Multidisciplinary design optimisation of a can forming operation

Key Information

Crown Packaging Manufacturing UK Limited is a world leader in metal packaging technology with operations in over 40 countries. To reduce material use and make lighter weight products, Crown use finite element analyses (FEA) to predict metal-forming operations. This allows new processes to be investigated without the need to perform physical tests. Using multidisciplinary design optimisation (MDO) techniques in conjunction with FEA, the effects of many design changes on different responses can be evaluated in relatively short time-scales.

Project Aims

The aim of this project is to optimise one or more aspects of an existing can forming operation based on multiple criteria. Models created in Abaqus FEA software will be provided and the student will undertake a parameter screening exercise to identify the most important design variable, before applying various optimisation techniques to assess their suitability to the specific metal forming operation. It is anticipated that both direct optimisation and surrogate approaches will be investigated and that design variables for the optimisation will include tooling geometries, material properties and friction. The result of the project will be an improved understanding of efficient optimisation techniques for high speed metal forming processes.

Suitable candidate 

The ideal candidate would be highly self-motivated with a knowledge of finite element analysis and preferably, optimisation methods. Experience of using Abaqus software would be an advantage although not essential. The project may involve short visits to Crown’s research centre in Wantage so a willingness to travel is also desirable.

Academic Supervisor

Will Harrison

Sponsoring Company Crown Packaging Manufacturing UK Ltd.

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.
  • We would normally expect the English Language requirements to be met by point of interview (April 2018). For details on the University’s English Language entry requirements, please visit – http://www.swansea.ac.uk/admissions/englishlanguagerequirements/

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 2017

Apply Now

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