Research course

Structural integrity

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

Entry requirements

2:1 or equivalent in an engineering, mathematics or materials subject

Months of entry


Course content

The Materials Engineering group is actively involved in research supporting development of the R6 Procedure for the assessment of the integrity of structures containing defects. This includes projects focused on the incorporation of reliable residual stress data from neutron diffraction, the contour method and other techniques into the assessment code, development of benchmark weld specimens, improvement and validation of weld simulation methods and how to use laboratory test specimen data to predict large-scale component behaviour.

The groups hosts an impressive suite of residual stress and materials characterisation equipment with support provided by world-class academic and research staff. Research projects in this area of normally conducted with the support of industrial partners such as AREVA, EDF, AMEC and Rolls Royce.

Current/recent research projects
  • Neural network modelling of residual stress for structural integrity assessment
  • Optimising residual stress profiles for structural integrity assessment
  • Measurement and modelling of residual stresses in weld benchmark components
  • The use of digital image correlation for the structural integrity assessment of welded joints
Potential supervisors

Department specialisms

Developing novel methods of incorporating residual stress measurements into structural integrity assessment Post weld heat treatment and its effect on residual stress and integrity The effects of residual stress on crack growth behaviour The effect of weld geometry on the mechanical properties of joints.

Fees and funding

Please see The Open University website for more information.

Qualification and course duration


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


full time
15 months
part time
24 months

Course contact details

Professor John Bouchard
+44 (0)1908 655799