Research Associate in Materials Performance

The University of Manchester - School of Materials

Closing Date : 12/11/2017.
Employment Type : Fixed Term.
Duration : ASAP until 30 June 2019.
Faculty / Organisational Unit : Science & Engineering.
School/Directorate : School of Materials.
Division : Materials.
Hours Per week : Full time.
Salary : £31,604 to £38,833 per annum.
Location : Oxford Road, Manchester.
Job Reference : S&E-10825.

An opportunity has arisen for a well-qualified and highly motivated individual to join the UK’s preeminent Materials Performance Centre (MPC) within the University of Manchester. 

You will lead research activities aimed at exploring the use of a recently discovered silicide phase within steel to develop a new generation of hard facing materials that are Cobalt-free. The aim is to produce a range of small scale casts at Imperial College London and investigate phase compositions at the University of Manchester using a range of advanced analytical tools.

In this project we investigate the suitability of silicide-strengthened steel as a material solution for hard facing applications. These types of alloy are designed to withstand wear and galling effects, whereby surface roughness increased by localised plastic deformation, resulting in fracture and material transfer occurring as a result of tribological contact. To date, hard facing alloys are typically Co-based due to their excellent wear resistance. However, Co is the largest dose contributor through the formation of Co-60, contributing to plant worker exposure. Therefore, there is a drive within the nuclear industry to develop Co-free alternative materials.

In addition to carrying out casting experiments at Imperial College London, your key experimental tasks will be to employ diffraction techniques, including synchrotron x-ray diffraction, and advanced electron microscopy to characterise the various phases that form in the highly-alloyed steels. For more information about the world class facilities in Manchester please visit

You will be expected to analyse and disseminate these results within the MPC and to our industrial collaborators including Rolls-Royce, and through conference papers and journal publications. You will also be expected to become a key member of the MPC, making significant contributions to its continued success, and playing an active role in areas such as student supervision and wider development of experimental methods and techniques within the group.

You will be required to have; a first degree (BSc/Eng or MSc) or equivalent, and a Ph.D. (or equivalent experience) in materials science or a related subject; sound knowledge of steel; demonstrated experience in the use of diffraction techniques and electron microscopy; well-developed interpersonal skills to work effectively with a wide range of people.

The School is committed to promoting equality and diversity, including the Athena SWAN charter for promoting women’s careers in STEMM subjects (science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine) in higher education. The School holds a Bronze Award for their commitment to the representation of women in the workplace and we particularly welcome applications from women for this post. Appointment will always be made on merit. For further information, please visit:

Please note that we are unable to respond to enquiries, accept CVs or applications from Recruitment Agencies

Enquiries about the vacancy, shortlisting and interviews:

Professor Michael Preuss

+44 (0)161 306 3601


Dr David Bowden

General enquiries:


Tel: 0161 275 4499

Technical support:


Tel: 0161 850 2004

This vacancy will close for applications at midnight on the closing date.

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