Closing date: Apply as soon as possible

Start date: October 2019

Supervisors: Dr Z Abdullah, Dr K Perkins and Dr A Brew

Sponsoring company: Tata Steel

This post will remain open until a suitable candidate is found and we recommend you apply as soon as possible.

Advanced high strength steels (AHSS) are complex materials formed via exacting processes which impart high tensile strength. Their strict property requirements often necessitate the use of elements which may oxidise at the surface of the steel during processing, causing discolouration. This issue may be minimised by proper process control. However, this may not always be possible, and a decision must be made on whether a particular colour or shade is acceptable. To make this decision, it is critical to identify two aspects: firstly, to accurately, reliably and quickly characterise the surface colour/shade and secondly, to know the end use(s) of the material and understand the relationship between colour and performance.

Some progress has been made in both aspects. Shade has been investigated as potential release criteria, the contact resistance has been measured across the colour severity spectrum to indicate welding performance and phosphating (a key step in electrophoretic paint coating) has been examined in material with varying surface appearance.

This project will involve further development of work performed thus far. One aspect of the project is to develop colour characterisation of an AHSS material using a variety of colour, lightness, shade, etc. indicators to gain a good description of the surface appearance that correlates well with its real-life appearance. Another aspect of the project will be to investigate the performance of the material in customer relevant processes and compare these results to the colour assessment. These two aspects will be used to develop release criteria, processes or tools to be used in future production of AHSS. A final aspect of the project shall be the chemical characterisation of the surface, to understand species responsible for the colour. These results shall be compared to steel elemental composition and process parameters to gain a greater fundamental understanding of the issue.

Swansea University is a top 30 UK institution for research excellence (Research Excellence Framework 2014) and has been named Welsh University of the Year 2019 by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide.

The Materials and Manufacturing Academy (M2A) in the College of Engineering is a Swansea University initiative which provides postgraduate research training in partnership with industry; providing access to world-class laboratories and a wealth of academic and industry expertise. The M2A is committed to delivering high quality collaborative research opportunities within an inclusive environment, funded by the Welsh European Funding Office (WEFO), the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Swansea University and Industry partners.

Research Engineers may participate in our career mentoring system, offering opportunities to engage with M2A alumni and other senior staff from across the University.

The Athena SWAN charter recognises work undertaken by institutions to advance gender equality. The College of Engineering is an Athena SWAN bronze award holder and is committee to addressing unequal gender representation.

Applications from women are particularly welcomed. As a positive action to address gender imbalance, female undergraduates considering a career in research are invited to join our two-day laboratory taster session and learn about a typical day in the life of a research engineer.

For more details please see here:

Administrative Contacts & How To Apply

To apply for this scholarship, please complete the online application form.

Informal enquiries about this scholarship are welcome and may be directed by email to: [email protected].

Entry Requirements

We welcome applications from candidates with an Engineering or Physical Science degree (minimum level 2:1), or a combination of degree and equivalent relevant experience to the same level, to join the M2A community of research engineers.

To be eligible for WEFO funding, applicants should:

  • Be a UK or EU citizen (eligible for home tuition fees at Swansea University) and have the right to work in Wales at the end of their studies.
  • Be resident within West Wales and the Valleys at the time of enrolment and for the duration of the candidature.
  • Must not be financially able to participate in study for a postgraduate research degree without the award of this funding

If English is not your first language you will need an acceptable pass in an approved English Language qualification to make sure you get the full benefit from studying at Swansea. We consider a wide range of qualifications, including the Swansea University English Test, the British Council IELTS test (with a score of at least 6.5 and 5.5 in each component). A full list of acceptable English Language tests can be found at:

Funding Notes

The scholarship covers the full costs of UK/EU tuition fees, plus a tax free stipend of £12,500 per annum for a period of one year.

Funding Information

Application Deadline:

Apply as soon as possible

Please see our website for how to apply:
Visit Website Request Further Information Add to list