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PhD (ISCED 2011 level 8)


Tijdsduur 6 semesters
Entry level Master
Cost £16k/year

The National Structural Integrity Research Centre has created a PhD within industry. It is designed to produce the future generation of highly skilled engineers with an in-depth knowledge of the science and technology of structural integrity linked to industry needs.

Students conduct their research in an industrial environment at TWI Cambridge. This mean that they will receive expert input from NSIRC's industrial partners, and be fully equipped with the skills and knowledge required for their future careers.

NSIRC PhD students benefit from generous scholarships to cover their university fees and provide a stipend to support their research.

The current research degree opportunities can be viewed here.

Structurele componenten
Practical/Field work

Application procedure

The current NSIRC PhD research degree opportunities can be viewed here.

Learning outcomes

The project will analyse the damage tolerance of sacrificial coating systems, which can be used to replace the combined systems, anodes and dielectric coatings, currently used in the offshore industry. The sacrificial coatings will be sprayed onto carbon steel and controlled damage will be produced before exposing them to seawater. The electrochemical monitoring will be carried out to understand the sacrificial protection offered by such coatings when damaged. The effect of temperature and salinity on the damage tolerance of such coatings will also be explored. Use of numerical models will also be explored to understand the effect of different service conditions on the performance of the selected sacrificial coatings, particularly in the presence of damage. 

In summary, this project will build on ongoing research to enable development of industrial solutions to offshore corrosion. It is envisaged that the coating system would be deployed in offshore oil and gas production and energy production e.g. wind farms with extended design lifetimes. The high damage tolerance of these coatings would be beneficial, as the offshore industry requires extensive inspection procedures to ensure that corrosion and fatigue have not initiated due to failure of protective paint systems. Offshore inspections are costly and are undertaken by highly skilled individuals. The development of damage tolerant system will greatly enhance the life of offshore structures and reduce the requirement of maintenance and repair. This will have a direct impact on safety since it will reduce the likelihood of unexpected failures and risks associated with offshore repair operations. There are several industrial standard that are used for specifying, testing, qualifying and inspecting coatings. The damage tolerance of the coatings are generally not included in most of these standards. The study proposed here would give more information on the damage tolerance and can contribute to the improvement of international standards such as ISO 2063, Norsok M501, NACE No. 12/AWS C2.23M/SSPC CS 23, AWS C2.18 etc. A successful project could produce coating systems that require no or minimal maintenance or inspection. 


Applicants should have at least a 2:2 degree (or international equivalent) in a relevant engineering subject, or significant extensive work experience to a similar level.

Overseas applications should have the minimum level of English language qualification:

  • IELTS min 6.5 for PhD
  • TOEFL paper test: 550 (TWE 4)
  • TOEFL internet test: 79
  • (R18, L17, S20, W17)
  • Pearson: 51 (51 in all subscores)
  • BrunELT: 60% (min 55% in all areas)

ISCED Categories

Offshore en hernieuwbare energie