Experimental Mechanics of Advanced Materials

We are an experimental characterization group with unique capabilities to understand the damage and fracture of advanced materials under extreme conditions over multiple length-scales.

We have active ongoing projects in the following areas with open PhD and Postdoctoral opportunities. Please contact us if you interested in learning more.

  • Mechanistic Understanding of the Damage and Fracture in Ceramic-Matrix Composites under Extreme Conditions: Working with many industries and processing groups, this area studies a range of aerospace and nuclear CMCs in terms of their local mechanical and thermal properties, residual stresses, deformation and fracture including crack initiation and propagation from ambient to temperatures higher than 1000°C with in situ imaging and diffraction methods.
  • Damage and fracture in nuclear graphite composites over multiple length-scale: This topic studies a large range of polycrystalline graphite materials, from highly oriented pyrolytic graphite to fine/medium/coarse grained graphite composite, unirradiated or irradiated with ions, neutrons or protons, to understand their multiple length-scale structure, physical properties before and after irradiation, at ambient and up to 1100°C.
  • Thermal and mechanical characterisation of TRISO fuels: This programme investigates a range of Tristructural Isotropic nuclear fuel particles (TRISO), both free-standing or embedded in SiC or graphite matrix, in terms of their local properties, residual stresses and high temperature mechanical properties changing with processing parameters.
  • Interfacial strength of heterogeneously integrated ceramic films: A range of micro-mechanical testing methods have been developed to evaluate the interfacial toughness of thin ceramic films (e.g., GaN) integrated on stiff substrate including SiC, Si and single/polycrystalline diamond, with the aim to enable the development of novel semiconductor materials for high power radio frequency (RF) devices.

 Funding sources:

  • EPSRC, STFC, BEIS and various UK and US industrial funding

Group Leader

Dr Dong (Lilly) Liu - Leader


Dr Dong (Lilly) Liu - Leader

Dr Alex Leide

Miss Aimee Coleman

Mr Paul Forna Kreutzer

Mr Eric Jiang

Mr Guanjie Yuan

Miss Sarah Mann

Mr Jakub Mieszkowski

Mr Alex Drake

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