The Welding Engineering and Laser Processing Centre of Cranfield University and its industrial partners, is offering the exciting research opportunity to investigate 3D printing of metallic components in challenging environments. Read more Read less

The work is focused but not limited to remote environments, such as underwater, nuclear and low gravity. This applied research will be based on fundamental investigation and understanding of forces affecting melting characteristics and solidification of weld bead in 3D printing. The main focus will be put on laser-based sources. Understanding the fundamental principles of pressure, gravity and other forces on laser-material interaction and formation of the melt pool is vital to develop robust process. Different research methods, including experimental trials with various monitoring equipment and numerical modelling will be used to understand phenomena governing the process. The project will require cross-field collaboration and development of sophisticated experimental set-ups to gain insight into the process physics.

The broad activities of the student at Cranfield will be to:

  • Carry out theoretical analysis of forces acting on the melt pool in various AM processes
  • Set-up the experimental jig and instrumentation to investigate the development of meltpool and formation of weld bead in various conditions
  • Set-up a numerical model to investigate the effect of processing position (gravity), and pressure on stability of meltpool and formation of bead shape in additive manufacturing
  • Understand influence of shielding environment and oxygen concentration on the meltpool forces
  • Design and develop validation tests
  • Develop a 3D printing process for a selected set of conditions.

The students will be based at the Cranfield University's Welding Engineering and Laser Processing Centre, (WELPC) which has an international reputation for welding research and additive manufacture. At the WELPC there is a wide range of state-of-the-art welding equipment including high, medium and low power lasers, modern arc welding systems and variety of research equipment.
The students will work in close collaboration with various industrial partners and be expected to present the project progress with the collaborators on a regular basis.

Technical Schools Research Students Training Programme

The successful candidate will attend Cranfield University Technical Schools Research Students Training Programme, which is designed to equip students with research skills required during their research studies and in their future careers. This programme consists of a series of 'one-day events', coupled with smaller interactive group sessions. For further details please contact Alison Whaley, Academic Co-ordinator, T: +44 (0) 1234 750111 x2570

At a glance

  • Application deadlineOngoing
  • Award type(s)PhD
  • Duration of award3 years
  • EligibilityUK
  • Reference numberSATM0010

Entry requirements

Applicants should have a first or second class UK honours degree or equivalent in a related discipline, such as mechanical engineering, materials or physics. The ideal candidate should have some understanding in the area of laser-material interactions and in numerical modelling. The candidate should be self-motivated, have good communication skill, for regular interaction with other stake holders, with an aptitude for good research.


The studentship is supported by EPSRC through scheme of Doctorate Training Partnership and industry. Bursaries at the EPSRC rate plus fees* is available for the studentship.

The student will receive a tax free bursary of £18k p.a. plus the fee will be paid. To be eligible for funding applicants must have UK citizenship. Please note that it is expected a student receiving this funding will be able to meet one of the three UK residence requirements specified by EPSRC, as shown at the below link.

For more information in regard to eligibility please visit EPSRC website at:

Cranfield Doctoral Network

Research students at Cranfield benefit from being part of a dynamic, focused and professional study environment and all become valued members of the Cranfield Doctoral Network. This network brings together both research students and staff, providing a platform for our researchers to share ideas and collaborate in a multi-disciplinary environment. It aims to encourage an effective and vibrant research culture, founded upon the diversity of activities and knowledge. A tailored programme of seminars and events, alongside our Doctoral Researchers Core Development programme (transferable skills training), provide those studying a research degree with a wealth of social and networking opportunities.

How to apply

For further information please contact:

Dr. Wojciech Suder: or Dr. Jialuo Ding 

For further information contact us today:
T: 44 (0)1234 758540