Graduate Studentship Understanding deformation in neutron and ion irradiated tungsten

Supervisor: Dr D.E.J Armstrong/ Professor S.G. Roberts

The plasma-facing components of any future fusion tokamak will be subjected to one of the most extreme engineering environments possible, including temperatures of up to 1200oC in steady state and 3300oC in transient events, high erosion rates due to interactions with the fusion plasma, and irradiation with 14MeV neutrons. Understanding how basic mechanical properties are changed by neutron irradiation is critical if fusion devices are to be designed safely.

Tungsten is a prime candidate material, but whilst there has been a large body of research looking at the mechanical properties of ion implanted tungsten, little work has been completed on understanding the effect that neutron damage has on the mechanical properties and how comparable results on neutron- and ion-irradiated samples are. 

This project will exploit micro-mechanical testing techniques developed at Oxford to compare the changes in the mechanical properties of self-ion-, proton- and neutron-irradiated tungsten alloys. The deformation processes will be studied using scanning and transmission electron microscopy, and commonalities and differences between the irradiation conditions identified. Testing of the neutron- and proton-irradiated samples will be carried out in the newly commissioned hot cells at the Materials Research Facility at Culham Centre for Fusion Energy, and self-ion-implanted materials in Oxford. The work will be carried out in close collaboration with CCFE, STFC and partners in the United States.

Candidates are considered in the January 2014 admissions cycle which has an application deadline of 24 January 2014.  Due to funding restrictions this 3.5 year EPSRC Industrial CASE studentship will provide full fees and maintenance for a citizen of the UK or for a citizen of the EU who has spent the previous three years (or more) in the UK undertaking undergraduate study.  The stipend is expected to be a minimum of £15,726 per year. Other EU citizens should read the guidance at for further information about eligibility.

Also Read  EPSRC Fully-funded PhD Studentship: Engineering/Sports Science College of Engineering

Any questions concerning the project can be addressed to Dr David Armstrong ( 

General enquiries on how to apply can be made by e mail to You must complete the standard Oxford University Application for Graduate Studies and further information and an electronic copy of the application form can be found by clicking the Apply link below.

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