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Rhiannon Heard DPhil Researcher

Rhiannon Heard MEng

DPhil Researcher

Stipendiary Lecturer in Engineering

Trinity College Junior Dean


Rhiannon studied Engineering Science at University of Oxford for her undergraduate degree, for which she was in receipt of the IMechE Spen King Sustainability Award 2013 and the IET Diamond Jubilee Scholarship. During her undergraduate degree, Rhiannon worked on a number of summer projects at Jaguar Land Rover with a focus on materials development and sustainability.

In 2017, Rhiannon completed her Master’s specialising in mechanical and materials engineering, and was given the opportunity to remain in the Solid Mechanics group at Oxford to take up her current DPhil position.

Rhiannon’s doctoral project, funded by EPSRC and in collaboration with Deben UK Ltd, focusses on development of new technologies for studying material behaviour in situ SEM at elevated temperatures.

She is also currently a Junior Dean and a Stipendiary Lecturer in Engineering Science at Trinity College.

Research Interests

  • Heat treatment of metals & alloys
  • In situ high-temperature SEM
  • In situ Thermo-mechanical SEM
  • Surface effects of alloy heat treatments
  • Microstructure evolution of materials inc metals, alloys, polymers & ceramics

Current Projects

DPhil Project

Development of new methodologies and technologies for in situ high temperature studies of the heat treatment and corresponding microstructure evolution of metals and alloys.


1) An investigation into experimental in situ scanning electron microscope (SEM) imaging at high temperature Review of Scientific Instruments 2020-06-01 DOI: 10.1063/1.5144981

2) In situ SEM analysis of surface oxidation mechanisms in carbon steel during vacuum heat treatment Materials Today: Proceedings 2020-06 DOI: 10.1016/j.matpr.2020.05.396

3) In‐situ SEM observation of grain growth in the austenitic region of carbon steel using thermal etching Journal of Microscopy 2020-04-28 DOI: 10.1111/jmi.12894

4) Mechanical behaviour of rapidly solidified copper: effects of undercooling and strain rate Materials Science and Technology 2020-01-22 DOI: 10.1080/02670836.2019.1691354

5) Applications of the Brazilian disk test to study mechanical properties of various materials observed in-situ in an Environmental Scanning Electron Microscope (ESEM) Microscopy & Microanalysis 2019-07-02 DOI: 10.1002/micro. 2924/full.

6) Cold Chocolate under stress: An alternative approach to study high-rate behaviour in polymers inFocus, Royal Microscopy Society 2017-12