Professor Paul Withey

Professor Paul Withey

School of Metallurgy and Materials
Professor of Casting

Contact details

Paul Withey joined the School of Metallurgy and Materials in 2018 after a career in Rolls-Royce, culminating as the Engineering Associate Fellow in Casting Technology. This has limited the number of refereed papers to just over thirty, but this has been balanced by fourteen published patents.

Paul’s interests involve investment casting with a focus on the casting of aerospace components. Much of his industrial career has been spent developing the processes, and understanding of the single crystal casting of turbine components. The fundamental link between the materials chosen for casting, processing to form the desired shape, and the properties achieved through processing will form the basis of his ongoing research.


- PhD in Materials Science, The University of Birmingham 1989
- BSc in Physics, The University of Birmingham, 1986


On completion of his PhD, Paul worked at the University of Birmingham as a Research Fellow in the fields of Fracture and Fatigue and Foundry Ceramics. Following a brief spell as a Lecturer, Paul joined the Rolls-Royce Company Research and Development Foundry in Bristol, and expanded his area of expertise into the metallurgy and processing of nickel based superalloys. In 2001, he moved into a central role based at Rolls-Royce in Derby and continued to investigate and develop new materials, and manufacturing processes for gas turbine components. Paul and his team were awarded the Sir Henry Royce Award for Technical Innovation in 2015; the highest technical award within Rolls-Royce.

Paul became the Rolls-Royce Engineering Associate Fellow in 2005, joining the top 100 specialist engineers from across all engineering disciplines.

In 2018, Paul joined the University of Birmingham to continue developing the fundamental understanding of superalloys and the influence of processing on their properties.

Other activities

  • Honorary Professor of the Institute of Metal Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences (since 2008)
  • Chartered Engineer
  • Fellow of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining and Former Council member
  • Chairman of the Cast Metals Federation (Nov 2005 to Nov 2007) and council member (since 2002)
  • President of the British Investment Casting Trade Association (BICTA) from February 2003 to 2005
  • Member of the Institute of Physics and a Chartered Physicist


Book:  JF Knott and PA Withey, Worked examples in fracture mechanics, Institute of Materials, 1993, reprinted 1998.

A student text book introducing the reader to the basics of linear elastic fracture mechanics from the Griffith Relationship, through the development of G and K, to practical engineering situations.  An in-depth account is given of the procedure for making a fracture toughness measurement in accordance with BS 7448.1991.  There is a major section on elastic/plastic fracture mechanics and the calculation of CTOD and J for ductile materials.  The final chapter treats fatigue growth, and its application to the calculation of lifetimes for structures containing cracks.  ISBN 0 901716 28 6. Also translated into Chinese, ISBN 7 03 004459 2.

Journal Publications

B.G. Liu, L.H. Liu, W.D. Xing, R.C. Liu, R. Yang, P.A. Withey, J. Zhu and R. Yu, Structural stability and alloying effect of TiB polymorphs in TiAl alloys, Intermetallics 90 (2017) pp. 97-102

K. Kim and P.A. Withey, Microstructural Investigation of the Formation and Development of Topologically Close-Packed Phases in a 3rd Generation Nickel-Base Single Crystal Superalloy, Advanced Engineering Materials, 2017, June, e201700041

K. Kim and P.A. Withey, Formation of an Intermediate Layer Between Grains in Nickel-Based Superalloy Turbine Blades, Metallurgical and Materials Transactions A: Physical Metallurgy and Materials Science Physical Metallurgy and Materials Science, 2017, 48, (6), pp 2932-2942

K. Kim and P.A. Withey, Detection of rhenium rich particles at grain boundaries in nickel-based superalloy turbine blades, Materials Transactions, 57, 10 (2016) pp 1698-1706

X. Cheng, C. Yuan, G. Holt, P.A. Withey, Interactions between high Nb containing TiAl alloy and yttria facecoat during investment casting, International Journal of Cast Metals Research 28, (5), October 2015, pp 283-289

C. Yuan, X. Cheng, P.A. Withey, Investigation into the use of CaZrO3 as a facecoat material in the investment casting of TiAl alloys, Materials Chemistry and Physics 155 (2015) pp. 205-210

C X. Cheng, C. Yuan, S. Blackburn, P.A. Withey, The Influence of ZrO2 Concentration in an Yttria-Based Face Coat for Investment Casting a Ti-45Al-2Mn-2Nb-0.2TiB Alloy Using a Sessile Drop Method Metallurgical and Materials Transactions A: Physical Metallurgy and Materials Science March 2015, 46, (3), pp 1328-1336

. Yuan, X. Cheng, G.S. Holt, D. Shevchenko, P.A. Withey, Investment casting of Ti-46Al-8Nb-1B alloy using moulds with CaO-stabilized zirconia face coat at various mould pre-heat temperatures, Ceramics International 41, (3A), April 2015, Pages 4129–4139

K. Kim, P. Withey, W.D. Griffiths, Detection of an Intermediate Layer Containing a Rhenium-Rich Particle at Grain Boundaries Formed Within Single Crystal Nickel-Based Superalloys, Metallurgical and Materials Transactions A: Physical Metallurgy and Materials Science March 2015, 46, (3), pp 1024-1029

P Withey and S Turner, The analysis of SATS results as a measure of pupil progress across educational transitions Educational Review 2015, 67 (1), pp. 23-34


Professor Paul Withey is Chair in Casting Technology within the School of Metallurgy and Materials. He has joined the University after a career in industry developing the technology for single crystal and reactive alloy casting. He has nearly thirty years of experience in investment casting and has extensive knowledge of the worldwide single crystal and aerospace casting  landscape. Whilst including the casting of high performance components, his research interests also encompass the development and integration of manufacturing technologies and the impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution in these areas.

Policy experience

During his time in industry Paul has developed manufacturing and technology development strategies which were deployed across a company with a global footprint. Paul has also advised the UK delegation in discussions updating the Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies.