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UCL Mechanical Engineering
Faculty of Engineering Sciences


PhD Studentship: Monitoring the interaction of multiple lasers during powder bed additive manufacturing…

Studentship description: Monitoring the interaction of multiple lasers during powder bed additive manufacturing using correlative x-ray, optical and IR imaging

Additive manufacturing (AM) is a key enabling technology that produces components with complex shapes directly from digital designs in materials from polymers to aerospace alloys, enabling unprecedented design freedom. Laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) AM produces extreme thermal conditions that promises to allow entirely novel materials to be developed. However, our understanding of the microstructural evolution (e.g. grains and defects) and residual stress states formed in the AM parts is limited.

You will help develop, build, and apply an in situ LPBF rig in the laboratory and on synchrotron beamlines to build components whilst imaging the process in situ and operando. Using this unique tool, you will help develop new processes, materials and monitoring systems. The rig you help to develop will be a new generation synchrotron enabled LPBF machine with a novel optical module and other enhanced capabilities, including multi-laser and expanded correlative imaging. The optical module will be jointly developed with Renishaw plc. whereas the correlative x-ray, optical and IR imaging will build on existing capability within the UCL group. Using this new LPBF rig, you will probe the AM process at the micron scale with micro-second resolution for Ti and Ni based alloys, quantifying key phenomena, including powder flow and melting, solidification, and subsequent microstructural formation.

The PhD project is jointly supervised by Prof. Peter Lee (UCL) and Dr Chu Lun Alex Leung (UCL). This project will be embedded in the portion of the UK’s hub for Manufacturing with Advanced Powder Processes ( based at Harwell.

Person Specification:

Applicants should ideally have a first class undergraduate degree (or equivalent) in Mechanical or Electrical Engineering, Materials, Physics, Mathematics or a related discipline. You should have a keen interest in additive manufacturing, including materials, mechanical properties and process control. Excellent organisational, interpersonal and communication skills, along with a stated interest in interdisciplinary research, are essential.

Ideally you would have experience in a number of the below, learning the others as part of the PhD:

  • Metallurgy
  • Additive manufacturing
  • Programming (for image analysis, open and closed loop control)
  • Image analysis
  • Experimental design
  • Synchrotron or neutron experiments

Application details

Closing Date and Start Date:

We will be continuously having informal discussions with interested candidates until this position is filled.

Value of award:

Full home student tuition fees and stipend of ca. £17,000 per annum (for up to 3 years)


The position is open to students on Home Fees. Please do not enquire about this studentship if you are ineligible. Please refer to the following website for eligibility criteria:

Application Process

Eligible applicants should first contact Prof Peter Lee, ( quoting the Job reference. Please enclose a cover letter (including the names and contact details of two referees), one-page research statement and two pages CV. The supervisory team will arrange interviews for short-listed candidates. After interview, the successful candidate will be required to formally apply online via the UCL website.

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