Alexander graduated in 2014 with an MEng (Hons) Materials Engineering (Class I) from the School of Metallurgy and Materials, University of Birmingham. He then went on to study for a PhD in the Magnetic Materials Group at the university, under the supervision of Professor Allan Walton. This work focussed on the potential for optimisation of the commercial processing route for Sm2Co17-type rare earth permanent magnets, and included investigations into casting methods, alloy composition/design, and heat treatment. This work was, in-part, funded by Arnold Magnetic Technologies, a leading global manufacturer of SmCo alloys and other rare earth permanent magnets.
Now in a Research Fellowship position, Alexander is now working closely with Rolls-Royce plc on the degradation of Sm2Co17 magnets from corrosion and oxidation, with a focus on their increasing use in the aeronautical sector, in permanent magnet electrical machines. Funded though the EPSRC IAA: Strategic Placement Fund, Alexander spends at least one day a week working from the Rolls-Royce site in Derby, enabling access to the facilities and knowledge‑base at Rolls-Royce, strengthening the industry links with the group, and facilitating knowledge transfer.
During his time in the Magnetic Materials Group, Alexander has also worked on projects assessing the feasibility of direct re-melting of NdFeB alloy extracted from scrap electronics using the HD process, and the influence of Ni impurities in extracted NdFeB powder to the HDDR process.