About Me

I am a third year PhD student at University of Oxford. I work in Solid Mechanics and Materials research group under the supervision of Prof. John Huber.

My research focusses on modelling a set of "smart" materials called the ferroelectrics. These materials possess immense potential as memory elements, transducers and energy harvesters. I have designed nanoscale devices such as actuators with enhanced performance (larger strains) using a phase-field model and am currently studying size effect on in nanoscale ferroelectrics.

Contact Details

Ananya Renuka Balakrishna
Brasenose College
University of Oxford, OX1 4AJ UK



University of Oxford

DPhil Engineering Science 2012 - 2015

My research thesis title is "Application of phase-field model to ferroelectrics". I have employed a phase-field model to design nano-actuators based on the concept of ferroelectric switching. The actuators have enhanced strain rates - several times greater than ceramic actuators currently available in market. The work has been published in MRS proceedings and SMS journal. ASME SMASIS conference recognised my work under the best student paper category.
I am currently exploring size effect on polarisation patterns formed in ferroelectrics. Classic vortices with 90-degree domains have been observed in ferromagnetics, but similar patterns are hardly observed in ferroelectrics despite the analogous properties. These polarisation vortices are predicted to have great benefits to miniaturizing electronics industry and has driven experimentalists around the world to look for polarisation vortices! Based on this motivation, I study size effect on the formation of polarisation vortices. I hope to publish my results in the next few months.

National Institute of Technology Karnataka

Bachelor of Technology Mechanical Engineering 2008 - 2012

Primary courses taken in my undergraduate degree include Engineering Thermodynamics, Heat Transfer, Fluid Mechanics, Mechanics of Materials, Solid Mechanics and MEMS.
My bachelor thesis was titled "Resonant micro-beam pressure sensor" where we employed Ansys to design and analyse a pressure sensor. Stresses developed in the material were studied in details and the model was optimised to suit easy fabrication and packaging. The research work was awarded ISSS Undergraduate Award at the 5th National conference on MEMS.
My GPA is 9.2/10 and I was awarded "Best Outgoing Student NITK Award - 2012" from a batch of 800 students.


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