Due to the ongoing uncertainty with regards to Covid-19 we are following Swansea University policy and the M2A team are currently working from home. The M2A remains open and can be contacted via the usual phone number, email and social media channels. If you have applied for one of our projects the interview schedule may be affected. We will contact applicants in due course with further information.

The development of novel aesthetic metallic surface finishes using controlled corrosion reactions.

Key Information

Supervisors: Dr N Wint and Prof HN McMurray

Expected Interview Date: March 2020


Corrosion is a natural process that converts a refined metal into a more chemically-stable form such as oxide, hydroxide, or sulphide. It is the gradual destruction of materials (usually a metal) by chemical and/or electrochemical reaction with their environment. Corrosion engineering is the field dedicated to controlling and preventing corrosion. However, some forms of corrosion mechanisms are used to great advantage within our society. The corrosion cell, or battery, is a classic example in this case. Metals are categorised in an electrochemical series and potential differences between them drives a current between an anode and cathode. This current can be used to power electronic devices. In many cases the properties of corrosion can be used to functionalise with a view to protection or aesthetic appearance. Customised Sheet Metal ltd are a progressive business based in Bridgend who have recognised an opportunity to expand their restoration portfolio by understanding the mechanisms of controlled corrosion. A current focus for the business is in the field of distressed surfaces that are caused by induced chemical oxidation on a variety of metallic surfaces. The desired surface finish is known as a patina and knowing how to create, and ultimately, replicate the random formation of features of this technique presents a significant challenge. It is well documented that the surface of a metal is rarely uniform due to microstructural deviation generated in the manufacturing processes. Surface stresses and anomalies could have a dramatic effect on dictating the formation of anodes and cathodes which would determine how the corrosion products evolve.

This project will investigate the formation of a patina on the surface of selected metals and use advanced evaluation techniques to understand the fundamental mechanisms of surface corrosion. The goal of the project will be an investigation on how the formation of patina can be controlled and reproduced using electrochemical methods. This requires a dedicated individual who is prepared to apply scientific rigor to solve an interesting fundamental problem.    


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 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. Research Engineers may participate in our career mentoring system, offering opportunity 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 committee to addressing unequal gender representation. 

Sponsoring Company Customised Sheet Metal
We welcome applications from candidates with an Engineering or Physical Sciences degree (minimum level 2:1), 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 https://www.materials-academy.co.uk/eligibility




Fees at UK/EU rate and a stipend of £12500 for one year.
For full details on funding eligibility, please refer to the Materials and Manufacturing Academy (M2A) Website.
Due to funding restrictions, this scholarship is not open to ‘International’ candidates.
Closing Date 1 April 2020

Start Date October 2020

Apply Now

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