Mechanical Engineering: Fully Funded PhD Scholarship: Development of an Automated Process for the Design and Manufacture of a Vehicle Body Part (RS579)

  • DeadlineDeadline: 3 April 2024
  • WalesWales


Closing date: 3 April 2024

Subject areas: Engineering Design, Finite Element Analysis, CADCAM, AI

Project start date:

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


Aligned programme of study: PhD in Mechanical Engineering

Mode of study: Full-time

Project description:

The project scope is to develop and automate the design and manufacture of vehicle body parts using the most advanced technology. Today the time we take to develop vehicle body parts is too long winded. Ordinarily the development and realisation of the design requires multiple iterations within CAD, FEA, and injection moulding software. Tooling and manufacturing of the moulds takes an extremely long time as they are CNC machined from block steel or aluminium and assembled.

The project scope is:

  • To gain a deep understanding of each stage of the design, development, and manufacturing route.
  • To innovate how we shorten each stage by systematically breaking down the processes into the constituent parts, to allow for a deep understanding, identify bottle necks and opportunities for improvement.
  • To optimise strategies to ensure the most efficient process by using the latest technology. The development and use of AI algorithms will be paramount to ensuring success.
  • To look for ways to automate the processes conducted in CAD, FEA, mould analyses and manufacturing.
  • The objective of the project is that the entire process is realised virtually within software, with little to no engagement by the user, with the output being a tooling design ready for manufacturing and subsequently the injection moulded body part.


We take iconic vehicles like the class-leading Ford Transit Custom and give it a sporting edge that’s unlike anything else on the road. Each model is hand-crafted and styled to turn heads. No other commercial vehicle has the pose and swagger to match an MS-RT.

With 40 years of motorsport experience behind us – including the World Rally Championship, Global Rallycross and GT3 Racing – the drive to be the best runs in our veins.

MS-RT’s partnership with Ford allows all MS-RT models to be sold and serviced through the Ford franchised dealer network, providing all the benefits and assurances our customers expect when they invest in an MS-RT.

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 Mechanical Engineering / PhD / Full-time / 3 Years / July (or October or 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
3. Funding (page 8) –

  • ‘Are you funding your studies yourself?’ – please select No
  • ‘Name of Individual or organisation providing funds for study’ – please enter ‘RS579 – Automated Process’

*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 Dr Will Newton (

*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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