Advanced Metallic Systems CDT

EngD in Through Process Modelling for Sustainable Aluminium


Supervisors: Prof Joseph Robson, Dr João Quinta da Fonseca

Collaborator: Innoval

Location(s): Various – Including The University of Manchester and Innoval’s UK facility (Banbury). International travel will also be required.

Stipend: Current UKRI EngD stipend (£16,509 in 2019/20) plus a top-up of £2,500p.a. for UK and eligible EU students


How to apply: 

For further details of how to apply: In the first instance please email Prof Joseph Robson  

Email address:                  

Application submission closing date: Tuesday 30 April 2019


Project Description:

The CDT in Advanced Metallics is a partnership between the Universities of Sheffield and Manchester and the I-Form Advanced Manufacturing Centre, Dublin. CDT students undertake the CDT training programme at all three locations throughout the 4-year programme. 

Innoval is a UK based company that provides a unique resource of independent expertise to the global aluminium industry (producers and users). The company is a key partner in enabling sustainable, cost effective aluminium alloy production, for use in applications such as automotive, aerospace, and packaging. 

Innoval have a particular expertise in developing models to predict the evolution of the structure and properties through the complex process chain that aluminium alloys experience. Models are critical to optimize the processing of aluminium alloys and enable the use of greater recycled content, thus moving towards fully closed loop recycling of aluminium.

Innoval have developed a library of models for different parts of the process chain, but these models are not connected. This means it is not possible to predict through process microstructure and performance.

The aim of this EngD is to take the existing models and couple them to enable a through process simulation capability. To do this, experimental validation will be required at each step, and additional models may be needed to be developed. 

The project will therefore involve a combination of computer based modelling and experimental validation of models using advanced techniques such as electron microscopy. No prior experience of modelling is needed, but an interest in computation and simulation is required. The project will involve spending time at Manchester and at Innoval’s UK facility (Banbury). It will also require international travel. 

The project aligns with the large scale equipment within the Henry Royce Institute and objectives of the EPSRC LightForm programme ( The outcomes of this project will be implemented directly by Innoval to produce impact directly in the aluminium industry. 

Through the EngD you will gain an in-depth knowledge of, and exposure to, the aluminium industry. This is a rapidly growing field with increasing opportunities due to the benefits of aluminium in lightweighting. The project also closely aligns with aluminium industry objectives for sustainable use of materials through closed loop recycling. On completing the project, you will have a combination of computer modelling and experimental skills that are in strong demand by employers. There will be close interaction with Innoval throughout the project including placements, weekly update meetings, and company presentations.