Dr Lewis Owen


Department of Materials Science and Engineering

Lecturer in Metallurgy

Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellow

Dr Lewis Owen

Full contact details

Dr Lewis Owen
Department of Materials Science and Engineering
Sir Robert Hadfield Building
Mappin Street
S1 3JD

My research focuses on the use of total scattering techniques for the study of local effects in alloy systems. Total scattering is a method where both the diffuse and Bragg scattering are considered simultaneously. This provides insight into the local effects occurring in alloys beyond the average structure that is obtainable from the Bragg data alone.

Using a combination of X-ray and Neutron scattering, we are able to probe the short-range order in metallic compounds, understanding the material on the atomic scale. A combination of small (PDFGui) and large box modelling (RMCProfile) modelling techniques are used to interpret the data.

Of particular interest are the distortions in the local structure, and variations in order that occur prior to phase transitions in the system. The knowledge of the local structure is of key importance to the structure-property relationships of the material. The systems under study range from simple binary alloys, to industrially relevant systems (e.g. Nickel superalloys) and novel materials (e.g. High-entropy alloys) for radiation damage tolerance.


2021 - Present – Lecturer in Metallurgy and Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellow

2018 - 2021    Research Fellow, Gonville and Caius College, University of Cambridge

2017 - 2018    PDRA in the Rolls-Royce UTC, Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy, University of Cambridge

2013 - 2017    PhD in Materials Science and Metallurgy University of Cambridge / ISIS Neutron and Muon Source – “The analysis of local structural effects in alloys using total scattering and reverse Monte-Carlo Techniques”
Prize awarded for research by the Cambridge Society for the application of research (CSAR)
Malvern PANalytical Thesis Prize for Physical Crystallography (British Crystallographic Association)

2009 - 2013 - MSc/BA University of Cambridge – Natural Science Tripos (Chemistry)
Departmental prize – Norrish Prize for Distinction in Physical Chemistry
College Exhibition, Bachelor and Foundation Scholarship at Queens’ College

Research interests

Metallurgy, Characterisation, X-ray and Neutron Diffraction, Total Scattering, Short-range order, Local Structure, High-Entropy materials, Nuclear Materials, Structure-property relationships.


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Teaching interests

Crystallography, Diffraction, Characterisation, Materials Chemistry

Professional activities

Treasurer of the Physical Crystallography Group of the BCA (British Crystallography Association) and Structural Condensed Matter Physics Group of the IOP (Institute of Physics)

Member of the IoM3 Materials Chemistry Committee