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PhD in High temperature total scattering studies of metallic systems

   Department of Materials Science and Engineering

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  Dr Lewis Owen  Applications accepted all year round  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

This project is based at the Department of Materials at the University of Sheffield, and is sponsored by Diamond Light Source Ltd. We are seeking a candidate with a 2.1 or 1st class degree in a STEM discipline with a good understanding of basic diffraction theory.

There is a drive in a number of key industrial sectors to increase the functional temperature of materials, whilst also maintaining or improving other key properties. For example, high-entropy alloys, a relatively new class of material, have demonstrated beneficial radiation damage tolerance with potential use in the nuclear fusion sector. These materials are believed to derive their beneficial properties from local structural effects. Total scattering, a type of advanced X-ray and neutron scattering technique, is an important probe of local environments, and has recently been demonstrated as providing substantive information for the analysis of local structure in alloys.

This PhD project will examine local structural phenomena in high-temperature materials of key industrial interest. Part of this project will involve the development of the high-temperature environment on the I15-1 beamline at Diamond Light Source. Metallurgical samples will be prepared at the University of Sheffield, including powder manufacturing methods, and characterisation of the samples by scanning and transmission electron microscopy. Total scattering data will be acquired at the Diamond Light Source, and also the ISIS Neutron source. Analysis of these data will be carried out using existing software, as well as developing bespoke analysis code, to understand how the local structure gives rise to their high temperature properties.

The student will spend time at the Diamond Light Source and the University of Sheffield, and will be based at the University of Sheffield in Year 1, and at the Diamond Light Source for two years of the project, allowing close collaboration with scientists at UK national research facilities.

The Centre for Doctoral Training in Advanced Metallic Systems is a partnership between industry and the Universities of Sheffield, Manchester and I-Form Advanced Manufacturing Centre, Dublin. CDT students undertake a 4-year doctorate with an in-depth compulsory technical and professional skills training programme. Please review our training programme, application process and full entry requirements at

Applications are open for this project. Apply at

For more information on the research scope of the project please contact Lewis Owen at .

Please note that this project will close before the advertised end date if a suitable applicant is secured. We suggest that you do not delay submitting your PGR application to the University of Sheffield.

Funding Notes

UKRI rate (currently £15,609 p.a.) plus £3,250 per year top-up
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