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Research degrees
Research areas
Materials engineering
Structural integrity

Structural integrity

The Materials Engineering group is actively involved in research supporting development of the R6 Procedure for the assessment of the integrity of structures containing defects. This includes projects focused on the incorporation of reliable residual stress data from neutron diffraction, the contour method and other techniques into the assessment code, development of benchmark weld specimens, improvement and validation of weld simulation methods and how to use laboratory test specimen data to predict large-scale component behaviour.

The groups hosts an impressive suite of residual stress and materials characterisation equipment with support provided by world-class academic and research staff. Research projects in this area of normally conducted with the support of industrial partners such as AREVA, EDF, AMEC and Rolls Royce.

Qualifications available

PhD or MPhil


For detailed information on current fees visit Research degree fees.

Entry requirements

Minimum 2:1 or equivalent in an engineering, mathematics or materials subject

Potential research projects

Project areas are available depending on funding, but we would expect to recruit in the following general areas:

  • Developing novel methods of incorporating residual stress measurements into structural integrity assessment
  • Post weld heat treatment and its effect on residual stress and integrity
  • The effects of residual stress on crack growth behaviour
  • The effect of weld geometry on the mechanical properties of joints.

Current/recent research projects

  • Neural network modelling of residual stress for structural integrity assessment
  • Optimising residual stress profiles for structural integrity assessment
  • Measurement and modelling of residual stresses in weld benchmark components
  • The use of digital image correlation for the structural integrity assessment of welded joints

Potential supervisors


Weld joint

Further information

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

John Bouchard, Professor of Materials for Energy
Email: STEM-EI-Research
Phone: +44 (0)1908 655799