Professor Enrique Jimenez-Melero PhD

Professor Enrique Jimenez-Melero

School of Metallurgy and Materials
UKAEA Joint Chair in Materials for Fusion

Contact details

Address
School of Metallurgy and Materials
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston
Birmingham
B15 2TT
UK

Enrique Jimenez-Melero holds the UKAEA Joint Chair in Materials for Fusion in Birmingham. He has published over 70 research articles in international peer-reviewed publications, mostly in nuclear-oriented materials engineering journals, and graduated 10 PhD students as principal supervisor.

His research has been funded by UKAEA, UK research councils, the EU commission, as well as a range of industrial stakeholders in the supply chain including Tata Steel, Jacobs, Timken or M&I Materials. He has over 15 years of experience in engaging with materials-relevant stakeholders at industry and in translating research outputs into industrial solutions.

He is very enthusiastic about fusion materials engineering, from alloy design and manufacture to performance testing, underpinned by a throughout materials characterization across multiple length and time scales, as springboard to new materials and component qualification for nuclear fusion plant technologies.

He focuses on simulating real fusion environmental conditions and synergistic effects, using radiation sources, thermo-mechanical and corrosion testing rigs, to accelerate materials testing and feedback into computational materials design and down-selection.

Of special interest is the mechanistic understanding the radiation-induced microstructural damage in advanced fusion steels (from bainitic and martensitic steels to ODS ferritic steels and nanostructured Fe-base alloys) and high-temperature (tungsten, vanadium and copper-based) alloys, and the assessment of the radiation impact on the long-term structural integrity of those fusion materials and their reactor components. He is also very active in radiation protection and in developing safe systems of work to produce, handle and test radioactive material.  

Qualifications

  • PhD in Inorganic Chemistry, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain, 2005. Thesis title: Structural and magnetic characterization of RCrO4 oxides (R = rare earth).
  • MSc in Materials Chemistry, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain, 2000.
  • BSc in Chemistry, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain, 1998.

Biography

Enrique Jimenez-Melero received his MSc degree (first class) in Materials Chemistry in 2000, from the Universidad Complutense of Madrid in Spain. After that, he pursued a PhD (2000-2005) in rare earth-based magnetic oxides at the Department of Inorganic Chemistry of the same university. In particular, he synthesized the complete family of RCrO4 oxides (R = rare earth) with zircon and monazite-type crystal structures, where chromium is present in its less stable oxidation state of Cr5+.

He then studied the complexity of Cr5+-R3+ magnetic interactions and magnetic anisotropy below 30 K, and the interplay between crystallographic and magnetic phase transformations. For this purpose, he employed a palette of radiation-based experimental techniques ranging from neutron diffraction (supported by group theory) to determine magnetic structures, to rare earth Mössbauer spectroscopy and muon spin rotation to assess local magnetic moments and fluctuations, and 3-D neutron depolarization to study magnetic domain structures.

He then joined the Delft University of Technology (The Netherlands) where, as a research fellow, studied the phase transformations and deformation mechanisms in low-alloyed TRIP steels for automotive applications, by performing in-situ (grain-resolved) 3-D micro-diffraction experiments in very fine, poly-crystalline steel microstructures using hard (> 50 keV) synchrotron X-rays. He also took the opportunity to receive the national Dutch training in radiation protection at the Delft Reactor Institute.

In 2012, he joined the Dept. Materials of the University of Manchester as lecturer in radiation materials science. In this role, he led the development of sample environments and experimental protocols at the Dalton Cumbrian Facility for irradiating nuclear materials using intense high-energy ion beams as a surrogate of neutron damage. He went on to establish the ‘High Temperature Nuclear Alloys’ research group, focussing on the radiation tolerance and structural integrity of nuclear fusion/fission steels and refractory alloys. His research portfolio included nuclear case studies such as:

  • (i) in-situ monitoring the radiation-induced lattice defect evolution and elemental nanoscale segregation in tungsten alloys for first wall fusion reactor applications and in austenitic steel claddings of UK advanced gas-cooled reactors (AGRs).
  • (ii) atomically-resolved interfacial characterization and stability under irradiation of nano-sized precipitates in low-activation vanadium alloys for fusion technologies
  • (iii) friction stir welding and mechanics of Oxide-Dispersion-Strengthened (ODS) steels
  • (iv) high-temperature oxidation & carburization, and their impact on thermal creep performance, of stainless steel superheaters in gas-cooled fission power plants.

Enrique joined the School of Metallurgy and Materials at the University of Birmingham in January 2024 as UKAEA Joint Chair in Materials for Fusion.

Teaching

Coordinator of the ‘Materials in Fusion Energy MRes’ programme.

