Novel Grinding Technology with Advanced Cooling Capabilities
University of Nottingham Department of Engineering
United Kingdom

Location: University Park

Applicants are invited to undertake a 3 ½ years PhD program in partnership with industry to address key challenges in on-platform manufacturing engineering. The successful candidate will be based at The Rolls-Royce University Technology Centre (UTC) in Manufacturing and On-Wing Technology at University of Nottingham.


We are seeking applicants to start on a Rolls-Royce project before October 2019.


The Rolls-Royce funded Studentship is the result of the expanding machining activities sponsored at the Rolls-Royce UTC dealing with the use of advance manufacturing technique for aero-engine components.

With the development of ever-more advanced, but difficult to cut, materials, grinding is likely to be the enabling manufacturing process to allow the generation of complex part geometries at tight tolerances and surface integrity standards. Nevertheless, grinding is prone to induce high workpiece temperatures, which may affect the surface integrity of the part hence, their performance in long service. 


The project looks into the development of a novel cooling techniques delivered externally and internally, and close to the cutting zone to allow efficient cooling and hence the limitation of heat affected zones on the workpiece when grinding aerospace materials with the aforementioned tasks:

  • Research into special formulation of cutting fluids. 
  • Design an innovation of special delivery systems
  • Grinding simulation and trials to predict the temperature distributions at the cutting zone, so that efficient cooling can be optimized. 
  • Demonstration of the technology in industrial scenarios when grinding of safety critical aerospace components. 


The project will deal with the novel cooling solution, with its influence brought on material microstructure, as well as to the mechanical integrity of advance aerospace materials, by the grinding process. This will involve a wide range of sophisticated testing methods fully developed within the Rolls-Royce UTC at Univ. of Nottingham and material analysis techniques including Scanning electron microscope (SEM), Electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD), X-ray diffraction (XRD) for residual stress measurements. 


For mutual interest the project can be offered as a "package" and this will include:

  • Appropriate training within Rolls-Royce for a period to be agreed. The training will enable the understanding of the technical issues related to the project, as well as developing a good partnership with the appropriate technical teams.
  • Joint academic and industrial supervision. In this way, the student will develop both academic and industrial skills with multiple career opportunities at the end of the PhD study.
  • For PhD students wishing to pursue an academic career, the opportunity to participate in teaching activities will be sought.


The bursary covers the tuition fees and provides a tax-free stipend of approximately £18,777 per year for the duration of the project  – starting from October 2019. 

This is an excellent opportunity to work on very novel manufacturing processes with strong links to industrial applications and key skills and knowledge in preparation for a high-impact, high-technology research or industrial career.


Eligibility: Only UK Higher Education “Home Fee” status applicants and EU residents satisfying the three-year residency requirement are eligible. 

Informal enquiries may be address to Prof Dragos Axinte ( or Cecilia Flores (

Please apply here

When applying for this studentship, please include the reference number (beginning ENG and supervisors name) within the personal statement section of the application. This will help in ensuring your application is sent directly to the academic advertising the studentship. 

If you apply for this position please say you saw it on Engineeroxy


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