Materials Engineering

Materials Engineering

Materials Engineering Research Group

The Materials Engineering Research Group is one of the largest in the UK with some 40 academics, researchers and support staff. Our core research themes focus on fabrication, residual stress analysis and high temperature performance of metals and structures. Diverse external income streams and broad networks in industry and academia underpin our work.

The Materials Engineering Research Group has modern mechanical testing and materials characterization laboratories, including an electron microscopy suite (SEM, FEGSEM, TEM), two X-ray diffractometers and a nanoindenter. Specialist capabilities comprise a new large component Contour residual stress measurement facility, a refurbished creep laboratory and a diffusion bonding autoclave.

Materials Engineering Research Group Key Facts

  • Very strong links with industry.
  • 100 per cent record of employment of students on completion of their PhD.
  • 90 per cent of our research ranked as being of international quality.
  • Large research group of 40 students, researchers and academics.
  • Excellent opportunities for work at international facilities.

Recent Publications


  • FabricationWelding is the most widely used process for joining metallic structures. But it is an aggressive procedure that introduces long-range distortion, residual stress localized material inhomogeneity, geometric discontinuities and defects. It is unsurprising that weldments are “the weakest link” determining the life and safety of most engineering structures.
  • High TemperatureAustenitic stainless steels find many applications in power generation, petrochemical and aerospace industries owing to their combination of creep strength and superior corrosion resistance. But the life and integrity of welded structural systems operating at high temperature is dependent on the accumulation of in-service creep damage under complex loading conditions.
  • Residual StressThe Materials Engineering Group use a range of measurement techniques, including X-ray diffraction, incremental hole drilling, the contour method, neutron diffraction and synchrotron X-ray diffraction.