Dr Conghui Liu is the research associate jointly appointed by EPSRC Programme grants LightForm and MIDAS. Conghui’s research focuses on the microstructure, deformation micromechanics and failure mechanism of hexagonal materials, especially Ti alloys, Mg alloys, Zr alloys and Al alloys. Conghui obtained her PhD from the University of Manchester on the fatigue failure mechanism of a near-alpha Ti alloy. A central aspect of her research is to develop a more physically based understanding of how the complex microstructures developed during processing impact the performance. This is achieved by using a wide range of multidimensional characterisation techniques and micro-testing. In LightForm, Conghui leads the research activity on a new surface patterning technique for high-resolution digital image correlation (HR-DIC), which can access strain localisation in nanometre resolution while characterising grain orientation information without removing the surface pattern. This method is particularly ideal for temperature-sensitive materials for example Al alloys and Mg alloys. Conghui also leads the advanced 3D material characterisation using Laser Plasma-focused ion beam (Laser P-FIB) milling combined with EBSD. Conghui’s work intends to provide detailed mechanistic knowledge to understand and predict the mechanical behaviour of light alloys and help the industry partners optimise the material design and processing conditions for superior material properties.