Current research opportunities

Research students

Our research is world leading in its contribution to global innovation. With our emphasis on the aerospace, automotive, defence and security, health, energy, environment, management and manufacturing sectors we have changed the way society thinks, works and learn.

You can be a part of this by undertaking a research degree at Cranfield – either by undertaking a bespoke research project, applying for a PhD or MSc by research in one of our schools or by considering one of the funded research opportunities below. These are often full-time over three years although part-time opportunities also exist.

Search for PhD and MSc studentship by selecting your area of interest below.

Aerospace

Aeroengine design and performance optimisation with Rolls-Royce

Applications are invited for three-year PhD or one-year MRes studentships in the Department of Power and Propulsion, Cranfield University, in the field of aero-engine design and performance optimisation. The research is in collaboration with Rolls-Royce. Studentships cover a wide range of research areas, from the design optimisation of the main and secondary gas paths of the engine, turbomachinery and variable geometry, to the optimisation of the cycle performance at extreme operating conditions.

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Boundary layer ingestion technologies for future aircraft systems

Applications are invited for a PhD studentship in the Centre for Propulsion Engineering, Cranfield University, in the field of aero-engine installation performance and aerodynamics. The research is in collaboration with the Airbus Group, UK

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Dynamic Structural Characteristics of Morphing Structures

This PhD will be a part of the Advanced Lightweight Structures group in Cranfield University, with close links with industries including Rolls-Royce and Airbus as partners of the upcoming Aerospace Integration Research Centre (AIRC).

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Optimisation of hybrid vehicle powertrains topologies and control

The automotive sector is increasingly adopting electrification of powertrain in various forms, driven by the stringent regulation in all major markets of CO2 and pollutant emissions. The successful candidate will perform research towards developing powertrain control and optimisation techniques to be tested in a hardware-in-the-loop test rig. Such setup could be used, for example, to investigate the benefits of alternative energy storages such as supercapacitors or flywheels.

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Defence and Security

Camouflage Materials Synthesis and Characterisation

This exciting project will involve a class of small molecules that are able to change colour and texture/shape under different illumination conditions, thereby changing the appearance of any surface they coat.

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Forensic Science Aspects of the Ageing Skeleton

The project aims to investigate the histological, elastic and anatomical aspects of the skeleton, in particular to explore ageing in the rib and clavicle. These findings will have applications in forensic science and industry (insurance, litigation, automotive safety etc.)

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Fully Funded PhD Studentship in Active Materials for Intelligent Antenna Technology

This is an exciting opportunity to join a dynamic group whose primary focus is working on antennas, microwave and millimetre wave engineering for LTE and fifth generation (5G) wireless communications. The aim is to explore a variety of novel RF and microwave active antennas based on a combination of semiconducting materials and technologies embedded in antenna radiating structures. The objectives are to model, design and test RF and microwave transistors integrated with antennas and integrated receiver circuits.

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Fully funded PhD studentship in hyperspectral/multispectral imaging

Two PhD Studentships in the area of hyperspectral/multispectral remote sensing are available from January 2016 the Shrivenham Campus of Cranfield University. The project includes hyperspectral scene simulation, sub-pixel target detections, band selections, active hyperspectral imaging and applications of the above for environmental and civil/biomedical usage. The successful candidate is expected to work closely with our collaborators in the UK and abroad. Students with strong backgrounds in imaging systems, remote sensing, computing, electronics, mathematical modelling, machine vision and electro-optics are encouraged to apply.

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High velocity impact response against concrete and structural systems

This exciting PhD opportunity is focused on the high velocity impact response of complex structures comprising both single and multi-phase materials in order to characterise them for enhanced protection. Material properties change substantially with impact velocity; as an example, as impact velocity increases, steels will both strain and strain-rate harden as well as thermally soften to greater extents (with other phenomena such as phase changes also playing a significant role in material response).

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Materials Science High Speed Materials Characterisation

This exciting PhD opportunity is focused on the investigation of the application of novel X-ray characterisation techniques for rapid assessment diagnostics in a number of contemporary manufacturing processes. This is an exciting project with the potential for high impact publications and the possibility of a step change in process control within several industries.

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PhD studentship in graphene-base high performance propellants

The primary focus of this PhD research is to understand the interaction mechanism and stability of nitrate esters and plasticiser (energetic or non-energetic) in graphene-based formulations. The study of the dispersity of graphene in propellant formulations, chemical interaction, and crystallinity of nitrocellulose with graphene will be the parts of this programme.

