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PhD Studentship:Hydrogen-related Degradation in Nickel superalloys used in H combustion components

Department of Mechanical Engineering

UCL, Gower Street, London, UK


  • Posted on: 13th Jan 2022
  • Funding amount: Funding Available
  • Funding for: EU Students, International Students, UK Students
  • REF: 1881184
  • Closes: 29th April 2022
  • Hours: Full Time

Vacancy Information

The Department of Mechanical Engineering is funding a 4-year PhD Studentship in Hydrogen-related Degradation in Nickel superalloys used in H combustion components.

Studentship Description

This work will deliver the first systematic understanding of how Hydrogen used as energy vector in aircraft and space propulsion influences the mechanical integrity of advanced high-temperature Ni superalloys; such new understanding will be used to select and design materials more resistant to H to be used in combustor components.

The project will involve learning a number of experimental activities including:

1) Combustion experiments using different combinations of H+NH3+jet fuel; tests will be run at the University of Cardiff.

2) Thermal Desorption Spectroscopy to quantify H content in materials exposed to different H flames.

3) Mechanical testing to understand possible loss of ductility in H-containing materials vs their H-free counterparts.

4) Use of advanced Scanning and Transmission Electron Microscopy (SEM+TEM) techniques to characterise relevant microstructural changes and mechanisms associated to loss in mechanical properties. The project will also offer the possibility of conducting targeted modelling work to consolidate and explain theoretically the experimental outcomes.

We offer a unique opportunity to collaborate with a highly interdisciplinary team of academics and industrialists working on Hydrogen and Ammonia Combustion (at University of Cardiff), Materials Science, Advanced Material Characterisation and Computational Modelling. The successful candidate will be encouraged to attend international conferences and publish high-impact papers to disseminate the outcomes of the project.

This studentship will likely be co-funded by Reaction Engines (https://www.reactionengines.co.uk/). The successful candidate will benefit from the input of industrial supervisors to support the development of novel materials for paradigm-changing propulsion technologies using Hydrogen.

Person Specification

Applicants should have (or expected to be awarded) an upper second- or first-class UK honours degree at the level of MEng, MSci (or overseas equivalents) in a relevant engineering or science subject, including materials science, engineering, physics, chemistry, applied mathematics or related disciplines.


This funding is available to UK, EU, and overseas students.

Eligible applicants should first contact Dr Enrique Galindo-Nava (e.galindo-nava@ucl.ac.uk) quoting the job reference.

Please enclose a cover letter (including the names and contact details of two referees), one-page research statement and two pages CV.

The supervisory team will arrange interviews for short-listed candidates. After the interview, the successful candidate will be required to formally apply online via the UCL (University College London) website.

Contact name

Enrique Galindo-Nava

Contact details


UCL Taking Action for Equality

Closing Date

29 Apr 2022

Latest time for the submission of applications


Interview date


Studentship Start Date

26th September 2022

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