Having completed his Bachelor of science degree in chemistry at Bangor university 2020 where he was presented with the Peboc award (best 3rd year student), Christopher applied for a Masters by research position with the Bangor Nuclear Futures Institute. This decision was made with the hope of furthering his knowledge of physical and inorganic chemistry, specifically in the area of nuclear materials in fusion technology.
Christopher’s research project is focused on developing an alloy that will be used as a neutron radiation shielding material for internal components of compact spherical tokamak reactors.
This project is sponsored by Tokamak Energy and is aimed at improving on current materials which offer inadequate protection for long fusion cycles due to the geometry constraints of the compact reactors. The project will combine both computational and experimental methods to initially model prospective materials and then to synthesise, test and identify potential candidates.
Previously, Christopher conducted a computational chemistry research project which used multiconfigurational self-consistent field calculations to provide the zero field splitting energies for various Mn(III) centred complexes. This, combined with several years of industrial experience from working at Bureau Veritas’ metals and minerals department, will provide the necessary skills to conduct material simulations and subsequent experimental procedures.
India joined our research group as a semester intern, investigating the feasibility of repurposing nuclear waste to break down plastic waste. This research accomplished primarily through advanced analytical techniques following experimental studies. This project was supervised by Dr Lee J. Evitts.
In Autumn 2020, India re-joined the group to do a KESS sponsored MRes where she will conduct research looking at how losses can be reduced in hydraulic systems for autmotive applications.
Alexander is a MRes student that is studying high entropy alloys where he has produced a 5+ element metallic material to apply in a nuclear fusion application. This material will act as the first wall material in direct contact with the plasma in a tokamak style reactor.
His studies also include studies on HEAs to allow for more control over desirable properties.
Alex’s current research includes studying the neutron and ion radiation resistance of metallic 5+ element materials, he is also calculating the Frenkel defect energy of the material which will allow for greater insight on how long the material will last while producing as little waste as possible.
Alex is also interested in calculating the energy for Frenkel defects to occur as increasing this energy is desirable for a longer lasting material.
Previous Undergraduate Projects
Joe Pollard joined our research as a summer intern in 2019 to investigate the high-level waste immobilisation into ceramic phases. Joe synthesized and analyzed pellets of Synroc (which are synthetic counterparts of naturally observed waste forms). Additionally, Joe performed density functional theory (DFT) calculations to determine incorporation energies of waste products into different phases, confirming experimental results.
He returned in the Autumn of 2019 to do his final year Masters research project with us. During this time he investigated the synthesis of new plasma-facing materials (that could potentially be used within nuclear fusion reactors), combining practical laboratory techniques and theoretical calculations.
Joe successfully completed his studies at Bangor and continuing on the theme he started with us has moved to Imperial College in London to start a PhD (Autumn 2020) in fusion materials sponsored by Tokamak Energy. He will be conducting this through the Nuclear Energy Futures Centre for Doctoral training. Bangor is a constituent member of this CDT so we hope that we’ll be able to keep up with Joe in the coming years.