The Group applies its knowledge of materials, physics and engineering to a wide range of defence, security and industrial challenges. 



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The Materials Science and Radiation Group manages a range of PhDs, master’s programmes and other postgraduate courses and contributes to other courses in the areas of defence technology, forensic science and security.

We have a strong research ethos and attract support from the likes of research councils, the UK’s Ministry of Defence, NATO and industry. We have an established track record in:

  • Materials science;

  • X-ray imaging;

  • CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear);

  • Metallurgy and mechanical properties;

  • Radiation testing of materials and devices;

  • Ballistics;

  • Material failure analysis.

Our research

Our current research projects include: 

  • Advanced X-ray imaging
  • X-ray backscatter imaging
  • Materials identification and classification
  • The human and X-ray interface
  • Pyroelectric X-ray generation
  • Novel techniques for monitoring low-level radiation
  • High strain-rate material response.

Our facilities

We have an extensive range of facilities and testing services which include: 

  • Electron and optical microscopy
  • X-ray imaging – micro CT
  • X-ray fluorescence
  • Optical evaluation – spectroscopic ellipsometry
  • Thin film deposition
  • Mechanical testing
  • Physical testing and failure analysis service – Adrian Mustey
  • Electron and optical microscopy – Dr Jon Painter
  • Gamma irradiation – Mr Gary Wright