Deakin Research

Institute for Frontier Materials

Ferrous and Aluminium Solidification Technology (FAST)

FAST is a collaborative research program between Deakin University, The University of Queensland and Ford Australia. Under the program, engineers enrolled in Masters and Ph.D. degrees at either university conduct research projects into automotive casting technology, sponsored by Ford. The research is conducted under the joint guidance of academic staff from the universities and Ford managers and engineers.

Collaborative management of the program and regular review meetings ensure the scientific merit and industrial relevance of the research. The majority of the research is conducted on production equipment within the casting plants at Ford's Geelong manufacturing operations. This assists rapid integration of results into the production environment.

FAST engineers gain:

  • A higher degree with either Deakin or UQ - universities that specialize in collaborative research with the automotive industry
  • Additional industry-based training, such as the Ford six sigma course and ADCA die casting course
  • Experience conducting research in an industrial environment
  • Exposure to the operations side of a manufacturing business
  • Participation in international or local conferences on casting technology
  • Rapid industrial application of research results

Current research projects are:

  • Optimisation of grain refining practice
  • Porosity reduction in high-pressure aluminium casting
  • Simulation of die stresses and deflections in high-pressure die casting
  • Surface defect reduction in high-pressure die casting through process parameter control
  • Yield improvement in iron casting

Further information regarding the FAST program can be obtained from:

Professor Peter Hodgson
Institute for Frontier Materials
Deakin University
Geelong, Vic. 3217
Telephone: 03 5227 1251
Fax: 03 5227 1103


Dr Matthew Dargusch
Division of Materials
School of Engineering
The University of Queensland
Brisbane, Q. 4072
Telephone: 07 3346 9225
Fax: 07 3365 3888


Richie Smyth
30 Remony Avenue
Highton, Vic. 3216
Telephone: 03 5243 2315

Deakin University acknowledges the traditional land owners of present campus sites.

27th January 2012