PhD Studentships Characterisation and modelling of crack growth effects in nickel-based superalloys

R C Reed, M Moody and A C F Cocks (Engineering)

Nickel-based superalloys are used widely for high performance applications, e.g. the gas turbines used for aeroengines and power generation.  Elevated temperature strength and fatigue resistance are required, often in the presence of oxidative and corrosive environments.

In this project, elevated temperature fatigue crack propagation will be studied under conditions where its rate can be accelerated by extended periods of crack opening, the so-called dwell effect.  Forms of damage to be considered include crack-tip oxidation, grain boundary oxygen diffusion and creep deformation.  Numerical modelling studies will be carried out with the aim of rationalising the effects of the different forms of damage, and their dependence upon alloy chemistry and microstructure. High resolution characterisation studies – atom probe tomography, electron microscopy – will be used to inform the modelling work.

Two studentships – one for each of the modelling and experimental parts – are expected to be awarded. Sponsorship is available from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and Rolls-Royce plc.  Due to funding restrictions they are available to a citizen of the United Kingdom, or a suitably qualified student from the European Union.

Applications will be considered as and when they are received and this position will be filled as soon as possible, but the latest date for considering applications will be 20 August 2013.  These 3.5 year studentships will provide full fees and maintenance for a citizen of the UK or 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 £15,500 per year).

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Any questions concerning the project can be addressed to Professor Roger Reed ( or Dr Michael Moody (  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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