Composites Manufacture

Study mode:On campus Study type:Full-time Languages: English
91 place StudyQA ranking:5140 Duration:48 months

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The EngD programme is a four-year postgraduate research programme, and is undertaken as a partnership between industry and academia. Each EngD research project is designed around the sponsoring company's research priorities.

The EngD programme is run by the Industrial Doctorate Centre (IDC) in Composites Manufacture, which is firmly embedded within the EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Composites (CIMComp). The IDC is a collaboration between the University of Bristol (lead university), Cranfield University, the University of Manchester and the University of Nottingham, and has its physical base at the National Composites Centre in Bristol.

The IDC aims to provide the UK composites manufacturing industry with Research Engineers equipped with the necessary advanced technical and leadership skills required for effective adoption of new knowledge and technologies in composites manufacture. The relevant industry areas include aerospace, automotive, marine, wind energy and construction.

CIMComp aims to underpin the development of next-generation composites manufacturing processes based on low cost, short cycle times, efficiency and sustainability. Composites have been identified internationally as a critical enabling technology in developing a low energy economy, directly through light weighting in transport applications and indirectly through their use in renewable energy machinery for wind and tidal power. The UK Composites Strategy produced by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (Nov 2009), recognises the importance of "shaping the technical and economic conditions necessary to develop rapid manufacturing of composites" and hence "increase and develop the use of advanced composites across other sectors".


EngD students (Research Engineers) spend 75% of their time at their sponsoring company carrying out an industrially focused research project, while the remaining 25% of their time is dedicated to the taught component of the EngD programme. This specialist training, which is delivered at the National Composites Centre in Bristol, involves attending a number of week-long units during the first two years of the programme.


* Constituents of composites
* Manufacturing of composite structures
* Laminate analysis and modelling
* CAD for composites design and manufacture
* Mechanical performance of composites
* Process modelling and control in composites manufacture
* Design for manufacture of composites
* Business skills 1
* Business skills 2
* Composites Manufacturing Study Tour

Research Engineers are supervised by an academic and an industrial supervisor and are registered to the University of the academic supervisor.

Key research interests Dr Richard Brooks (Senior Lecturer, Nottingham), rapid manufacturing of thermoplastic composites for automotive and other industries, manufacturing of novel composite sandwich structures.

Professor Stephen Hallett (Reader, Bristol), numerical modelling of composites, prediction of mechanical properties, manufacturing processes to capture deformations and defects, 3D woven and textile composites.

Professor Mike Hinton (Technology Director, NCC), materials and structures, business strategy, management and operational matters.

Dr Dmitry Ivanov (Lecturer, Bristol), innovative approaches to composites manufacture and modelling.

Professor Andrew Long (Director of CIMComp, Nottingham), design and manufacturing of composite components and structures, automated manufacturing technologies and process modelling.

Professor Ivana Partridge (Director of the IDC, Bristol), thermoset resin and composite toughening, through thickness reinforcement of composites, composite process control and polymer-metal-fibre hybridization.

Dr Prasad Potluri (Reader, Manchester), technical textiles, 3D textile preforming, modelling textile structures, developing novel and bespoke preforming machines.

Professor Kevin Potter (Deputy Director of the IDC and Deputy Director of CIMComp, Bristol), composites manufacturing, reinforcement deformation, dimensional variability and defect generation.

Dr Alex Skordos (Lecturer, Cranfield), processing of polymer nanocomposites, simulation and optimisation of composites processing, cure kinetics of thermosets, real-time cure monitoring.

Professor Nick Warrior (Strategic Development Board Chair of CIMComp, Nottingham), design and manufacturing of directed fibre and high performance polymer composites for automotive applications.

Professor Michael Wisnom (Director of ACCIS, Bristol), mechanics and failure of fibre reinforced composites, residual stresses and distortion during manufacturing, understanding of controlling factors and models to predict response.


An upper second-class degree (or equivalent qualification) in engineering, physical science or applied mathematics.

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.


Students are either supported financially as a salaried employee of the collaborating company or by an EPSRC stipend (£15,226 for 2013/14) enhanced by at least £4,774 per annum by the collaborating company.

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