Optimising Strain Gauges through Advanced Finite Element (FEA) Modelling.

Key Information
Supervisors: Dr Will Harrison and Dr A Evans

This post will remain open until a suitable candidate is appointed. We recommend you apply as soon as possible.
Over the past few years, Flintec has seen a rise in demand for its loadcells, which has applied pressure on our engineering design hubs to innovate and produce new technology. Some of the technology inherent to Flintec includes the method of producing strain gauges as well as loadcell designs.

The strain gauge is incorporated into a Wheatstone bridges circuit, that is balanced and compensated for variations in temperature once installed into the loadcell. The bonding, positioning and design of the strain gauge is critical to minimising detrimental changes in performance. This can affect the non-linear behaviour of the signal output, creep, zero drift and the detection of mechanical hysteresis.

Flintec is now building a world class centre of excellence in Cardiff with new buildings, infrastructure, investment and jobs growth. There are plenty of exciting career opportunities  and international travel to the USA and Asia.
The focus of this project will be to:
• Build and develop strain gauge FEA models.
• Calibrate models with experimental case studies.
• Introduce advanced material models.
• Create a design methodology for future strain gauge development.
The chosen candidate will be working in the FEA team, which has had an increased amount of investment and great success since the introduction of Ansys Mechanical.  There will also be opportnities to spend time at different international manufacturing sites to fully develop the project.

We will expect to offer further study opportunities (potential EngD), to the successful candidate and the potential to progress onto a lead engineering role in the FEA team for strain gauge R&D.
Swansea University is a top 30 UK institution for Research Excellence (Research Excellence Framework 2014) and has been names 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 research opportunities within an inclusive environment, funded by 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, to learn about a typical day in the life of a research engineer.

Sponsoring Company Flintec
Sponsoring Company Flintec
Flintec is a world leading manufacturer in the precision weight measurements sector, which produces precision products for a wide range of different industries, including medical, retail and industry.
In 1968, two Swedish engineers established a weighing scale design company. Since then, the company has expanded across multiple continents investing in technologies, staff and knowledge.
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 in 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, applicant 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 £12,500

Closing Date 30 August 2019

Start Date January 2017

Apply Now

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