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Materials Engineering Group



PhD Position

Development of automated contour interferometer


The Materials Engineering group at the Open University is internationally recognized in the measurement of residual stress in components using the recently developed Contour Method. It involves cutting the component in two, accurately measuring the subsequent relaxation profile of the cut surfaces and using this to back-calculate a map of the original residual stress.

An important step in this method is the measurement of the surface contour, which is currently carried out using a coordinate measuring machine (CMM). The aim of this project is to overcome the limitations of the CMM by developing a novel measurement system to capture instantly the entire surface topography of newly cut surfaces of engineering interest using a simple procedure. The method involves coating the cut surface, which is optically matt, with a novel technique to make it reflective and provide natural smoothing of the surface. The surface contour is measured using an out-of-plane phase shifting moiré interferometer mounted on an optical bench. The method will allow the residual stress information to be obtained with a very short time once the component is cut.

For enquiries and further information, please email Salih Gungor

Further Information

The position would suit a graduate with a qualification in Materials Engineering, Physics or other relevant engineering subjects at a Bachelor level or above. The work will be full time, therefore students are required to study for a minimum of 35 hours a week, living within 15 miles of the Walton Hall campus (Milton Keynes); in exceptional circumstances you may be able to live further away with the approval of the Faculty of Mathematics Computing and Technology.

The approximate stipend (maintenance grant) for PhD students for academic year 2011/12 is 13,590 per year (usually increasing annually in line with inflation).

The PhD will start as soon as possible in 2012 and will last for 3 years. The closing date for applications is 12 March 2012. Applications received after this date cannot be considered for this position.

How to Apply

To apply for this position, please use the application form that you can download here. Please quote reference 2012CH3 in all correspondence connected with this position. Your completed form should be returned by email as a Word document to Paul Courtnage only; please do not email to multiple addresses.

Useful supporting documents include proof of BSc, MSc, competence in English and current CV (maximum of 2 pages).

Your CV should include details about the following, where applicable:

  • Secondary and higher education (dates, establishments, examinations, results & thesis titles)
  • Other technical, professional or occupational training (dates, provider, type of training, subjects and qualifications)
  • Employment history (dates, details of employers, positions held with brief details of duties, final salary and reason for leaving). Remember to include unpaid or voluntary work
  • Details of relevant publications, if any.

Two referees should ideally be able to comment on your academic suitability and, where applicable, any research or employment you have undertaken. Referees should be senior academics, your line-manager or research supervisor.


You may also wish to see the Research Degrees web pages for information about PhD studies at The Open University.  However, please do not send applications to the Research School as instructed in those pages as they will not reach Dr Gungor in time.

The Open University is incorporated by Royal Charter (RC 000391), an exempt charity in England & Wales and a charity registered in Scotland (SC 038302).