08 December 2022. Brought to you by Chris Hamlett.

Lizzie Mushangwe

What is your current job / programme of study?

PhD in Materials Science.


What A-Levels (or equivalent) did you do?

Maths, Physics, Chemistry.


Why did you choose a career in Materials Science and Engineering (MSE)?

By studying Materials Science you can learn the nature of reality at multiple scale lengths. It’s also the perfect balance between an applied Engineering degree and a theoretical Physics degree.


What did you enjoy most about your MSE course?

I studied Mechanical engineering and enjoyed the translation of theoretical lectures  towards practical group projects. Group projects were always great, as it enabled me to work with in teams on interesting topics such as designing race car chassis or iterating and improving aeroplane turbine designs.


What is your research about?

The neutron irradiation of nuclear fusion reactor materials. I’m investigating the effects of multi-scale neutron irradiation on the mechanical properties of reactor alloys during the plastic region of deformation and at the relevant high temperatures.


What is the coolest thing you have done in your career so far?

Visiting the UKAEA to see JET and the Culham centre for fusion energy. It was great to see the environment in which Engineers, Materials scientists and Physicists were actively working together towards the common goal of building fusion reactors.


What do you see yourself doing in the future?

I see myself working in the fusion industry and applying my Neutronics based PhD research to help bring functioning fusion reactors into reality.


What is your favourite material (and why)?

ReBCO, it’s a high temperature superconducting material that will have great implications for spherical Tokamaks and will be instrumental in the development of better confinement magnets for fusion reactors. (Runner up is EUROFER steel for its great low activation properties).


What advice would you give your 16 year old self?

Keep learning new skills and try to see how they intersect with what you want to do in the future.

Get really good at Python.


Lizzie’s LinkedIn page: