Aerospace Engineering: Fully Funded EPSRC and Swansea University PhD Scholarship: Experimental and Numerical Analysis of Nonlinear Thermal Mechanical Joints (RS603)

  • DeadlineDeadline: 1 May 2024
  • WalesWales


Closing date: 1 May 2024

Funding providers: EPSRC and Swansea University's Faculty of Science and Engineering

Subject areas: Structural dynamics, Nonlinear dynamics, Multi-physics, Experimental testing

Project start date: 

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


Aligned programme of study: PhD in Aerospace Engineering

Mode of study: Full-time 

Project description: 

One of the major knowledge gaps in the study of complex aerospace systems is the frictional interface of jointed components. In the current state-of-the-art, only the nonlinear friction is considered. For the underlying physics, frictional energy dissipates energy via deformations (using current methods), heat (not considered and is the focus of this project), and sound (considered ignorable for most sliding situations). This project will focus on the understanding of the heat-based energy dissipation and the environmental effects on these frictional joints.

Swansea University is a member of the International Committee on Joint Mechanics. This is a multi-disciplinary committee focused on understanding and predicting jointed interfaces in assembled structures. The ICJM is a collection of academics, industrial researchers, and governmental bodies from across the world. This allows for knowledge transfer between industrial needs, current state-of-the-art, and relevant regulations. The successful applicant will have the opportunity to attend joint community meetings, where they can discuss and present their work, as well as attending and presenting at international conferences.  

This project will investigate the recently identified need (discovered by the ICJM) for multi-physics understanding and modelling. Specifically, this project will investigate the thermal-mechanical relationship in assembled structures. The student will utilise a newly acquired environmental chamber to understand these previously not investigated aspects of these nonlinear joints. In addition to the testing, the student will also work towards developing a novel temperature-dependent nonlinear joint model. 

For more details please see here:

Entry Requirements

Candidates must hold an undergraduate degree at 2.1 level (or Non-UK equivalent as defined by Swansea University) in Engineering or similar relevant science discipline. If you are eligible to apply for the scholarship but do not hold a UK degree, you can check our comparison entry requirements (see country specific qualifications). Please note that you may need to provide evidence of your English Language proficiency. 

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. 

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 will also be available.

How To Apply

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

  1. Course choice – please select Aerospace Engineering / PhD / Full-time / 3 Year / October

    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
  3. Funding (page 8) –
  • ‘Are you funding your studies yourself?’ – please select No
  • ‘Name of Individual or organisation providing funds for study’ – please enter ‘RS603 - Mechanical Joints’

*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 Matthew Bonney (

*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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