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Fully Funded MSc by Research at Swansea

Engineering Scholarship: Fully Funded MSc by Research at Swansea: In-situ Electron Microscopy


Fully Funded MSc by Research at Swansea

Fully Funded MSc by Research at Swansea

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  • Master
  • Full cost of UK tuition fees and an annual stipend
  • 22 April 2022

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Start date: October 2022

Expected interview date: May 2022

Academic supervisors: Professor R Johnston, Professor C Pleydell-Pearce and Dr Mark Coleman.

Industrial supervisor: Mr Andrew Holwell

Sponsoring company: Zeiss Microscopes, Software & Imaging Solutions


To achieve carbon dioxide emissions targets and reduce global warming, entirely new materials with capability to deliver high strength with low relative weight, are required for a range of industries. The carbon intensity of traditionally manufactured steel necessitates change to bring about a reduction in environmental impact, whilst maintaining material properties.

This project will validate performance and equivalence of ‘low carbon economy steels’ to traditionally manufactured steels using advanced characterization techniques.

Project Aims:

In developing new materials and to evolve existing industrial materials, it is important to understand the correlation between macroscale performance and microstructural composition.

Up to now, there is little literature linking microstructural performance to macroscopic properties mainly due to the complexity of the experimental setup. For this purpose, Carl Zeiss Microscopy, the world’s largest microscope company, has developed an automated in situ heating and tension system based upon a field emission scanning electron microscope.

In addition to stress-strain curves, the system can monitor multiple regions of interest in real time with high resolution and perform automated energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS), electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) and digital image correlation (DIC) analyses, thus building up a time-resolved microstructural dataset of the sample.

In this project, steel and alloy samples will be prepared at Swansea University and characterized by SEM, EDS and EBSD. The student will work collaboratively with Zeiss, traveling to the ZEISS offices in Cambridge, UK, (where ZEISS manufactures all its scanning electron microscopes), to work with the ZEISS materials research team to analyse samples with this new device.

The aim being to understand the microstructural changes within the sample at elevated temperatures and applied force. Macroscopic stress strain data will then be correlated to microstructural characteristics of the materials to link performance and microstructure. In parallel, nanomechanical pillars of the same materials will be prepared at ZEISS through high-speed femtosecond laser ablation.

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Compression testing of these pillars will be compared with the in-situ SEM measurements to provide a separate validation of the material properties via a complementary method such as finite element modelling.


Candidates must normally hold a minimum undergraduate degree at 2.1 level (or Non-UK equivalent as defined by Swansea University), or a combination of degree and equivalent experience to the same level.

We would normally expect candidates to have met the University’s English Language requirements (e.g. IELTS 6.5 overall with 5.5+ in each component) by point of application.

Candidates must have the legal right to live/work in the UK at the start of their studies (student visas do not apply).


The scholarship covers the full cost of UK tuition fees and a stipend of £12,500 p.a. for a period of one year.


Please visit our website for more information.

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