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PhD Studentship: Understanding the Effect of Cold Work on Stress Corrosion Cracking of Nuclear Reactor Components Prof S. Lozano-Perez and Prof M. Moody

University of Oxford

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Oxford
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students, International Students
Funding amount: £19,728 per year (pro-rata to this amount for the final six months).
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 23rd January 2023
Closes: 1st March 2023

A potentially industrially-funded DPhil studentship; the studentship being dependent on signature by the sponsor of a contract that is currently under discussion. 

Stress corrosion cracking (SCC) is one of the most important modes of degradation of light water-cooled nuclear power plants. Although some progress has been made in minimizing SCC over the last 40 years through improved materials and water chemistry control, there is still no capability today for serious prediction of this phenomenon. This has become a critical issue recently, with the observation of SCC in the heat affected zone (HAZ) of stainless steels in the safety injection line of several nuclear power plants. The management of the degradation and its mitigation require the development of a mechanistic understanding of SCC from which lifetime predictions can be based. There are potentially more than 20 variables that affect stress corrosion cracking behaviour so, in order to build a mechanistic understanding of stress corrosion cracking, the importance of each of the many variables potentially affecting SCC must be understood. For this reason, any experiment that could isolate the effect of single or coupled variables is of great interest. This project will make use of high-resolution characterization, including electron microscopy and atom-probe tomography, in order to understand the microstructural changes that lead to failure. Frequent meetings with the industrial partners, EDF (France), are anticipated along with visits to their labs.

This potentially industrially-funded 3.5-year DPhil in Materials studentship will if the funding is confirmed provide course fees and a stipend of at least £19,728 per year (pro-rata to this amount for the final six months). The potential sponsor is EDF (France) in association with the Materials Ageing Institute (MAI). Please note that this funded studentship will not be available unless and until EDF (France) sign the abovementioned contract.

Applicants with Home or Overseas fees status are eligible to apply. Information on fee status can be found at http://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/graduate/fees-and-funding/fees-and-other-charges.

Candidates will be considered in the March 2023 admissions field which has an application deadline of 1 March 2023. In addition to new applications submitted in the March 2023 Admissions Field, candidates who applied in our November 2022 or January 2023 admissions fields (application deadlines respectively 11 November 2022 and 20 January 2023) and expressed in their application form an interest in research projects for which Professors Lozano-Perez or Moody are supervisors will be considered automatically for the present project.

For informal discussions about the project please contact Prof Lozano-Perez by email to sergio.lozano-perez@materials.ox.ac.uk.

General enquiries on how to apply can be made by e‑mail to graduate.studies@materials.ox.ac.uk

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 https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/graduate/applying-to-oxford.

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