PhD - Linking Microstructure to Neutron Irradiation Defects in Advanced Manufacture of Steels

University of Oxford

Professor M P Moody

The reactor pressure vessel (RPV) is a critical component of a nuclear fission reactor. Hence, the long-term stability, strength and toughness of RPV steels are of vital importance for the power-generating industry. This research is part of collaborative project, with partners at Imperial College and the University of Manchester, to characterise neutron irradiation-induced solute clustering in RPV steels. Specifically in this project, atom probe tomography (APT) characterisation will be used in the study of neutron irradiated RPV steels. APT is a cutting edge microscopy technique enabling a three-dimensional, atom-by-atom imaging of the steel microstructure, providing unique insight into the fundamental mechanisms of solute clustering and the resulting embrittlement. Specimens for APT analysis will be prepared via focussed ion beam (FIB) techniques. APT analysis will be in parallel with complementary high-resolution microscopy, mechanical testing and modelling studies of radiation damage by collaborating partners.

Candidates are considered in the January 2017 admissions cycle which has an application deadline of 20 January 2017.

This 3.5-year EPSRC DTP studentship will provide full fees and maintenance for a student who has home fee status (this includes an EU student who has spent the previous three years (or more) in the UK undertaking undergraduate study). The stipend will be at least £15,296 per year. Other EU students should read the guidance at for further information about eligibility.

Any questions concerning the project can be addressed to Professor Michael Moody ( General enquiries on how to apply can be made by e‑mail to You must complete the standard Oxford University Application for Graduate Studies. Further information and an electronic copy of the application form can be found at

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South East England