About the course
Research students are welcomed to Brunel as valued members of our thriving, research-intensive community. A research degree provides the opportunity to investigate a topic in depth, and contribute new knowledge to your discipline. A PhD involves demonstrating through original research or other advanced scholarship the creation and interpretation of new knowledge, a systematic acquisition and understanding of a substantial body of knowledge at the forefront of an academic discipline or professional practice, the ability to conceptualise, design and implement a project for the general of new knowledge, applications or understanding at the forefront of the discipline. Both full-time (3 years) and part-time (6 years) study routes are available.
Considering the expertise and track record of both Brunel and NSIRC-based staff, the following areas have been identified as the main research strengths within in the wider field of Structural Integrity:
- Dynamic response of materials and structures (modelling, experimental characterisation and design/optimisation for composites and metals);
- Structural health monitoring based on ultrasound wave propagation and acoustic emissions in solids (modelling, experimental validation, signal processing and sensors);
- Steel, concrete and hybrid structures (material design, manufacturing, modelling and experimental characterisation);
- Fatigue and fracture (modelling, experimental characterisation);
- Extreme loading (e.g. fire, earthquake, blast and progressive collapse)
- Fluid structure interaction (unboned flexible risers)
- Manufacturing (e.g. sheet metal forming, bulk forming, casting, extrusion, 3D printing).
The cutting-edge fundamental and applied research, in the above stated areas provides fertile environment for PhD students. While we welcome all multidisciplinary topics in the area of Structural Integrity, here is a list of potential research areas we would like to supervise:
- Anisotropic material modelling: Development of physically based constitutive model for the large deformation response and failure of target materials. This student will build upon existing research at Brunel in this area.
- Treatment of uncertainty including errors: Development of a methodology based on regression for characterising the variation in properties such as material properties and propagating this through to the consequent variation in the final structure.
- Hybrid spatial discretisation techniques based on coupling of FE and meshless techniques. This (combined with 1,2&3) will enable modelling of challenging problems characterised by failure/damage front, phase change or shock wave propagation.
- Material characterisation: how to practically determine material properties including variation for anisotropic materials – potential of using elastic wave propagation as one tool.
Found out more
Almost all our successful PhD students get one or more job offers before completing their PhD studies. In structural integrity, we have well established collaboration with a number of industrial partners from the following sectors automotive, aerospace, energy, transport, oil and gas and defence. These include Rolls Royce, Airbus, Augusta Westland, Eurocopter, Jaguar Land Rover, Aston Martin, Mercedes Petronas F1, McLaren F1, Williams F1, Network Rail, AWE, Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, BP, Shell, Lloyds Register, Zentech, Dunlop Oil and Marine, and TWI.
At Brunel we provide many opportunities and experiences within your degree programme and beyond – work-based learning, professional support services, volunteering, mentoring, sports, arts, clubs, societies, and much, much more – and we encourage you to make the most of them, so that you can make the most of yourself.
» More about Employability
Entry Criteria 2017/18
The general University entrance requirement for registration for a research degree is normally a First or Upper Second Class Honours degree. All international students must show evidence that they meet the English requirement for their course of study: IELTS 6.5 (with no less than 6.0 in any section). This applies even if English is the native language of your home country. An appropriate level of English language competence is also expected as listed below. Find out which alternative English language qualifications we accept. Applicants may also be required to attend compulsory in-sessional English language support. The Senate reserves the right to assess the eligibility of applicants on an individual basis.
Entry criteria are subject to review and change each academic year.
International and EU Entry Requirements
If your country or institution is not listed or if you are not sure whether your institution is eligible, please contact Admissions
This information is for guidance only by Brunel University London and by meeting the academic requirements does not guarantee entry for our courses as applications are assessed on case-by-case basis.
English Language Requirements
- IELTS: 6.5 (min 6 in all areas)
- Pearson: 58 (51 in all subscores)
- BrunELT: 65% (min 60% in all areas)
Brunel University London strongly recommends that if you will require a Tier 4 visa, you sit your IELTS test at a test centre that has been approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) as being a provider of a Secure English Language Test (SELT). Not all test centres have this status. The University can accept IELTS (with the required scores) taken at any official test centre or other English Language qualifications we accept as meeting our main award entry requirements.
However, if you wish to undertake a Pre-sessional English course to further improve your English prior to the start of your degree course, you must sit the test at an approved SELT provider. This is because you will only be able to apply for a Tier 4 student visa to undertake a Pre-sessional English course if you hold a SELT from a UKVI approved test centre. Find out more information about it.
