We are seeking a DPhil student to work on the development of rapid approaches for characterising irradiation-induced dimensional change. This exciting project will be jointly supervised by Prof. Hofmann at the Department of Engineering Science, University of Oxford, and Dr. Andrew London at the Culham Centre for Fusion energy. Full funding for stipend and fees is available for UK applicants.
Nuclear fission and fusion power are attractive long-term energy sources with little carbon footprint. Structural materials in future reactors will be exposed to intense irradiation environments and extreme temperatures. These conditions can bring about dramatic changes in the mechanical and physical properties of the materials used. Formation of irradiation-induced defects causes dimensional change, i.e. a swelling or contraction of the material. This is very important as it may lead to large stresses that in turn can reduce the fatigue life of critical components.
The goal of this project is to develop new techniques to rapidly assess the evolution of irradiation-induced dimensional change as a function of irradiation temperature and dose. This is very important for the rapid testing of new candidate alloy systems proposed for structural reactor components. These new tools will be combined with electron and X-ray microscopy to shed light on the link between macroscopic dimensional change and the underlying irradiation-induced defects.
The DPhil student will spend time working at the Oxford Engineering Department, as well as at the Material Research Facility (MRF) at the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy. They will be part of a vibrant research environment interacting with colleagues in both Solid Mechanics and Nuclear Materials research communities. Further information about Prof. Hofmann’s research can be found at http://hofmanngroup.org and additional details about the Solid Mechanics Group in the Department of Engineering Science are available at http://www.eng.ox.ac.uk/solidmech. Further details about the MRF and the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy can be found at: https://mrf.ukaea.uk/