Advanced materials processing and joining

Qualifications Duration Start dates Application period
(MPhil also available)
Full time: 3–4 years
Part time: 6–8 years
February and October January to April
PhD (MPhil also available)
Full time: 3–4 years
Part time: 6–8 years
Start dates
February and October
Application period
January to April

The OU Materials Engineering Group carries out research into materials processing and characterisation, with a strong focus on mechanical properties, fatigue and fracture, forensic failure analysis, and the application of solid state bonding to various alloys, composites and ceramics (applications to jet engines, heat exchangers, automotive industry, defence, electronics, optical instruments, medical devices, biomaterials, and implants.

Advanced materials processing in the group includes research into new processing techniques to fabricate new materials, modify existing processing to optimize production, and add new dimension to control materials processing.

The group has electron microscopy (FEGSEM, TEM, and access to dual beam FIB/SEM), mechanical testing with capability up to 1200˚C, a large creep facility, nanoindentation and facilities for diffusion bonding and brazing as well as optical microscopy and metallography.

The group hosts several full- and part-time research students, many of whom have a focus on fabrication techniques for materials and structures. Support is provided by academic, technical and research staff. Virtually all our projects are undertaken in partnership with industrial collaborators, and our projects provide excellent training in a range of experimental and analytical skills.

Entry requirements

Minimum 2:1 undergraduate degree (or equivalent). If you are not a UK citizen, you may need to prove your knowledge of English

Potential research projects

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

  • Electromagnetic processing of materials
  • Computational materials 
  • Fatigue and fracture of metallic alloys and composites
  • High-temperature performance of weldments
  • Properties of welded materials and components
  • Joining dissimilar materials, e.g. Al to Cu and high temperature alloys.

Current/recent research projects

  • To discover the mesoscale interaction between hydrogen and metal oxide in net-zero extraction
  • Mesoscale computation of green manufacturing
  • Deformation due to cyclic loading in additively manufactured nickel base superalloys
  • Using HRDIC to study the micromechanics of polycrystal deformation
  • Correction of microstructural aberrations in Neutron Diffraction strain measurements in Power plant structures
  • Structural Integrity of additively manufactured metal parts for repair and build of an extra-terrestrial nuclear reactor
  • Creep and damage development in power plant materials
  • Development of diffusion bonding for joining of materials
  • Microstructural evolution in aeroengine alloys

Potential supervisors

Fees and funding

UK fee International fee
Full time: £4,786 per year Full time: £15,698 per year
Part time: £2,393 per year Part time: £7,849 per year

For detailed information about fees and funding, visit Fees and studentships.

To see current funded studentship vacancies across all research areas, see Current studentships.


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How to apply

Get in touch

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

Rongshan Qin, Professor in Advanced Materials Engineering; or
Amir Shirzadi, Senior Lecturer in Materials Engineering
Email: stem-ei-phd
Phone: +44 (0)1908 655799

Apply now

If you’re interested in applying for this research topic, please take a look at the application process.