Materials Engineering: Fully Funded Swansea University and the Coated 3 Industry Fund PhD Scholarship: Zinc Coating Innovations for Superior Corrosion Performance (RS564)

  • DeadlineDeadline: 15 May 2024
  • WalesWales


Closing date: 15 May 2024

Funding providers: Swansea University’s Faculty of Science and Engineering, and the Coated 3 Industry Fund

Subject areas: Material Science and Engineering, metallurgy, corrosion 

Project start date:

  • July 2024 (Enrolment open from mid-June)


Aligned programme of study: PhD in Materials Engineering

Mode of study: Full-time 

Project description:

Corrosion costs the UK around 3% of its GDP, this is around half the entire budget of the NHS. This project will design, make and test novel zinc based alloys that can be used in applications such as off shore wind to protect turbines from the harsh marine environment, in coatings for cars and trucks helping to extend life but also reduce weight and in buildings to prevent corrosion the likes of which were seen in schools because of the use of Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete. Swansea University is well known for coatings and corrosion research and has unique equipment that can directly support this project.

This PhD will use rapid alloy prototyping techniques combined with electrochemical corrosion assessment to design, prototype, screen, upscale, assess and demo the next generation of corrosion resistant zinc-based coatings.

The goal is to produce new alloys and coatings that can be applied at scale and provide enhanced corrosion protection for steel assets in the renewable, construction, marine and automotive sectors. Coatings and alloys could be designed for minimal environmental impact across the life-cycle of the product. This includes choosing low impact elements, screening for resistance to different electrolytes and the use of elements that are not detrimental during recycling.

Our facilities enable us to manufacture matrices of alloys at a small scale (3-40 g), rapidly evaluate their properties and upscale candidate alloys on our Hot Dip Processing Simulator.

The following criteria have been identified for alloy selection:

1. Galvanic with respect to steel
2. Melting point <500°C
3. Adhesion
4. Enhanced corrosion protection
5. Ethical and cost considerations

This will massively increase the pace of zinc alloy development for corrosion protection. It combines computational methods with physical experimentation to explore a range of alloy combinations.

The successful candidate will have an engineering or physical sciences first degree, ideally materials science or chemistry.

For more details please see here:

Entry Requirements

Candidates must hold an undergraduate degree at 2.1 level in Engineering or similar relevant science discipline. If you are eligible to apply for the scholarship (i.e. a student who is eligible to pay the UK rate of tuition fees) 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 at UKRI rate (currently £18,622 for 2023/24).

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 Materials Engineering / PhD / Full-time / 3 Years / July

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 ‘RS564 – Superior Corrosion Performance’

*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 email). We strongly advise you to provide the listed supporting documents by the advertised closing date, where possible:

  • 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 Professor James Sullivan (

*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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