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Development and application of 3D X-ray Diffraction for the study of phase transformations in metallic materials

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  • Full or part time
    Dr D Collins
    Dr T Connolley
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Studentship Overview
A 4-year PhD studentship (UK/EU candidates only) is offered in a jointly funded Diamond Light Source – University of Birmingham project. The successful candidate will receive a studentship that covers university fees, an enhanced stipend starting at £16,998 from year 1 (2019/2020), as well as a contribution towards travel costs. The project will be supervised by Dr Thomas Connolley (Diamond Light Source) and Dr David Collins (School of Metallurgy & Materials, University of Birmingham). It is anticipated that the student will be based at the Diamond Light Source for years 1 & 2, followed by years 3 & 4 spent at the University of Birmingham.

Project Synopsis
Experiments determining the behaviour of individual crystals with the knowledge of their position in 3D allows new, exciting insights in materials to be discovered. This project will enable such experiments to be performed in the UK for the first time. These new experimental methods will be used to reveal how and why certain industrially-important alloys undergo phase transformations when deformed. Since the late 1990s, several X-ray methods have been developed for identifying and mapping grains in three dimensions in polycrystalline materials. One of these techniques, known as three-dimensional X-ray diffraction (3DXRD) microscopy (Poulsen et al., 2001; Juul-Jensen et al., 2006) has been applied in studies of various dynamic phenomena in metals, such a recrystallization, grain growth, phase transformation and plastic deformation. However, such an experimental capability does not exist in the UK. The goal of the project is to develop the 3DXRD capability at Diamond Light Source, using proven methods for indexing multi-grain diffraction data. For this the forward simulation approach (Schmidt, J. Appl. Cryst. 47 (2014) 276-284) is proposed, because the published methodology is clear, and data processing software is available. The technique will then be applied to study deformation in metallic materials where deformation is dependent on neighbourhood effects, as is the case in Transformation Induced Plasticity (TRIP) steels and shape memory alloys. The project will concentrate on TRIP steels, driven by their technical applications and hence the importance of understanding how they behave in order to improve their formability. Preliminary work will be carried out on single phase ferritic steel for validation of the methodology. The experimental work will combine in-situ 3DXRD experiments during heating and loading at DLS with complementary in-situ heating and loading in a scanning electron microscope at the University of Birmingham.

Application Process
The successful applicant must hold a first degree (minimum upper second class) in Materials Science, Physics, Mechanical Engineering or related discipline. Experience in electron microscopy diffraction techniques and/or electron microscopy will be advantageous. Applications should be made via the University of Birmingham online application system (web link given below), including a full CV, a covering letter that describes your experience and suitability for the PhD, along with two references. It is expected that shortlisted candidates will be interviewed at Diamond Light Source; their visit will also give the applicant an opportunity to tour the facility.
For further information, some web links are given below. For informal enquiries, please contact David Collins ([Email Address Removed]).

Useful Links
Diamond PhD Studentship Information
https://www.diamond.ac.uk/Careers/Students/Studentships.html

Dr. David Collins
https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/schools/metallurgy-materials/people/profile.aspx?ReferenceId=140431&Name=dr-david-collins

Dr. Thomas Connolley
https://www.diamond.ac.uk/Instruments/Imaging-and-Microscopy/I12/Staff/Connolley.html

School of Metallurgy & Materials, University of Birmingham
https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/schools/metallurgy-materials/index.aspx

Application Submission
https://sits.bham.ac.uk/lpages/EPS024.htm

Funding Notes

Only UK or EU candidates will be eligible for funding.

How good is research at University of Birmingham in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Metallurgy and Materials?
Metallurgy and Materials

FTE Category A staff submitted: 29.10

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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