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Rolls-Royce UTC

Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy

Studying at Cambridge


Research Themes


Our research covers all aspects of the metallurgy of the alloys that are used in aerospace gas-turbine engines.  In this application, alloys are required to operate under extreme conditions often involving a combination of high stress, high temperature and an oxidising atmosphere; the precise operating conditions vary depending on location in the engine.  

Our principal aims are to develop an improved understanding of existing materials and to design new alloys.  Both aims seek to provide the materials knowledge and technologies required for new engines with improved performance.  Engine manufacturers would like to run their engines hotter to deliver higher efficiencies, but this is limited by the operating temperatures of the current materials.  Thus, much of our work is concerned with improving the high-temperature properties of alloys.  However, progress can also be made by using lighter or stronger alloys, reducing weight throughout the engine. 

Balancing the exacting requirements of the engine necessitates a diverse range of research interests, and our group is simultaneously investigating a range of phenomena (strength, structure, fatigue resistance, oxidation) in a number of different alloy systems.  At present, the key areas of focus are: nickel-based superalloys, titanium alloys, intermetallics and high entropy alloys.  More information can be found on the pages linked to the left-hand side of this text.  

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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