Job Opportunity

Graduate PhD Studentship in Metamaterials

Purpose of Job
Graduate Studentship to Study for a PhD in Acoustic Metamaterials


Reporting relationships
To Head of Sonar Department

Staff responsibility

Budgetary responsibility

Dorset Innovation Park, Winfrith / University of Exeter

Employment status
Permanent, full time

An exciting opportunity has arisen for a motivated and enthusiastic individual to join our successful and growing company in Winfrith, Dorset.
ATLAS ELEKTRONIK UK together with its subsidiaries, is a technological leader in many sectors and has an excellent reputation. We have unique and unrivalled domain knowledge in sonar systems, underwater warfare, mine-countermeasures and naval combat systems.

The successful candidate will, after a short induction at ATLAS ELEKTRONIK’s headquarters in Winfrith, be seconded to the University of Exeter’s Centre for Doctoral Training in Metamaterials (XM2) where they will study for a PhD in Metamaterials for Focussing and Filtering Underwater Sound.
The use of structure to manipulate sound in air is now well established. For example rainbow trapping sound using graded metasurfaces to slow sound down to such an extent that different frequencies are stopped at different positions within the graded structure. As the sound is brought to a halt with the phase speed tending to zero, in a similar way to surface gravity waves in a tsunami, the signal is strongly intensified. The focus of this project is using slow sound to strengthen weak acoustic signals in water, filter frequencies and wave-types to make sound more readily detected. The successful candidate will investigate methods to combine existing capabilities at ATLAS ELEKTRONIK UK and The University of Exeter to model, fabricate and characterise acoustic metamaterial structures that use slow sound and impedance matching to help to enhance detection of weak acoustic signals hidden in noise.
The successful candidate will undertake the 4 year PhD project mostly at the University of Exeter, although some aspects of the studies will be undertaken at Winfrith. The academic studies are expected to commence on 20 September 2021 although the successful candidate will need to complete an induction programme at ATLAS ELEKTRONIK for approximately 4 weeks ahead of this. The PhD will be supervised by a team of academics at both The University of Exeter (Professor Alastair P Hibbins, Professor Sir J Roy Sambles, Dr Timothy A Starkey) and ATLAS ELEKTRONIK UK (Dr Thomas J Graham).

Knowledge, skills and personal qualities required

  • Undergraduate degree in Physics or a related discipline (2.1 or higher)
  • Vision and motivation (for research & professional development)
  • Evidence of the ability to work collaboratively and to engage in a diverse community
  • Evidence of excellent written and oral skills in English


  •  Will need to demonstrate self-motivation and resilience to work remotely from ATLAS ELEKTRONIK UK line management for protracted periods
  • Applicants will also need to pass an academic interview with The University of Exeter (see University of Exeter application details here).
  • This interview will take place for shortlisted candidates after an initial telephone interview with ATLAS ELEKTRONIK UK but applicants should apply in parallel.
  • The successful candidate will be required to successfully complete their doctoral training; an associated training agreement will need to be signed prior to taking up the position.

Key accountabilities  

  • Regular reporting to The University of Exeter and ATLAS ELEKTRONIK UK supervision team,
  • Conduct novel and goal focused research,
  • Communicate with supervision team to get guidance and access to facilities when needed,
  • Maintain ethical and safety research standards,
  • Deliver PhD thesis within the given timeframe.

Behavioural requirements
As a representative of ATLAS ELEKTRONIK UK the candidate must:

  • Be professional throughout,
  • Be self motivated to work on a unique research project for an extended time,
  • Be proactive and contribute to discussions,
  • Have good time management skills and be a forward thinker.

More information
The successful candidate must be able to achieve full SC (Security Clearance).

How to apply
Please forward your degree transcripts, academic CV and cover letter, detailed below, to our Recruitment Partner, Morson International, to aeukrecruitment@morson․com by the closing date and state the job title in the subject line.

  • Degree transcript(s);
    • Information about the qualification awarded, the modules taken during the study period, and the marks for each module taken.
  • Academic CV
  • Covering letter explaining why you are suitable for the post and outlining your research interests in general. It should:
    • Describe a) why you would like to study for a PhD, b) why you would like to focus on this particular topic, c) any relevant expertise and d) your future career ambitions
    • Describe the qualities that you believe will make you a great researcher (in particular as part of a team)

Due to the nature of our work and the projects you will be working on, all candidates must be eligible to gain security clearance.

ATLAS ELEKTRONIK UK Ltd is an Equal Opportunities employer and welcomes applications for all posts from suitably qualified people regardless of age, disability, ethnicity, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, religion or belief.

Only successful applicants will be contacted.

Winfrith Newburgh
Dorset DT2 8ZB