Development of sensors and non destructive analysis to determine the performance of coatings in construction

Key Information

Tata Steel Europe (TSE) is the second largest producer of pre-painted steel in Europe. To maintain this position, the organisation is constantly trying to improve the current product range, either through the development of best in class coatings for the construction industry, improved offerings in service or through added functionality. As Tata’s premium coated products can offer maintenance free warranties of up to 40 years it is essential that the performance under different climatic conditions if fully understood.  As the world moves to more digitilisation, monitoring and evaluation, the use of very small sensors that can be incorporated into coatings to monitor all critical aspects of the coating are required.

Project Aims

The project aims of the research will be to :

Work with external companies or internal businesses to assess what is the current state of sensor technology that could be incorporated into coatings

Produce Tata Steel Colors coatings with the chosen sensor technology and collect digital data on the coating performance, environmental conditions and demonstrate links to standard testing data

In parallel use information from other industries such as oil and gas industry on the use of non destructive techniques to assess the quality of a coating on steel and at what point would maintenance be required

Could the combination of sensors and non destructive technology be prototyped on an actual building to give a digital performance of the building envelope fabric

Suitable Candidate

Suitable for a materials or chemistry student, with an interest sustainability or paint chemistry.


Sponsoring Company Tata Steel Colors

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 £20,000 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