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Fully-Funded (Home/EU Rate) PhD Studentship (Fixed Term) - Understanding Mechanical Instabilities in Superalloys


Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 4 years in the first instance.

Understanding mechanical instabilities in superalloys

Sponsor: supported by Rolls-Royce plc through an iCase award. 'Home rate' students Supervisors: Dr Enrique Galindo-Nava and Prof Cathie Rae

Project Background

The project is aimed at understanding and predicting mechanical instabilities in superalloys using advanced characterisation and physics-based modelling. Nickel-based superalloys are employed in critical components of aeroengines due to their excellent high-temperature strength and toughness. However, mechanical instabilities, including the Portevin-Le Chatelier effect (or serrated yielding) and dynamic strain ageing (DSA), can be responsible for premature failures during engine operation, and the mechanisms controlling such behaviour are not well understood.

This research will seek to gain a detailed understanding of the factors controlling serrated yielding and DSA by performing mechanical testing, scanning and transmission electron microscopy and atomic-scale characterisation. Dislocation-based and Phase field models will be developed to quantify the operating mechanisms and define deformation maps in terms of initial microstructure and deformation conditions.

The successful candidate would have interests in combining computational modelling with experimentation. The project is suitable for a candidate with background in materials science, engineering, physics, applied mathematics or related disciplines.

Applicants should have (or expected to be awarded) an upper second or first class UK honours degree at the level of MSci, MEng (or overseas equivalents) in a relevant science subject (Physics, Chemistry, Materials Science, Mathematics) and should meet the EPSRC criteria for UK/EU residency and liability for 'home rate' fees (https://epsrc.ac.uk/skills/students/help/eligibility/) to be eligible for a studentship.

Application forms and the Graduate Studies Prospectus are available from the University website and copies of these documents are available via www.admin.cam.ac.uk/students/gradadmissions/prospec. Further information on the application process is available from Dr Rosie Ward (rew2@cam.ac.uk).

Informal enquiries may be made to Dr Enrique Galindo-Nava (eg375@cam.ac.uk) and Professor Cathie Rae (cr18@cam.ac.uk).

Please quote reference LJ13805 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

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