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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 characterization 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 neutron and synchrotron X-ray methods for residual stress measurement in materials. We work closely with partners in industry, particularly in the aerospace and nuclear power sectors. The group has a thriving research student community, with access to excellent research facilities and internationally-leading expertise.

Key facts

  • Very strong links with industry
  • 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


Our research is supported by well-equipped, state-of-the-art mechanical testing facilities, analytical facilities for electron and optical microscopy, elemental analysis, thermal analysis, mechanical and X-ray stress analysis and heat treatment. A dedicated suite of high-performance workstations and servers running a range of finite element and analytical packages is also available. Our group is an intensive user of national and international neutron and synchrotron X-ray facilities.

Further information

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

Professor Michael Fitzpatrick
+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