Alan Cocks Professor of Materials Engineering

Professor

Alan Cocks BSc PhD

Professor of Materials Engineering

Fellow of St Anne's College

TEL: 01865 283490
  • Biography
  • Research

Biography

Professor Alan Cocks gained his BSc in General Engineering from the University of Leicester (1977), and his PhD from the University of Cambridge, under the supervision of Mike Ashby (1981).

He became a Research Associate at Leicester University and a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign (1984-85). He became Lecturer in Engineering at Leicester and a Lecturer in Engineering and Fellow of Downing College at Cambridge (1990-96). He became Professor of Engineering at Leicester in 1996 and was made Head of Department from 2004-05.

In 2006, Alan was appointed to the Professorship in Materials Engineering at the University of Oxford and elected to a fellowship at St Anne’s College.

His research focuses on micromechanical and computational modelling of the deformation and failure processes of engineering materials, particularly at elevated temperatures, and the modelling of material processing procedures. He is on the advisory board of the European Journal of Mechanics – A/Solids.

Institutional Activities

  • External Examiner, BEng and MEng degrees in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Manchester
  • Member, Royal Society UK Panel on Theoretical and Applied Mechanics
  • Member, EDF Expert Panel on Creep of Stainless Steel
  • Member, Rolls-Royce Materials, Manufacture & Structures Advisory Board
  • On the Management Group, Bristol-Oxford Nuclear Research Centre and Joint Jead for the Applied Research theme
  • Member, Steering Committee for Oxford Solid Mechanics

Research Interests

  • Micromechanical modelling
  • Creep deformation and failure
  • Modelling powder processing - flow, compaction and sintering
  • Modelling the performance of welded components
  • Modelling the performance of Thermal Barrier Coating and other ceramic based systems
  • Fracture of engineering materials

HEms Project

The Hydrogen Embrittlement of Steels (HEmS) project was a consortium funded by the Engineering and Physical Science Research Council to study the damage caused to steels by exposure to hydrogen. Upon exposure to hydrogen steels demonstrate a dramatic decrease in their tensile strength and instead of bending and stretching, the steel "cracks" in a brittle fashion. The HEMS consortium was a collaboration between a number of UK universities to study this phenomenon and elucidate the physical mechanisms underpinning it. If steels could be manufactured which are resistant to this effect it would enable a range of new technologies in the fields of energy and transport, and would be an essential step towards transforming to a hydrogen based energy economy.

Watch the HEmS video