Advance laser cutting system for electrical steel sheets

Advance laser cutting system for electrical steel sheets: PDC / USW MAXI 21425


This is a funded PhD, including a generous stipend and tuition fees, with well-resourced circumstances for a successful scholarship.

Globally, high power lasers are driving radical changes in manufacturing and new applications are being discovered every year. Here is an exciting opportunity to study novel laser technology which could lead to entirely new approaches in material processing.

The selected candidate will apply their analytical skills and ambition to develop an advanced laser cutting system for electrical steel sheets. This PhD project will allow the student to develop transferable knowledge and skills in this most exciting and active field of Photonics research.

This Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarship (KESS) project will be held in the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Science at the University of South Wales. KESS is a programme funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) awarded by the Welsh European Funding Office (WEFO) in the Welsh Government. The project will focus on advanced laser cutting system design. This will help to increase the applications of electrical steels in high efficient motors, generators and transformers and therefore will help to increase energy efficiency. The method developed in this project for processing multiple electrical steels are expected to be useful for processing other metal sheets.

The project will be a collaboration between Cogent Power (part of Tata Steel), a world-leading electrical steel manufacturer and the WORIC Centre at the University of South Wales. WORIC has delivered over 40 patents, many of which are supporting a number of commercial products. Working within the WORIC team, the student will gain real insight into commercially significant photonic concepts.

Programme of research:

Disruptive efficiency improvements of electrical motors, generators and transformers are critical in our realisation of an electric and low carbon future. These performance enhancements can only be achieved by developing new electrical materials and processes for which lasers / photonics are seen as critical. This research project will investigate how lasers can be used in an effective way to deliver programmable cutting in sheet steel of differing composition at the right yield and cost. This is a challenging project linking heavy industry processes to the recent and latest innovations in lasers and photonics.

Studentship: The studentship will cover the fees for a full-time PhD programme and pay a stipend of circa £14k p.a. There is also around £9k project support costs available for consumables, travel, minor equipment, training (including the KESS Grad School) and conference attendance. The position is available from 1st October 2019.

Eligibility of Student: To be eligible to hold a KESS studentship, you must:

  • have a home address in the East Wales area (details below)* at the time of registration.
  • have the right to take up paid work in the East Wales area* on completion of the scholarship.
  • be classified by the University as ‘home’ or ‘EU’ for tuition fees purposes according to the University’s guidelines.
  • satisfy University of South Wales’s admissions criteria: see below, qualifications and experience and application process

*East Wales area covers: Vale of Glamorgan / Cardiff/ Newport/ Monmouthshire/ Powys/ Wrexham/ Flintshire

Qualifications and experience: Eligible applicants will:

  • Have a good first degree (2i or higher) in Optics/Optical Engineering, Optoelectronics, Physics, or Electronics Engineering (or similar) with high level of optical content;
  • Have some exposure to or knowledge of optical system design, electronic, mechanical design and electrical steels would be a distinct advantage
  • Have computer literacy and familiarity with one or more of COMSOL, Zemax, Matlab, Labview and Solidwork are desirable.
  • Be organized with excellent communication skills
  • Possess a reasonable understanding of Physics, Optics or electronics
  • Be highly self-motivated, with capacity to learn and develop Optical system simulation, design and implementation techniques
  • Have well-developed and positively collaborative interpersonal skills
  • Have an ability to deliver technical reports and communicate findings
  • Be willing to travel and work in industrial settings

Application Process: To download an application package, please visit: Participant Application Package For any queries on eligibility, please contact: KESS Team at Research and Innovation Services, University of South Wales: Tel: 01443 482578 For informal enquiries or further programme information, please contact: Prof Nigel J Copner (

Closing date for applications: midnight Wednesday 28th August 2019

Interviews will be held w/c (TBC)

Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships (KESS) is a pan-Wales higher-level skills initiative led by Bangor University on behalf of the HE sector in Wales. It is part funded by the Welsh Government’s European Social Fund (ESF) programme for East Wales