Design optimisation of composite material for impr...

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Design optimisation of composite material for improving the energy management for hybrid vehicle application

Eligibility: UK/EU/International

Award Details: Tuition fees and stipend

Duration: Full Time - 3 years 6 months fixed term

Application deadline: This opportunity will only remain open until a suitable candidate is identified- early application is therefore advised. Standard University research application closing dates apply.

Informal enquiries are essential before application; contact Dr. Muhammad A. Khan to discuss this opportunity.

Congratulations on taking your first steps toward a Research Degree with Coventry’s Faculty of Engineering, Environment and Computing. As an ambitious and innovative University, we’re investing an initial £100m into our new research strategy, ‘Excellence with Impact’. Through original approaches from world-leading experts, we’re aiming for our research to make a tangible difference to the way we live. As a research student you are an integral part of Coventry’s lively and diverse research community and contribute to our reputation for excellence. With our exceptional facilities and superb support mechanisms you are afforded every opportunity for academic success.

The Project

The electrification of commercial vehicle requires a greater material strength for chassis rail to hold various truck sub-system components such as chassis sub-frames, power electronics, auxiliary power units and battery packs. The increased vehicle weight, with the use of traditional materials such as steel, leads to higher fuel consumption and gas emission as well as compromise in ride and handling of the vehicle. Several designs and materials such as aluminium monocoque chassis have been proposed that proved to be a better solution for weight and design flexibility. Nevertheless, the manufacturing process complexity of the aluminium monocoque chassis and the higher material cost increase the project risks. A composite material design has also been considered for the truck chassis that can potentially reduce these risks. It has the mechanical properties that potentially meet the truck requirements. However, the composite chassis design will require further investigation due to its radical design. Design optimisation of composite structures subjected to complex loading conditions is an ongoing research and offers many challenges. A detail research is proposed for material characterisation under static and dynamic loading to understand the design limitations as well as developing a novel simulation technique under transient load conditions that reflects the vehicle excitations. The research will also focus on the choices of most cost-effective composite materials and suitable manufacturing process that could meet the automotive requirement on performance and production.

The project is partially funded by Charge Automotive Engineering that develops a forefront technology for electrification of trucks and buses.

About The Centre/Department

Our research in Manufacturing and Materials Engineering builds on our historic research strengths at Coventry, and adds new research teams through investment and growth. It integrates seamlessly with the Institute for Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering, our flagship collaboration with Unipart Manufacturing.

This area of research will take a holistic approach to fabrication and manufacturing, focusing on the three strands of Materials, Processes, and Products; and underpinned by our expertise in Metrology and Advanced Experimentation.

We aim to be the research partner of choice for manufacturing industry in adding value, effecting knowledge transfer, generating intellectual property, and raising new technologies from concept up through the Manufacturing Readiness Levels.

Our summary research themes:

  • Process Control / Product Verification
  • Advanced Metrology and Experimentation
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Materials for Advanced Technologies
  • Integrated Product Enhancement

Successful Applicants

Successful applicants will have:

  • A minimum of a 2:1 first degree in a relevant discipline/subject area with a minimum 60% mark in the Project element or equivalent with a minimum 60% overall module average, or
  • A Masters Degree in a relevant subject area will be considered as an equivalent. The Masters must have been attained with overall marks at a minimum of merit level (60%). In addition, the dissertation or equivalent element in the Masters must also have been attained with a mark at merit level (60%).
  • The potential to engage in innovative research and to complete the PhD within a prescribed period of study
  • Language proficiency (IELTS overall minimum score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component).

The most recent and highest award will be used for assessment in all cases


  • We are looking for a candidate with good background in mechanics of materials, finite element modelling, mechanical design and testing, composite materials.

Eligibility & Application Procedure


All UK/EU/International students are eligible to apply that meet the academic requirements, the eligibility criteria can be found making an application page.