EPSRC Nuclear Energy Futures CDT Programme

Applications are invited from candidates who have an interest in the PhD projects listed as part of the CDT.

The list of projects available is not exhaustive, although the projects listed have preference: they have funding agreed and are available immediately.

Applicants who cannot find a suitable project listed should discuss their preference with the CDT admissions panel; although they will do their best, there is no guarantee they can find an appropriate supervisor or funding. Specific research topics will be agreed with candidates when an offer is made.

Available projects

PhD Opportunities in Nuclear Structural Integrity

  • Institution: University of Bristol

UoB’s Solid Mechanics Research Group (SMRG) has a number of PhD projects available, commencing in 2019. These projects would suit candidates with a good first degree and/or Masters in Engineering, Mathematics or the Physical Sciences. These projects offer excellent opportunities for both experimental and modelling work along with travel opportunities to conferences and multi-user X-ray and neutron facilities in the UK and internationally.

Working with partners in major nuclear industry companies such as EDF Energy, UK Atomic Energy Authority and National Nuclear Laboratory also offers excellent opportunities to consider a future career in the nuclear sector.

UoB is also a partner in a newly-announced EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Nuclear Energy Futures, led by Imperial College. Some of the SMRG projects can be incorporated into the CDT if desired; compared to a normal 3.5 year PhD, the CDT is 4 years in duration, with much of the first year focusing on taught courses and personal/professional development.

An enhanced stipend may be available. Please contact Professor Chris Truman or Dr Mahmoud Mostafavi with any informal enquiries.

The available projects are:

    • High temperature digital image correlation of small punch test‌ (UKAEA)
    • Plasticity-induced damage in high temperature reactors‌ (EDF Energy)
    • Simulation and experimental validation of creep–fatigue interaction (UKAEA)
    • Welded joints behaviour in high temperature reactors (EDF Energy)
    • Multi-scale mechanical stress in nuclear fuel cladding (NDA and NNL)

Further information on all the project and the Solid Mechanics Research group: Available projects

PhD Opportunity in Microscintillator radioactivity detector

  • Institution: University of Bristol
  • Supervisor: Dr Karen Aplin, Department of Aerospace Engineering

Traditionally, Geiger counters are used as radiation detectors; however, they are limited by their inability to determine the energy of the radiation they measure. This project involves development of a new miniature radioactivity detector, a “microscintillator” which is similar to a Geiger counter, but with the added benefit that it can measure the energy of the radioactive particle. The device is able to measure count rates, analogous to a Geiger counter, but can also differentiate between the different energies of incoming particles. It is also small and low-power enough for use in airborne applications; we believe it is the smallest and cheapest detector of its type available. It has already been trialled on high-altitude balloons and uncrewed airborne vehicles (UAVs), and units are being sold to researchers around the world.

The goal of this project is to carry out technical development of the instrument, such as discrimination of different particle types through simple pulse shape identification, and optimization of the detector and measurement system. The student will also use both physics and engineering software to model the device’s response and better understand and characterize its measurements in the atmosphere or in space.

More information

DPhil studentships: Structural and Nuclear Materials

  • Institution: University of Oxford

The Department of Materials has a number of nuclear-related projects covering nuclear fusion, materials and mechanical engineering topics. These include:

  • Micromechanical Testing of Irradiated Nuclear Fusion Materials
  • Understanding degradation of nuclear steels using micro-mechanical methods
  • Understanding High Temperature Small Scale Mechanical Performance of Materials for Nuclear Fusion
  • Thermo-mechanical property measurement of nuclear graphites at elevated temperature
  • Correlating the evolution of atomic-scale microstructure with deterioration of mechanical properties in T91 steel samples from the BOR60 reactor.
  • Experimental Validation of Crack Propagation Criteria under Mixed Mode Loading
  • In situ studies of strain accommodation in MAX phase materials for advanced nuclear energy
  • NanoSIMS analysis of nuclear materials
Further information

Professional/Technical Services

Engineering opportunities at Bridgwater and Taunton College


£29,791 – £36,121 per annum

Responsible for management and coordination of courses to ensure highly effective teaching learning and assessment to ensure learners maximise their potential, predominantly delivered in the college environment.

LECTURER / ASSOCIATE LECTURER £23,267 to £27,558 per annum or £25.54 – £28.96 per class contact hour

To deliver highly effective teaching learning and assessment and support learners to maximise their potential, predominantly delivered in the college environment.


£26,231 – £32,471 per annum

Responsible for the delivery of training and assessment for a range of programmes & qualifications predominantly in the workplace.


£17,319 – £18,182 per annum

Supporting all aspects of teaching, learning and assessment for the Engineering department, the successful candidate will have experience of working in an engineering/manufacturing, or educational environment and a flexible ‘can do’ attitude.

Application closing date: 12 Midnight, Tuesday 2 July 2019

Interview date: Friday 12 July 2019

Further information

Careers at Nuclear AMRC

The Nuclear AMRC regularly has vacancies for both professional technical roles. Vacancies are advertised through the University of Sheffield jobs site, and listed on the link below with direct links to the job descriptions.

Further information