PhD Mechanical and Systems Engineering

Newcastle University

Tuition fee: Not specified
Start date: April  2015, September  2015, January  2016, April  2016
Duration full-time: 36 months
  • English
Delivery mode: On Campus
Educational variant: Part-time, Full-time
Project type: Open

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Research Areas

PhD supervision is carried out in four research groups:

Bioengineering research

This group has a focus on the maintenance and optimisation of mobility, which is of particular relevance to the health of the ageing population. Areas of specialist expertise include: biomechanical modelling and movement analysis applied to humans and animal populations; musculoskeletal and neurological development and deterioration and the effect on movement; biotribology; design and longevity of joint replacements; haptic and robotic approaches to rehabilitation; medical imaging; biocompatible materials and bioactive materials; and personalised medical devices made using additive manufacturing techniques. Bioengineering group has strong collaborations with medicine and agriculture within the University, as well as the NHS, medical charities and the British Equine Federation. Strengths in this area include biotribology, musculo-skeletal modelling, motion analysis and tissue engineering. The School is a collaborator in the Arthritis Research UK Tissue Engineering Centre.

Design, manufacture and materials

This focus of this group is design, development, analysis and testing of novel materials, structures and processes. Research addresses the design and manufacture techniques, processes and systems required to underpin the development and delivery of innovative materials and products, and much of the research is carried out with industrial partners. The group hosts two major centres: the Gear Technology Centre (Design Unit), which is a British Gear Association Centre of Excellence, and the Newcastle Centre for Railway Research (NewRail). Areas of specialist expertise include: processing and analysis of composite materials and structures; fundamental and applied research related to mechanical power transmissions and machine elements, especially gear systems; railway research, particularly rail freight and logistics, rail infrastructure, rail systems, and rail vehicles; and additive layer manufacturing (ALM), considering process and materials development, and the use of ALM in mass customisation applications.

MEMS and sensors

This group focuses on innovative technologies combining MEMS (microelectromechanical systems), nanotechnology, smart materials and robotics. We are a major participant in multidisciplinary research teams in this field based at Newcastle University collaborating with; nanoLab; Institute of Cellular Medicine; and the School of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering. The University has its own fabrication facilities and extensive laboratories. Areas of specialist expertise include: the design, manufacture and characterisation of physical and biological MEMS (examples include gyroscopes and resonant-based mass sensing); optical characterisation methods including laser-doppler vibrometry, white light interferometry and Raman spectroscopy; mechatronics in medical applications; telerobotics; mobile robotics; control schemes and electronics development; vibration modelling, measurement and analysis; silicon carbide high temperature MEMS; and thick-film piezoelectric vibration sensors.

Multiphase flow and thermal systems

This group is involved in a wide range of research work. Our interests span the theoretical study of fundamental processes and the development of novel mathematical and computational models, through to advanced experimental work and collaboration with industry on emerging problems. The group has strong links with the Newcastle Institute for Research on Sustainability (NIRES). Our research has a focus on turbulent multiphase flow systems, turbulent reacting flows and combustion, superfluid turbulence in liquid helium,and solid-liquid phase change processes. Areas of specialist expertise include: computational fluid dynamics; simulation and modelling of turbulent reacting flows and combustion; fundamental modelling of industrial and environmental multiphase flows; advanced numerical methods for turbulent flows and particle transport; Particle Image Velocimetry and Laser Doppler Anemometry for particle flows; superfluidity and quantum turbulence; simulation, modelling, and manufacturing applications of solid-liquid phase change processes; and nonlinear waves.

We offer the following modes of study for PhD students: full-time supervised research projects; industry-based research; and part-time study.

For examples of recent research topics see our website.


The Science, Agriculture and Engineering Graduate School provides training in professional/key skills and research techniques and supports personal development.


An upper-second-class Honours degree, or international equivalent, in a relevant subject.

Applicants whose first language is not English require IELTS 6.5, Pearson's PTE Academic Test 62 or equivalent.

International applicants may require an ATAS (Academic Technology Approval Scheme) clearance certificate prior to obtaining their visa and to study on this programme, applicants will be informed of this in the offer letter.

English Language Requirements

IELTS band: 6.5
TOEFL iBT® test: 90

IMPORTANT NOTE: Per 6 April 2015 only the English language tests from IELTS and Trinity College London are accepted for Tier 4 Visa applications to the United Kingdom. Other tests (including TOEFL, TOEIC, Pearson, City & Guilds) are no longer accepted for Tier 4 visa applications to the United Kingdom. The university might still accept these tests to admit you to the university, but if you require a Tier 4 visa to enter the UK and begin your degree programme, these tests will not be sufficient to obtain your Visa. Since the Trinity College London language tests must be taken in one of their exam centres in the UK, IELTS is now the only language test accepted for Tier 4 visas to the UK that can be taken worldwide.

The IELTS test is most widely accepted by universities and is also accepted for Tier 4 visas to the UK- learn more.


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