My research is focused on developing novel micromechanical testing techniques, in order to quantify the mechanical properties of materials where only small volumes are accessible; the main application being structural materials used in nuclear power plants. The methods I develop will enable the extraction of bulk mechanical properties of very small volumes of materials exposed to irradiation, in order to predict their long term performance in operating conditions.
I primarily use nano-indentation with varying tip geometries along with EBSD for the microstructural analysis and strain mapping and FE modelling to extrapolate the bulk mechanical properties, up to and beyond the yield point. I am interested in advanced steels, particularly ferritic/martensitic steels and ODS varieties, exposed to reactor environments and irradiated using self-ions to emulate the damaged microstructure.
My work is in collaboration with several US research institutions including the University of Michigan and Oak Ridge National Laboratories, the UK Atomic Energy Authority and Rolls Royce Plc. I am currently funded via a David Clarke Fellowship award from the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) and the EPSRC.