Viewing archives for Materials Science

Course

  • MEng (Hons) Materials Science

Materials Science is a topic that underpins much of modern society and industry. It is a truly interdisciplinary subject, spanning the physics and chemistry of matter, engineering applications and industrial and manufacturing processes. It is at the core of nanotechnology, the production of devices and materials at the molecular level, which is likely to drive the next technological revolution.

The course

The Oxford Materials Science programme is a four-year course, designed to introduce students to novel advanced techniques and devices in the field. Probably the highlight of the Materials Science programme is the fourth year, when an individual research project is carried out for the duration of that year, based in one of the specialist research groups within the Department, or at another academic institute or industrial laboratory anywhere in the world.

The tutors understand that most applicants will not have studied Materials at A2 (or equivalent), but they will look for expertise in relevant areas: Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry.

Teaching

In the first and second years of the programme the Materials Science tutorials are arranged by the Colleges. Queen’s joins forces with Mansfield and Corpus Christi Colleges and together we have five Tutorial Fellows in Materials Science, covering the breadth of topics taught during these years of the programme. The vast majority of the tutorials in the first and second years are therefore given by these five academics, meaning students benefit from great continuity in their teaching. This arrangement has been in place for a number of years, and we think it works well. In the third year, students specialise by taking options courses. Their associated classes are departmentally organised, and usually given by the course lecturer, a specialist in the relevant field. In the Materials Science programme, the fourth year consists entirely of research, which is supervised by an academic who is a specialist in that particular field.

Interviews

Candidates are required to sit Mathematics and Physics tests in their schools in the November prior to interview. Two Materials Science interviews are given, one at each of two different Colleges. Each is usually conducted by two academics who will investigate a candidate’s motivation for studying Materials Science and the Physical Sciences more generally, their ability to solve mathematical and scientific problems and their ability to apply their knowledge of Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry. Overall, we aim to determine a candidate’s potential for study on our programmes, and not just to assess their acquired knowledge.

Research

I am interested in control over the interaction between light and matter at the quantum level. I also study materials and devices for quantum optics and optoelectronics, primarily involving defects in diamond and semiconductor quantum dots, as well as applications in quantum communications and computing. Other areas of research include optical microsystems for quantum optics, chemical sensing and spectroscopy.


Introduction

I attended my local state grammar school (King Edward VI, Chelmsford) and then studied for both my undergraduate and doctoral degrees in engineering at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge. I then spent four years as a research fellow at St. John’s College, Cambridge which included two years in the USA as a Marie Skłodowska Curie fellow at Lawrence Berkley national laboratory. Following this I then spent a brief period as a Diamond-Manchester research fellow within the school of chemistry at the University of Manchester but based at Diamond Light Source on the Harwell campus. In 2019, I took up my current position at Queen’s and the materials department in Oxford.

Teaching

I teach subjects from across the materials course to first, and second-year undergraduates at Queen’s and Mansfield. I also currently supervise two graduate (DPhil) students and two post-doctoral researchers.

Research

My research interests lie primarily in the area of interface science – that is understanding the reactions occurring at the interfaces between materials and their environment. Much of my group’s work involves the development of novel interface sensitive characterisation techniques and using these to understand both desirable and unwanted reactions that occur at the interfaces between functional materials during operation. This includes electrode-electrolyte interfaces in rechargeable batteries, the surfaces of heterogeneous catalyst materials in gas and liquid environments, and two-dimensional materials growing on top of flat substrates.

Publications

For a full list of publications, please visit: https://scholar.google.co.uk/citations?user=DLUsdFkAAAAJ&hl=en.


Introduction

After attending a state grammar school and 6th form college in Manchester, I studied metallurgy, economics and management at St Anne’s College, Oxford. I stayed on at St Anne’s to do a DPhil in materials. I then spent several years in the Materials Department in Oxford working first as a postdoctoral researcher, then as a departmental lecturer, including having teaching responsibilities at Pembroke College and a Junior Research Fellowship at Linacre College. In 2000, I was appointed to a lectureship in Oxford and a Fellowship at Queen’s.

Teaching

I tutor the first and second year material scientists at Queen’s, Corpus Christi and Mansfield colleges in aspects of phase transformations, microstructures and processing of materials. I also teach part of a third year options course in advanced manufacturing of metals and alloys. I supervise Part II (fourth year) materials undergraduates during their final year projects and graduate (DPhil) students.

Research

In my research I study solidification processing of advanced materials from laboratory scale through to pilot-scale processing plant. I have particular interests in controlling the grain structure of the metal, controlling the phases which form in the materials and in maintaining quality whilst re-cycling metals. My main focus is on working with aluminium alloys and intermetallics.

For more details and a list of current projects see my department webpage.

Publications

  • Sundaram Kumar, Sam Agarwal and Keyna O’Reilly, In-sity Al3Nb formation in liquid Al by Nb particle addition, Materials Science Forum 812, 10.4028 (2015)
  • F. Yan, S. Kumar, B.J. McKay and K.A.Q. O’Reilly, Effect of Mn on Fe containing phase formation in high purity aluminium, Int. J. of Cast Metals Research 27, 10.1179 (2014)
  • Jayesh B. Patel, Hu-Tian Li, Xia Mingxu, Simon Jones, Sundaram Kumar, Keyna O’Reilly and Zhongyun Fan, Melt conditioned direct chill casting (MD-DC) process for production of high quality aluminium alloy billets, Mat. Sci. Forum 794-796, 10,4028 (2014)
  • Tahsina Smith, Keyna O’Reilly, Sundaram Kumar and Ian Stone, Influence of grain-refiner addition on the morphology of Fe-bearing intermetallics in a semi-solid processed Al-Mg-Si alloy, Met. and Mat. Transactions A 44A, 10.1007 (2013)