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Deakin Research

Institute for Frontier Materials

Contact us


+61 3 522 73241


Institute for Frontier Materials
Geelong Technology Precinct
Deakin University
75 Pigdons Road, Waurn Ponds,
Victoria 3216 Australia (View map)

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:

Biomaterials research at IFM is focused in two areas:

Soft (polymeric) biomaterials
Our research in the area of soft biomaterials focuses on improved production of haematopoietic stem cells and development of a new method for large-scale production of short nanofibres.
Contact: A/Prof Mark Kirkland

Metallic biomaterials
In the area of metallic biomaterials, our research aims to improve the biocompatibility and bioactivity of implants such as artificial joints, bone plates and stents.
Contact: Dr Yuncang Li

Carbon fibres and composites
IFM's composites group is focusing on the development of new rapid cure processes for automotive components. Our main research areas are: low cost carbon fibre; high-performance carbon fibre; surface treatment of carbon fibre and fundamental science
Contact: A/Prof Bronwyn Fox

Computer modelling
IFM researchers are developing and applying advanced computer modelling at the molecular level, based on fundamental principles of chemistry, physics and mathematics, to predict properties and behaviours of any substance composed of atoms and molecules.
Contact: A/Prof Tiffany Walsh

Another area of research is numerical modelling and design of materials for lightweight structures. This group has projects that range from the fundamental (constitutive material modelling) through applied research (understanding tool wear) to more development work (lightweight body design).
Contact: A/Prof Bernard Rolfe

The molecular and fluid dynamics group focuses on applying advanced computer simulation technology to design and develop new materials; to fundamentally understand the properties of simple and complex fluids; and to model flow and heat transfer problems in engineering applications.
Contact: Dr Weimin Gao

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

Energy and electromaterials research at IFM aims to develop new energy technologies through the creation of new electroactive materials.
Contact: Prof Maria Forsyth

Fibres and textiles
Fibres and textiles research at IFM is focused on the development of new technologies, advanced materials and leading edge materials science. The group's research activities focus on the key areas of functional fibres / nanofibres and green natural fibres.
Contacts: Prof Tong Lin (functional fibres and nanofibres) and Prof Xungai Wang (natural fibres)

Metals research at IFM is focused 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.
Contacts: Prof Peter Hodgson (steel), Prof Matthew Barnett (light metals), Dr Matthias Weiss (sheet metal forming) and Dr Daniel Fabijanic (surfaces)

Micro and Nano Systems
The micro and nano-systems group research focuses on the development of novel, porous, environmentally friendly materials as well as the development of molecular diagnostic technology for a healthier community.
Contact: Prof Lingxue Kong

Nanotechnology and Energy Storage
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.
Contact: Prof Ying (Ian) Chen

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.
Contact: Dr Xiujuan Jane Dai

The polymers research group at IFM aims to develop new polymer materials that will meet a diverse range of applications.
Contact: Prof Qipeng Guo


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

Summer scholarships
IFM has made available five Summer Scholarships of $5000 for students to undertake projects over a 10-week period commencing Monday 3 November in the following research areas:

  • Metals
  • Composites
  • Fibres
  • Nanomaterials
  • Energy

The scholarships are open to both domestic and international students enrolled in undergraduate, and Masters within SEBE. Student applications will close on 4 October 2014. The summer scholars will be primarily selected on the basis of their academic performance.

Short-term projects

IFM offers short-term (3 month) projects for Deakin final-year undergraduate students. We also offer occupational traineeships for a minimum of 6 months in specific areas for other students. Examples of recent projects include:

Browse our website to find out about the research we do and the contacts for your area of interest.

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

19th February 2015