Advanced Composites (Centre for Doctoral Training)

Study mode:On campus Study type:Full-time Languages: English
91 place StudyQA ranking:3254 Duration:48 months

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The Advanced Composites Centre for Innovation and Science Doctoral Training Centre (ACCIS DTC) offers exceptional candidates across engineering, science and mathematics the unique opportunity to become involved with groundbreaking research in composite materials and structures technologies. The technological landscape continues to evolve, with a particular shift towards high performance advanced composite materials. With drivers such as increased fuel efficiency and safety, aerospace, automotive and renewable energy industries require individuals with the qualifications and acumen to drive forward business and technology.

This four-year, fully funded programme includes a taught element in the first year as well as a group project designing, building and testing a composite structure, and an individual six-month research project. PhD projects are selected by students towards the end of the taught component. The programme provides an opportunity for you to broaden and deepen core engineering skills and promotes the exploration of the interface between science and engineering.

The scope of research within the ACCIS DTC covers a wide-range of composite engineering. Possible fields of research include:

Morphing structures for aircraft, cars and marine craft

Multifunctional materials, with embedded functionality for thermal management, sensing, actuation and self-repair

Innovative manufacturing solutions

All DTC students are based in the ACCIS research group. ACCIS is based in the Faculty of Engineering and links to the Science and Medical Faculties.The vision of ACCIS is to be a world-leading centre for composites research, combining cutting-edge fundamental science with strong industrial links for exploitation and technology transfer. ACCIS is a focus for collaboration internally, nationally and internationally, and was recently selected by the UK Government to lead the establishment of the UK National Composites Centre.


Key research interests

Professor Ian Bond, (Head of Aerospace Engineering), Development and performance of novel and multifunctional composite materials.

Dr Jacopo Ciambella, (DTC Lecturer), Micro-macro modelling of multifunctional materials; polymer composites; energy absorbing nanocomposites.

Dr Ian Farrow, (DTC Teaching Co-ordinator), Design of aerospace composite structures.

Dr Dmitry Ivanov, (DTC Lecturer), Innovative approaches to composites manufacture and modelling.

Professor Hua-Xin Peng, (Professor of Aerospace Materials), Microstructurally inhomogenous composites; engineered cellular materials

Dr Alberto Pirrera, (DTC Lecturer), Structural analysis, design and optimisation; well-behaved nonlinear structures; shell structures; wind turbine blades; morphing; numerical continuation; buckling and post-buckling

Dr Sameer Rahatekar, (DTC Lecturer), Carbon nanotube and graphene-based nanocomposites; multiscale composites; cellulose and natural polymer-based composites; molecular-scale and continuum-scale modelling of composite manufacturing.

Professor Fabrizio Scarpa, (Professor of Smart Materials and Structures), Auxetic materials; smart materials and structures; structural dynamics; morphing structures; multidomain design of components

Dr Richard Trask, (DTC Research Co-ordinator), Biologically inspired multifunctional composite materials; self-healing; crack delocalisation; novel fibre architecture.

Professor Paul Weaver, (DTC Director), Composite plates and shells; buckling; materials performance; cellular structures and morphing composites.

Professor Michael Wisnom, (DTC Chair, Director of ACCIS), Predicting the behaviour of composite structures and materials; application of finite element methods


An upper-second class degree in a relevant subject (or equivalent qualification).

English Language Requirements

IELTS band: 6.5

IMPORTANT NOTE: Since April 2014 the ETS tests (including TOEFL and TOEIC) are no longer accepted for Tier 4 visa applications to the United Kingdom. The university might still accept these tests to admit you to the university, but if you require a Tier 4 visa to enter the UK and begin your degree programme, these tests will not be sufficient to obtain your Visa.

The IELTS test is most widely accepted by universities and is also accepted for Tier 4 visas to the UK- learn more.


Enhanced EPSRC studentships covering fees and living costs are available to UK/EU students.

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