Aerospace Engineering: EPSRC DTP and Swansea University Funded PhD Scholarship: Advanced Numerical Methods for Multiscale Simulation of Fibre-Reinforced Composites (RS651)

  • DeadlineDeadline: 1 August 2024
  • WalesWales


Closing date: 1 August 2024

Funding provider(s): 

EPSRC-DTP (50%), Faculty of Science and Engineering (50%) 

Subject area(s): 

Computational mechanics; Engineering simulation 

Project start date(s): 

  • 1 October 2024 (Enrolment open from mid-September) 
  • 1 January 2025 (Enrolment open from mid-December) 


Dr. Xi Zou Prof. Wulf Dettmer 

Aligned programme of study: 

PhD in Aerospace Engineering 

Mode of study: 


Project description: 

This PhD project focuses on computational mechanics. It seeks to advance the development of numerical methods for multiscale simulation of fibre-reinforced composite materials, especially the carbon fibre-reinforced polymer (CFRP). CFRP composites have gained prominence in industries such as aerospace and automotive due to their exceptional strength-to-weight ratio and highly flexible designability. Recently, the development of 3D printing technology has also enabled the additive manufacturing of CFRP composites. However, optimising the design and analysis of CFRP structures requires a deep understanding of their complex multiscale behaviour and intricated computational models. 

Currently, the complete simulation workflow for multiscale modelling of CFRP composites is time consuming as it relies heavily on manual processing. This project aims to bridge the gaps in the procedure by creating advanced simulation tools that enable researchers and engineers to model CFRP components with higher efficiency and accuracy. The tools will incorporate state-of-the-art computational techniques, such as high-order finite element methods, reduced order modelling, including machine learning, to simulate CFRP's complicated response to various loading and environmental conditions. The development of the tools will require significant amount of computer programming using Python, C/C++ and Fortran. The candidate will also have the opportunity to produce CFRP specimens for experimental tests with the cutting-edge 3D printing technology. 

The successful candidate is expected to master state-of-the-art advances in computational mechanics to push forward the boundaries of CFRP simulation techniques, fostering innovation and sustainability in industries that rely on the CFRP material. The research will also help shape the future of CFRP simulation progress in engineering design and manufacturing. 

For more details please see here:

Entry Requirements

Candidates must hold a UK Bachelor degree with a minimum of Upper Second Class honours in Engineering or similar relevant science discipline, or overseas Bachelor degree deemed equivalent to UK Bachelor (by UK ECCTIS) and achieved a grade equivalent to UK Upper Second Class honours in Engineering or similar relevant science discipline– see country specific qualifications.

Due to funding restrictions, this scholarship is open to applicants eligible to pay tuition fees at the UK rate only, as defined by UKCISA regulations. 

Please note that you may need to provide evidence of your English Language proficiency. 

If you have any questions regarding your academic or fee eligibility based on the above, please email with the web-link to the scholarship(s) you are interested in. 


This scholarship covers the full cost of UK tuition fees and an annual stipend of £19,237.

Additional research expenses of up to £3,000 will also be available. 

How To Apply

To apply, please complete your application online with the following information:

  1. Course choice – please select as per preferred start date, either - 

    *October 2024 start, select:
    Aerospace Engineering/ PhD / Full-time / 3 Years / October
    *January 2025 start, select:
    Aerospace Engineering/ PhD / Full-time / 3 Years / January

    In the event you have already applied for the above programme previously, the application system may issue a warning notice and prevent application, in this event, please email where staff will be happy to assist you in submitting your application.
  2. Start year – please select 2024 or 2025
  3. Funding (page 8) –
  • ‘Are you funding your studies yourself?’ – please select No
  • Name of Individual or organisation providing funds for study’ – please enter ‘RS651 - Advanced Numerical Methods'

*It is the responsibility of the applicant to list the above information accurately when applying; please note that applications received without the above information listed will not be considered for the scholarship award.

One application is required per individual Swansea University led research scholarship award; applications cannot be considered listing multiple Swansea University led research scholarship awards.

We encourage you to complete the following to support our commitment to providing an environment free of discrimination and celebrating diversity at Swansea University: 

As part of your online application, you MUST upload the following documents (please do not send these via e-mail). We strongly advise you to provide the listed supporting documents by the advertised application closing date. Please note that your application may not be considered without the documents listed:

  • CV
  • Degree certificates and transcripts (if you are currently studying for a degree, screenshots of your grades to date are sufficient)
  • A cover letter including a ‘Supplementary Personal Statement’ to explain why the position particularly matches your skills and experience and how you choose to develop the project.
  • Two references (academic or previous employer) on headed paper or using the Swansea University reference form. Please note that we are not able to accept references received citing private email accounts, e.g. Hotmail. Referees should cite their employment email address for verification of reference.
  • Evidence of meeting English Language requirement (if applicable).
  • Copy of UK resident visa (if applicable)
  • Confirmation of EDI form submission (optional) 

Informal enquiries are welcome; please contact Dr. Xi Zou ( )

*External Partner Application Data Sharing – Please note that as part of the scholarship application selection process, application data sharing may occur with external partners outside of the University, when joint/co- funding of a scholarship project is applicable.

Who is eligible to apply?

Due to funding restrictions, this scholarship is open to applicants eligible to pay tuition fees at the UK rate only, as defined by UKCISA regulations. 

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