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Microstructural Characterisation, Deformation Kinetics and Creep-Fatigue Behaviour of Additively Manufactured 316L Stainless Steels

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Thursday, February 27, 2020
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

The key degradation mechanisms for the high-temperature power plant system is the microstructural degradation and creep-fatigue of steel components. When structural materials (e.g. Type 316L stainless steels) are used at high temperature, thermal ageing and inelastic deformation lead to changes in their microstructures. The creep and creep-fatigue performance of structural materials are limited by the degradation of microstructures. The underlying need is to develop improved understanding and predictive models of the evolution of the key microstructural features and deformation kinetics so that their high-temperature mechanical performance can be predicted.

The aim of this PhD work is to use a range of advanced microstructure and mechanical testing tools covering different length-scales to fully characterise the evolution of both the microstructure and mechanical properties on advanced austenitic stainless steels due to high-temperature exposure with and without loading. The candidate materials will be fabricated with powder-bed additive manufacturing techniques.

This project is partly funded by EPSRC through the SYNERgy programme. You will need to engage with all the project partners that particularly include Universities of Oxford and Manchester. The PhD candidates will have full access to all high-end microstructure characterisation facilities, mechanical testing facilities, and the UK’s word-leading neutron and synchrotron X-ray large-scale facilities. This project also comes with financial supports for attending international meetings/workshops.

Entry requirements

Applicants are required to hold/or expect to obtain at least a UK Bachelor Degree 2:1 or better, or overseas equivalent in materials, mechanical engineering or relevant subject area.

The University of Leicester requirements apply where applicable:

In addition, successful applicants should meet the following
• Familiar with mechanics of materials, preferably with some experience of analytical materials modelling
• Or familiar with the physical metallurgy of materials and have a good knowledge of microstructural characterisation
• A basic computer programming/coding skill

How to apply

Please refer to the application information at

Apply for Full Time Campus Based / Engineering Research

In the funding section of the application please indicate you wish to be considered for Prof Bo Chen’s Studentship

In the proposal section please provide the name of the supervisor and project title. You do not need to submit a research proposal, but you do need to provide a personal statement detailing why you what to be considered for the PhD.

Project / Funding Enquiries: ;

Application enquiries to

Closing date for applications: 27th Feb 2020

Funding Notes

This PhD studentship provides a stipend and tuition fee waiver for 3.5 years. The fee waiver also covers a full overseas fee. The stipend is a standard RCUK rate which for 2019/2020 this will be £15,009 per year.

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