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

EPSRC Industrial CASE Studentship with Rolls Royce plc

Supervisor: Prof Nik Petrinic

This studentship is being jointly offered by the University of Oxford and Rolls Royce plc under the EPSRC Industrial CASE award 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 or during containment of internally released rotating components.  The student will play 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. The research 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.  In addition, the developed methodology will aim to span a range of length scales. The aim 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 on the group’s website .


This studentship is funded through the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Industrial Cooperative 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 skills 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 Prof Nik Petrinic (

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 17 November 2017

Start date: January 2018