Study with us

There are a range of opportunities on offer to study within the Institute for Frontier Materials.

These include:

PhD positions

Students can apply at any time for PhD studies at the Institute for Frontier Materials. Our key research areas are listed below:

Alloy design and processing

Research into metals and alloys focuses on a number of areas, including new refined multi-phase structures for automotive steels and ways of producing them; optimising processing and properties of light metals; sheet metal forming research; and development of new surface treatments.


Prof Peter Hodgson (steel)

Prof Matthew Barnett (light metals)

Dr Matthias Weiss (sheet metal forming)

Dr Daniel Fabijanic (surfaces)


Biomaterials research at IFM is focused in two areas:

  • Improved production of haematopoietic stem cells
  • Development of a new method for large-scale production of short nanofibres.

Contact: A/Prof Mark Kirkland

Corrosion and protection

Our corrosion research targets desalination and water infrastructure, oil and gas refining and production, defence and aerospace, mining and power industries.

Contact: Prof Mike (Yongjun) Tan

Electromaterials and membranes

Energy and electromaterials research focuses on developing new energy storage and conversion technologies through the creation of new electroactive materials.


Prof Maria Forsyth (electromaterials)

Prof Lingxue Kong (membranes)

Fibres, polymers, composites and textiles

Research into fibres and textiles is carried out as part of the Australian Future Fibres Research and Innovation Centre (AFFRIC). Our facilities include Carbon Nexus – a $34 million pilot-scale carbon fibre research facility.


Prof Xungai Wang (green natural fibres)

Prof Bronwyn Fox (carbon fibres and composites)

Prof Tong Lin (functional fibres and nanofibres)

Prof Qipeng Gao (polymers)

Materials and process modelling

IFM researchers use computer models to predict material properties in a number of areas. Advanced molecular modelling based on fundamental scientific principles is helping to predict properties and behaviours of atomic and molecular structures.

Numerical modelling is being used to help design lightweight structures, which are important for the automotive and aerospace sectors.

Advanced computer simulation technology can help explain the properties of fluids, model flow and heat transfer problems in engineering applications.


Molecular modelling and simulation: Prof Tiffany Walsh

Molecular and fluid dynamics: Dr Weimin Gao

Numerical modelling and design of materials for lightweight structures: A/Prof Bernard Rolfe

Nanotechnology and plasma technology

We aim to develop new nanomaterials and nanotechnology to support the development of advanced materials, energy storage technologies and environmental/medical applications with improved protection of the environment and health as well as advanced manufacturing.

The aim of plasma research at IFM is to develop a fundamental understanding of a platform technology, in order to generate improved processes and materials.


Prof Ying (Ian) Chen (nanotechnology)

Dr Xiujuan Jane Dai (plasma)


Deakin University offers a number of postgraduate research scholarships to domestic and international students each year.

Short-term projects

IFM offers short-term (3 month) projects for Deakin final-year undergraduate students. See the IFM home page to find out about the research we do and contacts for your area of interest.

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