PhD in Advanced Composites

The project: 

Imagine shape-changing aircraft, cars or wind-turbines which have thermal management, sensing, actuating and self-repair functionality embedded within their materials and structures. In ten years’ time, this could be possible through the application of high performance advanced composites. This is the future, do you want to be part of it?

By joining the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Advanced Composites for Innovation and Science (ACCIS CDT) you will undertake cohort-driven training and cutting-edge research making these technological visions a reality.

What you’ll be doing

You will participate in a four-year, fully-funded programme. The rewarding first year includes a stimulating series of seminars and lectures, a unique hands-on Group Project to design, build and test a composite structure and an individual six-month research project. This experience will enable you to broaden and deepen your core engineering skills and explore those research areas that interest you most. Towards the end of your first year you will choose your PhD project.

The Centre covers a wide range of composites research and technical challenges you might explore include:

  • developing novel solutions to enhance composite performance
  • increasing composite functionality; and
  • developing the design methodology and innovative application of ‘next generation composite materials’.

What you’ll get out of it

The ACCIS CDT has exceptional industrial links, with many of the six-month and PhD projects offered by industrial partners, providing opportunities to gain valuable experience by working with technical industry experts and through international placements.

You will be working in a collaborative and stimulating environment, strengthened by the cohort-driven activities in the first year, where knowledge-sharing and joint problem solving is the norm. The interdisciplinary nature of the Centre will make you think about problems from a whole new perspective and explore really innovative ideas.

On completion of the programme you will leave with far more than just a PhD; you will have the skills, knowledge and acumen to become the future technical leaders in advanced composites, be it in academia or industry.

More about ACCIS

The CDT was established in 2009 and is based at the Advanced Composites Centre for Innovation and Science (ACCIS), a world-leading research centre at the heart of the UK Government Composites Strategy. ACCIS has over 100 researchers, many working on industrially relevant projects within the aerospace, wind, marine, and automotive industries. Current grants exceed £20M and involve strong partnerships with Airbus, dstl, GKN, Rolls-Royce and Vestas.

Candidate requirements:

We’re looking for exceptional students, with at least a high 2:1 Honours degree, from across all engineering and science subjects.


Enhanced EPSRC studentship covering fees and living costs are available to UK/EU students. Funding is also available to exceptional international students.

How to apply:

Please make an online application for this project at Please select PhD Advanced Composites on the Programme Choice page. Start date: September 2015.


For further information please contact:

Deadline for applications: 31st December 2014

The University of Bristol is committed to equality and we value the diversity of our staff and students.

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