Self-Sensing and Energy-Harvesting (SSEH) Composite Materials for Coastal Infrastructure

Self-Sensing and Energy-Harvesting (SSEH) Composite Materials for Coastal Infrastructure

Director of Studies: Dr Sung-Hwan Jang

Second Supervisor: Dr Alison Raby

Third Supervisor: Professor John Summerscales

Applications are invited for a three-year PhD studentship. The studentship will start on 1 October 2018.

Project description

The UK is an island nation with approximately 11k miles of coastline, where waves constantly interact with coastal structures. This coastal infrastructure could provide significant opportunities for future marine environmental management that incorporates innovative features. Wave action could be monitored and managed for the safety of people and structures, with potential added benefit that the wave impact loading could be converted into a valuable source of electricity. In recent years, Dr Jang has explored the unique material properties of composites by dispersing nanomaterials into the matrix, creating materials capable of sensing, heating, and energy harvesting. Recent technological advancements in the design and realisation of smart materials have fuelled considerable research in the field of energy harvesting. In particular, energy harvesting from mechanical oscillations has been shown to be a viable approach due to the ubiquitous presence of various frequency vibrations in coastal infrastructures.

The PhD student would undertake the following tasks:

1)   Design and manufacture of self-sensing and energy harvesting (SSEH) composite materials

2)   Characterisation of SSEH composites

3)   Smart application into coastal infrastructures

 A candidate with experience in multifunctional materials, advanced composites manufacturing, electromechanical characterisation is desirable.


Applicants should have (at least) a first or upper second class honours degree in an appropriate subject and preferably a relevant MSc or MRes qualification.

The studentship is supported for three years and includes full Home/EU tuition fees plus a stipend of £14,777 per annum. The studentship will only fully fund those applicants who are eligible for Home/EU fees with relevant qualifications. Applicants normally required to cover overseas fees will be required to cover the difference between the Home/EU and the overseas tuition fee rates (approximately £10,350 per annum).

If you wish to discuss this project further informally, please contact Dr Sung-Hwan Jang. However, applications must be made in accordance with the details shown below.

General information about applying for a research degree at the University is available at:

Please apply via the online application form which can be found at: and select ‘Apply’.

Please mark it FAO Aimee McNeillie, clearly stating that you are applying for a PhD studentship within the School of Engineering. Please attach a covering letter detailing your suitability for the studentship, a CV and two academic references.

For more information on the admissions process, please contact Aimee McNeillie.

The closing date for applications is 12 noon, 9 April 2018. 

Shortlisted candidates will be invited for interview week beginning 30 April. We regret that we may not be able to respond to all applications. Applicants who have not received an offer by end of April should consider their application has been unsuccessful.