Personal profile


Xun Zhang did his PhD in materials from the University of Manchester in 2016 under the supervision of Professor Philip Withers and Professor Ping Xiao.  His research was focused on characterisation and simulation of ceramic thermal barrier coatings (TBCs) with a particular interest in 3D characterisation using X-ray computed tomography (XCT) and image-based simulation.  In 2019, Xun joined the solid mechanics and materials engineering group at Oxford University to develop models for the sintering and fracture of TBCs.  The outcomes have been adopted by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. for the development of coatings for gas turbines with higher inlet gas temperature.  In 2020, Xun returned to the University of Manchester and joined the EPSRC Future Manufacturing Hub in Manufacture using Advanced Powder Processes (MAPP) where he led the time-lapse and in-situ characterisation of hot isostatic pressing (HIPping) process and corresponding process modelling.  

Xun is now a research fellow in the nuclear graphite research group (NGRG), Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering.  His research mainly focuses on stress analysis for Advanced Gas-Cooled Reactor (AGR) using finite element (FE) method. 

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water


  • Materials Science
  • Nuclear Materials
  • Modelling and Simulation
  • X-ray Imaging


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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