Risk Assessment led Design of ODS Steels for Gen-IV Nuclear Reactors

Eligibility: UK/EU/International graduates with the required entry requirements

Funding details: Bursary plus tuition fees (UK/EU/International)

Duration: Full-time – between three and three and a half years fixed term

Application deadline: 22nd June 2020

Interview dates: Will be confirmed to shortlisted candidates

Start date: September 2020

For queries contact Dr Kashif Khan.


The Oxide Dispersion Strengthening (ODS) Steels are candidate material for cladding, tubing, and the blanket of high-temperature Gen-IV nuclear reactors. These ODS steels provide high resistance against irradiation, creep, and swelling without considerable degradation of their material properties. The yttrium oxide nanoparticles in ODS steels trap the radiation-induced point defects and helium bubbles and transform to new complex oxides. The low cycle fatigue (LCF) during start-up/ shutdown of reactors and creep-fatigue interaction in the service life produce material embrittlement.

This project will develop the mechanistic data of irradiation and thermal ageing led deformation of the ODS steel and nanoparticles to underpin their design methodology for long term nuclear reactor life cycle. The parametric study of the effects of different combinations of irradiation and thermal loads on the stability of nanoparticles and mechanical properties will be used to develop a risk assessment led design methodology of the ODS steels in the nuclear reactor life cycle. The stability of nanoparticles in the nuclear-irradiated environment will be used to underpin the safe life of the structure materials and develop a proactive risk mitigation framework preventing unexpected failures in the nuclear reactor life cycle to assist regulatory, compliance and safety standards for translation of nanotechnology in the nuclear energy production supply chain.


Fully funded Tuition fees and stipend via LRF-ICoN & Coventry University Institute Future Cities and Transport.


The successful candidate will receive comprehensive research training including technical, personal and professional skills.

All researchers at Coventry University (from PhD to Professor) are part of the Doctoral College and Centre for Research Capability and Development, which provides support with high-quality training and career development activities. 

Entry requirements

  • A minimum of a 2:1 first degree in a relevant discipline/subject area with a minimum 60% mark in the project element or equivalent with a minimum 60% overall module average. 
    the potential to engage in innovative research and to complete the PhD within a 3.5 years
  • A minimum of English language proficiency (IELTS overall minimum score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component).

Graduates with suitable work experience and capacity in numerical modelling, finite element modelling, and laboratory based experimental testing are particularly welcome to apply.

To find out more about the project please contact Dr Kashif Khan.

All applications require full supporting documentation, a covering letter, plus a 2000-word supporting statement showing how the applicant’s expertise and interests are relevant to the project.

Apply to Coventry University