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Rationalisation of Al-alloy grades and specifications

One of the adverse consequences of dissipative use of metallic materials is that there are currently thousands of grades of metallic materials in commercial use today. Many of them differ only slightly in composition, processing conditions or origin of production, offering essentially the same performance. Unnecessary alloying elements and excessively tight alloy specifications increase production costs, reduce resource productivities, cause more environmental damage, and make the end-of-life products difficult (if not impossible) to recycle. This is not compatible with Circular Economy (EC) principles. Recycling can be improved significantly with materials rationalised and products engineered from the start for this purpose.

This project aims to rationalise alloy grades and specifications of aluminium alloys to facilitate full metal circulation. The project contributes to slowing the resource loop by design for standardisation and compatibility. The specific research activities include: (1) simplification of alloy systems based on their compositions, thermomechanical history, levels of performance and fields of application; (2) standardisation of alloy compositions by using commonly available alloying elements and avoiding the recyclability-limiting elements; (3) optimisation of thermomechanical treatment procedures for high performance; and (4) development of new alloy specifications.

The funding amount is £88,918 for 4 years duration.


The successful candidates are required to have a first-class or upper second-class honour degree in metallurgy, materials science or a related field of physical sciences or engineering. A Master’s level qualification is desirable but not essential.

How to apply

Please email dmitry.eskin@brunel.ac.uk the following documentation for consideration:

  • (1) an up-to-date CV,
  • (2) a single-page personal statement setting out why you are interested in undertaking this project,
  • (3) names and contact details of three referees and
  • (4) a copy of your highest degree certificate and transcript to 

Meet the Supervisor for this Studentship

Professor Dmitry Eskin - Professor Dmitry Eskin (1963) joined Brunel University and BCAST in January 2011. He received his Engineering and PhD degrees in Russia and worked in Russian Academy of Sciences (1988–1999). Since 1999, he was a Fellow in Materials innovation institute and since 2008 also an Associate Professor in Delft University of Technology (The Netherlands). He also holds positions of Guest Professor at Tomsk State University (Russia), Editor of Journal of Alloys and Compounds, Subject Editor of JOM, and Series Editor at CRC Press. Prof. Eskin is a well-known specialist in physical metallurgy and solidification processing of light alloys, author and co-author of more than 250 scientific papers, 5 patents and 6 monographs. Current interests include fundamentals of continuous casting, effects of external fields on solidification, and composite materials. Prof. Eskin is a recipient of Warren Peterson Cast Shop Technology for Aluminum Production Award (2011, 2013) and Aluminum Technology Award (2013) from TMS (USA).

Recent projects:

  • Physical processing of molten light alloys under the influence of external Fields (Exomet, FP7)
  • Degassing machine for aluminium casting process based on ultrasound (Doshormat, FP7)
  • Fundamental study of cavitation melt processing: opening the way to treating large volumes (UltraMelt, EPSRC)
  • Development of efficient and scalable ultrasound-assisted solidification technologies for manufacturing advanced metallic alloys (Ultra-Cast. EPSRC)
  • New model of the third cycle in engineering education due to Bologna Process in BY, RU, UA (NetCEng, Tempus, FP7)
  • Ultrasonic fractional purification of recycled Al alloys (iCase, EPSRC and JLR)

Meet the Supervisor for this Studentship

Dr Chamini Mendis - Dr. Chamini Mendis is the newly appointed Reader in Mg research. Prior to this, she was a research scientist at the Magnesium Innovation Centre (MagIC) in the Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht in Germany. She received her Ph.D. (2005), M.Eng.Sci. (2000) and BE/LLB (1995/1997)) in Materials Engineering from the Monash University, Australia. Following the doctoral studies, prior to moving to MagIC,  she spent 6 years at the National Institute for Materials Science (Tsukuba, Japan) working with Prof. Kazuhiro Hono, first as a JSPS postdoctoral fellow and then as a MANA researcher, the design and characterization of light metallic materials especially newly developed precipitation hardable magnesium alloys, with a special focus on the characterization of nano-scaled particles using advanced transmission electron microscopy and 3 dimensional atom probe tomography. She has published over 100 research publications including research papers in scientific journals, conference proceedings and a book chapter. She is a member of the magnesium committee The Materials Metals and Mineral Society (TMS) was a guest editor of the institute journal JOM. Her current research interest includes development of new advanced magnesium alloys for structural applications using low cost alloying additions for both cast and wrought applications, microstructure property relationships of light alloys, solid-state phase transformations in light metallic alloys with focus on Mg alloys and solidification and thermomechanical processing of Mg alloys.