Research Associate in Next Generation Fibre-Reinforced Composites

Location
United Kingdom
Salary
£33,797 - £38,017
Posted
Oct 15, 2020
Closes
Nov 13, 2020
Ref
147698
Organization Type
University and College
Hours
Full Time
Imperial College and the University of Bristol have been jointly awarded a major programme grant (£6m), by EPSRC, to fundamentally redesign high performance composite materials. This NextCOMP programme focusses on the challenge of improving the absolute performance of composites in compression, both to address practical limitations of current materials, and as a demonstration of the value of quantitative hierarchical materials design. The work will develop and embed structure at every length scale from the molecules of the matrix, to the lay-up of final components, using new constituents and new architectures, designed within a new analytical framework. The programme will benefit from a highly creative and interdisciplinary approach amongst the core project term, amplified by contributions from leading international advisors and collaborators. An extensive group of industrial partners will contribute to the project, and help to develop the outputs, building on concept demonstrators designed during the programme.

As part of this team, we are seeking to appoint a Research Associate to develop novel solutions for enhancing the compressive strength of composite materials. The research activity carried out by the post holder will entail the introduction of novel manufacturing methods for improving the compressive strength of thick fibre-reinforced plies and solid structural members. Relevant approaches may for example include over-winding/over-braiding of pultruded rods and veil interleaving of composite tows. The ideal candidate will have a balanced expertise in manufacturing techniques, experimental characterisation and numerical methods to predict the strength of composites, particularly under compression. He/she will be able to contribute to idea generation, with a strong ability to think "out of the box" and propose highly innovative solutions to overcome the limitations of the state of the art. You should have, or expect to receive, a PhD in an experimental material science, mechanical or aerospace engineering, with an emphasis on fibre-reinforced polymer-based composite materials. Essential experience will include "hands-on" expertise in manufacturing methods, e.g. filament winding, pultrusion and braiding, and experimental characterisation techniques to assess stiffness, strength and toughness. Knowledge of the finite element method applied to composites would be an advantage.

We welcome applications from all members of our community and are particularly encouraging those from diverse groups, such as members of the LGBT+ and BAME communities, to join us.

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