Research Studentship in Improved Modelling of the Constitutive Response of Materials to Rapidly Applied Loads

4-year D.Phil. Studentship
EPSRC Industrial CASE Studentship with Rolls Royce plc

Supervisor: Dr Antonio Pellegrino

This studentship is being jointly offered by the University of Oxford and Rolls Royce plc under the EPSRC Industrial CASE awarad scheme.

The research will be focused on the development of novel numerical modelling methodologies for simulation of the response of titanium alloys to impact loading, as a part of a long term collaboration with designers of large gas turbine engines for civil aviation. 

The aim is to develop novel, experimentally validated modelling approaches for simulation of deformation and fracture of materials and systems subjected to highly dynamic loading, such as those arising from bird strike fan blade release events. The student will play a central role in the development of numerical algorithms and encompassing software as a "plug-in" into a larger software suite, as well as related experimental methods for calibration and validation of developed software. This research work will focus on discretisation methodology and related kinematics (whilst remaining generic in terms of constitutive behaviour of solid materials for which the software is designed) aimed at improving the accuracy and efficiency of large scale simulations. In addition, the developed methodology will aim to span a range of length scales. The purpose is to validate the newly developed modelling capability against readily available experiments generated in the Impact Engineering Laboratory, Oxford where the project is hosted.

The student will be a member of one of the biggest and most vibrant and exciting research teams in the Department whose industrial sponsors are the biggest global engineering organisations, who motivate truly inspiring and productive atmosphere in the research team. More information can be found at


This studentship is funded through the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Industrial Co-operative Awards in Science & Technology (CASE) Award Scheme and is open to both UK students (full award - fees plus stipend) and EU students (partial award - fees only). Full details of the EPSRC eligibility requirements can be found here.

Award Value

University tuition fees are covered at the level set for UK/EU students, as are Oxford College fees (c. 7,432 in total p.a.). The stipend (tax-free maintenance grant) is c. £14,553 p.a. for the first year, and at least this amount for a further three years. 

Candidate Requirements

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

  • A first class honours degree in engineering (mechanical, naval, aerospace, civil), materials science/engineering, physics or applied mathematics.
  • Proven affinity to solid mechanics and materials engineering
  • Excellent English written and spoken communication skills

The following are desirable but not essential:

  • MSc in Computational Mechanics (Finite Element Method, element free)
  • Excellent computing skills and preferably some experience with computer aided design software and programming languages (C/C++, FORTRAN, Matlab

Application Procedure

Informal enquiries are encouraged and should be addressed to Dr Antonio Pellegrino (

Candidates must submit a graduate application form and are expected to meet the graduate admissions criteria. Details are available on the course page of the University website.

Please quote 18ENGIN_16NP in all correspondence and in your graduate application.

Application deadline: noon on 19 January 2018. Start date: October 2018.