Self-funded PhD students only

Project Code



School of Mechanical and Design Engineering

Start dates

October and February

Closing date

Applications accepted all year round

Applications are invited for a self-funded, 3 year full-time or 6 year part-time PhD project.

The PhD will be based in the School of Mechanical and Design Engineering  and will be supervised by Dr Khaled Giasin.

The work on this project could involve:

  • Experimental analysis on the machinability of GLARE® fibre metal laminates and its constituents S2/FM94 glass fibre composite and Al2024 aluminium alloy.
  • To investigate the effect of cutting process parameters, cutting tool coatings and cooling strategies on the hole quality of GLARE® fibre metal laminates and its constituents.
  • Experimental investigation of the effect of cutting parameters on the microstructure evolution and defects formation due the conventional twist drilling process.
  • To develop numerical model using finite element analysis that can predict the effects of cutting parameters and cutting tool coatings on the developed cutting forces.
GLARE® (GLass Aluminium Reinforced Epoxy) laminate is a hybrid composite metal material currently used in the upper fuselage of commercial aircrafts. The material is made from thin aluminium sheets and glass fibre layers stacked together in alternating sequence and bonded using an adhesive epoxy. The material usual requires machining processes such as drilling and milling for riveting and assembly purposes. The machinability of GLARE® structures governs the longevity and structural integrity of aircraft during its service time. Conventional machining such as drilling for hole making has been the common method for riveting. Therefore, it is important to optimise the cutting parameters to maintain excellent hole quality. The current research will investigate the effect of cutting parameters, tool coatings and cooling strategies on the machinability of GLARE® laminates and its constituents using experimental and numerical techniques. A finite element model will be developed to predict the effects of cutting parameters and tool coatings on the developed cutting forces. This research will also study the effect of cutting parameters on the microstructure evolution and defects formation in those materials and optimise the process parameters for optimum hole quality.

Fees and funding

Funding availability: Self-funded PhD students only. 

PhD full-time and part-time courses are eligible for the UK Government Doctoral Loan (UK and EU students only).

2021/2022 fees (applicable for October 2021 and February 2022 start)

PhD and MPhil

Home/EU/CI full-time students: £4,500 p/a**

Home/EU/CI part-time students: £2,250 p/a**

International full-time students: £17,600 p/a*

International part-time students: £8,800 p/a*

PhD by Publication 

External candidates: £4,407*

Members of staff: £1,720 

All fees are subject to annual increase. If you are an EU student starting a programme in 2021/22 please visit this page.

*This is the 2020/21 UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) maximum studentship fee; this fee will increase to the 2021/22 UKRI maximum studentship fee when UKRI announces this rate in Spring 2021.

Bench fees

Some PhD projects may include additional fees – known as bench fees – for equipment and other consumables, and these will be added to your standard tuition fee. Speak to the supervisory team during your interview about any additional fees you may have to pay. Please note, bench fees are not eligible for discounts and are non-refundable.

Entry requirements

You'll need a good first degree from an internationally recognised university (minimum upper second class or equivalent, depending on your chosen course) or a Master’s degree in an appropriate subject. In exceptional cases, we may consider equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications. English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

  • A good basic knowledge in Metrology equipment such as (Surface roughness tester, Coordinates measurement machine, cutting forces measurement, optical microscopes, hardness tester, scanning electron microscopy) is essential for the post.
  • Some experience with using statistical software such Minitab or SPSS is desired. 
  • Background in mechanical engineering and microstructural analysis using Scanning electron microscopy and computerized tomography is desirable.
  • Experience in using finite element modelling software preferably Abaqus/Simulia and writing user defined subroutines (Essential).
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills with ability to prepare presentations, reports and journal papers to the highest levels of quality.

How to apply

We’d encourage you to contact Dr Khaled Giasin  ( to discuss your interest before you apply, quoting the project code.

When you are ready to apply, please follow the 'Apply now' link on the Mechanical and Design Engineering PhD subject area page and select the link for the relevant intake. Make sure you submit a personal statement, proof of your degrees and grades, details of two referees, proof of your English language proficiency and an up-to-date CV.  Our ‘How to Apply’ page offers further guidance on the PhD application process. 

When applying please quote project code: SMDE5221021.