Science and Engineering: Fully Funded Swansea University and KLA PhD: Metrology and Process Integration for Defect Mapping of Next Generation Semiconductor Materials and Devices (RS611)

  • DeadlineDeadline: 15 May 2024
  • WalesWales


Closing date: 15 May 2024

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

Subject areas: Computer Science / Electrical Engineering / Physics 

Project start date: 

  • July 2024 (Enrolment open from mid-June)
  • October 2024 (Enrolment open from mid-September)


  • Professor Mike Jennings (Electrical Engineering -
  • Dr Matt Roach (Computer Science)
  • Professor Cinzia Giannetti (Computer Science)
  • Dr Mohammed Monfared (Electrical Engineering)
  • Professor Owen Guy (Chemistry -

Aligned programme of study: PhD in Electronic and Electrical Engineering or Computer Science

Mode of study: Full-time

Project description: 

This PhD project will harness the power of Artificial Intelligence for application in semiconductor technologies. 

The automotive semiconductor market, valued at $35 billion in 2020, is thriving due to the surge in Electric, Hybrid, and Autonomous Vehicles. To sustain this growth, achieving defect-free semiconductor devices with yields exceeding 90% is imperative. The industry anticipates a 98% efficacy boost through AI adoption, particularly in automated inspection and defect recognition. Over the next decade, AI is poised to revolutionize the semiconductor sector, enhancing quality control and yield.  

Critical to this transformation is KLA, the global premier metrology company specializing in chip and substrate manufacturing applications. KLA's systems, encompassing design-manufacturability verification, new process characterization, and manufacturing process monitoring, ensure precise measurement of various parameters, enabling tight process control for improved performance and yield. The collaboration with KLA aims to integrate wafer production and metrology for advanced semiconductor materials like Silicon Carbide and Gallium Nitride. Device manufacturing, using these materials, comprises processes including wafer production, photolithography, insulator growth, deposition, etching and metal deposition). Each process step has variables, which can lead to defects.   

This PhD project requires a highly motivated student with a Physics, Computer Science or Electrical Engineering background (or similar discipline).  

For more details please see here:

Entry Requirements

Computer Science PhD - Candidates must hold an undergraduate degree at 2.1 level in Computer Science, Mathematics or a closely related discipline, or an appropriate master’s degree with a minimum overall grade at ‘Merit’ (or Non-UK equivalent as defined by Swansea University). English Language: IELTS 6.5 Overall (with no individual component below 6.0) or Swansea University recognised equivalent. 

Electronic and Electrical Engineering PhD - 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. English Language: IELTS 6.5 Overall (with no individual component below 5.5) or Swansea University recognised equivalent. 

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. Full details of our English Language policy, including certificate time validity, can be found here. 

This scholarship is open to candidates of any nationality.


Please note that the programme requires some applicants to hold ATAS clearance, further details on ATAS scheme eligibility are available on the UK Government website. 

ATAS clearance IS NOT required to be held as part of the scholarship application process, successful award winners (as appropriate) are provided with details as to how to apply for ATAS clearance in tandem with scholarship course offer. 

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 tuition fees and an annual stipend at UKRI rate (currently £18,622 for 2023/24 and £19,237 for 2024/25).

Additional research expenses will also be available.

International Fee Eligible Students:
Swansea University is pleased to offer the Swansea University International Postgraduate Research Excellence Scholarship (SUIPRES) which covers the difference between the International and the Home/UK tuition fee for the duration of the PhD/Professional Doctorate programme. All International applications will be considered for a SUIPRES Scholarship. You will be informed whether a SUIPRES Scholarship will be offered within your offer letter.

How To Apply

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

  1. Course choice – please select Computer Science or Electronic and Electrical Engineering  / PhD / Full-time / 3 Years / July (or 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 ‘RS611 - Defect Mapping’

*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 Professor Mike Jennings ( / Professor Owen Guy (

*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?

This scholarship is open to candidates of any nationality.

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