skip to primary navigationskip to content

Rolls-Royce UTC

Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy

Studying at Cambridge


What is Metallurgy?

What is Metallurgy?

Image on left (courtesy of Rolls Royce) - Turbine Blade. Image on right (© Samuel Blanc) of González Videla Antarctic Base

A long standing member of the Materials Science world is Metallurgy. It is to a blacksmith what medical science is to a medic: it goes beyond mystery and folklore, providing us with the reasons and understanding.  Metallurgy is one of the oldest forms of Materials Science and has been key in human development, literally defining the ages: Stone, Bronze and Iron Ages. Nowadays it remains a thriving scientific field that studies the behaviour and properties of metals to improve manufacturing and create a better product.

The role of the metallurgist is to balance material properties in order to achieve, for example, a strong, corrosion resistant steel to endure Arctic conditions without being too brittle or expensive, or a nickel turbine blade for an aeroplane jet engine that can survive harsh high temperature conditions for tens of thousands of flight hours. Inevitably, some parts might fail and it is the job of the metallurgist to do failure analysis in controlled conditions to be able to reliably predict this and hence ensure it does not occur during use.

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