PhD Research Studentship Dielectric Spectroscopy and High Strain Rate Properties of Polymers

The University of Nottingham has an opening PhD position in mechanical engineering. The funding allows successful candidate to work for 5 years. The deadline to apply is May 30, 2020.

Applications are invited for a fully funded PhD studentship (3.5 years) in the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Nottingham. The aim of the research is to investigate the relationships between dielectric spectroscopy and mechanical properties of polymers. Dielectric measurements enable probing of polymer behaviour at very high frequencies, which should offer new insight into the mechanical properties of polymers at impact conditions of high strain rates. The successful applicant will work collaboratively with a team of researchers at the University of Nottingham and the University of Oxford currently supported by the Dutch Polymer Institute, where work is on-going on the measurement and modelling of high strain rate properties of polymers, as well as with major collaborating polymer companies, and is expected to engage with further international collaborations. The student will work under the supervision of Dr Davide De Focatiis, on the development of techniques and theories for relating dielectric measurements and mechanical measurements, making use of existing experiments and guiding future efforts. By understanding some of the structure-property relationships, feedback can be provided towards constitutive modelling development and to the development of materials more tailored to specific high strain rate response.

Students should have, or expect to obtain, a first-class degree, or a distinction at MSc level in materials engineering, mechanical engineering or a closely related discipline (a high 2:1 or high merit will be considered). Students should be able to demonstrate an interest in polymer materials and materials testing, and excellent written and oral presentation skills. Previous experience with mechanical and dielectric testing of polymers is helpful.

The studentship will cover PhD tuition fees and a tax free stipend for three and a half years (15,285 for the 2020-2021 academic year) for UK/EU students. International students who have been ordinarily resident in the UK for 3 years prior to starting the PhD in October 2020 may also apply. The studentship is expected to start in October 2020.

Informal enquiries prior to making an application, may be addressed to: Dr Davide De Focatiis, email: you are interested in making an application, please contact Dr Davide De Focatiis directly, by email:, with a covering letter stating clearly how you fulfil the requirements of the studentship, and include a CV and the names and addresses of two academic referees. Interviews will take place at the University of Nottingham.

When applying for this studentship, please include the reference number (beginning ENG and supervisors name) within the personal statement section of the application. This will help in ensuring your application is sent directly to the academic advertising the studentship.


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