Research Assistant/Associate  - Metallic Glasses: Characterization of Deformation Mechanisms by Transmission Electron Microscopy

University of Cambridge - Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy

West Cambridge

Grade 5 - £25,298-£29,301

Grade 7 - £30,175-£38,183

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 1 years in the first instance.

This Research Assistant/Associate position is one of three linked positions, all supported by the European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Grant 'Extending the range of the glassy state:  Exploring structure and property limits in metallic glasses' held by Professor AL Greer.  Metallic glasses (MGs), which are among the most actively studied metallic materials, have attractive mechanical properties.  The as-cast state of MGs can be altered by thermomechanical treatments: rejuvenation (to higher energy) offers improved plasticity (perhaps even desirable work-hardening); relaxation (to lower energy) offers access to ultrastable states. The ExtendGlass project aims to widen the range of glassy states and to explore the consequences of unusual states, particularly for mechanical properties and for phase stability/crystallization.

In comparison with crystalline metals, the study of the microstructural effects of plastic deformation is difficult for MGs.  One key area of interest is the operation of shear bands in which flow is sharply localized.  Recent studies suggest a complex pattern of structural changes both within the thin bands and in a much wider zone around them.  In constrained geometries, including in small samples, shear-banding can be suppressed, allowing the effects of homogeneous flow to be studied.  It is emerging that these effects are strong, including apparent work-hardening and the development of anisotropy.  Further effects of deformation include crystallization and voiding on nm scales.  Transmission electron microscopy will be used to support the investigation of deformation mechanisms.  The project will benefit from access to the world-class electron microscopy facilities in the Department of Materials Science & Metallurgy, and from collaboration with members of the Electron Microscopy Group.  Applicants for this post should have established expertise in transmission electron microscopy and electron diffraction techniques.  A high-level knowledge of energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX), electron diffraction and image processing would be desirable.  Experience of pair distribution functions, image simulation and scientific computing would be useful.

Applicants must have a strong academic research record in materials science, physics, or a closely related discipline. They should have, or expect soon to gain, a PhD in materials science, physics or a closely related discipline.  For more details on the requirements for this post, and on the application process, please see Further Particulars.

To apply online for this vacancy and to view further information about the role, please visit: This will take you to the role on the University’s Job Opportunities pages. There you will need to click on the 'Apply online' button and register an account with the University's Web Recruitment System (if you have not already) and log in before completing the online application form.

Informal enquiries about this vacancy should be sent to Professor Linday Greer (

Please quote reference LJ12767 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University values diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK. 

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