M2A

Studies of Coatings, Lifetime and Circular Economy of Resin-Wood Composites

Key Information

Acadmic Supervisors: Prof. Peter Holliman

Industrial Supervision:           Dr Andrew Pitman

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

Wood is a sustainable resource. In making commercial products, resin-composites, coating and metal fixings are often used to enhance mechanical and lifetime properties as well as functionality. The resultant product therefore is a hybrid or composite material.

The project aims to develop a closed-loop manufacturing process where materials and energy input into the process are optimised, and the product can be fully recycled at the end of its lifetime, into useful materials for further use.

Industrially, resins form a crucial part of composite wood materials. Whilst curing resins is typically chemically and/or thermally driven, scaled curing will always be complicated by mass and energy transfer. A key aim is to control the resin cure at a cost and scale which is commercially viable, whilst maintaining the desired product form.

Wood composites are joined together using adhesives and/or metal fixings. The fixings and then material itself, must have commercially acceptable operational lifetimes and hence this project will also study material lifespan.

The Research Engineer will:

  • Investigate thermal behaviour of resin-wood composites, to fully understand the resin curing in composite substrates;
  • Study in-situ metrology against a programme of manufacturing optimisation. Data will be correlated with process variables to understand how these affect curing and resin-wood interactions, and in turn the resulting product parameters;
  • Test product lifetime under accelerated weathering and coatings developed to enhance operational lifespan of the product.
  • Study material recycling using chemical and thermal treatments.

 

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 Lignia Ltd
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.
Funding

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 30 August 2019

Start Date September 2019


Apply Now

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