Our training programme

Our programme is different to a standard doctoral programmes, combining a taught technical programme with an industrially-led doctoral project and comprehensive professional skills training.

Students come from a range of backgrounds in engineering, the physical sciences and mathematics and spend the first 9-months studying core materials topics, programming and data analtyics through taught courses and case studies before embarking on their PhD or EngD projects.

During the first 9-months students take 130 credits of taught modules, covering both core materials engineering and the latest developments in metals manfuacturing and modelling for industry 4.0, by the partners (University of Sheffield, University of Manchester, Dublin City University and University Collage Dublin). When students need to travel for training, all costs are covered, including any overnight stays. After Christmas I-Form students study modules at I-Form, and UK students study modules at the University of Manchester, picking from options to suit their skills and doctoral project. Research starts with the mini project from February to July, and leads into the full doctoral research project. 

All projects are undertaken in collaboration with an industrial partner, but the student will spend most of their time in their host institution. There is the opportunity to undertake a placement in the sponosring company or an overseas research institution. We also offer EngD projects, and these students undertake the same training programme, and oftern a similar resarch timetable to a PhD student, but EngD projects are typically at a higher Technology Readiness Level (TRL) than PhD projects. Both PhD and EngD projects are related to the business activities of the sponsor company. 

All students undertake extensive training in Personal and Professional Skills over the four-years. This training devlops critical leadership skills such as scientific writing and presenting (including a course with the BBC), project management, equality, diversity and inclusivity, responsbile research and innovation, ethics, commercialisation and entrepreneurship, industry standards, public engagement and a short-term consultancy project with a local SME company.

The CDT organsises the annual National Student Conference in Metallic Materials, giving students the opportunity to showcase their work. All students are also expected to present their research at at least one international conference and publish their work in a scientific journal.