My PhD is aimed at modelling multi layered shielding systems designed to protect against very high velocity impact for spacecrafts. With this we aim to develop modelling methods for these different material layers and the adhesives under impacts with some experimental testing on campus to validate the modelling.

I would like to use the knowledge from my PhD to work in the aerospace industry to develop solutions for protecting spacecraft from orbital debris.

I have the support to work in a flexible way and be provided with excellent resources for progressing my project, including training for and use of specialised workshop and laboratory equipment.

How I came to do a PhD

I first studied at Loughborough for my MEng in Aeronautical engineering and so had already experienced the student community on campus and the wealth of knowledge in the departments from leading researchers before starting my PhD. However, I chose to continue at Loughborough due to the specialist equipment available for my research topic with a gas gun test rig in the Materials department that not many universities have access to.

My final year MEng project was on a similar topic and, when offered to continue the work for a PhD, I jumped at the chance to continue learning more and expand my knowledge of the field.

Life as a PhD student

The day to day can be very varied depending on what you want your PhD to be. It can some days be searching for literature in the library, setting up experiments in the lab or simply working on your project from the research office. I really enjoy the opportunity to teach tutorial sessions for undergraduate students, which allows me to give back to the department and help the next generation of engineers develop.

Advice for anyone thinking of applying

My biggest advice for someone thinking about studying for a PhD would be to go in with an open mind.

The initial plan for your PhD is not set in stone, you will spend the first part of the degree defining what you will study and so this can and most likely will change a lot from the first day.

Fred Hamlyn
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