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Materials Engineering

An image to illustrate studying materials engineering with The Open University

The Materials Engineering Group’s research is based around three areas: residual stress measurement using advanced experimental techniques; materials characterisation for novel materials and for structural integrity assessments; and high-temperature materials behaviour and performance.

We are world leaders in the development and application of methods for measuring residual stress in materials using particle beam diffraction and the contour method. This expertise underpins our newly formed StressMap business unit. We work closely with partners in industry, particularly in the aerospace and nuclear power sectors (Airbus, Rolls-Royce, British Energy, EDF, AREVA and TWI) and with numerous national international laboratories worldwide.

The Materials Engineering Group forms part of larger consortia both within the University and beyond. For example, we are part of The Open University’s energy research community known as OU Energy, launched in November 2013. We are also partners in the Imperial College, Cambridge and Open University ICO Centre for Doctoral Training in Nuclear Energy, where we are currently offering a number of research projects mainly in the Energy materials research area. The group has a thriving research student community, with access to excellent research facilities and internationally leading expertise.

Key facts

  • Strong links with industry
  • High rate of completion of student projects and 100 per cent record of employment of students on completion of their PhD
  • 90 per cent of our research ranked as being of international quality
  • Large research group of 40 students, researchers and academics
  • Excellent opportunities for work at international facilities

Further information

If you have an enquiry specific to this research area please contact:

John Bouchard, Professor of Materials for Energy.
+44 (0)1908 655799

For general enquiries please contact the Research Degrees Team via the link under 'Your Questions' on the right of the page.


Research publications by Open University staff are available through Open Research Online (ORO), the university's repository of research publications and other research outputs. ORO can be searched or browsed by staff name or subject.

The following list, generated from ORO, provides a flavour of the most recently published work in Materials Engineering