PhD Studentship: Developing New High Performance Alloys for Gas Turbine Applications

University of Cambridge - Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy

West Cambridge

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 3.5 years in the first instance.

Full or fees-only award available to students who pay 'home rate' fees Starting date:  April or October 2018

Applications are invited for the following PhD project, to be supervised by Dr Howard Stone (

Developing New High Performance Alloys for Gas Turbine Applications

Applications are invited for a PhD studentship developing new alloys for high temperature applications in gas turbines.  The studentship is fully funded for a UK student, will run for up to four years and can start from April 2018. It will be run in close collaboration with Rolls-Royce plc and will be located in the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy at the University of Cambridge.

The University of Cambridge has been working as part of a multi-university research initiative to deliver new materials technologies that will enable new designs of more efficient gas turbines for civil aviation.  As part of this initiative, we have developed a new type of high temperature superalloy that is reinforced by multiple intermetallic precipitates. These alloys have been shown to have exceptional mechanical properties, far exceeding those of commercially available alloys, but they now require further development in order to realise their full potential and produce a commercially viable alloy.

This project will seek to obtain a detailed understanding of the mechanistic origins of the exceptional mechanical properties of these new alloys. The effect of alloying with various elements will also be investigated and this will enable the design of refined alloys suitable for industrial utilisation. This research will require the preparation of alloys by arc melting, mechanical testing, scanning and transmission electron microscopy with EDX, X-ray diffraction, differential scanning calorimetry and themogravimetric analysis. Opportunities will also be sought to gain insight into these alloys using diffraction at international synchrotron X-ray and neutron facilities.

The minimum academic requirement for admission is an upper second class UK honours degree at the level of MSci, MEng, MPhys, MChem etc, or a lower second with a good Master's, (or overseas equivalents) in a relevant subject.

The studentship provides a maintenance grant at the minimum Research Council UK rate and tuition fees at the UK/EU rate for students who fully satisfy the residence requirements of the UK Research Councils.  A supplement to the stipend of up to £5000 per annum is paid by Rolls-Royce plc. A fees-only award will be available to EU nationals who are not ordinarily resident in the UK.  Students who are liable for fees at the 'overseas' rate are not eligible for these studentships.

An on-line application form is available at Further information on the application process is available from Dr Rosie Ward (

Informal enquiries may be made to Dr Howard Stone by email to

Please quote reference LJ13656 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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