airbus, Artemis Technologies, Caterpillar, Ferrari, Ford, Jaguar Land Rover
  • PhDs contribute to major centres, including:Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre (AMIC), Northern Ireland Advanced Composites and Engineering Centre (NIACE), Polymer Processing Research Centre (PPRC), Northern Ireland Technology Centre (NITC)
  • The School has well equipped laboratories and great research facilities. PhD students share offices alongside postdoctoral staff. The School has Research Culture Committee to enhance the research environment of the School and support PhD students.

Course content

Career Prospects

Employment after the Course
Many of our PhD graduates have moved into academic and research roles in Higher Education while others go on to play leading roles in industry, industry or become entrepreneurs.

People teaching you

Dr Trevor Robinson
Doctoral Programme Director
Mech & Aerospace Engineering
Email: t.robinson@qub.ac.uk

Learning Outcomes

Course structure

You will carry out leading research under the guidance of your supervisory team. A full time student will normally complete in three years (up to a maximum of four), or part time over six years (up to a maximum of eight).

Research will usually be in one of the key, interlinked research themes in the School, and the subtopics they cover, include:-

Advanced Manufacturing and Processing - cost modelling, ergonomics, intelligent control, laser processing, life cycle analysis, material characterisation, mechatronics, parallel kinematic machines, polymer processing, robotics and ultra-precision manufacturing.

Future Aircraft - aero engines, aerodynamics, aeroelasticity, aircraft operations, design and analysis, optimisation and structural testing

Composite Materials and Structures -damage mechanics and crashworthiness, material characterisation, multifunctional composites and nano-enhanced composites

Simulation Technologies - FEA/CFD/EFG/DES/MD, kinematic modelling, meshing, multiscale/Multiphysics, optimisation, simulation intent, systems modelling, uncertainty quantification, virtual testing and design visual analytics and big data

Clean Energy - biofuels, catalysis, life cycle assessment, power systems, turbomachinery and waste management

Biomaterials and Biomechanics - biomimetics, material characterisation, mechanobiology and medical devices.

Also, over the course of study, you can attend postgraduate skills training organised by the Graduate School, or other internal and external training courses organised through your supervisor.

