Ying Chen


Accepting PhD Students

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Personal profile


I am a lecturer and Rolls-Royce Research Fellow at the Department of Materials and Henry Royce Institite. I completed my PhD in Coatings and Ceramics from the University of Manchester in 2015. Before my PhD study in Manchester, I completed my master degree in Shanghai Jiao Tong University (2011) and undergraduate degree in Zhengzhou University (2008), both in Materials Science and Engineering. My PhD focused on developing fundamental understanding of degradation of Ni-based coatings (NiCoCrAlY and platinum aluminide) at high temperatures. After completing my PhD, I worked as a postdoctoral research associate in Manchester from 2015 to 2018, during which I pioneered the use of micromechanical testing to thermal barrier coating systems to measure their fracture toughness at the microstructural level. In 2018, I joined OxMet Technologies as an alloy development engineer and coating programme lead working on design of additively manufactured alloys and coatings by computational modelling. In late 2019, I was awarded a Rolls-Royce Research Fellowship and returned to the University of Manchester.

I have published over 70 peer-reviewed papers (Google Scholar) and many of them are on top journals. I am the award winner of the Best Research Staff of Year 2020/21 for the Faculty of Science and Engineering. I am a frequent invited discussant for Rolls-Royce strategical programme workshops in surface engineering and work closely with leading academic and industry partners to develop next-generation coatings for demanding environments. I have authored two invited book chapters, an invited feature article for IOM3’s Materials World magazine and delivered multiple invited talks in different occasions. I am currently a principal investigator of a £14m consortia “Digital Qualification Platform for Advanced Alloy Components” funded by Innovate UK, a principal investigator of an EPSRC funded project on develpment of high entropy alloy coatings for hydrogen gas turbines via Royce ICP programme, and a co-investigator of 2 BEIS funded projects on ceramics for demanding environments.

Research interests

My research group focuses on surface engineering (e.g.developing novel protective coatings) for extreme environments by advanced processing, cutting-edge analytical/testing tools and computational modelling. I am particularly interested in

  1. Microstructural design for tough and durable ceramic coatings by micromechanical testing, modelling and processing. It involves developing multiscale in-situ mechanical tests to probe crack propagation, fracture toughness and micromechanical properties that govern coating delamination and creating microstructure-based micromechanical models to guide microstructural design for high toughness. It is also concerned with developing new coating microstructures that are both tough and resistant to environmental degradation.
  2. Developing oxidation/corrosion resistant coatings and additively manufactured alloys by high-resolution characterisations, thermodynamic and kinetic modelling. Material systems of interest include high entropy alloy coatings and coatings for additive manufactured superalloys and refractory metal alloys.

Funded PhD opportunities are available for candidates with strong background in material science, mechanical engineering, chemistry or physics. Please contact me for more details.


Looking for a postdoctoral research associate (PDRA) to join my group


Looking for excellent PhD candiates to join my group


Development of Protective Coatings for Alloys Made by Additive Manufacturing

There are many PhD opportunities in my group all year round. Outstanding candidates can apply for full scholarships (e.g. President’s Doctoral Scholarship, Dean's Doctoral Scholarship or The University of Manchester-China Scholarship Council (UoM-CSC) Joint Scholarship) to support PhD study.

Visiting researchers and students with interest in surface engineering are also welcomed.

My group


Physics of Materials for 1st year undergraduate students

Advanced Metal Processing for postgraduate students

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Advanced materials
  • Energy
  • Henry Royce Institute


  • Coatings
  • Demanding Environments
  • Degradation
  • Micromechanics
  • Ceramics
  • Oxidation
  • Additive Manufacturing


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