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Matthew Connolly (Fed)
My current research focus is on the study of hydrogen embrittlement and hydrogen-assisted fatigue crack growth in pipeline steels. In an effort to elucidate hydrogen-assisted damage mechanisms, I am using synchrotron x-ray and neutron scattering techniques to measure the stress/strain field, dislocation density, material phase changes, phonon spectra, and hydrogen concentration near fatigue crack tips. I am also interested in other corrosive environments (e.g. radiation, CO2, hydrogen isotopes) as well as fracture resistant materials (e.g. high entropy alloys). For physical parameters which are difficult to determine experimentally (e.g. H2 diffusion rates), I use ab initio, Monte Carlo, and molecular dynamics simulations of the physical systems. I am currently involved in developing a neutron Transmission Bragg Edge Strain Tensor Tomography (TBESTT) measurement technique, which will provide full 3D strain tensor fields in structural materials. I am interested in developing novel experimental apparatus (e.g. pressure vessels, load frames, temperature control) for in situ strain measurements.