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PhD in Intelligent Cyber-Physical Connectors for Digital Twins of Steel Pipes and Structural Hollow Sections

PhD in Digital Twins of the Manufacturing of Structural Hollow Sections


Project Overview

This fully funded PhD studentship is an exciting opportunity to radically change the sustainability and efficiency of manufacturing processes. The successful candidate will work at WMG, University of Warwick to apply Data science principles to manufacturing, in close partnership with Tata Steel UK (

You will develop intelligent systems or digital twins for processes such as high-speed induction seam welding of pipes and rectangular hollow sections at Tata Steel’s Pipe Mill in Hartlepool. The mill has an advanced digital infrastructure to control the manufacturing of these products which are critical to the UK’s construction, energy and power sectors.

This research will address the digitisation of the manufacturing process to bring about new levels of efficiency and sustainability. The challenge will be to harness the data generated from sensors on the manufacturing lines (such as temperature and geometry) to reliably infer process performance such as weld strength. The research will consider but is not constrained by:

  1. The design of experimental programmes to correlate and model sensor data to system performance
  2. The development of novel ‘intelligent’ architectures that fuse sensor data to enable real-time models / digital twins of the process that predict process performance
  3. The development of the architecture into a prototype process for validation

Essential and desirable criteria

The ideal candidate will have a strong academic background in one or more of the following areas: experimental design, data processing, mathematical modelling and manufacturing engineering.

Candidates should have a minimum of an upper second (2.1) honours degree (or equivalent) in Materials Sciences (including Metallurgy), Mechanical Engineering, Data Science or related disciplines. A good command of English is essential for the position.

Funding and Eligibility

Funding of £18,009 per annum is available for UK/EU applicants for 4 years.

To be eligible for this project the successful applicant should have indefinite leave to remain in the UK and have been ordinarily resident here for 3 years prior to the project start-date, apart from occasional or temporary absences. Additional details of these criteria are available on the EPSRC website.

 To apply

To apply please complete our online enquiry form and upload your CV.

Please ensure you meet the minimum requirements before filling in the online form.

Key Information:

Funding Source: EPSRC iCase

Stipend: £18,009 for 4 years

Supporting company: Tata Steel

Supervisor: Dr. Sumit Hazra and Dr Michael Auinger

Available to UK/EU nationals

Start date: Sept/Oct 2021