HDR Scholarship - Multi-material design

PhD scholarships are available for cutting-edge research into lightweight multi-material and functional structures as part of the ARC Training Centre in Lightweight Automotive Structures.

The centre brings together leading academic and industry researchers from RMIT University, Deakin University and Australian National University with key partner Ford and a consortium of local and international industry organisations.

Research topic

PhD Scholarship in multi-material design.

Project aim

Material cost accounts for between 60-70% of component price in automotive manufacturing, which means there's a considerable efficiency opportunity in cost reduction.

This project aims to take a holistic approach to vehicle structural component and system design, considering greater use of light alloys (sheet, 3D printed, and cast). The project builds on the previous work by Deakin and ANU in developing optimisation schemes (topology and shape optimisation) to design lightweight automotive body structures. 

This project will link into the work being done in the centre on the next generation of manufacturing processes. The work will explore the limitations of these manufacturing processes (flexible roll forming and 3D printing). We will employ differential geometry, topology, shape and material optimization techniques to develop lighter and more efficient vehicle design solutions. 

The student will be expected to spend extended periods of time in Germany and the USA, while their main office will be situated in Geelong, Australia.

Value and duration


  • A stipend of $31,298 (2017 rate) per annum tax exempt
  • Tuition fee and overseas health coverage for international students for the duration of 4 years


  • Stipend 3 years
  • Tuition fee waivers for 4 years (for international students)

Important dates

Opening date

Now open

Closing date


Eligibility criteria

Applicants must meet Deakin's PhD entry requirements, be enrolling full-time and hold an Honours degree (First Class) or a Master's degree with a substantial research component in a related field. Please refer to the entry pathways to higher degrees by research for further information.

How to apply

Please contact Dr Matthias Weiss via email

If you wish to discuss your research interests and project proposal before applying, please contact Dr. Matthias Weiss via email or phone (+61 3 5227 3368) or A/Prof Bernard Rolfe via email.