Automation of ladle hook engagement

Key Information

TATA Steel UK Ltd is currently undergoing a huge transformation and is looking to the future with its Steel products.   Steel is a 21st Century industry with research that is at the scientific and industrial forefront.  A research project with TATA Steel UK and Swansea University will give the correct student the opportunity to be heavily involved with industry whilst performing high level academic research in the Swansea Bay Campus facilities.  The candidate will be working with multidisciplinary teams, heading up their own research project and gaining invaluable experience at the industrial academic interface.

Project Aims

Automation of procedures within manufacturing processes allows for increased safety and  throughput. During the manufacturing of steel, molten metal is transported with an overhead crane using large refractory lined steel ladles to the continuous caster where molten steel is cast into a cooled mould. This project will investigate the feasibility of potential automated systems which could be implemented in this harsh operating environment. The aim of the project would be to develop a system to aid the overhead crane driver or even a fully automated ladle pickup system. Dealing with the high temperatures experienced during the transportation of molten metal will give rise to challenges for particular monitoring systems, as well as powering the units as the ladles are detached from the rig at regular intervals. To satisfy the aspects of achieving hook engagement a series of indentation techniques will be used to determine success or failure. These will include radar, load cell distribution and acoustic analysis.       

Suitable candidate 

Engineering Background


Sponsoring Company Tata Steel

Candidates should hold an Engineering or Physical Sciences degree with a minimum classification level of 2:1 or equivalent relevant experience. 

 Our funders require applicants to also meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • You must be a UK or EU citizen (i.e. eligible for ‘home’ tuition fees at the University) and have the right to work in Wales at the end of your studies.
  • You must be resident in West Wales and the Valleys at the point of enrolment and throughout the duration of your studies.
  • You must not be financially able to participate without the award of grant funding.

Further information regarding eligibility criteria can be found at: http://www.materials-academy.co.uk/eligibility

The Athena SWAN Charter recognises work undertaken by institutions to advance gender equality. The College of Engineering is an Athena SWAN bronze award holder and is committed to addressing unequal gender representation.


The studentship covers the full cost of UK/EU tuition fees, plus a tax free stipend of £12,500 p.a.

Closing Date 28 February 2018

Start Date October 2018

Apply Now

Informal enquiries about this studentship are welcome and may be directed by email to: M2A@swansea.ac.uk