Joseph J Hartley

Joseph J Hartley



As of October 2020 I have begun a PhD at The University of Leeds in the Nuclear Engineering group under the TRANSCEND consortium. Title: Advanced characterisation of suspension waste pipe flows with ultrasonic acoustic backscatter and machine learning techniques and behaviour modification of polymeric additives.

MEng (Class 2.1), Material Science and Nuclear Engineering, The University of Sheffield (awarded 2019); My final year project investigated the dissolution of Cs-ion exchanged chabazite using PCT with SEM/EDX, XRD, ICP-OES, and ICP-MS.


Summer 2018, National Nuclear Laboratory, Placement Research Student; I assisted in the operation of the Hot Vacuum Extraction Rig, a unique apparatus, as well as conducting XRD, Vickers hardness, and optical microscopy to prepare and characterise analogue nuclear materials for in-cave testing of real-world samples. I worked mainly with the metallography team at the non-active labs within PIE (Post Irradiated Examination), but also worked with others in NNL and visited the NNL site at Sellafield during my placement

Research interests

My overreaching research interest is in situ remote characterisation of homogeneous and heterogeneous suspensions in pipe flows via acoustic backscatter systems for particle size data. I am currently working towards simulating monodisperse and polydispersed waste suspension analogues to test, as well as understanding how machine learning will be used for this unique application.

My project is part of the TRANSCEND (Transformative Science and Engineering for Nuclear Decommissioning) consortium, specifically Theme 1 – Integrated Waste Management, whose objectives are; 

  • Develop new materials for effluent decontamination
  • Demonstrate predictive modelling of sludge/slurry removal, underpinned by experimental data
  • Transform understanding of radiation-driven processes in nuclear waste sludges
  • Provide underpinning studies to develop innovative processes and wasteforms


  • MEng (2.1), Material Science and Nuclear Engineering, The University of Sheffield (awarded 2019)

Research groups and institutes

  • Nuclear Engineering
  • Nuclear Leeds