UK: PhD Scholarship in Robust Mechanical Design at Technical University of Denmark

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The Department of Mechanical Engineering (MEK) of the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) has an open PhD position in the field of Robust Mechanical Design.  The project is sponsored by a Danish company focussing on high volume production of devices with automated production lines.

Responsibilities and tasks
When it comes to production, variance exists and variance costs! Robust design is a design activity that makes the function/performance of products, components, structures and mechanisms insensitive to variance. Variance can come from several sources, from manufacture/assembly tolerances, material properties, loading conditions, temperature/ambient changes and time related changes such as creep and wear. The problems due to lack of robustness in Danish industry are huge, causing many damaging effects such as product failures and recalls, increased and unpredictable repair/servicing, and varying product quality and life. In addition, within the companies there are large consequences for a lack of robustness, such as long ramp-up times, missed launch dates, expensive and late design changes and a general lack of predictability around the reliability and performance of the products. The above effects make robust design one of the most essential and sort-after skills from Danish industry at the moment, giving large potential impact for the research and extremely good job prospects post PhD.

The PhD will be one of several PhD projects in a larger research programme of the newly formed robust design group, investigating into robust design and reliability. The scope of the research has the flexibility to move from robust design methods and analyses towards the quantification of production process capabilities or specifying quantified requirements and quality loss associated with variations of performance from the nominal values.

The project will involve the development of tools and methods to be applied and tested within the case company. It is essential for the project that the impact of the proposed normative approaches can be proven. Therefore, every proposed approach should produce a quantitative and leading indicator of robustness or reliability.

Candidates are expected to be knowledgeable about mechanical design with good analytical and product development skills. A high motivation for research, experience with industrial collaboration and excellent communication skills are essential for a successful application.

Candidates should have a master’s degree in engineering or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to the master’s degree in engineering.

Application deadline: 25 October 2013

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