- Course: Materials Science PhD
- PhD title: Fatigue and operational lifetime of high temperature piezoelectric materials
- Nationality: British
Why I chose to study for a PhD at the University of Leeds
My first degree was Nanotechnology (BSc, University of Leeds, 2009) and so choosing research in materials science was a logical option as most of nanotechnology can fall under "materials science" - pre-preparing me for the field! But there's also the appeal of the challenge in adapting to a niche within materials science (in my case; electroceramics) and also the chance to bring something new to the field from my nanotechnology background.
The facilities, equipment and support available are excellent, even more so as a researcher than an undergraduate, and there's a great deal of camaraderie within the research groups.
About my research
In a nutshell; my research is about investigating how novel reduced-lead ferroelectric materials fatigue while operating under high-stress and high temperatures.
The best aspect of studying at Leeds
One of the best aspect of the degree has been the opportunity for travel; visiting the UK's synchrotron x-ray source - Diamond twice to run experiments, attending an academic forum in Beijing, conferences in Vancouver, Italy & Edinburgh and training in Denmark.
Activities outside of my studies
During the first two years of my PhD I was the treasurer of the union's photography society and am still a very active member, but when the weather's sunny and warm I prefer to swap the camera for a helmet and leather jacket and be out riding with other bikers I know from the university.
My advice to prospective students
Not to worry about thinking they're pinning themselves down to one particular research area for the rest of their career; research is inherently multidisciplinary, opening doors to other disciplines as you go along.
Also, a PhD isn't as scary as it seems from the outside looking in; you'll gradually mould the research to follow your own interests and intuition to finish with something that's truly impressive - it's all about piecing together the bigger picture that comes at the end.