Developing Selective Laser Melting for use in Energy Absorption Structures

Energy absorption is a safety-critical function in a breadth of applications. Current personal protection systems are typically foam-based, meaning that they are light weight though not optimised for maximum performance. The majority of protective helmets (e.g. cycling, American football) use expanded polystyrene as the primary energy absorbing layer, a closed-cell foam first introduced in the 1970s. Energy absorption applications in the military range from vehicular-based solutions that tend to rely upon multi-layered metal cladding, significantly reduces the vehicle efficiency and performance. Military personnel are provided with multi-layered Kevlar-ceramic armour, which represents a significant physical burden.

Selective laser melting (SLM) will be used as an enabling technology, with the aim of ultimately allowing engineers to better utilise the design freedom provided by additive manufacturing, combined with the ability to produce unique metal alloys, to develop more efficient and effective material structures. Specifically, this PhD will focus on developing SLM structures optimised for effectively absorbing energy at high strain-rate applications, whilst being ultra-light-weight. Such ambitions means that this PhD will most likely focus on the development of novel cellular structures, designed to offer optimised performance.

Start Date: 1st October 2016

This studentship consists of full UK/EU tuition fees, as well as a Doctoral Stipend matching UK Research Council National Minimum (£14,338 p.a. for 2016/17, updated each year) for 3.5 years.

Further Information:

Please email Dr Peter Theobald,

To Apply:

Candidates should hold or expect to gain a first class degree or a good 2.1 and/or an appropriate Master’s level qualification (or their equivalent). In the first instance interested applicants are invited to send a CV and covering email/letter to Applications must be submitted by Friday 3rd June 2016: