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PhD Scholarship in Exploiting Advanced Manufacturing Technologies in Development of Highly Efficient Micro-Gas Turbine Systems

School of Digital, Technologies & Arts

Location:  Stoke campus
Salary:   £20,000 per annum
Tenure:   Fixed term for 3 years
Release Date:  Tuesday 16 June 2020
Closing Date:   Friday 17 July 2020
Reference:  DTA-PHD-HGD

An exciting opportunity to study for a fully funded doctorate whilst gaining valuable industry experience.

About the role

Staffordshire University has been awarded a European Regional Development Fund grant entitled SAMPID (Staffordshire Advanced Manufacturing, Prototyping and Innovation Demonstrator). The aim of the project is to support local companies with product design, prototyping, innovation, process engineering and development of new physical products and product components. The intended benefit of SAMPID is to lead to new and better performing products and increased utilisation of advanced and modern manufacturing methods, technologies and processes. Such improvements will drive growth of SMEs within Staffordshire and enable them to enter new markets and grow within existing markets, thereby improving productivity. As part of the project and to develop long term innovation we are seeking to recruit three Research and Innovation Analysts who will undertake a fully funded PhD to develop long term innovation.

The project

Micro Combined Heat and Power (mCHP) systems for domestic applications (<50kWe) is seen as one of the best low carbon and renewable energy solutions for the residential market in future smart cities. The system offers decentralised and simultaneous generation of both electricity and heat at the place of use and when it’s needed whilst avoiding transmission losses as seen in the conventional centralised power generation. Among different core technologies in mCHP systems, micro gas turbine (MGT) technology is emerging into the market and offering competitive price and high fuel flexible option. This PhD project is aiming to investigate the use of additive manufacturing and 3D printing techniques in design, manufacturing and integration of the components in the hot end of the MGT systems (e.g., combustor, fuel nozzle, recuperator and turbine). It is expected that by using these advanced technologies the size/cost of the units decreases significantly and the overall efficiency of the components/cycle to increase. This project will deliver significant economical, academic and industry benefits in the UK and worldwide. The objectives defined in this project is supporting the UK government policy for “decarbonising gas network” by developing new highly efficient MGT systems burning low carbon and renewable fuels in boiler, gas turbine and mCHP industries.

About you

We are looking for a minimum upper second class undergraduate or good Masters degree in a relevant engineering or physical sciences subject area.  Please provide evidence of the relevance of your degree to the proposed project in the application.

You must have good written and oral communication skills.


Funding is available for 3 years depending on satisfactory progress and meeting expectations of engagement with the SAMPID project. The funding will provide a £20k stipend (tax-free maintenance grant) per annum (subject to appropriate inflationary increase each year) plus £5k per annum research expenses.  Home/EU PhD fees will be waived for suitably qualified candidates.

It is a condition of the funding that students must actively engage with the wider aims of the SAMPID project which will include assisting local businesses within the project. The research undertaken, as described above, fits within the remit of SAMPID and will form most of this engagement. In addition, students will be expected to 

• support undergraduate and Masters students undertaking projects with local companies; and

• contribute to wider innovation and knowledge transfer work within the remit of SAMPID.

The funding and associated fee waiver is available to suitably qualified home/EU students.

Primary Supervisor:

About us

This is an exciting time to join Staffordshire University. We have risen exponentially in university league tables, recently making 37 in the Guardian League Table, and we are delighted to have achieved TEF Gold. The University is recognised for the high quality of the provision of a broad portfolio of on-campus, off-campus, blended and distance learning undergraduate and postgraduate courses. We also have strong partnerships with employers and placement providers from a range of sectors. Research activity is an integral part of the University's business and we are committed to enabling staff to engage in a wide range of research and scholarship. 

How to apply

As an initial step, informal enquiries about the project are encouraged and should be addressed to the primary supervisor Professor Hamidreza Gohari Darabkhani (

If the supervisory team wish to pursue your enquiry, they will then provide you with the apply link and encourage you to submit an online application through the central university postgraduate application portal.

Please quote SAMPID PhD, the associated project title and supervisory team at the top of the Research Proposal section of the application form. Please also include a personal statement describing your background and skills relevant to the project and your plan for a successful research programme (2,000 word maximum). This can be uploaded as a pdf in the documents section as an alternative. Please also ensure you upload copies of your qualifications with your application.

Candidates will be shortlisted and interviews will be conducted as soon as possible after the application deadline.  All candidates will subsequently be notified of the outcome.

Application deadline: Friday 17th July 2020

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