Hybrid Additive Manufacturing of Smart Structures PhD

Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering
Entry requirements:
3 years
not available
Reference number:
Start date:
01 October 2018
Is funding available?
UK/EU fees:
International fees:
Application deadline:
09 March 2018



in the UK for research quality

REF 2014


in the UK for Mechanical Engineering

The Complete University Guide 2018


of 2 Queen's Anniversary Prizes


Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF2014) and an outstanding 66% of the work of Loughborough’s academic staff who were eligible to be submitted to the REF was judged as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’, compared to a national average figure of 43%.

In choosing Loughborough for your research, you’ll work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from our Doctoral College, including tailored careers advice, to help you succeed in your research and future career. 

Project detail

This PhD project will develop a hybrid process for manufacturing smart structures additively. The property of the smart structure may change as a result of external stimulus. They can be achieved by optimising the micro-shape, the elements of a composites and producing the structure using hybrid additive manufacturing processes. Taking self-healing materials/structurers as an example, which has the build-in ability to automatically repair damage to themselves without any external diagnosis. The repair mechanism is that it contains a repair agent in a microscopic vessel or sphere as additives in the structure. By carefully designing the microstructure of spheres and selecting the appropriate chemical agent, a controlled mechanism could be achieved.

There are three main stages of this PhD project, which will be focused on to a greater or lesser degree depending on the candidate. Firstly, computational modelling will be developed to guide the design of structure following required mechanism. Computer models may be developed for micro-stress analysis, chemical diffusion/transportation analysis, interface degradation and/or mechanical failure analysis. Secondly, a hybrid additive manufacturing process will be developed to achieve the smart structure manufacturing. Two potential additive manufacturing technologies include material extrusion and vat photopolymerization. The hybrid process will contain either or both of above with additional modifications. Finally, experimental activities will be carried out to characterise the smart properties of the structures, such as mechanical testing or polymer degradation studies. The detailed project will be tailored to the individual candidate depending on their interests. Candidates with an interest in any of the following areas are particularly encouraged to apply: additive manufacturing, machine development, and/or computer simulation. 


Primary supervisor: Dr Xiaoxiao Han

Secondary supervisor: Prof Liguo Zhao; Dr Andy Gleadall

Find out more

For further project details email Xiaoxiao Han or register your interest and ask us a question.

to find out more about the AMRG Group please visit our website.

Entry Requirements

Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in Mechanical Engineering or a related subject. A relevant Master’s degree and/or experience in one or more of the following will be an advantage: Additive Manufacturing, Computational Modelling for Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering.  

Applicants must meet the minimum English Language requirements, details available on the website.

Fees and funding


Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, IT equipment and other support services. University fees and charges can be paid in advance and there are several methods of payment, including online payments and payment by instalment. Special arrangements are made for payments by part-time students.

Please note that these studentships will be awarded on a competitive basis to applicants who have applied to this project and/or the following 30 projects that have been prioritised for funding; advert ref: WS01 – WS30

If awarded, each 3 year studentship will provide a tax-free stipend of £14,786 p.a ( provisional), plus tuition fees at the UK/EU rate (currently £4,262 p.a). While we welcome applications from non EU nationals, please be advised that due to funding restrictions it will only be possible to fund the tuition fees at the international rate and no stipend will be available. Successful candidates will be notified by 30th April 2018.

How to apply

All applications should be made online.  Under programme name, select Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering

Please quote reference number: WS15

Application details

Reference number:  WS15
Start date: 01 October 2018
Application deadline: 09 March 2018