Biohaviour: Genes for Green Power - Rolls-Royce genetic design
We are seeking an enthusiastic person to join the Biohaviour (www.biohaviour.com) team. The engineering and product systems of the future will look and feel very different from those to which we are accustomed today. Current Design systems are not optimised for the new generative design processes emerging, such as the bioinspired design systems being investigated in Biohaviour, and this project will help to advance the state of the art. In May this year we kick-off a major research programme worth £11M working with two other universities and a number of major industrial partners (https://gow.epsrc.ukri.org/NGBOViewGrant.aspx?GrantRef=EP/V007335/1). This project will be part of that team. This is an exciting opportunity to join a team working at the edge of technology and setting new boundaries. This PhD will investigate how the Biohaviour design system can be utilised for practical applications of significance to Rolls-Royce, with particular focus on green propulsion products and their use of environmentally friendly fuels. A working prototype system will be developed to link with the existing Biohaviour research. Tony Phipps, Chief of Future Methods at Rolls-Royce, will be industrial supervisor. A placement at RR Derby is planned which will be an integral part of this research”
Biohaviour is a bioinspired integrated design and manufacturing system created and developed in QUB. It aims to observe the rules nature uses when designing the world around us, and to capture these in a system where they can be applied to engineering design problems. It is envisaged that by doing so it will be possible to design and manufacture innovative products, free from the constraints imposed on the designs of today by existing design processes.
This PhD will play an important role in the overall project, building upon the emerging fundamental research from the QUB Biohaviour projects to advance the state of the art for more complex geometry and physics. The aim is to significantly advance the state of the art in concept design of power and propulsion components in extremely rapid timescales. To realise this, the objectives are to:
•Identify different modelling approaches suited to generative design of power and propulsion components.
•Identify different parameterisation strategies that can be used with each modelling approach
•Evaluate different modelling approaches in terms of their ability to be controlled as part of a bioinspired design system
•Evaluate the suitability of the different modelling approaches in multi-physics design contexts
•Prepare a prototype design environment for several demonstrator cases.
Demonstrator cases may potentially include:
•Structural: Lightweight pressure vessel (e.g. Hydrogen tank)
•Fluid flow: pipe routing
•Thermal: Lightweight Heat exchanger
•Chemical: Proton Exchange Membrane
•Multi-Physics: Lightweight “Green” Fuel cell (Gaseous fluid flow, thermal, electricity, structural, chemical)
These practical engineering applications will hugely advance the current capability in using computational design genes and will seek to generate novel, optimal solutions for a wide variety of constraints. This will enable comparison of this novel approach against commercially available topology optimisation techniques, for what may be a highly innovative, radically fast generation of viable design architectures vs. today’s current capability.
While this project is focused around systems in aerospace the technology has applications in product design and development across all sectors.
A stipend of £18,500 (plus fees) is available.
The studentship will cover stipend and fees. To be eligible applicants must:
• be a UK citizen or a non-UK citizen with permanent settled status in the UK AND
• have been ordinarily resident in the UK for at least 3 years prior to the start of the studentship
International applicants are not eligible to be considered for these awards.
Aerospace Engineering 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. We have around 100 students enrolled on a PhD at a time. 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.
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 relevant external academic and industrial networks worldwide.
- The School has strong links with both local and international engineering employers, and has longstanding relationships with companies such as Airbus, Caterpillar, ExxonMobil, Ford, Jaguar Land Rover, Lotus, McLaren F1 and Rolls-Royce.
- PhD research contributes to major interdisciplinary centres in the University, including:
•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.
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
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 - biomemetics, 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.
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.
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.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be offering Academic English and Pre-sessional courses online only from June to September 2020.
|Northern Ireland (NI) 1||£4,500|
|Republic of Ireland (ROI) 2||£4,500|
|England, Scotland or Wales (GB) 1||£4,500|
|EU Other 3||£22,000|
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 2021-22, 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.
For further information please refer to www.qub.ac.uk/brexit-advice/information-for-students.
Aerospace Engineering costs
There are no specific additional course costs associated with this programme.
Additional course costs
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.
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, £10,000 for students in Scotland and up to £5,500 for Northern Ireland 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
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.