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PhD Studentship in the Mathematical Modelling of 3D Printing

Project and Application Details

A fully-funded PhD Scholarship is available to develop novel mathematical and computational models that will enable a new generation of multi-material 3D printing technologies.

The successful applicant will benefit from simultaneously joining:

Project Overview

The remarkable ability for 3D Printers to build complex single-material structures from the targeted deposition of fluid microdrops that solidify has been well covered and understood. Our project is to develop the next-generation of 3D printing technologies that will simultaneously deposit multiple materials and open up a massive range of new products, with our focus on electronics and biomedical applications.

This PhD will focus on the creation of ‘printed electronics’, where metallic nanoparticles are suspended within a liquid microdrop, deposited upon a (also printed) polymer substrate and then form (e.g.) conductive tracks when the liquid evaporates. Experiments within the project have identified that this approach has potential, but there remain many open problems, for example, how to control the so-called Coffee Ring Effect.

The Coffee Ring Effect, where coffee particles get preferentially dragged to the edge of an evaporating droplet (leading to a darker marking there).

This PhD will develop a mathematical model that captures the drop dynamics and offers unique insight and understanding that cannot be obtained from experiments alone. Classical applied mathematics techniques will be deployed to provide simple analyses alongside more direct computational approaches. Incorporation of complex effects into the model, such as nanoparticle suspension rheology and surfactant dynamics, will be guided by our partners from Nottingham, where the student will have the opportunity to conduct experiments (should they wish to).

Application Details

Apply here and mention within the application that you are interested only in the specific project advertised here. There is no deadline, so the first candidate who meets the criteria will be offered the position.

A 4-year PhD Studentship is available (full tuition fees + ~£15,200 per year, tax-free + a research budget) and some limited funding for overseas candidates is available – please apply to find out more or contact me informally with a CV (

Applicants should have (or be close to obtaining) a 1st or 2:1 honours degree (or equivalent) in applied maths or, if not, a related subject with a strong mathematical content (e.g. theoretical physics). Experience of fluid dynamics modelling and computational techniques is advantageous but not essential.

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