Hierarchical design of 3D-printed honeycombs

Self-funded students are invited to apply for a project on 3D printing honeycomb structures. In 1859, Charles Darwin considered the hive-bee honeycomb as being “an absolutely perfect structure, economising labour and wax”. Beyond the hive-bee, the hexagonal honeycomb system is ubiquitous in nature, and has furthermore been adopted within engineering to resist primarily, out-of-plane compressive and shear loads. A primary benefit in using honeycomb structures is that they have excellent specific stiffness and strength properties. They are for this reason, used in lightweight mechanical materials technologies and been very successful in several industrial sectors. Nevertheless, the in-plane properties of honeycombs are significantly inferior to their out-of-plane properties and as such, in-plane geometries are a design consideration. Structural hierarchy is known to improve a materials’ ability to absorb mechanical energy. The aim of this PhD project is to design, model, manufacture, and optimise advanced hierarchical honeycomb structures with improved multidirectional mechanical properties (both in-plane and out-of-plane). Over the course of the PhD, the successful applicant will develop skills in computer aided design, finite element modelling, additive manufacturing, and mechanical testing. The PhD will take place at The University of Edinburgh (School of Engineering).


Please apply only if have IELTS 6.5 or above. TOEFL above 100 points are also accepted.


Application deadline: 30 August 2019

Further Information: 

Closing Date: 

Friday, August 30, 2019

Principal Supervisor: 

Assistant Supervisor: 


Minimum entry qualification - an Honours degree at 2:1 or above (or International equivalent) in a relevant science or engineering discipline, possibly supported by an MSc/MEng Degree. Further information on English Language requirements for EU/Overseas applicants: (https://www.ed.ac.uk/studying/international/english/postgraduate)

Candidates with experience in any or all of: 3D printing, CAD, and finite element modelling will be preferred. Experience with CAD software is essential. by an MSc Degree. Further information on English language requirements for EU/Overseas applicants.


Further information and other funding options.

Applications are welcomed from self-funded students, or students who are applying for scholarships.