I chose The University of Manchester because of its commitment to become a world leader in nuclear research. It has a great Materials department with excellent facilities and is located in a vibrant city with plenty to offer.
I was initially attracted to this role because of the excellent reputation of the research group and the freedom to choose the direction of my own research. I chose The University of Manchester because of its commitment to become a world leader in nuclear research. It has a great Materials department with excellent facilities and is located in a vibrant city with plenty to offer.
My research seeks to understand the degradation processes of materials used in nuclear reactors, and specifically the effect or irradiation damage. By understanding these processes we aim to improve the materials we use as well as the efficiency of reactors thereby increasing output, reducing costs and the level of waste produced while improving safety. As research fellow I am still able to get my hands dirty, carrying out experiments and trying to understand their results. However, significant time is also spent writing proposals, teaching, supervising PhD students and reviewing papers. I enjoy the freedom to choose my direction of research, working with enthusiastic people in a successful group with access to excellent research tools.
The nature of our research means that we are closely associated with industry, regularly exchanging ideas and knowledge. It is important for us to understand the materials issues faced by industry and to ensure they understand the relevance of our work. We also regularly engage with schools and society at large through outreach projects. The visibility of our research is supported by regular presentations at international conferences and publication in journals.
By improving the understanding of how materials degrade in reactors it will allow the design of new reactor systems with increased efficiency that will produce less waste material and operate more cost effectively while improving safety. A real game-changer in this area would be the development of fuel cladding that is more resistant to degradation and can withstand accident conditions will change the way reactors can be run as well as the greatly enhance plant safety.