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Composites and Coatings Group

Department of Materials Science & Metallurgy

Studying at Cambridge

 

Eleonore Cassandra Poli

Eleonore Cassandra Poli

MPhil by Research student


Biography:

Education

Eleonore Poli is an MPhil by research student working on corrosion resistant thermal barrier coatings for gas turbine applications. She studied material science and engineering  at the technical university Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne before obtaining a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, with a specialization in materials and processes at the Zürich School of Engineering (ZHAW), both located in Switzerland. She wrote two bachelor thesis, the first on developing a tensile testing set-up for 3D printed open cell aluminium silicium foams, the second on characterising defects on Ti6Al4V aircraft turbine discs. She has so far studied in four languages, French, English, German and Swiss German.

Current research

Eleonore’s research is focused on developing a top coat for thermal barrier coatings,  with additions of a reducing agent to stabilise contaminants such as sodium sulphate, to avoid stiffening and spallation of the TBC. To achieve this, a powder mixture of yttria stabilised zirconia and titanium is plasma sprayed at the University of Cambridge. The coatings are then heat treated in presence of contaminants and  the phases inspected using X-ray diffraction techniques and electron microscopes.The influence of oxygen and heat treatment duration on the durability of the coatings is being investigated.

Experience

In combination with her studies, Eleonore worked with children and teenagers on robotics and mathematics, serving first as assistant then as teacher on Lego robots WeDo and Mindstorms. She also worked in the construction materials laboratory at EPFL under the supervision of Professor Karen Scrivener. She then spent two summers (total 6 months) working on projects at Pilatus Aircraft Ltd., where she had to qualify a new brazing alloy to replace outdated and dangerous filler materials, had to estimate the friction coefficient of bolts and perform corrosion tests to qualify new lubricating greases.

She has worked in several voluntary projects such as the association Aeropoly, where she was responsible for space applications, and EPFL Rocket Team, where she helped in the choice of a payload for a miniature model rocket. She has served as student representative at EPFL, ZHAW and Cambridge University.

Interests

Eleonore has a wide range of interests which she keeps alive. She plays the piano, competes in running and triathlon races and is currently learning Russian. She is also part of the association hepta.aero, an association responsible for the restauration of the Dufaux plane and the creation of airships. She photographs events and does portraits, and enjoys urban exploration.

She is treasurer and welfare officer in the Cambridge University Handball Team, where she plays as a left wing and line. She has a dear passion for aerospace, which is helped by being a member of the Royal Aeronautical Society. She is also a volunteer for the Swiss Space Museum.