Fracture problems in microstructured materials PhD

Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering
Entry requirements:
3 years
6 years
Reference number:
Start date:
01 October 2018
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

Fracture in science and technology is understood as the total or partial separation of an originally intact body or structure. This phenomenon may have destructive effects on structures and lead to catastrophic failures, with high economic consequences or, in the worst case, loss of lives.

The general goal of the proposed research project is to advance the fundamental understanding of crack propagation, localisation and damage progression in microstructured materials. In order to properly address phenomena such as size effects or localisation of strain, it is essential to enrich the classical continuum with additional material characteristic length scales. This may be achieved via a homogenised approach where microstructural features are introduced at a constitutive description level. To this purpose, a class of gradient type generalised continuum theories will be employed to account for the effects of the microstructure. The fracture problems addressed in this project cannot be attacked adequately solely by numerical strategies based e.g. on the Finite Element or Boundary Element Method since these techniques lack the necessary resolution to describe extremely localised phenomena in the presence of singularities. Therefore, particular emphasis will be given to the derivation of analytical solutions using appropriate mathematical tools.


Primary supervisor: Konstantinos Baxevanakis

Find out more

For further project details email Konstantinos Baxevanakis or register your interest and ask us a question.

To find out more about the School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering, please visit our website.

Recommended reading:

  • K.P. Baxevanakis, P.A. Gourgiotis and H.G. Georgiadis, 2017. Interaction of cracks with dislocations in couple-stress elasticity. Part II: Shear modes, International Journal of Solids and Structures 118-119, 179-191. doi: 10.1016/j.ijsolstr.2017.03.021.
  • K.P. Baxevanakis, P.A. Gourgiotis and H.G. Georgiadis, 2017. Interaction of cracks with dislocations in couple-stress elasticity. Part I: Opening mode, International Journal of Solids and Structures 118-119, 192-203. doi: 10.1016/j.ijsolstr.2017.03.019.

Entry requirements

Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Applied Mathematics or a related subject. 

A relevant Master’s degree and/or experience in one or more of the following will be an advantage: Mechanical Engineering, Computational Solid Mechanics, Applied Mathematics.

All students must also meet the minimum English Language requirements.

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.

This is an open call for candidates who are sponsored or who have their own funding. If you do not have funding, you may still apply, however Institutional funding is not guaranteed. Outstanding candidates (UK/EU/International) without funding will be considered for funding opportunities which may become available in the School.

How to apply

All applications should be made online. Under programme name select Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering. Please quote reference number: KB2UF2018