Forensic analysis of weathered organic coatings to understand mechanisms of degradation.

Key Information

Supervisors: Dr M Carnie and Dr P Barker.

This post will remain open until a suitable candidate is found and we recommend you apply as soon as possible.

TATA Steel Europe is the second largest producer or pre-painted steel in Europe. To maintain this position, the organisation is constantly trying to improve the current product range, either through the development of best in class coatings for the construction industry, improved offerings in service or through added functionality. As Tata’s premium coated products can offer maintenance free warranties of up to 40 years it is essential that the performance under different climatic conditions are fully understood to support product guarantees, new colour ranges to new markets and new climates and new product development for the next generation of painted steel coatings.

The Research Engineer will:

Support product development with data and advice as to coatings performance, colour performance and product guarantee durations.

Investigate materials that have been degraded through external or accelerated testing. Many of these samples have been exposed for a minimum of 5 years.

Using techniques such as Ultra-Violet, attenuated Total Reflection, Fourier Transform Infra-Red and Raman Spectroscopy, determine the mechanism and rates of organic coating degradation and erosion. Working collaboratively with TATA Steel Colors’ key paint suppliers.

Understanding how differing climatic conditions and colours affect the coating characteristics using through depth profile and surface analysis.

Develop non-destructive techniques to assess performance of the weathered samples, such as colour, gloss, blister formation and creep measurements.

To provide data and recommendations to TATA Steel Colors, on use of product ranges and colour ranges in different climates and markets. For newly developed products, provide supporting data and recommendations of predicted performance.

Swansea University is a top 30 UK institution for Research Excellence (Research Excellence Framework 2014) and has been names Welsh University of the Year 2017 by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide.

The Materials and Manufacturing Academy (M2A) in the College of Engineering is a Swansea University initiative which provides postgraduate research training in partnership with industry; providing access to world-class laboratories and a wealth of academic and industry expertise. The M2A is committed to delivering high quality research opportunities within an inclusive environment, funded by Welsh European Funding Office (WEFO), the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Swansea University and Industry Partners.

Interwoven through the research study are business, technical and entrepreneurial courses, designed to support and prepare participants for a senior role in industry or academia, on completion of their studies. Research Engineers may participate in our career mentoring system, offering opportunities to engage with M2A alumni and other senior staff from across the University.

The Athena SWAN charter recognises work undertaken by institutions to advance gender equality. The college of Engineering is an Athena SWAN bronze award holder and is committed to addressing unequal gender representation.

Applications from women are particularly welcomed. As a positive action to address gender imbalance, female undergraduates considering a career in research are invited to join our two-day laboratory taster session, to learn about a typical day in the life of a research engineer.

Sponsoring Company TATA Steel Colors
Company Website Eligibility

We welcome applications from candidates with an Engineering or Physical Science degree (minimum level 2:1), or a combination of degree and equivalent relevant experience to the same level to join the M2A community of research engineers.

To be eligible for WEFO funding, applicants should:

  • Be a UK or EU citizen (eligible for home tuition fees at Swansea University) and have the right to work in Wales at the end of their studies.
  • Be resident in West Wales and the Valleys at the time of enrolment and for the duration of the candidature.
  • Must not be financially able to participate in study for a postgraduate research degree without the award of this funding.

To be eligible for EPSRC funding, applicant should:

  • Be eligible for home tuition fees at Swansea University.
  • Have settled status in the UK, meaning no restrictions on the length of stay in the UK, and be ‘ordinarily resident’ in the UK for 3 years prior to the start of the grant, apart from temporary or occasional absences.
  • Not have been residing in the UK wholly or mainly for the purpose of full-time education. This does not apply to UK nationals and EU nationals who were ordinarily resident in the EU immediately before the period of full-time education.

Full fees at Home/EU rate for a period of four academic years.

Maintenance stipend at £20K per annum for a period of four years.

Closing Date 31 July 2019

Start Date October 2019

Apply Now

Informal enquiries about this studentship are welcome and may be directed by email to: M2A@swansea.ac.uk