Solid Mechanics Research Group - University of Bristol

Solid Mechanics Research Group - University of Bristol

University Profile

University of Bristol Research Group nuclear test facilities

You will be joining the Solid Mechanics Research Group (SMRG) at University of Bristol: we are a major research group supporting the successful performance of industrial materials.

University of Bristol Research Group computer modelling showing the progress of a stress fracture on Polycrystalline

SMRG at Bristol has a successful history of using applied mechanics and cutting-edge technology to help define and solve industrially-motivated problems. We have established close and productive partnerships with a range of companies in the energy, transport and manufacturing sectors, with much focus on civil nuclear and other safety-critical industries in recent years. We investigate the behaviour of engineering materials and components to help support their successful performance. Our research covers damage mechanics (fracture, fatigue, corrosion, creep), materials in harsh environments and residual stress characterisation from nano-scale to macro-scale.

SMRG is very well resourced and is one of the UK’s leading academic groups in R&D on nuclear industry structural integrity, on both research council and industry funded projects. SMRG’s experience includes a strategic programme with EDF Energy which has been running since 2008 and also supervision of PhD students as part of the Securing Independent Nuclear Expertise (SINE) programme, managed by Frazer Nash Consultancy (FNC) on behalf of Ministry of Defence. SMRG is also currently working on the BEIS-funded UK nuclear innovation programme on advanced joining technologies. SMRG currently has 9 academic staff, 6 postdoctoral researchers, 10 PhD students, 2 full-time laboratory technicians and a project manager.

SMRG has very well-equipped laboratory facilities at Bristol, including state of the art equipment for high temperature low cycle fatigue, creep, environment chambers and digital image correlation. We also have substantial theoretical capabilities including finite element, probabilistic modelling and High Performance Computing (HPC). Bristol has one of the leading UK academic HPC systems; while SMRG has excellent links with organisations such as STFC’s Hartree Centre. We are also regular users if UK and international central X-ray and neutron facilities.

Our work is also expanding to including emerging areas such as nuclear fusion (with UKAEA) and structural integrity of additively-manufactured components. In addition to civil nuclear, we also have other ongoing activities in the aerospace, rail and offshore wind sectors.

 

University of Bristol Research Group students operating nuclear testing equipment

SMRG is part of the Faculty of Engineering at Bristol. We are committed to producing the innovators and leaders of the future and to advancing the knowledge and technology needed to address global challenges. Our academics are internationally recognised researchers who have led the way in some of engineering’s most ground breaking developments – from establishing the equation for the Spitfire’s wings in the 1930s, to inventing the technology that led to the first mobile phone in the 1970s. Today, our cutting-edge research covers the breadth of Engineering, from composite materials that can revolutionise what our world is made of, to exploring the potential of quantum computing.

 

 

Our faculty is applying world-leading research to tackle the world’s grand challenges, from big data to green energy, digital health to composite materials. We believe that by partnering with industry as well as local and global innovators we can solve these challenges.

Job openings

PhD Studentships in Nuclear Structural Integrity: Multi-axial Creep

PhD Studentships in Nuclear Structural Integrity: Multi-axial Creep

Solid Mechanics Research Group - University of Bristol South West
Engineering, Postgraduate qualification, Science & pharmaceuticals

Large plant components such as thick-walled boiler headers which operate for long timescales at high temperature are susceptible to creep deformation. The creep behaviour of materials under a simple uniaxial stress states is relatively well characterised, but the effects of multi- axial stress stages which exist in thick components is not understood in sufficient detail and it is often these very components which suffer from accelerated damage.

Apply by 09/02/2019

PhD Studentships in Nuclear Structural Integrity: Creep Damage

PhD Studentships in Nuclear Structural Integrity: Creep Damage

Solid Mechanics Research Group - University of Bristol South West
Engineering, Postgraduate qualification, Science & pharmaceuticals

Micromechanical analysis and characterisation can help identify the mechanisms by which creep damage propagates, and to help inform and refine structural integrity engineering assessments. The focus of this project will be microstructural analysis of structural materials used in nuclear plants, including ferritic and austenitic stainless steels, identifying the key aspects of the microstructure in which damage evolves and how it is influence by stress/strain.

Apply by 09/02/2019

PhD Studentships in Nuclear Structural Integrity: Plasticity

PhD Studentships in Nuclear Structural Integrity: Plasticity

Solid Mechanics Research Group - University of Bristol South West
Engineering, Postgraduate qualification, Science & pharmaceuticals

The project will include extensive use of high temperature laboratory facilities at UoB and close interaction with EDF Energy technical experts based at Barnwood, near Gloucester.

Apply by 09/02/2019

PhD Studentships in Nuclear Structural Integrity: Weldments

PhD Studentships in Nuclear Structural Integrity: Weldments

Solid Mechanics Research Group - University of Bristol South West
Engineering, Postgraduate qualification, Science & pharmaceuticals

Welded joints can be susceptible to creep damage due to the metallurgical and mechanical mismatch between weld fusion zone and parent material. Weldments often have complex microstructures and possible residual stress fields, with research required to help support structural integrity assessments. The focus of this project is to quantify the contribution of the weld-parent mismatch on creep behaviour.

Apply by 09/02/2019

PhD Studentships in Nuclear Structural Integrity: Probabilistic Modelling

PhD Studentships in Nuclear Structural Integrity: Probabilistic Modelling

Solid Mechanics Research Group - University of Bristol South West
Engineering, Postgraduate qualification, Science & pharmaceuticals

The majority of damage mechanisms in nuclear plants are highly sensitive to material properties and service conditions. Structural integrity assessments have typically employed deterministic analysis to consider lower bound conservative conditions. However, recent trends towards probabilistic assessments have proven promising in providing a more robust and representative approach to underpinning safe, cost effective design and operations.

Apply by 09/02/2019

PhD Studentships in Nuclear Structural Integrity: Fracture of Thin-walled Components

PhD Studentships in Nuclear Structural Integrity: Fracture of Thin-walled Components

Solid Mechanics Research Group - University of Bristol South West
Engineering, Postgraduate qualification, Science & pharmaceuticals

The aim of this research is to characterise fracture of thin section components and link this to critical defect sizes in components such as tubes and insulation present in Advanced Gas- cooled Reactors (AGRs) operated by EDF Energy.

Apply by 09/02/2019

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