Visiting Staff - Professor Bill Plumbrige
The role of Materials in the context of Engineering Education as a whole, course evolution in engineering, particularly with regard to integration of the specialist disciplines. (Several papers published on these themes). Quality of education, especially its assessment via experience as a Reporting Assessor for the Higher Education Funding Council England (HEFCE) and a review chair for the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA).
Mechanical behaviour of engineering materials, particularly at elevated temperatures. Fatigue, creep and fatigue-creep interactions in low alloy and stainless steels, nickel and titanium alloys, and most recently solders for use in electronics. Microstructural effects, failure mechanism identification, damage accumulation and life prediction. Lead-free solder alloys. High temperature fatigue and fatigue crack growth in ceramics and ceramic-matrix composites. The Bauschinger effect in steels.
In recent years, focus has been on lead-free solders which are being introduced into electronic equipment for environmental reasons. The influence of temperature and strain rate on the properties of the new generation of alloys has been investigated. Principal goals are the correlation between bulk solder behaviour and printed circuit board performance in service, and the development of reliable methods for design and life prediction.