I’m currently doing a PhD at the University of Sheffield in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering
Which A-Levels (or equivalent) did you do?
Maths, Further Maths, Chemistry, Physics, Computing
Why did you choose a career in Materials Science and Engineering (MSE)?
I really enjoy the fact that Materials Science helps explain the world around us. From this knowledge, you can work out why real life things happen and you can use it to improve real-life engineering structures.
What did you enjoy most about your MSE course?
I loved the range of subjects covered, from crystallography (Chemistry) to mechanical deformations (Physics) and even a course on Materials Science in Aerospace (Engineering). It combines lots of interesting subjects and merges them to explain physical phenomena.
What is your research about?
My project is all about the 3D printing of metals. Airplane engine manufacturers are wanting to use 3D printing to repair old, damaged turbine blades which are made of nickel. Metal powder can be blown towards the damaged area and melted with a laser to build up new material, repairing the damage. However, the process isn’t currently well understood, so we are using thermal cameras to monitor the process. Once we gain a better understanding of the process, we can perform better repairs with more control and more consistent mechanical properties.
What is the coolest thing you have done in your career so far?
Had my work published in a scientific journal
What do you see yourself doing in the future?
I really enjoy digging myself rabbit-holes. Working in research seems like the best way of having some freedom of project direction, so I want to stay either in university research, or to do research in a research institute e.g. Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC).
What is your favourite material (and why)?
I love Bismuth. You can easily melt it and when it freezes again, it forms a beautiful multi-coloured, angular structure.
What advice would you give your 16 year old self?
Be curious and ask lots of questions!