PhD Studentship - Rolls-Royce sponsored PhD scholarship – Design and simulation of stiffness-adjustable robotic systems for performing on-wing repair of aero-engines

Updated: about 1 month ago
Location: Nottingham, SCOTLAND
Deadline: 04 Jul 2017

Closing Date
Tuesday, 4th July 2017

Applicants are invited to undertake a 3 year PhD programme in partnership with industry to address key challenges in on-platform manufacturing engineering. The successful candidate will be based at The Rolls-Royce University Technology Centre (UTC) in Manufacturing and On-Wing Technology at University of Nottingham.

We are seeking applicants to start on a Rolls-Royce project as soon as possible, no later than October 2017.

This project is in relation to the technical needs of Rolls-Royce to develop automatic and hybrid tooling solutions to enable in-situ/on-wing repair and maintenance of gas turbine engines.

At the Rolls-Royce UTC at University of Nottingham we have developed robotic systems capable to navigate into crammed/hazardous environments, and perform inspection and active operations such as machining. This is driven by the need to complete repair tasks without disassembly of industrial installations. We have developed a free-leg hexapod ( ) and advanced it into a walking machine tool ( ). We also developed a series of continuum robots in both short ( ) and long ( ) versions. Both systems can be coupled to result into hybrid robots having ability to both walk/navigate and then perform tasks with end-effectors attached to both hexapod and continuum arm sub-systems ( ). At the Rolls-Royce UTC we have developed a unique capability to design, model and realise our own robotic systems to perform tasks within restrictive environments.

This project builds on these research/industrial successes and proposes control solutions for automated robotic systems capable to be teleoperated using smart human-machine interfaces.

This is an exciting PhD project that has a combination of academic and industrial challenges which will enhance the student’s ability to tackle complex intellectual and practical aspects of mechatronics/control and manufacturing.

We are seeking talented candidates with:

  • First or upper second class degree in mechanical/mechatronics/robotics/cybernetics or related scientific discipline.
  • First rate analytical and numerical skills, with a well-rounded academic background.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop precision mechanical devices/mechatronics
  • Ability to develop kinematic and/or dynamic analysis of mechanical/robotic systems
  • Ability to use finite element modelling and to simulate of complex mechatronics and
  • Ability to implement control and kinematics with hardware-in-the–loop
  • Background with relevant packages, (CREO/SOLIDWORKS, ANSYS/ABAQUS, MATLAB)
  • A driven, professional and self-dependent work attitude is essential
  • Experience of working within industry will be an advantage
  • The ability to produce high quality presentations and written reports

This is an excellent opportunity to work on a novel robotic system with strong links to industrial applications and key skills and knowledge in preparation for a high-impact, high-technology research or industrial career.

The scholarship on offer (to eligible students) comprises a tax-free stipend of £19,000 a year; tuition fees paid and a generous study package.

Eligibility: Only UK Higher Education “Home Fee” status applicants and EU residents satisfying the three-year residency requirement are eligible.

Please contact the UTC director, Prof. Dragos Axinte, for further information.

Email: Tel: 011595 14117

Deadline: Until filled. Please quote ref. ENG993 

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