Professor David Dye - 2022 Acta Materialia Silver Medal Recipient
Professor David Dye - 2022 Acta Materialia Silver Medal Recipient

The recipient of the 2021 Acta Materialia Silver Medal is David Dye, Professor of Metallurgy at in the Department of Materials at the Imperial College London and Royal Society Industry Fellow with Rolls-Royce.

Professor David Dye received his BA in Natural Sciences in 1997 and completed his PhD in 2000, both at the University of Cambridge. He worked in strategy consulting and was a National Sciences and Engineering Research Council Visiting Fellow with NRC-CNRC at the AECL Chalk River Laboratories in Ontario, Canada. He then took up a faculty position at Imperial College in 2003, becoming a Professor in 2015.

Professor Dye works predominantly on the micromechanics, microstructure and alloy design of titanium alloys and nickel and cobalt/nickel superalloys for jet engines, but also has longstanding interests in nuclear reactor zirconium and primary circuit materials, in NiTi elastocalorics for heat pumps and actuators and in medium-manganese auto body TWIP steels.  He is internationally recognised for his work on dwell fatigue in Ti alloys and in the relationship between alloy processing, microstructure and in-service performance, and on the resolution of safety-related concerns in jet engine Ti.

  • His thesis work sponsored by Rolls-Royce, was on the weldability on Ni superalloys, which has become newly relevant to the development of cracking-free, high integrity microstructures and alloys in additive manufacturing.
  • His work on Ti alloy processing, performance and the micromechanisms of fatigue began with the effect of crystallographic orientation and micro-texture on high cycle fatigue crack initiation in Ti-6Al-4V. This pioneered the in-situ FIB lift out technique for the examination of slip mechanisms in fatigue facets, and the correlation of fatigue surface features to the underlying grain orientations from cross-sectional EBSD.
  • Interstitial contamination, eg with O or N, and H-associated embrittlement during halide stress-corrosion cracking, occasionally present nuisance airworthiness concerns.  His work in this area allowed the retirement of another safety-related concern, resulting in a 2014 Rolls-Royce Defence Aerospace award. The great difficulty with hydrogen is its unequivocal detection in the microscope; his work in this area with Professor Gault at MPIE/Imperial has enabled the development of the ability to detect solute H at the nanoscale using atom probe tomography.
  • Professor Dye was the first to show that the newly (re)discovered biomedical ??-Ti Gum metals had such an apparently low modulus due to the superelastic stress-induced ??″ transformation.
  • Following Sato et al’s 2006 announcement of the discovery of a new Co3(Al,W) phase showing the flow stress anomaly, David has followed a thread of work to develop polycrystalline Co/Ni superalloys.
  • Returning to novel alloy development, from the perspective of interface theory, there is a natural link between the precipitation of ?? -Ti, superelasticity in NiTi and ??-Ti, and twinning. Starting from CP Ti, work proceeded in TWIP steels, in particular showing that grain size control is an effective route to raise the initial yield stress of TWIP steels, without affecting their high-rate performance, e.g. in blast for armour or auto bodies, and more recently that lower-Mn, austenite+ferrite high strength TWIP steels can be fabricated by a hot working route. He has also shown that the TWIP effect can be developed in ??-Ti alloys, allowing higher specific strengths and work hardening rates to be achieved, although, as with Gum metals, ω precipitation may still prove problematic in commercial application.

He has been strongly involved in the organisation of symposia at the TMS annual meeting and the Ti and HTAC committees over the last 15 years, as well as workshops on Dwell Fatigue and Co/Ni superalloys.  He has received a number of awards, including the 2002 and 2005 ASM Grossman Award, the 2005 IOM3 Grunfeld Medal, 2010 IOM3 Harvey Flower Titanium prize, 2017 IOM3 Cook/Ablett and 2018 TMS EPD Division Science awards.  He has also been active in mentoring early-stage researchers, with seven of his previous students and postdoctoral researchers having taken up faculty positions and 33 PhDs completed, the majority of whom now work in the aerospace industry and the speciality metals supply chain.

Professor Dye will receive his Silver Medal during the 2021TMS Spring Meeting and Exhibition in Anaheim, California, 27 February – 3 March, 2022.