Due to the ongoing uncertainty with regards to Covid-19 we are following Swansea University policy and the M2A team are currently working from home. The M2A remains open and can be contacted via the usual phone number, email and social media channels. If you have applied for one of our projects the interview schedule may be affected. We will contact applicants in due course with further information.

Optimising Strain Gauges through Advanced Finite Element (FEA) Modelling.

Key Information

Supervisors: Dr W Harrison and Dr E Sackett.

Expected Interview Date: March 2020

Over the past few years, Flintec has seen a rise in demand for its loadcells, which has applied pressure on our engineering design hubs to innovate and produce new technology. Some of the technology inherent to Flintec includes the method of producing strain gauges as well as loadcell designs.

The strain gauge is incorporated into a Wheatstone bridges circuit, that is balanced and compensated for variations in temperature once installed into the loadcell.  The bonding, positioning and design of the strain gauge is critical to minimising detrimental changes in performance.  This can affect the non-linear behaviour of the signal output, creep, zero drift and the detection of mechanical hysteresis.

Flintec is now building a world class centre of excellence in Cardiff with new buildings, infrastructure, investment and jobs growth. There are plenty of exciting career opportunities and international travel to the USA and Asia.

The focus of this project will be to:
• Build and develop strain gauge FEA models.
• Calibrate models with experimental case studies.
• Introduce advanced material models.
• Create a design methodology for future strain gauge development.

The chosen candidate will be working in the FEA team, which has had an increased amount of investment and great success since the introduction of Ansys Mechanical.  There will also be opportunities to spend time at different international manufacturing sites to fully develop the project.

We will expect to offer further study opportunities to the successful candidate and the potential to progress onto a lead engineering role in the FEA team for strain gauge R&D.


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 providing top quality research opportunities within an inclusive environment, funded by the 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 opportunity 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 committee 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 and learn about a typical day in the life of a research engineer.

Sponsoring Company Flintec
Company Website Eligibility
We welcome applications from candidates with an Engineering or Physical Sciences degree (minimum level 2:1), or a combination of degree and equivalent experience to the same level.
Normally, we would expect candidates to have met the University’s English Language requirements (e.g. IELTS 6.5 overall with 5.5+ in each component) by point of application. 
Full eligibility can be found at https://www.materials-academy.co.uk/eligibility
Fees at UK/EU rate and a stipend of £12500 for one year.
For full details on funding eligibility, please refer to the Materials and Manufacturing Academy (M2A) Website.
Due to funding restrictions, this scholarship is not open to ‘International’ candidates.
Closing Date 1 April 2020

Start Date October 2020

Apply Now

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