Postgraduate research opportunity – Polymer foam based acoustic sensors

University of Strathclyde

Electronic & Electrical Engineering


Contract Type
Fully funded 3-year PhD studentship

Closing Date
18 June 2023

More info

A fully funded 3-year PhD studentship is available to work with Dr Andrew Reid (Electronic & Electrical Engineering) and Professor James Windmill at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, UK.

The goal of this research is to establish the properties of porous piezoelectric polymer composites.  Porosity is a universally useful structural element for man-made and biological materials.  It can be used to vary material properties such as electrical and thermal conductivity as well as weight and stiffness.  It allows material transport processes through porous flow, creating opportunities for the identification of specific molecules or agents.  Porous polymer materials have a series of advantages such as light weight, high specific surface area and great adsorption capacity.  Piezoelectric polymers, such as 0-3 polymer composites in which an isolated piezoceramic or polar insert particle is loaded into a 3 dimensionally connected polymer matrix, have the promise of highly compliant and versatile sensors with low acoustic insertion loss and facile fabrication methods.

This project relies on the recent development of tailored resin composites which allow the variation of pore size within a 3D printed material according to the level of energy of UV light.  The successful candidate will work on  the application of graded porosity to piezoelectric composites, including laser Doppler vibrometry testing of structure, finite element analysis techniques to predict the electrical properties of volume elements, and some implementation of the resultant structures with pre-amplifier circuitry.

The development of porous acoustic sensors have great applications as embedded systems, for wearable healthcare technology and for smart materials and structural monitoring for a distributed internet of things.

Applicants should have a first class or upper-second class degree with Masters study in an appropriate science or engineering discipline. Experience in computer aided design, finite element analysis and computational fluid dynamics would be advantageous but not essential, further training will be provided in all these fields.  Applicants must be able to demonstrate enthusiasm, creativity, resourcefulness and a mature approach to learning.  Independent and critical thinking will be encouraged, as will the opportunity to speak and present your research to a wide range of academic audiences.


Please send the following to Dr Andrew Reid by email ( or

  • a CV (2 pages maximum); please include details of two references for the assessment of your application
  • a cover letter highlighting candidate’s background (skills, experience, and research interests); how these make the candidate suitable for this position (1 page max)
  • a copy of academic transcript

Further information

Informal enquiries are welcomed, please get in touch if you have any questions.

Posted on 17th May 2023 in Job Opportunities in Acoustics