Self-funded PhD opportunities

Surface Modification for Advanced Engineering Applications

  • Application end date: Saturday 1 July 2017
  • Funding Availability: Self-funded PhD students only
  • Department: School of Engineering
  • PhD Supervisor: Jurgita Zekonyte, Aleksander Krupski and Jovana Radulovic

From corrosion and fatigue to biofouling, most engineering problems stem from the surface. Bulk material properties are well-known and researched, yet the properties at the surface differ, and often have undesired impact on the overall performance. By controlled surface modifications it is possible to adjust specific properties and tailor material performance according to the application, while leaving the bulk untouched.

The project aims to improve surface performance through targeted tailoring of its properties for advance engineering applications including, but not limited to: nano-tribology, chemical resistance, permeability barriers, and enhanced surface conductivity.

This project will involve the use of advanced technologies to manufacture, amend, characterize and evaluate a variety of materials in order to explore their performance limitations and offer optimised properties through surface modifications. Multi-functional and textured material surfaces will be studied theoretically and experimentally. The outcomes of project will be the discovery of optimised surface properties for specific application and the advancement in surface design and characterisation.

How to Apply:

To apply or make an enquiry, please visit postgraduate research: Engineering

Applications should use our standard application forms and follow the instructions given under the ‘Research Degrees’ heading on the following webpage:

When applying please note the project code ENGN3410217

Funding notes:

Home/EU applicants only. Please use the online application form and state the project code and studentship title in the personal statement section.

An appropriate first or upper second class honours degree of any United Kingdom university or a recognised equivalent non-UK degree of the same standard honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject or a master’s degree in an appropriate subject. Exceptionally, equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications will be considered.  The PhD student will have a strong interest in surfaces and interfaces, and advanced surface characterisation.

References to recent published articles:

1. J. Zekonyte, V. Zaporojtchenko, S. Wille, U. Schuermann, F. Faupel, Structural and chemical surface modification of polymers by low-energy ions and influence on nucleation, growth and adhesion of noble metals, in: “Polymer Surface Modification: Relevance to Adhesion”, K.L. Mittal (ed.), VSP, vol. 3, (2004), pp. 243-261.

2. V. Zaporojtchenko, J. Zekonyte, F. Faupel, Effects of ion beam treatment on atomic and macroscopic adhesion of copper to different polymer materials, Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research B 265 (1) (2007) 139.

3. J. Zekonyte and T. Polcar, Friction force microscopy analysis of self-adaptive W-S-C coatings: nanoscale friction and wear, ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces. 7(38) (2015) 21056-21064.