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Professor Mark Whittaker

Professor Mark Whittaker

Professor, Engineering

Telephone number

+44 (0) 1792 295573

Email address

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Welsh language proficiency

Basic Welsh Speaker

Research Links

Available For Postgraduate Supervision

About

Mark is a Professor working in the Institute of  Structural Materials (ISM) where his research interests focus on high performance materials for jet  engine applications.

He is passionate about helping others to achieve their goals, either through teaching, mentoring or supervision and actively looks to engage strongly with my research team.

Mark's original degree in Physics helps him to relate materials behaviour to fundamental atomic scale behaviour and he enjoys developing new areas of understanding and fields of research.

With two children of his own, Mark is also passionate about outreach work and look to get involved wherever possible with schools visits.

Areas Of Expertise

  • Thermo-mechanical Fatigue
  • Creep Lifing
  • Titanium Alloys
  • Nickel Alloys
  • Crystallographic Texture
  • Fatigue Lifing
  • Fatigue/Creep/Environment Interactions

Career Highlights

Research

Thermo-Mechanical Fatigue
Within the gas turbine engine, the high transient thermal stresses resulting from throttle movement from idle to high settings give rise to the phenomenon of thermo-mechanical fatigue (TMF). These effects have been widely explored for turbine blade materials, typically single crystal nickel alloys. More recently however, a combination of thinner disc rims and further increases in turbine entry temperature has lead to a situation where TMF in disc materials cannot be ignored. Turbine discs will usually be manufactured from polycrystalline nickel alloys, and as such it is now considered critical that TMF effects in this system of alloys is fully characterised. Research within the Institute of Structural Materials in collaboration with Roll-Royce plc leads the way in the development of modelling approaches to TMF through a range of cutting edge experimental techniques. 

Modern Creep Lifing Approaches
Traditional creep lifing techniques based on power law equations have shown themselves to be extremely limited, particularly in the prediction of long term data based only on short term experimental data. More recently, alternative approaches such as the Wilshire equations and hyperbolic tangent methods have been proposed which offer a new insight into the field. 

Titanium Alloys
Premature failure of titanium based engineering components in the 1970s brought to attention the phenomenon of dwell effects at low temperatures in these alloys, loosely termed ‘cold creep’, which are currently still a major concern for designers. Ongoing research at the Institute of Structural Materials seeks to address the issue through targeted mechanical testing and microscopic evaluation.

Award Highlights

2007 - Awarded Chartered Physicist Status

2007 - Awarded RCUK Research Fellowship

Twice winner of the Davidson prize for theoretical physics and Swansea

 

Collaborations

Mark has collaborated nationally and internationally with a range of researchers in his field. 

These include:

  • University of Cambridge
  • University of Birmingham
  • University of Nottingham
  • University of Southampton
  • Loughborough University
  • Linkoping Univeristy
  • Rolls-Royce plc
  • TIMET
  • Doncasters Blaenavon
  • R-Tech Materials