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Fully Funded (Home/EU Rate) PhD Studentship (Fixed Term) - Transformation Stability of Superelastic Titanium Alloys

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

Applications are invited for an EPSRC Industrial CASE PhD studentship investigating the transformation stability of superelastic beta titanium alloys under the supervision of Dr Nicholas Jones. The project is being run in close collaboration with the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, with the successful candidate being based in the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy at the University of Cambridge.

Superelastic materials have great potential as the basis for high frequency damping systems as the martensitic transformation that gives rise to the phenomenon is fully reversible and occurs at near sonic velocities. However, room temperature testing of existing superelastic alloys has identified a drift in their behaviour when subjected to cyclic loading. Recent studies have shown an accumulation of permanent strain within the first few cycles, thought to be a result of defect generation necessitated by the transformation, but little is known about the long-term stability of the behaviour over several thousand cycles. Transformation stability is a key issue if these materials are to be successful in engineering applications, so identifying the source of the defects, characterising their generation and evolution, as well as understanding how they influence subsequent transformation cycles is extremely important.

Using a combination of electron microscopy and high energy diffraction this project aims to assess the build up of damage within superelastic titanium alloys as a function of cyclic loading, track the evolution of microstructure and identify the key mechanisms causing the degradation in properties. From this data, potential routes, both compositional and microstrucutral, to improve the stability of these materials will be developed.

Applications need to be a UK national and should have (or expect to be awarded) at least an upper second class honours degree at the level of MSci, MEng, MPhys, MChem etc, in a relevant subject (e.g. Metallurgy, Materials Science, Physics, Chemistry) and should meet the EPSRC criteria of UK/EU residency and liability for 'home rate' fees.

Applications should be submitted to the Graduate Admissions Office ( by Friday 5 January. A £50 application fee applies at this stage.

Further information on the application process is available from Dr Rosie Ward (

Informal enquiries about the project may be made by email to Dr Nicholas Jones (

Please quote reference LJ14203 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

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