Mechanical Engineering Sciences PhD

I have been studying for a PhD in Mechanical Engineering Sciences since January 2013. There are many things I have learnt, and experiences I have gained, in this short amount of time. As my background has been in Chemistry, it has been fascinating to work in the surface and interface reactions group. I have learned how to use the instruments of the surface analysis laboratory, the approach to take with research problems as well as manage a project.

Sabrina Tardio PhD Mechanical Engineering

Why choose this course?

If you are intrigued by aerospace engineering, biomedical engineering, engineering materials, fluid mechanics, environmental flow and advanced vehicle development, our Mechanical Engineering Sciences research programmes will enable you to explore and learn more about the world around you.

Our PhD and EPSRC CDT in MiNMaT EngD options, together with excellent facilities, will let you test the cutting-edge of science and make new discoveries.

The last decade or so has seen a significant and sustained investment in experimental facilities within the Department of Mechanical Engineering Sciences and there are now facilities that represent a significant resource, not only nationally but also on the international stage.

This enables world class research to be carried out in our chosen areas of endeavour. The Department hosts the Rolls Royce University Technology Centre in Thermo-Fluids Systems and the EPSRC’s Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Micro and NanoMaterials and Technologies.

What you will study

We carry out problem solving research for the benefit of society in a number of well-defined areas: biomedical engineering; engineering materials; fluid mechanics and environmental flow; and advanced vehicle development.

Our work ranges from the manipulation of atoms and molecules to the design, analysis and development of large structures, leading to innovations in products as diverse as supercapacitors through to jet engines.

Why not read profiles of past and present students studying our subject, including Sam Simons and Sabrina Tardio?

PhD overview

The cohorts of doctoral students within the Department study for a PhD as full-time (with some part-time or collaborative) students or an EngD associated with the MiNMaT CDT, the balance being approximately 60:40.

Research areas, centres and groups

  • Adhesive bonding
  • Aerodynamics and Environmental Flow
  • Automotive Engineering
  • Biomechanics
  • Biomedical engineering
  • Ceramics
  • Composites, solid mechanics and design
  • Computational fluid mechanics
  • Energy generation and harvesting
  • Engineering Materials
  • Environmental fluid mechanics
  • Hybrid vehicles
  • Materials for infrastructure
  • Nanomaterials
  • Smart materials
  • Surface and interface reactions in materials science
  • Tissue engineering
  • Tyre dynamics
  • Turbomachinery
  • Vehicle dynamics
  • Wind energy


Our facilities include:

Many of these facilities are located in recently refurbished laboratory spaces ensuring an environment conducive to high quality research. Specimen size is no barrier to our research and, for example, it is possible to determine the mechanical properties of structures from a carbon nanotube up to a five metre beam!


Our research attracts funding from both industrial and government sources. There are a number of fully funded PhD studentships available to UK and EU nationals. Other sources of funding may also be available.

Related research areas

Related departments/schools

Course facts

Qualification Study mode Course length Start date
PhD Full-time 30-48 months To be confirmed
PhD Part-time 60-96 months October, January, April, July

Entry Requirements

A first or upper-second class degree in engineering or physical sciences, or equivalent overseas qualification, or a lower second plus a good Masters degree. Students are initially registered for a PhD with probationary status and, subject to satisfactory progress, subsequently confirmed as having PhD status.

View entry requirements by country

English language requirements

Non-native speakers of English will normally be required to have IELTS 6.5 or above (or equivalent) with 6.0 in each individual category.

We offer intensive English language pre-sessional courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here.


Study mode UK/EU fees Overseas fees
Full-time £4195 £20,000
Part-time £2100 £10,000

Please note these fees are for the academic year 2017/18 only. All fees are subject to annual review.

Overseas students applying for 2017 entry should please note that annual fees will rise by four per cent (rounded up to the nearest £100) for each year of study.

A complete list of all fees for our research programmes

Doctoral College

Our Doctoral College supports researcher excellence and employability across the doctoral and early career stages of the researcher journey.

Find out more

Code of practice for research degrees

Surrey’s postgraduate research code of practice sets out the University's policy and procedural framework relating to research degrees.

The code defines a set of standard procedures and specific responsibilities covering the academic supervision, administration and assessment of research degrees for all faculties within the University.

Download the code of practice for research degrees (PDF).

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