Computational Engineering: Funded PhD Studentship: Improving metal detection for the identification of security threats using scientific computing

Closing date: 24 November 2017

Key Information

Start date: January 2018

Applications are invited for a UK/EU PhD studentship in the Zienkiewicz Centre for Computational Engineering (ZCCE), College of Engineering, Swansea University. Swansea University is a UK top 30 institution for research excellence (Research Excellence Framework 2014), and has been named as Welsh University of the Year 2017 by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide. 

A new 3-year project on improving metal detection for the identification of security threats will begin in Autumn 2017 and the PhD studentship will form part of a team that will also include post-doctoral researchers and collaborators in the Department of Mathematics, University College London (UCL) and the Schools of Mathematics and Electrical and Electronic Engineering, the University of Manchester (UoM). The successful candidate’s first supervisor will be Dr P.D. Ledger in ZCCE who is also the principal investigator of the project

The aim of the PhD will be to improve the characterisation and location of hidden conducting security threats using scientific computing algorithms. The student will have access to the College of Engineering’s new high performance computer cluster which has 73 nodes, each comprising 28 cores. They will also be provided with a computer to interface these facilities. It is expected that the student will work closely with the other team members and attend research meetings as well as presenting at conferences and workshops. The student will also write technical reports describing their research progress in form that can be submitted to peer reviewed academic journals.


Candidates should have a master's degree (MEng, MMath, MPhys, MSc or MSci) in Engineering, Mathematics or Physics. They should have achieved either 1st class or 2.1 undergraduate degree and a distinction at postgraduate level (if appropriate).

Due to funding restrictions, this studentship is open to UK/EU candidates only.

Expertise in numerical algorithms for the solution of partial differential equations (e.g. Finite elements, boundary elements) and be proficient in programming in one or more of the following MATLAB, Python, Fortran, C/C++. Knowledge and experience of (computational) electromagnetics is also desirable.

The ideal candidate should also be an effective team worker and enthusiastic about working closely with end users and industry.

For details on the University’s English Language entry requirements, please visit –


The studentship covers the full cost of UK/EU tuition fees, plus an annual stipend of £14,553.

How to Apply

To apply please send the following documents to Dr P. D. Ledger (

  • CV including a transcript of marks
  • Names and contact details of referees
  • Covering letter

Informal enquiries about this studentship are welcome and may be directed to Dr P. D. Ledger ( / +44 (0)1792 602554).

Please note that we reserve the right to close applications sooner if sufficient suitable candidates are already identified.