Engineering: M2A Fully Funded EngD Scholarship: Surviving 1600°C – Characterisation and Improvement of Steel Ladle Materials

Closing date: 28 February 2018

Key Information

Start date: October 2018

Sponsoring Company: British Steel

Academic Supervisors: Dr Mark Evans, Dr Cameron Pleydell-Pearce

During the steelmaking process, liquid steel at ~1600°C is cast from a ladle into a tundish on a continuous casting machine. 

During the casting process liquid steel is teemed through a ladle nozzle, within this nozzle is a ladle well-filler which acts to prevent steel penetration into the bore of the nozzle. The well-filer is typically made from materials such as SiO2, Al₂O₃ and Cr2O3.

When the nozzle is opened the well-filler must dissipate as to not inhibit the flow of the molten steel out of the ladle. This ladle free opening is critical for the successful casting of steel in terms of maintaining quality, output and operator safety.

Project Aims:

The project is intended to answer a number of fundamental questions regarding ladle well-filler:

  • What constitutes a good well-filler?
  • How do certain properties affect performance
    • Size
    • Moisture
    • Mineralogy
    • Chemistry
    • Flowability
    • Density
  • How do certain processes affect performance
    • Compaction in nozzle bore
    • Steel contact time
    • Steel temperature
    • Amount of material used
    • Well-filling method
    • Deskulling quality
    • Tap alloy addition sequence
    • Addition of Pb
  • What meaningful tests can be developed for well-filler to allow us to predict performance prior to use?

The Athena SWAN Charter recognises work undertaken by institutions to advance gender equality. The College of Engineering is an Athena SWAN bronze award holder and is committed to addressing unequal gender representation.

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Candidates should hold an Engineering or Physical Sciences degree with a minimum classification level of 2:1 or equivalent relevant experience. This project is suitable for someone with a Materials or Physical Science Background, or an applied mathematics/statistic background.

We would normally expect the academic and English Language requirements to be met by point of application. For details on the University’s English Language entry requirements, please visit –

Our funders require applicants to also meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • You must be a UK or EU citizen (i.e. eligible for ‘home’ tuition fees at the University) and have the right to work in Wales at the end of your studies.
  • You must be resident in West Wales and the Valleys at the point of enrolment and throughout the duration of your studies.
  • You must not be financially able to participate without the award of grant funding.

Further information regarding eligibility criteria can be found at:


The scholarship covers the full cost of UK/EU tuition fees, plus a tax free stipend of £20,000 p.a.

How to Apply

To apply for this scholarship, please complete the online application form.

The deadline for applications is 28 February 2018. 

Informal enquiries about this scholarship are welcome and may be directed by email to: