The National Structural Integrity Research Centre (NSIRC) is delighted to welcome back Wendy Wen, PhD student, from her month-long placement in Sweden. She was placed in the country to collaborate with the production technology centre in Trollhättan’s University West and the metallurgy research group of Gothenburg-based company ESAB.
The production technology centre in the department of engineering at University West is Sweden’s most modern production technological laboratory, while ESAB is the world’s largest manufacturer of welding and cutting equipment and consumables. Wendy spent time with both organisations to conduct research using the state-of-the-art equipment available at their facilities and learned new experimental techniques.
One such technique was structured light projection, allowing her to characterise the 3D profile of a welded specimen. She also characterised the preferred orientation relationships between parent austenite grains and daughter martensitic grains under the influence of stress using the electron backscattering diffraction technique on a scanning electron microscope.
Wendy referred to her visit as an ‘amazing experience to work at two prestigious institutes’, and said her collaboration with top experts in low transformation temperature alloys provided an opportunity to refine her research and increase her understanding of requirements from both an academic and an industrial perspective.
She added that she had made some ‘marvellous friends’ in Sweden. She visited the hydraulic dam in Trollhättan known as ‘The Waterfall’ (Vattenfall) and had an opportunity to try mackerel fishing in Fjällbacka, Bohuslän, which was the summer home and resting place of actress Ingrid Bergman.
Wendy’s project is ‘Investigation of fatigue performance of low transformation temperature welds’. Her project is sponsored by TWI, and her supervisors are Harry Bhadeshia (Cambridge University) and Yanhui Zhang (TWI). Wendy’s research will lead to significant improvement in the fatigue life of welded joints, increasing fatigue performance in a cost-effective and environmentally friendly way.
Wendy’s research and travels are an example of NSIRC students reaching out and collaborating with international institutions. Students conduct their research in an industrial environment, which supports a smooth transition into a rewarding and challenging career. The programme structure and placement at TWI Cambridge offers students the opportunity to work in partnership with fellow NSIRC researchers and capitalise on TWI’s 70 years of industrial research.
Internationalisation is at the core of NSIRC, which partners with world-leading academic and industrial institutions to deliver excellent research. To date, the centre has collaborated with over 20 universities and has 54 PhD students. Since its establishment in 2012, NSIRC has been transforming from a national research centre into the international research centre of choice for structural integrity.
For more information on NSIRC and its research opportunities, please contact us.