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David Ian Swan

After graduation from Cambridge university with a degree in Metallurgy , David Swan worked for the Materials & Chemistry (M&C) department of Rolls-Royce from 1975 until retirement in 2015, as a Staff Technologist and an Internal Authority on metallurgical aspects of fracture. The purpose of this part of Rolls-Royce is the design and procurement of the nuclear steam raising plant for the Royal Navy submarine fleet.

During his working life, David developed two specific specialisations: in the corrosion fatigue performance of structural materials in a pressurised water environment; and in the metallurgical aspects of fracture, principally in reactor vessel steels, but also in austenitic stainless steels.  He has been involved in a number of high-profile, high-value projects, both for the Ministry of Defence in support of the submarine programme, and also in EU-funded projects, for example a number of the NESC projects, being co-chair of the Materials sub-groups in NESC II and NESC IV, as well as participating in the DISWEC project. 

David’s initial involvement in fracture-related work started in mid 1983, designing and overseeing a programme of toughness testing of ferritic structural welds.  Later programmes involved similar work on austenitic stainless steels and weld metals.  David became specifically interested in the Master Curve methodology and whether it was applicable to submarine programme materials in the early 1990s, introducing it as an applicable methodology to the submarine programme more generally.  Such testing became routine and now forms an important part of the acceptance standards for structural steels for the programme.

More generally, David’s work at Rolls-Royce involved interacting with other areas of the company, specifically the design area and stress analysts, providing them with material properties data - not only toughness, but also tensile and physical property information - for their analyses.  He was also responsible for some 50% of the technical content of the department's material properties handbook, which detailed basic properties for the important structural materials used in the submarine programme.

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