15 July 2022

Royce Student Summer Internship to inspire the next generation of materials scientists

Meet the students from The University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University taking part in the Royce Undergraduate Research Internship Scheme to experience materials science research.

Image of technician in the workshop

Three undergraduate students from The University of Sheffield and two from Sheffield Hallam University have been selected to take part in the Royce Undergraduate Research Internship Scheme 2022, where they'll be working on their research projects throughout June - September. 

Follow our interviews with the Royce Student Summer Interns to find out more about their projects this summer! 


First up we'd like to introduce Leah Fittock, BEng Materials Science and Engineering, 2nd year student from The University of Sheffield. 

Leah is working on the 'In-situ observation of the passive protective tribolayer formation by AFM', which aims to determine the role of the tribolayer and its two-layer structure, whilst also learning about its formation process at the nanoscale. Alongside her supervisor, Dr Jiahui Qi, Leah will use the AFM to observe in-situ formation, and process the data collected, in order to characterise the tribolayer. 

Leah will be using the Round-tip AFM cantilever, TEM, EDX and EBSD, situated in the Royce Discovery Centre and the Sorby Centre, throughout the course of her project. 


I am looking forward to using the Royce Discovery Centre for the first time, and hopefully getting some good data within our experiments!

I enjoy practical work, but it usually consists of a few hours of a time, and previous laboratory sessions didn't have the opportunity for continuation. With this project being 10 weeks long, I hope to become very familiar with the lab equipment I'll be using everyday!

Leah Fittock

BEng Materials Science and Engineering | The University of Sheffield


Up next, Sophia Carpio, MEng Materials Science and Engineering 2nd year student from The University of Sheffield. 

Sophia will be working on her project titled 'Discovering new magnetic materials using materials informatics and high-throughput experiments', through utilisation of the high-throughput MOKE, SEM, XRD, and SQUID magnetometry equipment situated in the Royce Discovery Centre. Through assistance from her supervisors, Prof. Nicola Morley and Dr Zhao Leong, the project will combine material informatics (NLP and machine learning) with high-throughput experiments, to predict and discover new soft magnetic materials. 


The Royce Summer Internship is such a great opportunity to get involved and contribute to materials innovation! This internship combines many interesting topics; I really enjoyed studying functional materials and material characterisation techniques this year through lectures and practicals, but natural language processing and machine learning are completely new to me. 

I have so much to learn throughout the completion of this internship and I look forward to the challenge!

Sophia Carpio

BEng Materials Science and Engineering | The University of Sheffield


Introducing Sheffield Hallam University 2nd year student, Adam Brown, currently studying BSc Physics

Adam will be working on 'Developing High Performance Multi-Phase Thermoelectric Materials' alongside his supervisor Dr Sima Aminorroaya. The project aims to improve the efficiency of bismuth Telluride-based thermoelectric materials by modifying the chemistry of phases to engineer electronic transport properties. The Spark Plasma Sintering and Laser Flash Analyser equipment in the Royce Discovery Centre will assist this research.


I saw the Royce Summer Internship Programme as an opportunity for me to develop skills working in experimental Materials Science. Studying Physics has allowed me to understand the microscopic behaviour of semiconducting materials, but participating in the programme will allow me to observe, and then demonstrate, techniques which will ultimately reinforce my understanding. 

I'm also looking forward to creating connections within The University of Sheffield and the Henry Royce Institute which may benefit my third-year project and future career progression. 

Adam Brown

BSc Physics | Sheffield Hallam University


Next up, Catrin Fielding, MEng Materials Science and Engineering 2nd year student, The University of Sheffield. 

Catrin's project, titled 'Royce Undergraduate Internship to develop a digital lab note in collaboration with the Royce Discovery Centre', aims to develop a protocol to create an architecture for handling digital versions of lab notes for experiments. She'll be developing forms for the workflow individually through liaising with expert users and technicians, as well as being assisted by her supervisor Lucia Scotti


I was keen on gaining valuable experience in a fast-paced research environment, so the Royce Summer Internship was the perfect opportunity to be a part of some real modern research, as well as building upon my professional portfolio!

Catrin Fielding

BEng Materials Science and Engineering | The University of Sheffield


Finally, introducing the final student partaking in the Royce Summer Internship Programme, Amina Hussein. Amina is currently studying BEng Aerospace Engineering and is in her second year at Sheffield Hallam University. 

Her project, titled the 'Microstructure of hipped steels with variable pre-treatment to predict Continuous Cooling Transformation Diagrams for steel alloys at high atmospheric pressure', aims to conduct the following, with the support of her supervisor Dr Vahid Nekouie:

  • To investigate the effect of pressure on microstructure and mechanical properties of steel alloy (mild steels [low carbon steels, 0.2% carbon] and high carbon steels).
  • To design a continuous Cooling Transformation Diagram (CCT), first in an air furnace, then in a Hot Isostatic Press furnace. 

Amina will be using the Hot Isostatic Press to support her research, situated at the Royce Translational Centre


I was keen to gain experience within engineering, which is why I applied for the Royce Summer Internship. Following my degree in Aerospace Engineering, I aim to have a career within manufacturing, so taking part in an internship focussing on materials was something that greatly interested me. 

The project will allow me to understand how materials can be altered and the affects these changes have on the physical and mechanical properties. This reflects how they can be used and how these heat treatments make them suitable for specific purposes.

Amina Hussein

BEng Aerospace Engineering | Sheffield Hallam University


We're looking forward to sharing more on the projects throughout the summer!

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