Project name School Funding Subject Status Sort Timestamp
Interaction-aware Intelligent Vehicle Decision-making and Control
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering | PHD Human-centric, Reinforcement learning, Interaction-aware, Automated vehicles, Autonomous driving Dr Chongfeng Wei
Supervisor
Dr Chongfeng Wei
Funding
Funded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Funded Mechanical Engineering Open 2
Uncertainty propagation across scales for composite laminates
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering | PHD Computational modelling ; Mechanics of composites; Stochastic modelling; Advanced statistics Dr Humberto Almeida Jr
Supervisor
Dr Humberto Almeida Jr
Funding
Funded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Funded Mechanical Engineering Open 2
3-D Printed Scaffolds for Bone Tissue Engineering with ‘Green’ Biosilica Additives.
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering | PHD Bone scaffolds, Tissue Engineering, 3D Printing, Diatoms, Polymers. Dr Pamela Walsh
Supervisor
Dr Pamela Walsh
Funding
Funded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Funded Mechanical Engineering Open 2
Digital Twin for Configuring Cyber-Physical Manufacturing System
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering | PHD Manufacturing, Digital Twin, Configuration, Reconfiguration, Automation System, System Integration Dr Arfauz A Rahman
Supervisor
Dr Arfauz A Rahman
Funding
Funded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Funded Mechanical Engineering Open 2
Development of combustion chemistry and thermo-physical properties for CFD modelling of multi-component diesel, gasoline and hexanol blends
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering | PHD Combustion chemistry, thermo-physical properties, CFD, diesel, gasoline, hexanol Dr Xinwei Cheng
Supervisor
Dr Xinwei Cheng
Funding
Funded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Funded Mechanical Engineering Open 2
Development of a robot system for eye surgery
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering | PHD Maser slave control, Console of surgical robot, Haptic device and HMI, Performance characterisation Professor Yan Jin
Supervisor
Professor Yan Jin
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Unfunded Mechanical Engineering Open 2
Energy oriented optimisation for machining processes by parallel kinematic machines
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering | PHD Parallel kinematic machine, Energy model, Machining process, Optimisation Professor Yan Jin
Supervisor
Professor Yan Jin
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Unfunded Mechanical Engineering Open 2
Optimal repowering of onshore wind in Northern Ireland
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering | PHD Renewable energy; power systems; electricity markets; economics; decarbonisation; sustainable; wind Dr Aoife Foley
Supervisor
Dr Aoife Foley
Funding
Funded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Funded Mechanical Engineering Open 2
A combined finite element and experimental investigation of composite structures
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering | PHD Finite element analysis, Fibre reinforced polymer (FRP) composites, Multi-scale modelling, Solid mec Dr Zahur Ullah
Supervisor
Dr Zahur Ullah
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Unfunded Mechanical Engineering Open 2
Topology Optimisation of Continuous Fibre Reinforced Thermoplastic Composites for Additive Manufacturing
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering | PHD Additive manufacturing, topology optimisation, Fibre reinforced polymer (FRP) composites, Finite ele Dr Zahur Ullah
Supervisor
Dr Zahur Ullah
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Unfunded Mechanical Engineering Open 2
Biohaviour – Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality Coupled to Enhance Future Manufacturing Design Processes
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering | PHD Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence, Neural Networks, Manufacturing, Human Computer Interaction Professor Mark Price
Supervisor
Professor Mark Price
Funding
Funded
DFE/EPSRC
Application deadline
None specified
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Funded Mechanical Engineering Open 2
Biohaviour: The Extremely Light Wing
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering | PHD Generative design, geometry modelling, additive manufacturing, parameterisation, digital twin, airfr Professor Mark Price
Supervisor
Professor Mark Price
Funding
Funded
DFE/EPSRC, and Sponsorship from Spirit Aerosystes
Application deadline
None specified
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Funded Mechanical Engineering Open 2
Analysis of mass electric vehicle charging on energy and emissions in transport in Northern Ireland
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering | PHD Renewable energy; power systems; transport; electricity markets; fossil fuel; economics; GIS; electr Dr Aoife Foley
Supervisor
Dr Aoife Foley
Funding
Funded
DfE
Application deadline
None specified
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Funded Mechanical Engineering Open 2
Novel Layup Optimisation Methods in Design and Manufacture of Advanced Fibre-Reinforced Laminated Composites
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering | PHD Dr M. Ali Aravand
Supervisor
Dr M. Ali Aravand
Funding
Funded
Application deadline
31 March 2022
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Funded Mechanical Engineering Open 2 1648681200
Biohaviour - Biomimetic design and ecological niches: learning from evolutionary development
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering | PHD Biomimetic design, architecture, evolutionary development. Prof. Mark Price
Supervisor
Prof. Mark Price
Funding
Funded
DFE/EPSRC
Application deadline
None specified
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Funded Mechanical Engineering Open 2
Microplastic investigation in drinking water systems
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering | PHD Microplastics, drinking water, biobased plastics, biodegradable plastics, particle behaviour, experi Dr Beatrice Smyth
Supervisor
Dr Beatrice Smyth
Funding
Funded
Department for the Economy
Application deadline
None specified
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Funded Mechanical Engineering Open 2
Adaptive Modelling for Structural Impact Simulation
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering | PHD FEA, Simulation, Dynamic, Impact, Aerospace, Structural Analysis Dr Declan Nolan
Supervisor
Dr Declan Nolan
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Unfunded Mechanical Engineering Open 2
Crashworthiness investigation of bio-fibre reinforced composites for transport applications
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering | PHD Bio-composites, crashworthiness, numerical analyses, finite element model Dr Zafer Kazanci
Supervisor
Dr Zafer Kazanci
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Unfunded Mechanical Engineering Open 2
Bio-fibre Reinforced Filaments for Additive Manufacturing
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering | PHD Bio-composites, additive manufacturing, numerical analyses, finite element model Dr Zafer Kazanci
Supervisor
Dr Zafer Kazanci
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Unfunded Mechanical Engineering Open 2
Multi-objective crashworthiness optimisation of auxetic composite structures under severe loading conditions
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering | PHD Advanced materials, auxetics, additive manufacturing, multi-objective optimization, composites, cras Dr Zafer Kazanci
Supervisor
Dr Zafer Kazanci
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Unfunded Mechanical Engineering Open 2
Context-based Pedestrian Motion Prediction for Autonomous Vehicles
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering | PHD Autonomous Driving, Automate Vehicle, Decision making, Motion Control, Trajectory Prediction Dr Chongfeng Wei
Supervisor
Dr Chongfeng Wei
Funding
Funded
Dfe
Application deadline
31 July 2022
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Funded Mechanical Engineering Open 2 1659222000
Composite as coating for Bioimplants to Achieve Enhanced Functionality
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering | PHD Tissue scaffold, drug delivery, antibacterial, multifunction, bone repair. Dr Dan Sun
Supervisor
Dr Dan Sun
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Unfunded Mechanical Engineering Open 2
Advanced manufacturing of thermoplastic composite aero structures
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering | PHD Aircraft assembly, CFRTP composite, advanced manufacturing, FEA, digital image correlation Dr Dan Sun
Supervisor
Dr Dan Sun
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Unfunded Mechanical Engineering Open 2
Circular economy systems for hydrogen generation, distribution and use, with a focus on off-road applications
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering | PHD Hydrogen, transport, non-road mobile machinery, carbon footprint, risk and uncertainty, infrastructu Dr Beatrice Smyth
Supervisor
Dr Beatrice Smyth
Funding
Funded
Department for the Economy
Application deadline
None specified
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Funded Mechanical Engineering Open 2
Development of waste-based, high barrier, food packaging
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering | PHD High Barrier Waste Based Packaging, Biopolymers, Agri Waste Valorisation, Packaging Dr Eoin Cunningham
Supervisor
Dr Eoin Cunningham
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Unfunded Mechanical Engineering Open 2

