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Rolls-Royce UTC

Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy

Studying at Cambridge


James Moffat

James Moffat

PhD Student

Office Phone: +44 (0)1223 331950


2012-2016: MChem Chemistry with Nanotechnology, University of Liverpool

2016-Present: PhD Materials Science and Metallurgy, University of Cambridge

Research Interests

Although less researched than their nickel-base counterparts, cobalt-base superalloys are a superb material for applications where high-temperature strength and corrosion resistance are essential. Inevitably, exposure to such environments leads to the alloy becoming contaminated with a variety of elements. Some of these contaminants can impair the mechanical properties of the alloy, shortening the lifetime of the alloy. As little as 100 ppm could be enough to compromise the alloy mechanically. Furthermore, once the trace and tramp element contaminants are within the microstructure of the alloy, they are persistent and difficult to remove. This provides an additional challenge when it comes to recycling and reusing serviced material.

My project sets out to investigate the impact trace and tramp elements have on the mechanical properties of cobalt-base superalloys. The mechanisms behind the accumulation and segregation of the trace and tramp elements, as well as the critical levels required to compromise the mechanical integrity of cobalt-base superalloys, will be explored.


  • SIMS
  • Heat Treatments
  • Corrosion
  • Trace and Tramp Elements
  • High-temperature
  • Microstructure
  • Characterisation
  • XRD
  • TEM
  • Contamination
  • Thermo-Calc
  • EPMA
  • Cobalt-base Superalloys
  • Mechanical Testing
  • DSC
  • Alloy Development


RSS Feed Latest news

Dr. Lewis Owen appointed to a Junior Research Fellowship at Gonville & Caius College Cambridge

Jan 24, 2018

Dr. Lewis Owen has been appointed to a Junior Research Fellowship commencing in October 2018 at Gonville & Caius College Cambridge. We look forward to many more years of high quality research into the wonderful world of short range order.

Cambridge Academy for Science and Technology Visit

Jan 17, 2018

We had a fantastic time today hosting the uber-talented students from the Cambridge Academy for Science and Technology. We believe sharing some of our research and encouraging as many people as possible to consider STEM careers is a key responsibility for any scientist/engineer.

PhD studentships now available within the group

Jan 09, 2018

Navigate onto our vacancies page to find out more!

Strategic Partnership with Rolls-Royce shortlisted for a Times Higher Education Award 2017

Oct 03, 2017

The Rolls-Royce partnership with the universities of Cambridge, Swansea and Birmingham has been shortlisted for a Times Higher Education Award 2017. Find out more here:

New high temperature thermocouple

Nov 14, 2016

Dr. Michele Scervini has developed a new thermocouple for high-temperature applications