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PhD Studentship - GE Aviation PhD studentship: Opto-avionics

Photonic Systems Circuits & Sensors Group

Location:  Highfield Campus
Closing Date:  Saturday 31 August 2019
Reference:  1136419PN

This 3.5 year PhD position is partnered with GE Aviation, a global leader in commercial, military and business aircraft. In this studentship you will advance optical fibre sensor technology for predictive maintenance of rotorcraft.

This PhD is cross-disciplinary providing you with skills in Photonics, Tribology and Big Data. You shall also work closely with GE Aviation, understanding aircraft installation, component development, and environmental conditions during aerospace operation.  

Optical sensor development shall be conducted at the world-leading Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC), which is a hive of activity consisting of over 200 staff and students working on cutting-edge research. Developments and skills will be honed in the state-of-the-art cleanroom complex and laser fabrication facility. Characterisation and analytics will involve expertise in the National Centre for Advanced Tribology at Southampton (nCATS).

Through developing novel optical fibre sensor technology, advantages including ruggedisation in aerospace extremes, high bandwidth data transmission and ultra-lightweight form can be achieved. In turn this can enhance monitoring capability, providing a finer granulation for predictive analytics. Enabling faults to be identified before they manifest into a failure.

This studentship offers a 3 month industrial placement at GE Aviation, where the components you develop shall be put through their paces.

We are looking for the photonics pioneers of the future to join our vibrant research team and work alongside our world-class researchers to make a contribution to the aviation sector. Our PhD programme offers a solid start for any career in optics, photonics and mechanical engineering, whether you are planning to stay in academia or work in industry. 

Applications would be welcome from candidates holding good degrees (1st class, 2:1 honours - BSc or MSc) in physics, materials science, mechanical or electronic engineering. Experimental skills are essential. In addition to the standard EPSRC PhD studentship, this position includes an annual allowance to enable attendance at international conferences. This post is open to UK and EU citizens only, due to standard EPSRC eligibility requirements. 

Full tuition funding, plus, for UK students, an enhanced stipend of £18,000 tax-free per annum for up to 3.5 years.

Applicants must be UK residents with no restrictions on how long they can stay in the UK and have lived here for at least 3 years prior to the start of the studentship. This residence cannot be mainly for the purpose of receiving full-time education.

For further guidance on funding, please contact

The student shall achieve and maintain UK Baseline Personnel Security Standard (BPSS) clearance. Further information on BPSS can be found here:

If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Dr Christopher Holmes, Optoelectronics Research Centre,Email:, Tel: +44 (0) 2380 594532.

The closing date for this job opportunity has now passed, and applications are no longer being accepted for this position

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