Postgraduate supervision

If you are enthusiastic about nuclear fusion technologies and are interested in fusion materials research, or you pursue a career in nuclear or in metallurgy, please get in contact by email.

Research

Nuclear materials research

  • Radiation damage phenomena in structural materials for nuclear fusion tokamaks (first wall, breeder, divertor materials)
  • Plasma-facing materials and plasma-material interactions
  • Micro-mechanics of advanced fusion steels and engineering alloys with high melting points
  • Corrosion in molten salts, liquid metals, and high-temperature oxidation and carburization of Fe- and Ni-base alloys
  • Thermal and irradiation creep of high-temperature alloys
  • Radiation-induced segregation and sensitization of stainless steels
  • Long-term structural integrity of key engineering materials and components for nuclear reactor systems
  • Thermo-mechanical processing of metallic materials for enhanced radiation tolerance and mechanical performance
  • Nano-scale precipitation and stability in Cu-base alloys for high heat flux applications
  • Environmental degradation of additive manufactured materials and components

Technique-oriented research

  • Hard synchrotron X-ray and neutron scattering to characterise phase transformations, deformation mechanisms and precipitate distributions in complex structural alloys
  • Development of sample environments for accelerated testing of nuclear materials
  • In-situ characterization of the microstructure evolution in nuclear materials under irradiation, thermal and mechanical loads
  • Probing lattice defects using positron techniques
  • Ion beam analysis of light element distributions in metals

Other activities

Awards

2009-2011: Veni Post-doctoral Fellowship within the framework of the Innovational Research Incentives Scheme (Vernieuwingsimpuls), funded through open national competition by The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (equivalent to the UK EPSRC Council). Project supported by four industrial partners: TataSteel, SKF, FNsteel and DAF Trucks. Total budget: £208k.

Professional activities and membership

2020-now: Elected representative of the Crystallography Science group on the Diamond User Committee, Diamond Light source, UK.

2020-2021: Member of the working group for the µ15 Flagship beamline of the Diamond-II upgrade at the Diamond Light Source, UK.

2019-now: Editorial Board Member, Metals (Q1 in Metallurgy & Metallurgical Engineering)

2018-now: Visiting Professor at the Centro de Investigación en Ciencia Applicada y tecnología Avanzada, Unidad Altamira, Mexico.

2015-2018: Honorary Fellow at the School of Engineering, University of Liverpool, UK.

Articles in professional journals

Jimenez-Melero, E., Simulating nuclear environments. Materials World. October 2015, p. 43.

Technical reports

Hughes, J., Dawson, H., Jimenez-Melero, E., Electron beam welding of Oxide Dispersion Strengthened steels for UKAEA, within the UK fusion programme STEP (Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production), 2021.

Jimenez-Melero, E., van Dijk, N.H., Zhao, L., Sietsma, J., Offerman, S.E., Wright, J.P., van der Zwaag, S., Monitoring metastable grains in steel, ESRF Highlights 2007. p. 30-31.

Invited lectures at international conferences & seminars

2022: Friction stir welding of ODS steels for nuclear technologies. India-UK SPARC Conference on 'Metal Additive Manufacturing and Friction Stir Processing: Present and Future'.

2020: Advanced steel metallurgy under a high-energy synchrotron light. International seminar at the Diamond Light Source, UK.

2019: In-situ X-ray diffraction on the austenite transformation and micromechanics in advanced steels. Annual High-Strength Steel Conference organised in Colmar (France) by the industrial stakeholder Timken.

2016: Friction Stir Welding of ODS steel: processing, characterization and stability. Modern Steel and Iron Alloys international conference (MSIA), Warsaw (Poland).

Invited seminars to industrial stakeholders

2020: Tungsten-copper composites by selective laser melting:  high strength & conductivity components under irradiation, M&I Materials, Trafford Park, Manchester.

2018: Accelerated radiation damage tests of nuclear reactor materials using energetic ions, organised by Westinghouse at the Paul-Scherrer Institute, Switzerland.

2018: Strategic alloys under radiation, Calder Industrial Materials, Chester, UK.

2015: Irradiation damage in high-temperature alloys at the Dalton Cumbrian Facility, TataSteel, IJmuiden, The Netherlands.

