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Professor John Bouchard

Profile summary

  • Central Academic Staff
  • Professor in Materials for Energy
  • Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics
  • School of Engineering & Innovation
  • john.bouchard

Professional biography


I graduated in Mechanical Engineering (1976) and obtained an MSc in Physics of Materials (1977) at the University of Bristol. My first appointment for a Civil Engineering Consultancy broadened my engineering horizon before joining Rolls-Royce (1979) and specialising in stress and fracture analysis of rotating gas turbine components. From 1986 to 2008 I worked in the nuclear power generation industry in the field of structural integrity (supporting safety cases) and became recognised as the company residual stress expert. From 1995 onwards I initiated and managed many industry and EU funded structural integrity related research projects. In 2007 I was awarded a Royal Society Industry Fellowship and appointed Professor of Materials for Energy at the Open University in 2008. Since coming to the OU I have raised external income exceeding £2.5m (EPSRC, Royal Society, EMDA, industry) and doubled the number of researchers and laboratory facilities of the Materials Engineering Group which currently comprises 11 academics, 15 PhD students and 5 post-doctoral researchers. 


Research interests

The mechanical performance of materials and structures for energy applications including cyclic, creep, crack growth and fracture behaviours, and the prediction, measurement and management of welding residual stress.

Research Activity

Research groups

NameTypeParent Unit
Materials Engineering GroupGroupFaculty of Mathematics, Computing and Technology


Externally funded projects

Advanced Tools for structuraL integrity Assessment and Plant Lifetime management

RoleStart dateEnd dateFunding source
Co-investigator01/Jun/201731/May/2021EC (European Commission): FP(inc.Horizon2020, H2020, ERC)
This is a Horizon 2020 project proposal. The consortium comprises 19 EU participants: 9 represent research institutions, 5 represent academia, 4 represent industry and one represents a regulatory authority. A systematic ageing management procedure is the basis for justifying the safe long term operation of nuclear power plants. One fundamental part in this process is to demonstrate the integrity of the nuclear power plant components. The required safety margins are determined by considering various degradation and ageing mechanisms and postulated defects. This project focuses on identified open technology gaps related to piping components. OU Contributions relate to WP2 which is concerned with the simulation, measurement and treatment of residual stress.

OU CDT Equipment

RoleStart dateEnd dateFunding source
Lead01/Oct/201430/Sep/2019EPSRC EPSRC Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
One of our specialist capabilities is application of DIC to measure inhomogeneous deformation (e.g. of weldments) at room temperature and creep deformation behaviour up to 1000C. We plan to upgrade two of our standard creep machines to allow DIC monitoring (one machine for 3D DIC and the other for creep crack growth testing) for use of CDT students. The equipment will comprise 2 DIC upgrade system packages. 1) New furnace with access window for 3D DIC monitoring, 2 high resolution cameras & bellows, mounting table and lighting. 2) New furnace with large access window for CT crack growth monitoring, 1 high resolution camera & bellows, DC PD unit for crack growth, mounting table and lighting. The equipment will be installed in our main creep laboratory.