Connecting Industry with R&I
Tosin Alatise explains how her six week student placement in SaMI’s labs connected industry with research and innovation.
I have experience working in production maintenance at luxury car company Bentley Motors, a UCL cancer research lab, Arcadis, and the Crossrail project at L’aing O’Rourke. My specialist area of expertise is materials science with a focus on metallurgy due to Swansea University’s close partnership with Tata Steel Europe.
Characterisation of metals
In my second year of Materials Science and Engineering at Swansea University I have been working at SaMI as a characterisation laboratory assistant supporting Dr Paul J Fitzgerald. As SaMI is multidisciplinary I have been involved in different aspects of research and industry as well.
I focus my time on the characterisation of metals carrying out investigations with the SEM, completing projects for a range of clientele and mastering the controls of the SEM as I go along. I have learnt about the functionalities electron back scatter detection EBSD which determines grain orientation and energy dispersive spectroscopy EDS and optical emission spectroscopy OES which both calculate chemical composition.
I have gained insight into the SINTEC laboratory where technicians simulate and model extreme gaseous environments to test materials. And the Fracture and Fatigue lab where technicians perform mechanical testing on metals and investigate the effects of hydrogen embrittlement.
I also had the opportunity to witness alloy casting and melting in the pilot plant.
My aim was to gain research experience and witness the relationship of R&D with industry from an academic perspective. I have learnt about metallographic preparation, I have practiced the process and know it inside out, and look forward to applying this in my final year.
I have thoroughly enjoyed working at SaMI. The people are so friendly, warm and welcoming. The researchers have all been very thoughtful, ensuring to involve me when carrying out interesting and exciting developments. I have used and familiarised myself with equipment commonly used in industry that students would not normally get to use until entering the workforce.
Following my time at SaMI, I hope to begin a PhD before starting my career. I have been intrigued by some really interesting projects in functional materials and biomaterials, though I believe superalloys are calling my name as I would like to work in F1 someday.
Expanding my knowledge in this way would make me suitable for a career in materials under extreme conditions such as aerospace.
Watch this space…
Contributor Tosin Alatise