Fusing Remote Sensors and Digital Modelling to Create a Smart Hot Strip Mill

Key Information

Academic Supervisors: Dr C Giannetti and Prof C Pleydell-Pearce

Industry Supervisor:  Mr T Baynes

Expected Interview Date: July 2021


The steel industry produces in excess of 1.7bn tonnes of steel per year and accounts for ~10% of global carbon emissions. Digitalization of industrial processes, driven by development of low-cost wireless remote sensors and advances in data analytics, offer tremendous opportunities to improve both energy and material efficiency for the steel industry and, hence, reducing the environmental impact.

This research project will look at the application of novel sensors technologies, fused with physical models, in the hot strip mill at Port Talbot to create actionable insight during manufacture which will enable the production of tailorable, guaranteed, right-first-time materials. The research will be undertaken collaboratively with the industry partner to inform/improve management decision making to improve the hot strip mill. 

The key driver for this project is to improve both energy and material efficiency for the industry both of which will help to reduce the environmental impact of the process, a 1% material efficiency saving is the equivalent of 60,000 tonnes of CO₂ saved.

The Research Engineer will:

  • Integrate these new data streams with existing hot mill data.
  • Use various data analytics techniquescombined with physical modelling to translate the data into useful information.
  • Work with the industry partner to understand the hot rolling process and in negotiating existing IT infrastructure on the plant.

This PhD scholarship offered by SUSTAIN in the Faculty of Science and Engineering at Swansea University. SUSTAIN, an 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 successful candidate will join a group of researchers working on Smart Steel Processing (Academic Staff, Research Fellows and Doctoral Students) and will have the opportunity to collaborate with researchers across the SUSTAIN network, (core members of the Universities of Warwick and Sheffield and the Steel Industry) and beyond.

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 committee to addressing unequal gender representation. Applications from women are particularly welcomed.

We welcome applications from candidates with an Engineering or Physical Science degree (minimum level 2:1). Normally, we would expect candidates to have met the University’s English Language requirements (e.g., IELTS 6.5 overall with 5.5+ in each component) by point of application.

Funding and Eligibility

The award will cover tuition fees at UK rate and a stipend of £20,000 per annum, each for a maximum of 3 years
Due to funding restrictions, this scholarship is open to UK/EU candidates only (EU nationals must have no restrictions on how long they can stay in the UK and should have been ordinarily resident in the UK for at least 3 years prior to the start of the studentship).

Closing Date: 18th June 2021

Start Date: 1st October 2021

Applications and informal enquiries about this studentship should be directed by email to: M2A@swansea.ac.uk