DPhil Research Studentship in Nanoscale Stress Analysis – filled

Department of Engineering Science, University of Oxford oxlogo

iSTRESS funded DPhil studentship, available now until 31st December 2016 (subject to eligibility requirements below).

Research Area

We are seeking outstanding candidates for a doctoral studentship as part of the FP7 EU large-scale integrating collaborative research project entitled “iSTRESS: Pre-standardisation of incremental FIB micro-milling for intrinsic stress evaluation at the sub-micron scale”. The overall project includes wide-ranging round robin and cross-validation exercises and close interaction with industrial partners (Bosch, Global Foundries, Rolls-Royce, EDF, Tescan). For more information on the iSTRESS project see: http://www.stm.uniroma3.it/iSTRESS/

The successful candidate will join the research team of Professor Alexander M. Korsunsky, and become part of the Solid Mechanics and Advanced Materials research group in the Department of Engineering Science (central Oxford). The appointee will be required to carry out an active programme of experimental work and data analysis that will include regular travel to meetings and experimental sessions at major facilities.

Within the Oxford team, the successful candidate will perform experimental work and data interpretation, including specifically (i) the optimization of FIB-SEM and synchrotron XRD experimental procedures, (ii) the improvement of flexibility, robustness and accuracy of DIC algorithms, (iii) performing specific series of tests on particular materials and systems, and (iv) preparing technical reports and publications.

Candidate Requirements

The following qualities will be sought in prospective candidates:

  • A master’s degree or equivalent in Materials Science, Engineering, Physics, Chemistry or related subject from a leading research institution.
  • Research ability: excellent skills in working with scientific literature, critical and analytical approach, eagerness to learn new techniques and approaches
  • Readiness to acquire experimental skills in materials characterization (electron microscopy, X-ray diffractometry)
  • Readiness to acquire skills in materials modelling (familiarity with ABAQUS is an advantage)
  • Programming skills: Matlab, optional familiarity with Java and/or python
  • Communication skills: experience of presentation and writing
  • Interpersonal skills: ability to build and maintain good collaborative links within the group and further afield

The following skills are desirable but not essential:

  • Experience in materials simulation and model validation by comparison with experimental observations
  • Decision-making, problem-solving, planning and organising
  • Experience of using electron microscopes

Award Value

The iSTRESS studentship provides a stipend (tax-free maintenance grant) of £21,000 p.a. for the first year, and at least this amount until the end of 2016. The student needs to pay their own University fees.  University tuition fee is £3,996 for UK/EU students and £17,690 for overseas students. The college fee for Graduate students studying in 2014/15 is £2,765.


The iSTRESS project studentship is available to all applicants.

Application Procedure

To apply for this studentship, candidates should send the following documents to studentship@eng.ox.ac.uk :

  • CV
  • Transcript of studies
  • Covering letter (explaining their suitability for the project, what they hope to achieve in their doctoral project, and research experience to date)
  • Contact details for two academic or professional referees
  • Brief statement of research interests.

Application deadline

Ability to begin as soon as possible in early 2014 is an advantage.


Candidates are expected to meet the graduate admissions criteria available at http://www.eng.ox.ac.uk/postgrad/criteria.pdf and a full graduate application must be made at the same time as applying for this studentship.  Your studentship application will not be considered formally until you have submitted a graduate application.

Further details about making a graduate application are available at http://www.admin.ox.ac.uk/postgraduate/apply

Informal enquiries may be addressed to Professor Alexander M. Korsunsky (email: alexander.korsunsky@eng.ox.ac.uk). Please quote iSTRESS in all correspondence to the Department and in your graduate application.

The Department holds an Athena Swan Bronze award, highlighting its commitment to promoting women in Science, Engineering and Technology.

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