The ISIS Pulsed Neutron Source, the only such facility in Europe, is situated at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, UK. ISIS produces beams of pulsed neutrons and neutron scattering provides unique information on the structure and dynamics of condensed matter at the atomic and molecular level. The engineering beamline ENGIN-X at ISIS is the world’s leading neutron diffractometer.

The ENGIN-X instrument can be used to measure strain and stress deep within engineering components, including under representative service conditions such as temperature and external loads. This information is used to shed light on deformation mechanisms, processing and manufacturing routes, and failure mechanisms both in real components and in test samples, often to provide data for the verification of finite element modelling predictions of engineering processes or for comparison with other methods of residual stress measurement.

The instrument is optimized for measurement of residual stress and in-situ thermo-mechanical processing of engineering alloy systems, and is widely used by industry and academia.


Shu Yan Zhang

Dr. Shu Yan Zhang
Instrument Scientist – ISIS Facility
Science and Technology Facilities Council,
Rutherford Appleton Laboratory,


Shu Yan is the lead scientist for the ENGIN-X beamline at ISIS. She is the ISIS representative for the Engineering Facility Access Panels at ISIS and also the member of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel for the European Spallation Source.

Following a DPhil in Engineering Science at University of Oxford, Shu Yan joined ISIS in 2008 as a post-doc and was promoted to become instrument scientist in the same year. In 2012 she was promoted in recognition of her valued contribution to build bridges between ISIS and Industry by generating impact through science. She has close collaborative links with the nuclear, aerospace and steel industries; in particular with EDF Energy, AREVA (France), Rolls Royce, Tata Steel and TWI.

Shu Yan has made a major contribution to raising awareness of residual stress effects and advancing neutron and synchrotron x-ray measurement techniques for stress measurement. Currently she has five research grants and supervises PhD students. Despite being at a relatively early stage of her career, she is internationally recognized in the field. In the last 5 years, she has been involved in the organization of 5 international conferences and given 13 keynote/invited lectures at international conferences. She is also frequently invited by industry to give talks at their seminars.

Shu Yan will co-supervise PhD students, offer short-term placement projects and neutron training course for IMPACT. She will also provide expertise and support for the projects require neutron measurements, in particilar help with the neutron beamtime access to the ENGIN-X instrument at ISIS and offer the whole scientific and technical support infrastructure.