Advanced Microstructure Design to Improve Formability of Ultra High Strength Steels in Conventional and Flexible Roll Forming

Eligibility: UK/EU/International graduates with the required entry requirements

Award Details: Bursary £15000 paTuition fees  (UK/EU/International)

Duration: Full-Time – between three and three and a half years fixed term

Application deadline: January 20th 2019

Interview dates: Will be confirmed to shortlisted candidates 

Start date: May 2019

Informal enquiries are essential before application; contact Dr Vit Janik to discuss this opportunity.


This PhD project is part of the Cotutelle arrangement between Coventry University, UK and Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia.

The successful applicant will spend the 1st year at Deakin University and the following year at Coventry University and then the final 1.5 years at Deakin University.

The supervision team will be drawn from the two Universities.

The Project

Ultra-High Strength Steels (UHSS) such as dual-phase ferritic-martensitic DP1000 or DP1200 grades have been recently developed to produce automotive components with increased impact safety and reduced weight. DP1000 and DP1200 steels contain high volume fraction of martensite and are therefore predominantly hot formed because at room temperature stress localisation at the ferrite/martensite interfaces causes early failure by interphase de-cohesion.

A unique Flexible Roll Forming (FRF) facility has been developed at Deakin University in order to expand formability of materials not normally formable at room temperature by introducing non-linear strain paths and reducing localised strain concentrations. This project will utilise the FRF facility at Deakin University to study the formability of DP type steels with varying content of annealed martensite that will be supplied by Tata Steel RD in the form of sheet material subjected to different heat treatments.

The main scientific objective of this project is to develop microstructural based FE model describing the role of varying strain paths on bendability of steels with varying volume fraction of martensite. Aim is to successfully realise conventional and flexible roll forming of UHSS DP steels.


£15,000 bursary plus tuition fees - UK/EU/International

(Approximate bursary equivalent Australia dollars $27596)


The successful candidate will receive comprehensive research training including technical, personal and professional skills.

All researchers at Coventry University (from PhD to Professor) are part of the Doctoral College and Centre for Research Capability and Development, which provides support with high-quality training and career development activities. 

Entry Requirements

Successful applicants will have:

  • A minimum of a 2:1 first degree (second class honours upper division) in a relevant discipline/subject area with a minimum 70% mark in the project element or equivalent with a minimum 70% overall module average, and/or
  • a minimum of English language proficiency (IELTS overall minimum score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component)
    • the potential to engage in innovative research and to complete the PhD within a prescribed period of study
  • A Masters Degree in a relevant subject area will be considered as an equivalent. The Masters must have been attained with overall marks at 70%. In addition, the dissertation or equivalent element in the Masters must also have been attained with a mark at 70%.
  • Strong industrial experience is desirable.
  • The potential to engage in innovative research and to complete the PhD within a prescribed period of study


  • Hands-on experience with of Electron Microscopy and Electron Backscattered Diffraction is a plus
  • Experience with FEA software such as ABAQUS or LS-DYNA is a plus.
  • Essential to be able to physically locate to both Coventry University (England) and Deakin University (Australia)

Eligibility and How to Apply


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

To find out more about the project please contact

All applications require full supporting documentation, a covering letter, plus a 2000-word supporting statement showing how the applicant’s expertise and interests are relevant to the project. 

Please note that applications must be made to both Universities.