Advanced oil application and wettability of Tinplate and ECCS.

Key Information

Supervisors: Dr E Jewell and Mr M Litz 

This post will remain open until a suitable candidate is found and we recommend you apply as soon as possible.

Tata Steel is a major steel manufacturing company in both Europe and the UK, having a portfolio comprising automotive, engineering and packaging steels. 

The packaging production volume of 1.2 million tonne is manufactured in The Netherlands, Wales and Belgium. Packaging Steel is a highly demanding market with clean, highly formable steel and exceptional surface properties. TATA Steel Packaging (TSP) sells its product to the major packaging producers of Europe, UK, and US. These customers use lacquer application systems to give their cans corrosion protection and the desired surface appearance. TSP use a small amount of oil on the tinplate to prevent scratching during cutting and processing. However, this oil applied incorrectly, can result in problems during the lacquering process at the customer. In such cases the surface tension of the tinplate is not compatible with the lacquer / solvent system. 

The Research Engineer will: 

  • Identify and test technologies which form oil droplets with a more uniform size distribution.
  • Identify and test technologies which measure oil distribution during forming and once applied to the strip.
  • Find correlation between surface tension / surface (free Gibbs) energy / wettability and droplet size distribution.
  • Propose new oils that improve wettability in the light of new lacquer systems, whilst securing scratch resistance and edibility.

Swansea University is a top 30 UK institution for research excellence (Research Excellence Framework 2014) and has been named Welsh University of the Year 2017 by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide.

The Materials and Manufacturing Academy (M2A) in the College of Engineering is a Swansea University initiative which provides postgraduate research training in partnership with industry; providing access to world-class laboratories and a wealth of academic and industry expertise. The M2A is committed to delivering high quality collaborative research opportunities within an inclusive environment, funded by the Welsh European Funding Office (WEFO), the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Swansea University and Industry partners. 

Interwoven through the research study are business, technical and entrepreneurial courses, designed to support and prepare participants for a senior role in industry or academia, on completion of their studies. Research Engineers may participate in our career mentoring system, offering opportunities to engage with M2A alumni and other senior staff from across the University. 

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.

Applications from women are particularly welcomed. As a positive action to address gender imbalance, female undergraduates considering a career in research are invited to join our two-day laboratory taster session and learn about a typical day in the life of a research engineer.

Sponsoring Company TATA Steel Packaging.
Company Website Eligibility

We welcome applications from candidates with an Engineering or Physical Science degree (minimum level 2:1), or a combination of degree and equivalent relevant experience to the same level to join the M2A community of research engineers.

To be eligible for WEFO funding, applicants should:

  • Be a UK or EU citizen (eligible for home tuition fees at Swansea University) and have the right to work in Wales at the end of their studies.
  • Be resident within West Wales and the Valleys at the time of enrolment and for the duration of the candidature.
  • Must not be financially able to participate in study for a postgraduate research degree without the award of this funding. 

To be eligible for EPSRC funding, applicants should:

  • Be eligible for home tuition fees at Swansea University.
  • Have settled status in the UK, meaning no restrictions on the length of stay in the UK; and be ‘ordinarily resident’ in the UK for 3 years prior to the start of the grant, apart from temporary or occasional absences.
  • Not have been residing in the UK wholly or mainly for the purpose of full-time education. This does not apply to UK nationals and EU nationals who were ordinarily resident in the EU immediately before the period of full-time education.

Full fees at Home/EU rate for a period of four academic years.

Maintenance stipend at £20K per annum for a period of four years.

Closing Date 27 May 2019

Start Date October 2019

Apply Now

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