Research course

Fabrication and joining

Open University · Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

Entry requirements

Minimum 2:1 (or equivalent)

Months of entry


Course content

The OU Materials Engineering Group carries out research into materials characterisation, with a strong focus on mechanical properties, fatigue and fracture, forensic failure analysis, and the application of solid state bonding to various alloys, composites and ceramics (applications to jet engines, heat exchangers, automotive industry, defence, electronics, optical instruments, medical devices, biomaterials, and implants).

The group has electron microscopy (FEGSEM, TEM, and access to dual beam FIB/SEM), mechanical testing with capability up to 1200˚C, a large creep facility, nanoindentation and facilities for diffusion bonding and brazing as well as optical microscopy and metallography.

The group hosts around 16 full-time and five part-time research students, many of whom have a focus on fabrication techniques for materials and structures. Support is provided by academic, technical and research staff. Virtually all our projects are undertaken in partnership with industrial collaborators, and our projects provide excellent training in a range of experimental and analytical skills.

Current/recent research projects
  • Creep and damage development in power plant materials
  • JOINT: an Indo-UK collaboration in joining technologies
  • Development of diffusion bonding for joining of materials
  • Microstructural evolution in aeroengine alloys
Potential supervisors

Department specialisms

Project areas are available depending on funding, but we would expect to recruit in the following general areas: Fatigue and fracture of metallic alloys and composites High-temperature performance of materials for power plant Properties of welded materials and components Joining dissimilar materials, e.g. Al to Cu and high temperature alloys.

Fees and funding

Please see The Open University website for more information.

Qualification and course duration


distance learning
variable months
part time
72 months
full time
36 months


distance learning
variable months
part time
24 months
full time
15 months

Course contact details

Professor John Bouchard
+44 (0)1908 655799