ASTM Zirconium Symposium returns to UK after 40 years
Materials World 28th June 2019
ASTM International’s 19th Symposium on Zirconium in the Nuclear Industry was this year hosted by The University of Manchester. A highlight of the event was the presentation of the William J Kroll Award to Professor Michael Preuss, Director of the MIDAS EPSRC Programme Grant and Deputy Director of the Nuclear Rolls-Royce University Technology Centre in Manchester.
Taking place in May at the Midland Hotel, this was the first time the event has been hosted in the UK since 1978, following a successful bid by the University. The decision confirms the country’s increasing global prominence in Zirconium research.
Zirconium (Zr) is a metallic material similar to titanium. It is renowned for its strength and durability, and possesses properties that make it ideally suited for use in a nuclear reactor environment.
A great success
The symposium was attended by around 150 international delegates – a 15 per cent increase on the previous conference. These attendees comprised both academic and industrial representatives from across the field.
This year’s programme included five talks and three posters by Manchester attendees. A new addition to the programme was a pre-symposium workshop on the topic ‘Zr: Future Research Needs’, conceived and hosted by the Manchester team, with local sponsorship from the Dalton Nuclear Institute, Henry Royce Institute and Wood. The workshop was hailed as a great success, and is likely to become a fixture at future symposia.
The conference also included a Rolls-Royce-sponsored reception at the Manchester Art Gallery, and a dinner at Arley Hall. This was jointly sponsored by ATI, Framatome, Sandvik and Westinghouse.
At the conference’s formal lunch event, Professor Preuss was awarded the 2019 William J Kroll Award in recognition of his work establishing and developing the Zirconium Technology Group at The University of Manchester. The award was also presented in acknowledgment of his research leadership in mechanistic understanding of irradiation damage in zirconium alloys and their oxides.