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Royce Sheffield | 7 December 2021

68th Hatfield Memorial Lecture

Date :
07 December 2021
Time :
6:45 pm - 8:45 pm
Location :
Octagon Centre
Event Type :

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The Hatfield Memorial Lecture is an annual event hosted by the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Sheffield. It features presentations from noted academics and industrialists on topics as diverse as space exploration and biomaterials.

Moving Phase Boundaries as a Means to Transport Solute Atoms in Steels

Professor Sybrand van der Zwaag, Delft University of Technology


For solid state metallurgists the austenite-ferrite phase transformation in steels remains the most challenging and inspiring topic in the field.  As it is our principal tool to create desired microstructures and properties, it has been widely studied but it is not simple to unravel the separate contributions of nucleation, intrinsic interface mobilities, solute trapping, long range element partitioning and maybe the interfacial structure itself. In this talk I will show the recent progress in our understanding of interface motion in automotive steels and demonstrate how academic research may even lead to new processing routes.  As is appropriate for the Hatfield lecture, the element Manganese will feature prominently. And given my Dutch origin, I will try and demonstrate that some of the concepts also can be found in Dutch dike design strategies and flood control.

Speaker Biography

Professor Sybrand van der Zwaag studied Metallurgy at the Technical University Delft and obtained his MSc in 1978 after completing his graduation project at the Dutch Nuclear Research Centre. He then joined the Cavendish Laboratory at Cambridge University (UK) and studied the impact damage in glass and infrared transparent ceramics due to supersonic impact with rain drops. He obtained his PhD in 1981.

As a post-doc he studied the relaxation kinetics in amorphous metals (metallic glasses). In 1983 he joined Akzo Corporate Research laboratories and worked extensively on the structure-property relations in aramid and other high performance fibres as well as new fibre spinning technologies. In 1992 he was appointed full professor in the field of Microstructural Control in Metals. His research focussed on the austenite-ferrite phase transformation in steels as well as the microstructural changes in aluminium alloys. In this capacity he was one of the founding fathers of the Netherlands Institute for Metals Research NIMR (now M2i).

In 2003 he was appointed full professor in the field of Novel Aerospace Materials, which concentrates its research on the design of novel high performance metals, polymers and polymer fibres, self healing materials and functional composites.

Professor Van der Zwaag is also director of the Delft Centre for Materials and chairman of the national IOP program on Self Healing Materials. He has published over 500 ISI publications and successfully supervised 50 PhD students. He is member of the Royal Dutch Society for Sciences and fellow of the (British) Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining.

In 2012 he was granted the honorary title ‘distinguished professor’ by the Board of the Delft University of Technology for his efforts to strengthen the collaboration between the university and industry in the field of materials science. Until July 2016 he was the scientific director of the Dutch Polymer Institute (DPI).

In January 2017 he was awarded an honorary PhD degree by the University of Mons (Belgium). In the same year he was awarded a prestigious Chinese research grant and a part-time professorship at Tsinghua University (China).

In 2017 he and some members of his team received the Henri Marion Howe medal from the American Society for Metals (USA) for his publications on self healing of creep damage in steels.


The Octagon Centre, Clarkson Street, Sheffield S10 2TQ