Our PhD students will lead the UK, in particular the aerospace and energy sectors, to new levels of innovation

Behnam Dashtbozorg

I graduated with a 2.1 degree in Biomedical Material Science (BMedSc) from the University of Birmingham in 2014.

I am now working towards my PhD in the IMPaCT Doctoral Training Centre under the supervision of Professor Hanshan Dong. My project is focussed on the development and characterisation of novel long lasting antibacterial stainless steel surfaces using plasma surface treatment approaches.

The hope is that this research can help to reduce contamination related to industrially manufactured foods as well as potentially finding applications in the medical industry.

Timothy Devenport

I graduated from the University of Leicester in 2012, with a 2.2 in Physics and immediately commenced an MSc in Advanced Engineering also at the University of Leicester, which I completed with Merit in 2013. Following this MSc I studied for an MPhil in Tribological Studies of Artificial sports pitches, which I received during my 1st year of the IMPaCT CDT PhD.

I am currently studying for a PhD under the supervision of Prof Sarah Hainsworth researching honeycomb seal development for high temperature steam turbine applications, using a bespoke MOIST rig, with industrial support from Alstom Power/GE.

I hope improve the efficiency of steam turbines by reducing the secondary flows around the turbine blades within the turbine with this research.

Andrew Douglas

In 2015 I graduated from the University of Leicester with a 2:1 in Chemistry with forensic science. This was an integrated masters degree with a year-long industrial placement spent at GlaxoSmithKline.

My interest in materials led me to apply for a PhD position with IMPaCT where I now study. My current research is on improvement of niobium silicide-based alloys along with Adam. Current niobium silicide alloys show poor oxidation resistance at med-high temperatures. My project will focus on improving this without excessive detriment to other properties.

With current alloys used in the turbine blades of gas-turbine engines reaching the limit of their temperature capability a new material is needed. Niobium silicide alloys are a potential candidate to replace superalloys in this role. Further alloy development will be needed for this material to fulfil its potential. This study hopes to contribute significantly to that development.

Ishan Fernando

I am an engineering graduate from university of Leicester.

My primary research is focused on damage development in additive manufacturing of high performance materials (hot cracking in Niobium silicide), NbSi is an alloy that could potentially replace nickel-base superalloys in the aerospace industry showing good properties such as high temperature strength, and a lower density compared to nickel-base superalloys.

I am currently working on developing our own niobium silicide database in order to figure out a base composition for the alloy and i hope that my research will enable us to understand the cracking mechanism during the solidification process.

Ikra Khan

I obtained a Bachelor of Medical Science degree in Biomedical Materials Science from the University of Birmingham.

I am now pursuing a PhD in the IMPaCT centre. My PhD revolves around generating surfaces on Commercially Pure Titanium that will provide anti-bacterial properties as well as improved mechanical and physical properties. I am achieving this by creating patterns of the microscale as well as artificially created titanium oxide films either produced via CCT or with the use of a laser. This is all undertaken with the guidance of my supervisor Hanshan Dong.

It is hoped that these surfaces will reduce the risk of infection and ultimately failure in titanium related implants such as dental roots.

Yana Liang

I graduated with a master’s degree in Material Science from the University of Birmingham in 2015.

I am now working towards my PhD in the IMPaCT Doctoral Training Centre under the supervision of Professor Hanshan Dong. My project is focussed on the surface multi-functionalization of carbon nano fibers using active-screen plasma treatment.

The hope is that this work can help to enhance the fibre/matrix interfacial adhesion and the interfacial shear strength (IFSS) between the reinforcing fibres and the matrix in composites.

Yaroslav Rae

I obtained an upper second class MEng in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Nottingham in 2011. After completing my degree I worked in industry for several years building up on my engineering experience.

I wanted to study further and IMPaCT doctoral centre was doing exactly the kind of things I was interested in. My PhD is about stress analysis and material damage characterisation of power plant components, it is done in close collaboration with RWE npower.

My research project aims to contribute to our knowledge of which material damage mechanisms are important for each type of component, and how they develop and interact over time. It will also help to maximise the life of components by identifying which performance characteristics have greatest impact, and how they can be modified economically to increase life.

Wayne Smith

I completed a BSc and BEng (Hons) First Class with the Open University and then an MSc with Distinction in Structural Integrity at NSIRC/Brunel University in 2015.

I am now pursuing a PhD with IMPaCT and the University of Leicester and based at NSIRC, Cambridge investigating the effect of secondary factors on high temperature hydrogen attack (HTHA) in carbon and low alloy steels.

It is hoped my research will lead to better understanding and improve the prediction and management of the damage mechanism.

Michael Walker

I obtained a first class master MPhys degree in physics from the University of Leicester in 2015. I am now pursuing a PhD in material science with the IMPaCT centre.

I am researching cold spray additive manufacturing with nanostructured multicomponent equi-molar materials (MEMs) in collaboration with The Welding Institute (TWI).

The aim of this research is to further understand the cold spray process by investigating the effect of process and material parameters on the coatings and the behaviour of cold sprayed MEMs. Powder production and properties of MEMs are to be explored to observe the potential changes from bulk material to coatings. A significant area of research is the study of individual cold sprayed particles which have bonded to the surface, named splats. These provide information on the microstructural behaviour of the powdered materials after impact, which can provide insight into the bonding mechanisms in cold spray.

Ruiyao Zhang

I obtained an upper second class BSc degree in Optical Information Science and Technology from Sun Yat-Sen University in China.

I am pursuing a PhD in the IMPaCT Centre based at the University of Leicester. I am currently investigating residual stress evolution in superalloys during ageing heat treatment using neutron diffraction techniques at ENGIN-X in Appleton Rutherford Laboratory Oxford, UK.

Neutrons can penetrate deep into heavy materials and has become a powerful tool to measure residuals stress inside most engineering materials. It is hoped that my research will result in better assessment of residual stress of materials which are widely used in turbine engines.