Professor David Browne

External partner

Professor in Materials Science and Engineering


Following a BE in Mechanical Engineering from UCD (1985), David worked for the Garrett Corporation (now part of Honeywell) in Torrance, CA, USA and Waterford, Ireland, on casting of turbocharger impellers. From 1987 to 1990 he was involved with joint research (Oxford University and Davy McKee Poole Ltd.) in the UK on twin-roll casting of aluminum alloys. He was awarded an M.Sc. (Materials Science) for this work. In 1990 he joined the faculty of University College Dublin, where he now leads the Phase Transformation Research Group (PTRG), concentrating on alloy solidification and bulk metallic glasses. In 1996-1997 David was on sabbatical leave at Cornell and Oxford Universities. In 2003 he was awarded the degree of D.Phil. (Materials Science) from the University of Oxford for his research on computational modelling of the columnar-equiaxed transition in alloy solidification. Prof. Browne was Vice-Principal for Research, Innovation and Impact, UCD College of Engineering & Architecture (2014-2019), during which time he introduced many new initiatives to encourage research and there was a substantial increase in competitive funding secured for research in the College. For academic year 2019-2020 he was on research sabbatical at Yale University, Department of Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science. David has supervised many PhD students to completion, and has published over 200 papers, including over 90 in international peer-reviewed journals. In December 2015 David was PI on a project, funded by the European Space Agency, which achieved X-ray directly monitored equiaxed solidification of a metallic alloy in the microgravity conditions of space, for the first time ever [1]. Since that we have developed a methodology to quantify 3D dendrite tip growth parameters, and solute pile-up on solidification, using our PTRG computational model [2] and real-time synchrotron X-ray imaging [3]. Prof. Browne has extended these techniques, together with colleagues in the UK, France, Norway, Russia and the Netherlands, to the in-situ study of flow patterns during the solidification of alloys in welding and additive manufacturing processes [4]. These experimental patterns agree well with our earlier model predictions, in computational work carried out by UCD-PTRG with TU Delft [5]. The PTRG is continuing research on phase transformations, including: assessing the effects of gravity on alloy solidification, computational modelling of additive manufacturing with metals, and exploring the processing and properties of bulk metallic glasses and composites for precision manufacture, biomedical – e.g. [6] – and space/optical applications [7]. David was on sabbatical leave for the purposes of research, at Yale University, 2019-2020, working with Professor Jan Schroers. This collaborative research was on the rejuvenation of metallic glass alloys by thermal or mechanical means, and on the discovery and quantification [8] of the effects of applying strain during cooling in the supercooled liquid temperature range on increasing the ductility of such alloys. In May 2021 David presented to the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) webinar series on Hypergravity/Microgravity [9]. A recording of the lecture can be seen via the link below. If the YouTube video does not start at time ~ 1h 20 m, you can see Prof. Browne's talk from that point onwards - it is in the 2nd half of the webinar. Prof. Browne is currently Guest Editor for a special issue of the journal Metals [10] - on Modelling of Alloy Solidification - and welcomes manuscript contributions from relevant high quality research groups. David and the PTRG welcome collaboration on relevant topics from interested parties, either in industry or academia, anywhere in the world.