Skip to navigation | Skip to main content | Skip to footer
Menu Share this content
Menu Search the University of Manchester siteSearch
Search type

Alternatively, use our A–Z index

New Director for the Materials Performance Centre

27 Jun 2011

The University of Manchester’s Dalton Nuclear Institute is pleased to announce the appointment of Professor M. Grace Burke as the new Director of the Materials Performance Centre, in the School of Materials.

Professor Grace Burke
Professor Grace Burke

Professor Burke is internationally-recognised in the fields of advanced microstructual characterisation, electron microscopy and irradiation embrittlement.

She comes to Manchester from the Bettis Laboratory in Pittsburgh, where she was a Consultant in Materials Technology. 

Professor Andrew Sherry, Director of the Dalton Nuclear Institute, said, “We are extremely pleased to welcome Professor Burke to Manchester.

“Professor Burke brings an international reputation for the use of advanced analytical techniques to understand materials issues in nuclear applications. 

“Her appointment as Director of the MPC will strengthen the University's capability to support industry and research councils, and will further enhance the Materials Performance Centre’s status as a centre of excellence in this field.”

Professor Burke said, “I am delighted to be joining the MPC, and as Director I am looking forward to further developing and expanding our university/industry research partnerships. 

“I aim to continue the Centre’s advancement of fundamental understanding of the behaviour of materials in power generation systems.”

Professor Burke joined Westinghouse Science and Technology Center in 1987, and transferred to the Westinghouse Bettis Laboratory in 1994.  Prior to Westinghouse, at the US Steel Research Laboratory, and at the University of Pittsburgh, she performed the first atom probe analyses of neutron-irradiated pressure vessel steel welds, identifying the ultrafine solute clusters responsible for irradiation embrittlement of these materials. 

She is a Fellow of ASM International, the Microscopy Society of America, and the Royal Microscopical Society, and is a member of TMS, IMS, IOM3 and the International Group on Radiation Damage Mechanisms in Pressure Vessel Steels.  Professor Burke was also President of the Microscopy Society of America (2005).  She has been an Associate Editor of Materials Characterization, and has served as an Editor of the Journal of Materials Science, and a member of various University Advisory Committees and DOE review panels.

Her research has dealt with the role of microstructure in the environment-sensitive behavior of materials, particularly austenitic stainless steels, low alloy steels and welds, and Ni-base alloys.  She has extensive expertise in the application of advanced analytical techniques (AEM, STEM-EDXS microanalysis, HVEM, SEM, APFIM, etc.) to characterize metals and alloys with the objective of understanding material behavior. 

Notes for editors

Photographs of Professor Burke are available on request from the Press Office

Materials Performance Centre

The Materials Performance Centre (MPC) was launched in 2002 as the focus for a strategic research alliance with BNFL.  The MPC also sustains strategic research partnerships with EDF, EDF Energy (formerly British Energy), National Nuclear Laboratory, Rolls-Royce, Serco and Westinghouse.
It is the largest nuclear materials research centre in UK academia, with over 70 researchers and over £25 million research income. The MPC is a renowned centre in nuclear materials research and training, in the UK and internationally.

Materials performance is fundamental to the nuclear industry in clean-up and decommissioning, plant operation and life extension, as well as potential new build.   The MPC is committed to collaborative working within the UK and internationally, enhanced through links with, amongst others, Areva, Corus, EPSRC, EU, HSE (Nuclear Division), NDA, TWI, US National Laboratories & the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

For more information visit

Dalton Nuclear Institute

The Dalton Nuclear Institute was launched in 2005 to build on the successes of the two University Research Alliances (the Materials Performance Centre and  the Centres for Radiochemistry Research) and act as the engine to drive the coordination and growth of Manchester's nuclear expertise base.

Today, the Dalton Nuclear Institute is fully engaged in the international civil nuclear power renaissance, through focused Research Centres addressing challenges as diverse as nuclear plant life extension, new nuclear build, fuel technology, decommissioning, and waste management and disposal.

For more information visit

For media enquires please contact:

Daniel Cochlin
Media Relations Officer
The University of Manchester
0161 275 8387