Publications

Recent publications

Article

Liu, H, Chai, Z, Wei, K, de Moraes Shubeita, S, Wady, P, Shepherd, D, Jimenez-Melero, E & Xiao, P 2024, 'A study on the thermal conductivity of proton irradiated CVD-SiC and sintered SiC, measured using a modified laser flash method with multi-step machining', Journal of the European Ceramic Society, vol. 44, no. 11, pp. 6305-6320. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jeurceramsoc.2024.04.001

Madariaga, A, Vazquez, E, Foster, D & Jimenez-Melero, E 2024, 'Depth-resolved mechanical behaviour of shot peened 7050-T7451 aluminium surfaces using in-situ synchrotron X-ray diffraction', Materials Science and Engineering A. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.msea.2024.146817

Dawson, H, Hughes, J & Jimenez-Melero, E 2024, 'Impact of Electron Beam Welding on the Microstructure of PM2000 ODS Steel', Fusion Engineering and Design, vol. 204, 114528. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fusengdes.2024.114528

Yildirim, E, Mummery, PM, Greaves, G, Race, CP & Jimenez-Melero, E 2024, 'In-situ TEM characterization and atomistic simulation of cavity generation and interaction in tungsten at 800 °C under dual W2+/He+ irradiation', Nuclear Materials and Energy, vol. 39, 101672. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nme.2024.101672

Yildirim, E, Mummery, PM, Morgan, TW & Jimenez-Melero, E 2023, 'Delayed surface degradation in W-Ta alloys at 400°C under high-fluence 40 eV He plasma exposure', Fusion Engineering and Design, vol. 197, 114061. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fusengdes.2023.114061

Eaton-Mckay, J, Yan, K, Callaghan, MD & Jimenez-Melero, E 2022, 'Creep deformation phenomena in near-surface carburised layers of 316H stainless steels', Materials Science and Engineering: A, vol. 842, 143029. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.msea.2022.143029

Eaton-Mckay, J, Yan, K, Callaghan, MD & Jimenez-Melero, E 2022, 'Creep performance of carburized 316H stainless steel at 550 °C', Journal of Nuclear Materials, vol. 558, 153329. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jnucmat.2021.153329

Foster, D, Paladugu, M, Hughes, J, Kapousidou, M, Islam, U, Stark, A, Schell, N & Jimenez-Melero, E 2022, 'Formation of lower bainite in a high carbon steel: An in-situ synchrotron XRD study', Journal of Materials Research and Technology, vol. 18, pp. 5380-5393. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jmrt.2022.05.025

Hughes, J, Toyama, T, Gorley, M & Jimenez-Melero, E 2022, 'Full-stage precipitation during aging of Cu-0.55Cr-0.07Zr alloy for high heat flux fusion reactor technology', Journal of Materials Research and Technology, vol. 20, pp. 801-810. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jmrt.2022.07.113

Tolentino-Hernandez, RV, Garcia-Pastor, FA, Baez-Medina, H, Jimenez-Melero, E & Caballero-Briones, F 2022, 'Structural damage in graphene oxide coatings onto Nb substrates upon laser irradiation', Surface and Coatings Technology, vol. 431, 128013. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.surfcoat.2021.128013

Ipatova, I, Greaves, G, Pacheco-Gutiérrez, S, Middleburgh, SC, Rushton, MJD & Jimenez-Melero, E 2021, 'In-situ TEM investigation of nano-scale helium bubble evolution in tantalum-doped tungsten at 800°C', Journal of Nuclear Materials, vol. 550, 152910. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jnucmat.2021.152910

Foster, D, Paladugu, M, Hughes, J, Kapousidou, M, Islam, U, Stark, A, Schell, N & Jimenez-Melero, E 2021, 'In-situ synchrotron X-ray diffraction during quenching and tempering of SAE 52100 steel', Materials Today Communications, vol. 29, 102930. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mtcomm.2021.102930

Paper

Rafferty, J, Palko, S, Chevalier, M, Jimenez-Melero, E & Scenini, F 2023, 'Environmental effects of a simulated AGR coolant on oxidation and carburization behavior of type 316H stainless steel', Paper presented at 21st International Conference on Environmental Degradation of Materials in Nuclear Power Systems-Water Reactor, St. John’s, Canada, 6/08/23 - 10/08/23.

Review article

Wahed, MA, Imam, M, Chinthapenta, V, Jimenez-Melero, E, Anshari, MAA, Mishra, R & Webb, RP 2023, 'Additive friction stir processing and hybrid metal additive manufacturing of high melting point materials: A review', Materials Today: Proceedings. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.matpr.2023.08.018

Caballero-Briones, F, Kaftelen-Odabaşı, H, Gnanaseelan, N, Ruiz-Perez, F, Tolentino-Hernandez, RV, Kamaraj, SK, Estrada, SML, Espinosa-Faller, FJ & Jimenez-Melero, E 2023, 'International research in graphene-oxide based materials for net-zero energy, military and aeronautic applications catalysed by Tamaulipas, Mexico: A Mini Review', Frontiers in Materials, vol. 10, 1192724. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmats.2023.1192724

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