Rhiannon Heard
Lecturer in Engineering Science


For my undergraduate degree I read Engineering Science at Trinity College, University of Oxford, for which I was in receipt of the IMechE Spen King Sustainability Award 2013 and the IET Diamond Jubilee Scholarship. During my degree I worked on a number of summer projects at Jaguar Land Rover with a focus on materials development and sustainability.

In 2016, I began my Master’s specialising in mechanical and materials engineering, my dissertation on which was entitled Micromechanics of Pharmaceutics. After completion of my degree I was given the opportunity to remain in the Solid Mechanics group at Oxford to take up my current DPhil position.

My doctoral project, funded by EPSRC and in collaboration with Deben UK Ltd, focusses on development of new technologies for studying material behaviour in-situ and at elevated temperatures. I am currently a Junior Dean and a Stipendiary Lecturer in Engineering Science at Trinity College.


My lectureship position at Trinity covers tutorial teaching of first and second year engineering students in Materials, Solid Mechanics and Structures. In the Department of Engineering Science I demonstrate in laboratory sessions including Computer Aided Design (CAD) and materials.


My current research is based in the Laboratory for In-Situ Microscopy (LIMA) and involves the development of technology for use in a Scanning Electron Microscope at elevated temperatures. In-situ imaging is a key technique in understanding the microstructure of materials and has applications in the nuclear, turbomachinery and nano-materials sector.  From an applications side my research specialises in metals but I also take an interest in a variety of materials from biological products to ceramic composites with previous projects involving Pharmaceutics and Chocolate.

Selected Publications

R. Heard, “Cold Chocolate under Stress”, Royal Microscopy Society infocus Magazine (December 2017), pgs 19-27.