Job offer in england Research Associate in Materials Performance at The University of Manchester

Closing Date : 31/08/2017
Employment Type : Fixed Term
Duration : 12 months
Faculty / Organisational Unit : Science & Engineering
School/Directorate : School of Materials
Division : Materials
Hours Per week : Full time
Salary : £31,604 per annum
Location : Oxford Road, Manchester
Job Reference : S&E-10520

Project title: Development of coated zirconium alloys and MAX phases for accident-tolerant nuclear fuel cladding

An opportunity has arisen for a well-qualified and highly motivated individual to join the UK’s preeminent Zirconium research group within the University of Manchester’s Materials Performance Centre. 

Zirconium alloys are the material of choice for encapsulating nuclear fuel in water-cooled reactors but recent events at the Fukushima power station in Japan have demonstrated the need to improve the performance of zirconium-based fuel cladding to improve accident tolerance.

You will become a member of two interlinked research teams developing new material systems for fuel cladding. The first team, which involves the National Nuclear Laboratory and UK universities, with support from Westinghouse, focuses on developing coating solutions for Zr alloys, while the second group is a European team investigating a wide range of possible material solutions for accident-tolerant fuel cladding.

The key experimental tasks you must undertake will be to employ analytical electron microscopy and diffraction techniques to characterise material and substrate/coating interfaces, in the as-manufactured state as well as after exposure to high-temperature, pressurised water, steam and ion-irradiation. For more information about the world-class facilities in Manchester please visit:

You will undertake key experimental and characterisation work on the project, and be expected to analyse and disseminate these results within the Zr group, the consortia and through conference papers and journal publications. You are also expected to become a key member of the MPC, making significant contributions to its continued success, and playing an active role in areas such as student supervision and wider development of experimental methods and techniques within the group.

You will require a first degree (BSc/Eng or MSc) or equivalent, and a Ph.D. (or equivalent experience) in materials science; sound knowledge of structural materials; use of diffraction techniques and understanding of electron microscopy imaging; the ability to handle large data sets and scripting languages such as MATLAB and/or Python; excellent communication skills across a range of media; well-developed interpersonal skills to work effectively with a wide range of people, including staff and students at all levels, and as part of a team.

The School is committed to promoting equality and diversity, including the Athena SWAN charter for promoting women’s careers in STEMM subjects (science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine) in higher education. The School holds a Bronze Award for their commitment to the representation of women in the workplace and we particularly welcome applications from women for this post. Appointment will always be made on merit. For further information, please visit:

Please note that we are unable to respond to enquiries, accept CVs or applications from Recruitment Agencies

Enquiries about the vacancy, shortlisting and interviews:

Name: Professor Michael Preuss



Name: Dr Phillipp Frankel


General enquiries:


Tel: 0161 275 4499

Technical support:


Tel: 01565 818 234

This vacancy will close for applications at midnight on the closing date

Further particulars including job description and person specification are available on the University of Manchester website – click on the ‘Apply’ button below to find out more.