PhD scholarship - Characterisation of self healing composite materials under extreme fatigue cyclic conditions: in-situ monitoring of lightweight structures in space

A PhD scholarship is available in Coventry University - Deakin University Co-tutelle PhD Programme in Conventry University. The PhD student, under the guidance of the Chief Investigator, will initiate and conduct research on the topic of ‘Characterisation of self healing composite materials under extreme fatigue cyclic conditions: in-situ monitoring of lightweight structures in space’ led by Dr. James Griffin, MME, Coventry University.

 This project is offered as a cotutelle with Coventry and Deakin Universities. The student will be based in MME, Coventry University with a supervisory team of Dr. James Griffin and Dr. Glenn Miles (MME, Coventry University) and Professor Russell Varley and Dr. Mandy De Souza (Carbon Nexus, Deakin University). The project is expected to commence on May 2017.

Research topic

Characterisation of self healing composite materials under extreme fatigue cyclic conditions: in-situ monitoring of lightweight structures in space

Aim of the project

The development of self-healing composite materials provides an opportunity to extend their service life or improve repairability of structures by reversing damage either autonomously or via external activation. This project will examine composite materials which need to withstand the harsh conditions of space where extremes of 300 C° to -150 C° are cycled every 45 minutes when passing from sunlight to darkness, in an environment of constant bombardment of radioactive particles.

The testing and qualification methods to qualify structures in-situ prior to these materials being used will be examined, along with sensor technology to intelligently characterise where damage has occurred, and the efficacy of healing. Following an initial review of existing self-healing material solutions and non-destructive test methods, the project will progress into simulation of material properties such as fatigue behaviour under extreme conditions, followed by sensor development and signal processing and on to validation of the models with experimental testing.

Value and duration


  • £15,000 bursary plus tuition fees - UK/EU/International


3.5 years

Important dates

Closing date 

20 February 2017

Applicant type

Domestic (Australian Citizenship, Australian Permanent Resident, New Zealand Citizenship) and International  candidate.

Eligibility criteria

  • Applicants must meet Deakin's PhD entry requirements, be enrolling full-time and hold an Honours degree (First Class) or a Master's degree with a substantial research component in a related field. Please refer to the entry pathways to higher degrees by research for further information.
  • Applicants to this cotutelle program must meet the additional language requirement of an IELTS overall minimum score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component. Applicants must also achieve 70% in the research project component of their degree (see additional cotutelle information for more detail of entry requirements)

How to apply

Applications must be made via the Coventry University Application Procedure.

Application information can be found in Coventry University’s  how to apply section. Before completing the application please contact James Griffin for an initial informal discussion about the opportunity.

Learn more about the Coventry University Application procedure here

Contact details

Primary Contact Details:

If you wish to discuss your research interests and project proposal before applying, please contact Dr James Griffin or Dr Glenn Miles via email.

Secondary Contact Details:

Contact details for the co-tutelle arrangement

Associate Professor  Luis Afonso
+61 3 556 33461

Professor Elena Gaura (Coventry University)

Further information

The Coventry University (UK) – Deakin University (Australia) co-tutelle PhD programme offers research students an unparalleled international experience, working alongside world-class researchers across two continents. 

Co-tutelle students spend time at both Coventry and Deakin Universities and gain unique exposure to different cultural and scientific environments and substantially increasing employability after graduation.

Further information on: 

Co-tutelle PhD Programmes 

MME, Coventry University

Dr. James Griffin

Carbon Nexus, Deakin University

Learn more about life as a research student at Coventry University here

Learn mroe about life as a research student at Deakin University here