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Development of high-performance multi-principal-element (MPE) alloys

For thousands of years, metallic alloys have been developed using the same approach: a single principal element(SPE) is alloyed with a few selected elements to enhance the primary properties. However, this approach may have reached its limits, and we need to go beyond this traditional pathway to materials development before the discovery of society-changing materials. This change of direction is emerging, and recent materials development has demonstrated that metallic materials with multi-principal elements (MPE) offer a unique combination of properties and have the potential to close the materials loop. The overall alloy development programme aims to develop the scientific principles and technological approaches towards the development of the ultimate metallic alloys for Circular Economy (CE) based on the MPE concept.

This project contributes to slowing (last longer), narrowing (use less), and closing (recycling) the resource loop. This PhD project will form an integral part of the overall alloy development programme and aims to provide guidelines for the experimental search of the unique composition space through advanced computational techniques.

The specific research activities include:

  • (1) understanding the basic characteristics of the CE based alloys;
  • (2) identification of suitable computational techniques for searching the CE based alloy composition space;
  • (3) development of guidelines for experimental search; and
  • (4) experimental validation of the selected guidelines.

The funding is £88,919 for a 4-year duration.


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

How to apply

Please email (1) an up-to-date CV, (2) a single-page (A4), single-spaced 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 zidong.wang@brunel.ac.uk. 

Meet the Supervisor for this Studentship

Professor Zidong Wang - Zidong Wang is an IEEE Fellow and Professor of Computing at Brunel University London with research interests in intelligent data analysis, statistical signal processing as well as dynamic systems and control. He has been named as the Hottest Scientific Researcher in 2012 in the area of Big Data Analysis (see http://sciencewatch.com/articles/hottest-research-2012). He was awarded the AvH Research Fellowship in 1996 from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation of Germany, the JSPS Research Fellowship in 1998 from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science and the William Mong Distinguished Research Fellowship in 2002 from the University of Hong Kong. Since 1997, He has published around 310 papers in prestigious international journals (including 110 papers in IEEE Transactions) with h-index 60 according to the Web of Science. He is currently serving as an Associate Editor for 12 prestigious journals including 5 IEEE Transactions. His research has been funded by the EU, the Royal Society and the EPSRC. 

Meet the Supervisor for this Studentship

Professor Isaac Chang - Prof. Isaac Chang is the appointed Professor of Metallurgy & Materials and Head of LiME Training Centre. Prior to this, he was a Reader and Head of Education at School of Metallurgy and Materials, University of Birmingham. He received his DPhil in Materials Science from University of Oxford (1991) and BSc(Eng) in Materials & Metallurgy from Imperial College, London University. He specializes in the field of physical and powder metallurgy, as well as nanotechnology and ceramic science. His research is focussed on the understanding of the relationship between processing, microstructure and properties of materials for industrial applications in transport, energy, healthcare, defence and electronic sectors. He was the first to discover the solid solution with a face centred cubic (FCC) crystal structure in an equiatomic FeCrCoNiMn alloy (the so-called Cantor alloy) in 2004 together with Prof. Brian Cantor, which has contributed to a brand-new field of materials science known as ‘High Entropy Alloys’ or ‘Multiple Principle Element Alloys’. He holds 7 patents and has published over 121 research papers in scientific journals, book chapters and conference proceedings. He is a Fellow of Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3) and a member of the editorial board for Journal of Materials, Chemistry and Physics. His current research interest includes muticomponent lightweight alloys, high entropy alloys, metallic glasses, nanocomposites, graphene, high throughput material processing for rapid alloy discovery and synthetic biology for advanced materials development.