Engineering Doctorate (EngD)

Development of Refractory Systems for Reduced Thermal Losses through the Steelmaking Process

Industrial Sponsor - Tata Steel UK Closing Date - 25th February 2022

Key Information: COATED M2A Open Day – Wednesday 9th February at 1.30pm. Register on Eventbrite here

Academic Supervisors: Prof. C Pleydell-Pearce and Dr Z Abdallah

Industry Supervisor: Matthew C Davies

Expected Interview Date: April 2022

Refractory materials are designed to be resistant to decomposition by heat, pressure and, chemicals and, to retain their mechanical properties at temperatures encountered in the modern manufacturing environment. The purpose of a refractory material is to contain heat whilst simultaneously protecting processing equipment. Typically, these materials are used as linings for boilers, furnaces, incinerators etc and have multiple applications in the steel making process.

Liquid Iron and Steel are both transported and processed in Refractory coated vessels, examples being torpedoes, ladles BOS (Basic Oxygen Steelmaking) vessels, tundishes etc. At each point of transfer, temperature loss occurs. The temperature deficit is addressed either through chemical heating process or adjustments made to scrap and alloy inputs to manage the final temperature.

This project aims to study Refractory coating systems and to understand their impact on energy loss and, through literature reviews / benchmarking, to identify opportunities for reducing this loss. Thermal modelling will be utilised to develop solutions alongside refractory testing (thermomechanical) and value in use assessments. Contact and non-contact thermal measurement systems will be evaluated as a tool to support trials and evaluations of proposals resulting from this research.

COATED M2A recognises applicants have a variety of backgrounds with different educational and research experiences. We do not expect applicants to be proficient users of any techniques /equipment mentioned, at the time of application. Our focus is to upskill our participants and training will be provided.

COATED M2A in the Faculty of Science and 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. COATED M2A is committed to providing top quality 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.

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 and other under-represented groups are particularly welcomed. All applications will be anonymised prior to short listing.

Are you considering making an application and have questions you’d like answered? Come and have a 1-2-1 chat with us at our applicant surgeries (Link) . We encourage all applicants to review our hints and tips document found here

Sponsoring Company: Tata Steel UK EN-Home Page | Tata Steel in Europe (


Candidates must normally hold a minimum undergraduate degree at 2.1 level (or Non-UK equivalent as defined by Swansea University), or a combination of degree and equivalent experience to the same level.

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.

Full eligibility can be found at


Fees at UK rate and Stipend £20,000, both for the period of four years.

For full details on funding eligibility, please refer to the Materials and Manufacturing Academy (M2A) Website. Student Eligibility | M2A (

Candidates must have the legal right to live/work in the UK at the start of their studies (student visas do not qualify)

Closing Date: 25th February 2022

Start Date: 1st October 2022

Applications and informal enquiries about this studentship should be directed by email to:

Materials and Manufacturing Academy (M2A) provides industry led postgraduate research training based at Swansea University's new Bay Campus. M2A is part funded by the European Social Fund through the Welsh Government.