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Remote Intelligence of Building Interiors Using Radar

The research will develop and de-risk low frequency radar image collection and processing techniques for sensing the interiors of buildings; to determine their internal structures, and to detect the presence of equipment and human activity.

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Two fully funded PhD studentships in propellants, explosives and pyrotechnics

The first PhD aims to investigate the applicability of RAM (resonant acoustic mixing) for cast cured high explosive formulations useful for the Ministry of Defence. The second PhD aims to investigate the applicability of RAM for cast cured high explosive formulations.

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Energy and Power

CO2 Compression, Liquefaction and Dehydration

Sponsored by EPSRC DTA studentship programme, this studentship will provide a bursary of up to £16,800. (tax free) plus fees* for three years

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Environment and Agrifood

Funded research opportunities in Agrifood

Cranfield is a member of one of four newly formed consortia to receive a share of a £12 million investment from the BBSRC (Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council) to provide advanced training for the development of the UK agrifood industry under the Advanced AgriFood Training Partnership (AATP). Eligible applicants in the agrifood sector can apply to come to study a funded MSc by Research or PhD on a part-time basis. Successful individuals will obtain a postgraduate qualification and employers will benefit from a scientifically skilled workforce. You will be able to make use of our excellent facilities and expertise to conduct in-house research whilst training at postgraduate level.

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SIDATIM - Biology and economics of a new biomass crop (Sida hermaphrodita)

This studentship will provide a bursary of £15,000. (tax free) plus fees* for three years

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Leadership and Management

MSc by Research in Leadership and Management

This studentship will include a full scholarship of up to full UK/EU fees, and includes some funding for living expenses or other costs.

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Policy Evaluation via user innovated methods

This studentship will provide a bursary of approximately £14,000 (tax free) plus fees* for four years

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Uncertainty Evaluation in Complex Engineered Systems

This studentship will provide a bursary of approximately £14,000 (tax free) plus fees* for four years

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Manufacturing

Dynamic Structural Characteristics of Morphing Structures

This PhD will be a part of the Advanced Lightweight Structures group in Cranfield University, with close links with industries including Rolls-Royce and Airbus as partners of the upcoming Aerospace Integration Research Centre (AIRC).

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EngD - Tribological study for slip resistant and energy resilient floors

Cranfield University and Altro Ltd are seeking a top class candidate to undertake research leading to the award of an International Engineering Doctorate EngD(Int) awarded jointly by the Universities of Warwick, Exeter and Cranfield.

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Train Cab Front Cleaning Robot

Sponsored by RRUKA (Rail Research UK Association), this studentship will provide a bursary of up to £14,000 p.a. (tax free) plus fees* for one years

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Wire and Arc Additive Manufacture compensation strategies

Cranfield University has an exciting collaborative research opportunity with Airbus, which aims to develop a geometrical based method to predict and compensate both the thermal and motion related process variations, and integrate it into the WAAM path planning software.

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Transport Systems

Optimisation of hybrid vehicle powertrains topologies and control

The automotive sector is increasingly adopting electrification of powertrain in various forms, driven by the stringent regulation in all major markets of CO2 and pollutant emissions. The successful candidate will perform research towards developing powertrain control and optimisation techniques to be tested in a hardware-in-the-loop test rig. Such setup could be used, for example, to investigate the benefits of alternative energy storages such as supercapacitors or flywheels.

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Water

Evaluating the Potential of AOP Technologies for the Removal of Pesticides and Other Emerging Contaminants

This studentship will provide a bursary of £17,000 (tax free) plus fees* for one year.

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Funded research opportunities in Agrifood

Cranfield is a member of one of four newly formed consortia to receive a share of a £12 million investment from the BBSRC (Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council) to provide advanced training for the development of the UK agrifood industry under the Advanced AgriFood Training Partnership (AATP). Eligible applicants in the agrifood sector can apply to come to study a funded MSc by Research or PhD on a part-time basis. Successful individuals will obtain a postgraduate qualification and employers will benefit from a scientifically skilled workforce. You will be able to make use of our excellent facilities and expertise to conduct in-house research whilst training at postgraduate level.

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Maximising the value of trade wastes

This studentship will provide a bursary of £18,000. (tax free) plus fees* for three years

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SIDATIM - Biology and economics of a new biomass crop (Sida hermaphrodita)

This studentship will provide a bursary of £15,000. (tax free) plus fees* for three years

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The Next Generation of Drinking Water Treatment: Microbubbles and Nanobubbles

This studentship will provide a bursary of £19,000. (tax free) plus fees* for four years

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