Research Studentship in High Strain Rate Properties of Particulate Composites

3.5 year D.Phil studentship, available from May 2015 (subject to eligibility requirements below)


Research Area

This studentship is part of a research initiative which aims to better understand the mechanical properties of elastomers and elastomer based composites.  In particular, we are interested in the response to high strain rate deformations, such as those experienced in impact loading scenarios. 

The student will focus on the formation of damage in the particle-rubber systems under dynamic loading. Using specialist loading devices and high speed photography we can evaluate the performance of the materials at very high strain rates.  These can be related to further experiments performed at low rates through a time-temperature superposition technique developed in the group. The key step will be to develop these links using advanced in-situ characterisation techniques; in addition, further characterisation experiments will be required to fully understand the mechanics of damage formation.  We will also develop constitutive models which capture the essential physics of the deformation process.       

The student will be a member of the Solid Mechanics and Materials Engineering research group and will be supervised by Professor Clive Siviour.  Further information may be found at

Whilst we aim to recruit to start in April 2016 we will be willing to delay the start date to October for an exceptional candidate.

Award Value

The studentship covers University and College fees at the level set for UK/EU students plus a stipend (tax-free maintenance grant) of £16,000 p.a. 


This studentship is available to all applicants but the fees are covered only at the UK/EU rate.  Therefore overseas students would have to provide the difference between the UK/EU and the overseas student rates for University fees from some other source, such as a scholarship or personal funds.

Candidate Requirements

Prospective candidates will be judged according to how well they meet the following criteria:

  • A first class honours degree, or equivalent, in Engineering, Physics or Materials Science;
  • Experience in mechanical testing; interest in mechanical behaviour of materials;.
  • Excellent written and spoken communication skills in English;

The following skills are desirable but not essential:

  • Matlab programming;
  • Materials modelling;
  • High strain rate testing.

Application Procedure

To apply for this studentship, candidates should send the following documents to

  • CV
  • Covering letter (explaining your suitability for the study, what you hope to achieve from the DPhil and your research experience to date)
  • Contact details for two academic or professional referees


NOTE: Candidates are expected to meet the graduate admissions criteria available at and a full graduate application must be made at the same time as applying for this studentship. 

Your studentship application will not be considered until you have submitted a graduate application. Further details about making a graduate application are available at  You are strongly advised to look at the application requirements early on and not wait until the deadline. The application should be filled in with a start date of October 2016; however, the actual start will be April 2016.

Please quote this code: CRSiviour_ENG in all correspondence to the Department and in your graduate application.

Informal enquiries may be addressed to  However, please note that applications sent directly to this email address will not be accepted

Application deadline:  15th January 2016