Electronic textiles, as the name implies, are textiles with some form of integrated circuitry and sensing in order to enhance their functionality. Conventional textile manufacturing methods, such as weaving, knitting and embordering of wires and cables have traditionally been used to realise early smart textiles. Recently, printed techniques, such as screen printing and inkjet printing, have been applied to this field and have proven more versatile compared with these conventional methods, enabling much more functionality to be achieved. Advanced functional yarns that are embedded with functionalities such as sensing, emitting light represent a new paradigm in the field of smart textile. However, there are still a number of challenges in terms of component density and functionalities that need to be overcome.
A three-year fully funded PhD studentship in the manufacturing of advanced electronic textiles is available at the Department of Engineering in the School of Science and Technologies. Nottingham Trent University has been awarded ‘University of the Year’ (Times Higher), ‘Modern University of the Year’ (Sunday Times), and received the highest possible award of ‘Gold’ in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF). It is renowned for leading edge research, strong links with industry and excellent teaching facilities that help shape lives and society. Research in the School of Science and Technology is extremely strong in terms of high quality outputs, funding income, and international impact.
The studentship is jointly funded by NTU and an strategic industrial partner of which their focuses are on the development of electronic textiles for the sports and healthcare markets. This PhD project forms the part of their next phase of R&D whereby new techniques are being investigated to refine processes and explore innovative solutions to current electronic textile manufacturing challenges. The PhD will explore the suitability of current methods for the scaled manufacturing of electronic textiles as well as investigate new techniques for electronic component placement, choice of substrate, substrate construction and pre-fabrication processes.
You will be supervised by a multi-disciplinary team across academia and industry, and will be working in a newly constructed Engineering facility, equipped with state-of-the-art equipment, enabling cutting edge research and testing for this PhD programme. You will have opportunities to travel to the company and their partners and engage yourself with the R&D team, participating in regular team meetings in order to gain first-hand experience in industry and become aware of the latest wearable technology trends.
Entry requirements: First or Upper second class degree or equivalent in Engineering, manufacturing disciplines. Those with industrial experience in relevant areas are also welcomed.
Duration: typical three years full time
Funding: full UK/EU tuition fee plus a tax-free stipend of £15,009 per year at the standard UKRI rate
Assessment: 9 and 18 month reports plus viva determining the progression to PhD
Start date: January 2020
First or Upper second class degree or equivalent in Engineering, manufacturing, 3D printing, electronic textiles, printed/flexible electronics disciplines. Those with industrial experience in relevant areas are also welcomed.
Fees and funding
Full UK/EU tuition fee plus a tax-free stipend of £15,009 per year at the standard UKRI rate. International students are welcome but have to pay the difference in tuition fee.
Guidance and support
Further guidance and support on how to apply can be found on this page.