This is an exciting and rewarding opportunity for a self-funded and motivated PhD candidate looking to progress a multidisciplinary and applied research degree. The candidate will develop skills in two technology areas underpinning all branches of advanced manufacturing, fibre optics and coatings, and draw from the reach research acumen of two internationally renowned applied sciences departments at Cranfield University, “Surface Engineering and Precision Centre” and “Centre for Engineering Photonics”. The ideal candidate will come with optics background and interest in expanding their knowledge in development and integration of optical fibre sensors in harsh environments to support future digitised manufacturing control.  Read more Read less

Thickness of Physical Vapour Deposition coatings is highly sensitive to a range of sputtering process parameters (applications PVD market size is worth $ 27 billion by 2025). The control of thickness becomes challenging when coating freeform surfaces, which exhibit rapidly decaying slopes and blind spots. Such examples include the production of thermal barrier coatings on turbine blades or anti reflective (AR) coatings on free form optics where the thickness tolerance is of utmost importance.


Thickness uniformity can be achieved with control of the window of operation of the process parameters and optimised angular, spatial and temporal exposure of the non-planar substrates to the vapour flux of target atoms. The only way to achieve such control is to monitor in real time the film thickness growth at different positions inside the flux of atoms without creating shadowing effects.


The PhD will develop and evaluate the multiplexed optical fibre array ability to provide cost effective and accurate in-process coating thickness uniformity measurement in high temperature sputtering conditions, enabling the shift from the current trial-and-error coatings industry landscape to the smart and digitised process control sought in the modern high value manufacturing environment.

At a glance

  • Application deadline01 Jan 2022
  • Award type(s)PhD
  • Start dateAs soon as possible
  • Duration of award3 years
  • EligibilityUK, EU, Rest of World
  • Reference numberSATM239


Dr Claudiu Giusca 

Entry requirements

  • A minimum of a 2:1 first degree in a relevant discipline/subject area.
  • A minimum of English language proficiency (IELTS overall minimum score of 6.5).

Also, the candidate is expected to:

  • Have excellent analytical, reporting and communication skills
  • Be self-motivated, independent and team player
  • Be genuine enthusiasm for the subject and technology
  • Have the willing to publish research findings in international journals
  • Have an optics background



Explore financial support opportunities in our funding finder.

Cranfield Doctoral Network

Cranfield University is located at the very heart of the UK – within the innovation triangle between London and the cities of Oxford and Cambridge.

Our central location provides easy access from the M1, excellent main line rail service as well as proximity to key international airports. Set in rolling countryside, Cranfield offers a rich, rural landscape complemented by thriving towns and picturesque villages.

  • Road: We are just 10 minutes from Junctions 13 and 14 of the M1 motorway. There is free parking on campus.
  • Rail: Milton Keynes or Bedford
  • Air: London Luton (22 miles), Heathrow (50 miles) or Birmingham (70 miles).

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How to apply

For further information please contact:
Name: Dr Claudiu Giusca

If you are eligible to apply for this research studentship, please complete the online application form.

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