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Materials Engineering Group



PhD Position

Measurement of micro scale (type III) stresses and strain resulting from martensitic phase transformations:

The exploitation of martensitic transformations in engineering materials is becoming increasingly commonplace. Potential applications include impact resistant steels for automotive panelling, stress mitigation for weld filler materials and shape memory alloys with endless possible uses. For all these cases, the attractive properties are a result of complex stress and strains induced by the martensitic phase. In order to optimise the desired phenomena, it is critical to have a mechanistic understanding of the local stresses and strains associated with the transformation.

The aim of this project is to optimise experimental techniques such as digital image correlation (DIC) and focused ion beam (FIB) hole drilling to investigate the type III stresses and strains occurring in martensitic transformations. The techniques will be applied to a range of materials ranging from simple steels to complex shape memory alloys.

For enquiries and further information, please email Richard Moat

Further Information

The position would suit a graduate with a qualification in Materials Engineering, Physics or other relevant engineering subjects at a Bachelor level or above. The work will be full time, therefore students are required to study for a minimum of 35 hours a week, living within 15 miles of the Walton Hall campus (Milton Keynes); in exceptional circumstances you may be able to live further away with the approval of the Faculty of Mathematics Computing and Technology.

The approximate stipend (maintenance grant) for PhD students for academic year 2011/12 is 13,590 per year (usually increasing annually in line with inflation).

The PhD will start as soon as possible in 2012 and will last for 3 years. The closing date for applications is 12 March 2012. Applications received after this date cannot be considered for this position.

How to Apply

To apply for this position, please use the application form that you can download here. Please quote reference 2012CH1 in all correspondence connected with this position. Your completed form should be returned by email as a Word document to Paul Courtnage only; please do not email to multiple addresses.

Useful supporting documents include proof of BSc, MSc, competence in English and current CV (maximum of 2 pages).

Your CV should include details about the following, where applicable:

  • Secondary and higher education (dates, establishments, examinations, results & thesis titles)
  • Other technical, professional or occupational training (dates, provider, type of training, subjects and qualifications)
  • Employment history (dates, details of employers, positions held with brief details of duties, final salary and reason for leaving). Remember to include unpaid or voluntary work
  • Details of relevant publications, if any.

Two referees should ideally be able to comment on your academic suitability and, where applicable, any research or employment you have undertaken. Referees should be senior academics, your line-manager or research supervisor.


You may also wish to see the Research Degrees web pages for information about PhD studies at The Open University.  However, please do not send applications to the Research School as instructed in those pages as they will not reach Dr Moat in time.

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