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Investigation on the Sub-structure development in HSA6 alloys to maximise strength via Thermomechanical simulations

Applications are invited for a full-time EPSRC Industrial CASE PhD studentship in research associated with the development of high-strength Al-alloys in BCAST at Brunel University London and in collaboration with Constellium. The successful applicant will receive an annual stipend (bursary) of approx £23K increasing over each year, plus payment of their full-time Home/EU tuition fees for 4 years.

With the increasing demand for reduced fuel consumption and lowering CO2 vehicle emissions the production of lighter, stronger, safer and more fuel-efficient vehicles is more crucial than ever. Constellium’s high strength 6xxx series aluminium alloys play an important role in producing new age vehicles (especially EVs) by improving mechanical properties, substructure and texture of their final products using alloys with increasingly higher recycled content. Even though these alloys have high strengths and ductility there are are systematic differences in strength reported for different extruded parts. These differences can be categorized by shape, thickness and extrusion ratio and have been directly linked to substructure developed during extrusions. However, there is a gap in the knowledge base on the reasons behind the structural development during extrusion processing. The major objective of the PhD project is the fundamental understanding of the deformation paths and the induced deformation mechanisms during extrusion of high strength 6xxx aluminium alloys and how these contribute to the development of final property profile. The research work involve using the recently installed Gleeble thermomechanical simulation system to mimic extrusion processing to understand the development of structure which may be characterized with the state of the art electron microscopy facilities established with the centre and contribute to the development of next generation Al alloys.

BCAST is a specialist research centre focusing on light metallic material related research with an international reputation and hosts the national centre of excellence in liquid metal engineering (the EPSRC Future LiME Hub) and a UKRI Interdisciplinary Centre for circular metals. BCAST is well equipped with state-of-the-art facilities for solidification science, metal processing and materials characterisation. We cover fundamental research, technological development and industrial applications in the field of solidification and processing of light metals. For more information see The proposed research will use facilities for metal processing as well as the characterization facilities in the newly established future metallurgy centre to understand fundamental science behind an industrially relevant problem. The research conducted as part of this PhD programme will contribute to the activities of the Constellium University Technology Centre (UTC) established with BCAST and form part of the major strategic alliance between the two.


Applicants will have or be expected to receive a minimum 2:1 or 1st class degree in Materials Engineering, or a related discipline. A Masters qualification is an advantage but not essential.

How to apply

Please e-mail your application comprising of all the documents listed below to by Noon on 31st March 2023


  • Your up-to-date CV;
  • A one A4 page personal statement setting out why you are a suitable candidate (i.e.: your skills and experience);
  • A copy of your degree certificate(s) and transcript (s);
  • Names and contact details for two academic referees;
  • Evidence of English language capability to IELTS 6.5 (minimum 6.0 in all sections), if applicable

Meet the Supervisor(s)

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.