Composites Manufacture

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Awards available EngD
Programme length Four years full-time (75 per cent in industry)
Part-time study available No, full-time only
Open to international students No
Due to the nature of the funding, this programme is open to home/EU students only.
Start date Not fixed

Programme overview

The Engineering Doctorate (EngD) in Composites Manufacture is a four-year postgraduate research programme, which integrates an industry-based research project with research training in technical subjects, as well as business skills and transferable skills training. Each EngD research project is designed around the sponsor company's research priorities.

The EngD programme is run by the Industrial Doctorate Centre (IDC) in Composites Manufacture, which is firmly embedded within the EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Composites. The IDC is a collaboration between the University of Bristol (the lead university), Cranfield University, the University of Manchester and the University of Nottingham. EngD students benefit from the use of cutting-edge equipment and expertise at the universities and at the National Composites Centre, which provides a world-class facility to bridge the gap between research and industrial application.

The IDC aims to provide the UK composites manufacturing industry with EngD graduates who are equipped with the advanced technical and leadership skills required for effective adoption of new knowledge and technologies in composites manufacture. The relevant industry areas include aerospace, automotive, marine, wind energy and construction.

Fees for 2017/18

Full-time fees


Fees quoted are provisional, per annum and subject to annual increase.

Alumni scholarship

University of Bristol students and graduates can benefit from a ten per cent reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate study. Check your eligibility for an alumni scholarship.

Funding for 2017/18

Students are either supported financially as a salaried employee of a collaborating company, or by an EPSRC stipend and company top-up (£20,000 per annum for four years, usually tax-free).

Further information on funding for prospective UK, EU and international postgraduate students.

Programme structure

EngD students spend 75 per cent of their time at their sponsoring company, carrying out an industrially-focused research project. EngD students' location is therefore dependent on the sponsor company's office location and could be anywhere within the UK. Their remaining time is dedicated to the taught component of the EngD programme. This specialist training, which is delivered at the National Composites Centre in Bristol, requires attendance at a number of one-week, Master's-level units during the first two years of the programme.


  • Constituents of composites
  • Manufacturing of composite structures
  • Laminate analysis, modelling and design of composites
  • CAD for composites design and manufacture
  • Mechanical performance of composites
  • Process modelling and control in composites manufacture
  • Design for manufacture of composites
  • Commercialisation of new technology (University of Bath)
  • Technology strategy and organisation (University of Bath)
  • Composites manufacturing study tour

EngD students are supervised by an academic and an industrial supervisor and are registered at the university of the academic supervisor.

Entry requirements

A first-class honours degree or upper second-class honours degree (or international equivalent) in engineering, physical science or applied mathematics.

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

Application method Online application form and interview
English language requirements Profile E
Further information about English language requirements
Admissions statement Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.

Research groups

See the faculty website for more information about faculty research groups.


EngD graduates will be ready to apply for chartered status with an appropriate learned institution and are expected to take up leadership positions within the composites manufacturing industry.

Staff profiles

Dr Byung Chul Kim, (Lecturer in Composites Design, Processing and Manufacture), Adhesion science; automated manufacturing; axiomatic design; composite product and manufacturing process design.

Dr Enrique Garcia, (Chief Technology Officer (NCC)), Business strategy; management and operational matters; materials and structures.

Professor Stephen Hallett, (Professor in Composite Structures), 3D woven and textile composites; manufacturing processes to capture deformations and defects; numerical modelling of composites; prediction of mechanical properties.

Dr Dmitry Ivanov, (Lecturer in Composites Manufacturing), Innovative approaches to composites manufacture and modelling.

Professor Andrew Long, (Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Professor of Mechanics of Materials (Nottingham)), Automated manufacturing technologies and process modelling; design and manufacturing of composite components and structures.

Professor Ivana Partridge, (Professor of Composites Processing), Composite process control; polymer-metal-fibre hybridisation; thermoset resin and composite toughening; through thickness reinforcement of composites.

Professor Prasad Potluri, (Professor of Robotics and Textile Composites (Manchester)), 3D textile preforming; developing novel and bespoke preforming machines; modelling textile structures; technical textiles.

Professor Kevin Potter, (Professor in Composites Manufacture), Composites manufacturing; defect generation; dimensional variability; reinforcement deformation.

Dr Alex Skordos, (Senior Lecturer in Composites Modelling (Cranfield)), Cure kinetics of thermosets; processing of polymer nanocomposites; real-time cure monitoring; simulation and optimisation of composites processing.

Dr Carwyn Ward, (Lecturer in Composites Design, Processing and Manufacture), Assembly and repair; automation for composites; composites manufacturing; costs; factory processes/operations; process optimisation; recycling.

Professor Nick Warrior, (Professor of Mechanical Engineering), Design and manufacturing of directed fibre and high-performance polymer composites for automotive applications.

Professor Michael Wisnom, (Professor of Aerospace Structures), Mechanics and failure of fibre-reinforced composites; residual stresses and distortion during manufacturing; understanding of controlling factors and models to predict response.

Application deadline:

We welcome applications at any time of year.

Please contact the Industrial Doctorate Centre directly before making an application online.

I chose Bristol because of its outstanding academic reputation. It's reassuring to be taught by people who truly love their subject - their passion becomes contagious.


REF 2014 results

  • 38% of research is world-leading (4 star)
  • 55% of research is internationally excellent (3 star)
  • 6% of research is recognised internationally (2 star)
  • 1% of research is recognised nationally (1 star)

Results are from the most recent UK-wide assessment of research quality, conducted by HEFCE. More about REF 2014 results.

Bristol Doctoral College

The Bristol Doctoral College facilitates and supports doctoral training and researcher development across the University.

Get in touch

Industrial Doctorate Centre Manager Phone: +44 (0) 117 331 5315 Email:

Industrial Doctorate Centre in Composites Manufacture
University of Bristol
Faculty of Engineering
Queen's Building
University Walk
Bristol BS8 1TR


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