Entrance requirements

Graduate
The minimum academic requirement for admission to a research degree programme is normally an Upper Second Class Honours degree from a UK or ROI HE provider, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University. Further information can be obtained by contacting the School.

International Students

For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.

English Language Requirements

Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.0, with not less than 5.5 in any component (*taken within the last 2 years) is required.

International students wishing to apply to Queen's University Belfast (and for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study or research. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes.

For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see: www.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs.

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.

Tuition Fees

Northern Ireland (NI) 1 £4,596
Republic of Ireland (ROI) 2 £4,596
England, Scotland or Wales (GB) 1 £4,596
EU Other 3 £22,700
International £22,700

1 EU citizens in the EU Settlement Scheme, with settled or pre-settled status, are expected to be charged the NI or GB tuition fee based on where they are ordinarily resident, however this is provisional and subject to the publication of the Northern Ireland Assembly Student Fees Regulations. Students who are ROI nationals resident in GB are expected to be charged the GB fee, however this is provisional and subject to the publication of the Northern Ireland Assembly student fees Regulations.

2 It is expected that EU students who are ROI nationals resident in ROI will be eligible for NI tuition fees, in line with the Common Travel Agreement arrangements. The tuition fee set out above is provisional and subject to the publication of the Northern Ireland Assembly student fees Regulations.

3 EU Other students (excludes Republic of Ireland nationals living in GB, NI or ROI) are charged tuition fees in line with international fees.

All tuition fees quoted are for the academic year 2022-23, and relate to a single year of study unless stated otherwise. Tuition fees will be subject to an annual inflationary increase, unless explicitly stated otherwise.

More information on postgraduate tuition fees.

Mechanical Engineering costs

There are no specific additional course costs associated with this programme.

Additional course costs

All Students

Depending on the programme of study, there may also be other extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies . Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library. If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. Students should also budget between £30 to £100 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges. Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen. There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, and library fines. In undertaking a research project students may incur costs associated with transport and/or materials, and there will also be additional costs for printing and binding the thesis. There may also be individually tailored research project expenses and students should consult directly with the School for further information.

Bench fees

Some research programmes incur an additional annual charge on top of the tuition fees, often referred to as a bench fee. Bench fees are charged when a programme (or a specific project) incurs extra costs such as those involved with specialist laboratory or field work. If you are required to pay bench fees they will be detailed on your offer letter. If you have any questions about Bench Fees these should be raised with your School at the application stage. Please note that, if you are being funded you will need to ensure your sponsor is aware of and has agreed to fund these additional costs before accepting your place.

How do I fund my study?

1.PhD Opportunities

Find PhD opportunities and funded studentships by subject area.

2.Funded Doctoral Training Programmes

We offer numerous opportunities for funded doctoral study in a world-class research environment. Our centres and partnerships, aim to seek out and nurture outstanding postgraduate research students, and provide targeted training and skills development.

3.PhD loans

The Government offers doctoral loans of up to £26,445 for PhDs and equivalent postgraduate research programmes for English- or Welsh-resident UK and EU students.

4.International Scholarships

Information on Postgraduate Research scholarships for international students.

Funding and Scholarships

The Funding & Scholarship Finder helps prospective and current students find funding to help cover costs towards a whole range of study related expenses.

How to Apply

Apply using our online Postgraduate Applications Portal and follow the step-by-step instructions on how to apply.

Find a supervisor

If you're interested in a particular project, we suggest you contact the relevant academic before you apply, to introduce yourself and ask questions.

To find a potential supervisor aligned with your area of interest, or if you are unsure of who to contact, look through the staff profiles linked here.

You might be asked to provide a short outline of your proposal to help us identify potential supervisors.