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Research / Students / Olivier Zanellato

Olivier Zanellato

+44 (0) 1908 653304

Student Project;
Neutron and synchrotron diffraction and tomography techniques for Engineering Academic supervisors; Dr. Michael Fitzpatrick, Prof. L. Edwards



Olivier Zanellato


As you might understand reading my page, I am not native English, I am French. My name is Olivier Zanellato. I arrived in the UK in October 2005. Before I came here, I did my degree in one of these typically French Engineering Schools. My school was ENSAM, which is mainly teaches mechanics. At that time I also completed a Master in Materials Science.

About the working environment

The department of Materials Engineering at Open University is a great place to study in, as the OU is a distant learning university for undergraduates, it leaves plenty of space for postgraduates and there are lots of facilities. The people in the department is also very friendly and helpful.

The main advantage of living in Milton Keynes, is its central position in England. You are only 45 min by train of central London, between Oxford and Cambridge, just a bit south of Birmingham

Research Project

During my PhD research I was working on materials for nuclear applications. The particularly hostile environment of a reactor and the need for security imply an accurate knowledge of the mechanical, physical and chemical properties and behaviours of the materials. Today with the come back to nuclear as an energy solution in many countries, there are many studies to undertake. New parameters, such as very high temperature have to be considered in the case of some Generation IV reactors. Some materials such as Zircaloys (Zirconium alloys) which are widely used for cladding are still under study. Although they have very suitable properties for cladding, they can present some issues such as hydride embrittlement or texture induced anisotropy.

In the course of my research, I carried out experimental work at ENGIN X, the engineering instrument of ISIS, at Didcot, Oxfordshire, the neutron diffraction facility. It consisted of a series of in-situ compression tests on Zircalloy-4 coupons. Each sample had a different initial texture. The aim of the test was to see the influence of this initial state on the mechanical behaviour of the grains according to their crystalline orientation.


I was supervised in my work by Prof Lyndon Edwards and Prof Mike Fitzpatrick


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