PhD scholarship - Repair of Superalloy Components by Laser Engineered Net Shaping

A PhD scholarship is available in Coventry University - Deakin University Co-tutelle PhD Programme in the Institute for Frontier Materials. The PhD student, under the guidance of the Chief Investigator, will initiate and conduct research on the topic of ‘Repair of Superalloy Components by Laser Engineered Net Shaping’ led by Dr. Daniel Fabijanic. 

This project is offered as a co-tutelle with Coventry and Deakin Universities. The student will be based in IFM, Deakin University with a supervisory team of Dr. Daniel Fabijanic, Associate Professor Tim Hilditch and Professor Bernard Rolfe (IFM, Deakin University) and Dr. Bo Chen, Professor Steve Jones and Professor Mike Fitzpatrick (MME, Coventry University).

The project is expected to commence in May 2017.

Project aim

Ni-based superalloys exhibit excellent combination of high temperature creep-fatigue strength and corrosion resistance. As a result, they have been widely used to fabricate, for example, the aircraft turbine components that would operate in extremely harsh environments. Their high replacement costs associated with the raw materials and initial manufacturing process justify the demand for developing effective repair technology that would provide lifecycle cost reduction of superalloy components.

The use of Laser Engineered Net Shaping (LENS) in the repair of superalloy components is a recently applied technique. LENS offers advantages over common repair techniques (brazing and welding), including inert atmosphere processing, controlled deposition parameters and precise compositional control. There is an opportunity to contribute to the field new knowledge of the effects of LENS repair on the fatigue performance of superalloy material.

Key objectives

  • Understand the effect of LENS deposition parameters on the microstructure of Inconel 718 superalloy. A matrix of deposition parameters will be explored including powder feed rate, laser power, scan rate and build directions.
  • Characterise residual stresses in bulk materials by using both time-offlight neutron diffraction technique and finite element modelling. The effect of post-deposition heat treatment on the redistribution of residual stresses will be also explored.
  • Establish the most appropriate post-deposition heat treatment procedure for the repaired superalloy component.
  • Quantify the rotational bend/torsional fatigue life of both as-cast, LENS as-deposited, as well as deposited and heat treated Inconel 718 superalloy.

Research questions

  • What are the key factors that the fatigue performance of Inconel 718 superalloy repaired by LENS cladding deposits?
  • How can we improve the fatigue performance of repaired Inconel 718 superalloy by using the most appropriate combination of LENS deposit parameters and post-deposit heat treatment?

Value and duration


  • A stipend of $26,682 (2017 rate) per annum, tax exempt
  • A relocation allowance up to $1,500 (2017 rate) awarded to students who are moving from interstate or overseas in order to study at Deakin
  • Paid sick, maternity and parental leave
  • Tuition fee and overseas health coverage for international students for the duration of four years


3 years

Important dates


20 February 2017

Eligibility criteria

  • This scholarship is for domestic (Australian Citizenship, Australian Permanent Resident, New Zealand Citizenship) and international candidates.
  • 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.
  • Applicants to this co-tutelle program must meet the additional language requirement of an IELTS overall minimum score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component.

How to apply

Please refer to the Apply for a research degree webpage for application information.

Contact details

Primary contact details
If you wish to discuss your research interests and project proposal before applying, please contact:

Dr Daniel Fabijanic 
+61 3 5227 2413
Email Dr Fabijanic

Associate Professor Tim Hilditch
+61 3 5227 2265
Email Associate Professor Hilditch

Secondary contact details
Contact details for the Cotutelle arrangement:

Associate Professor Luis Afonso
+61 3 556 33461
Email Associate Professor Afonso

Further information

The Coventry University (UK) – Deakin University (Australia) co-tutelle PhD programme offers research students an unparalleled international experience, working alongside world-class researchers across two continents. 

Co-tutelle students spend time at both Coventry and Deakin Universities and gain unique exposure to different cultural and scientific environments and substantially increasing employability after graduation.

Further information on:

Co-tutelle PhD Programmes

IFM, Deakin University

Dr. Dan Fabijanic

MME, Coventry University

Dr. Bo Chen