Brunel also offers our own BrunELT English Test and accepts a range of other language courses. We also have Pre-sessional English language courses for students who do not meet these requirements, or who wish to improve their English. Find out more information about English course and test options.
Teaching and Assessment
Supervisors with insight
Our supervisors create knowledge and advance understanding, and equip research students with the confidence to apply what they have learnt for the benefit of society. Browse all potential supervisor profiles further here: Structural Integrity Theme Members Profiles. Supervisors provide mentoring, guidance and research leadership in their technical areas.
Dynamic response of materials and structures
James Campbell, Kevin Hughes, Tom De Vuyst, Nenad Djordjevic, Rui Cardoso, Bin Wang, Simon Show, Rade Vignjevic
Structural health monitoring based on ultrasound wave propagation and acoustic emissions in solids
Ray Kirby, Jane Lawrie, Matthias Maischak, Cristinel Mares, Tat-Hean Gan, Keming Yu, Aleksey Pichugin
Steel, concrete and hybrid structures
Asif Usmani, Katherine Cashell, Kai Tai Wan, Sheida Afshan, Xiangming Zhou, Hari-Babu Nadendla,
Fatigue and fracture
Sergey Mikhailov, John Whiteman, Luiz Wrobel, Keming Yu
Asif Usmani, James Campbell, Rade Vignjevic
Fluid structure interaction
Hamid Bahai, James Campbell, Tom De Vuyst, Evgeniya Nolde
Rui Cardoso, Kevin Hughes, Hari-Babu Nadendla, Jim Song, Asif Usmani, Giulio Alfano, Hamid Bahai, Rui Cardoso, Christopher Brown, Katherine Cashell, Tat-Hean Gan, Ray Kirby, Jane Lawrie, Matthias Maischak, Cristinel Mares, Sergey Mikhailov, Evgeniya Nolde, Aleksey Pichugin, John Whiteman, Simon Shaw, Matthias Winter, Luiz Wrobel, Xianming Zhou, Bin Wang, Kai Tai Wan, Keming Yu, Hari-Babu Nadendla, James Campbell, Kevin Hughes, Tom De Vuyst, Nenad Djordjevic, Matthias Winter, Rade Vignjevic
In structural integrity, we have well established collaboration with a number of industrial partners who have supported a range of fundamental and applied PhD research projects. Our partners include:
- Arts and Humanities Research Council
- AWE PLC
- British Council
- Caterpillar Inc
- Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the UK
- Constellium France SAS
- DSTL Commercial Services
- Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
- European Commission
- European Space Agency
- Higher Education Funding Council for England
- Intel Corporation USA
- Jaguar Land Rover
- Korea Institute of Industrial Technology
- mLED Limited
- National Aerospace Technology Programme
- Natural Environment Research Council
- Power OLEDs Ltd
- Science & Technology Facilities Council
- Technology Strategy Board
- The Worshipful Company of Tin Plate Workers Alias Wire Workers
- TWI Limited
Specialist equipment and facilities
The equipment available to our PhD students includes test machines for mechanical characterisation of materials, drop hammers, Hopkinson bars, X ray computed tomography, DIC. This is alongside computational facilities and CAD/CEA software (e.g. NSIRC cluster, CATIA, ABAQUS, LS-DAYNA, ANSYS, Mathcad, Mathematica,…)
Excellent research support and training
Extensive training and support is offered to all research students by the Graduate School, with regular Masterclasses and individual advice on academic issues as part of the Researcher Development Programme. Read more about the available Research Support and Training.
Brunel's library is open 24 hours a day, has 400,000 books and 250,000 e-books, and an annual budget of almost £2m. Subject Information Specialists train students in the latest technology, digital literacy, and digital dissemination of scholarly outputs.
- state-of-the-art research information management tools including a research publication and grant database
- one of the largest UK’s full text repository
- an integrated data management system
- analytical tools such as Altmertic and InCites
- Open Access centrally managed fund
Facts and Figures
In the recent REF 2014 Assessment Engineering and Design ranked amongst London's biggest and best.
Brunel University London REF2014 Submission
Aeronautical, Mechanical, Chemical and Manufacturing Engineering
The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is a system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The results of the REF2014 have been made public in December 2014, replacing the previous REF conducted in 2008. The next REF will be undertaken in 2020. Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 - A Guide for PhD Students
Fees for 2017/18 entry
Full time: £4,195 Part time: £2,097
Full time: £17,500 Part time: £8,750
Full time: £4,121 Part time: £2,060
Full time: £17,200 Part time: £8,600
Funding for doctoral studies: A number of studentships and other research funding opportunities are available at Brunel. Please see full list here: Research degree funding.
Additional course related costs
Fees quoted are per annum and are subject to an annual increase.