Development of life cycle and environmental cost models to assess the use of thermoplastics in certain aircraft structures

This PhD aims at developing innovative models for life cycle costs and environmental impact assessments on improved thermoplastic composite materials and corresponding production processes developed for the aeronautics sector.

Application deadline
Funding source
TWI and the University of Surrey
Funding information

This project is funded by TWI and the University of Surrey. For Home students a £24,000 per annum scholarship is available which will cover tuition fees and provide a competitive enhanced stipend of £16-20,000 per annum for the duration of three years. Partial scholarships are provided for international students with funding up to £24,000 per annum for three years.


The PhD researcher will get inputs from other tasks in the project that include investigating and demonstrating rapid manufacturability and validation of a full-scale thermoplastic composite door including its surrounding, sub-structure for regional aircraft fuselage barrel. This will be achieved by a tangible step beyond the current state-of-the art of several thermoplastic manufacturing technologies, some of which are already implemented in other certified aircraft parts. The proposal of new material and/or process considering the absence of volatile organic components in the selected manufacturing processes is believed to be more eco-compatible, with less energy consumption and more cost effectiveness.

The work to be carried out in this PhD will provide industrial cost evaluation and environmental reporting to assess the implementation of the technology proposed. This will be done through performing integrated Life Cycle Analysis and Life Cycle Cost Analysis in accordance with international codes and standards such as ISO 14040:2006 and ISO 14044. A comprehensive comparison of the costs as well as the environmental impact of the product caused by the alternatives (materials and/or processes) will be carried out to identify optimal combinations. The work will also include evaluating the sensitivity of the results to changes in the calculation parameters and factoring in uncertainty in the inputs to the decision-making process.

Related links
The Centre for Environment and Sustainability (CES) TWI Environment and sustainability PhD courses at Surrey

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible for this studentship, you must:

  • Have a relevant engineering degree or a mathematics/science related degree at either graduate or postgraduate level
  • Have an ability for independent research and effective teamwork
  • Be able to demonstrate your ability to develop and apply new concepts and in creative thinking and problem solving
  • Be able to demonstrate good oral and written communication skills.

How to apply

To apply for this studentship, please email your CV and an accompanying cover letter to Dr Jhuma Sadhukhan.

Application deadline

Contact details

Jhuma Sadhukhan
13 BA 02
Telephone: +44 (0)1483 686642

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