HDR Scholarship - Circular economy principles for steel framed buildings

Applications now open. A PhD scholarship is available to initiate and conduct research on the topic 'Circular economy principles for steel framed buildings'.

Project Supervisor


Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus

Research topic

One PhD scholarship is available for students interested in undertaking cutting edge research into the innovative advanced design of steel building systems; to access and reduce environmental impacts and advance the agenda of circular economy principles. This is an interdisciplinary and collaborative research project between the Institute for Frontier Materials (IFM), Deakin's School of Architecture, and FormFlow.

Australia is a world leader in the production of roll-formed high strength steel building components. Start-up company Formflow has succeeded in developing new technologies for low-cost manufacturing of steel-framed modular buildings. These technologies support new approaches for design and construction that facilitate deconstructing existing buildings for reuse or recycling of components and materials.

Currently, the Australian steel industry with BlueScope steel uses up to 20% recycled steel in its products. The potential for reuse and recycling of steel building components and the effects of associated environmental, socio-technical factors, however, remain unexplored. It is therefore unclear if current models, technologies, and approaches can be directly applied to real-life projects.

The project is to be conducted in conjunction with FormFlow. The successful applicant is expected to spend extended periods of time at industry partner FormFlow, situated in Geelong, Australia.

Project aim

This study aims at exploring the potential and implications of adopting circular economy principles to steel-framed buildings. Current models and approaches such as the most commonly used, life cycle assessment, will be critically analysed, and solutions identified. The methods will be used to develop and analyse alternative steel building structure scenarios with the aim of reducing environmental impacts and applying circular economy principles while considering alternative supply chain structures and business models.

Important dates

Applications will remain open until a candidate has been appointed.


This scholarship is available over 3 years.

  • Stipend of $28,600 per annum tax exempt (2021 rate)
  • Relocation allowance of $500-1500 (for single to family) for students moving from interstate or overseas.
  • International students only:  Tuition fees offset for the duration of 4 years. Single Overseas Student Health Cover policy for the duration of the student visa.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible you must:

  • be either a domestic or international candidate currently residing in Australia (domestic includes candidates with Australian Citizenship, Australian Permanent Residency or New Zealand Citizenship).
  • meet Deakin's PhD entry requirements
  • be enrolling full time and hold an honours degree (first class) or an equivalent standard master's degree with a substantial research component.

Please refer to the research degree entry pathways page for further information.

Additional desirable criteria include:

  • have a first-class honours or H1 honours or equivalent (such as a masters degree) in materials, industrial, manufacturing or mechanical engineering, architecture, construction management, structural engineering, civil engineering
  • demonstrate ability to work as part of a multidisciplinary research team

How to apply

Interested applicants should contact via email Dr Matthias Weiss before applying for the project. Applicants invited to submit a full application should follow the instructions on the How to apply page.

Find out more

Contact us

For more information about this scholarship, please contact Dr Matthias Weiss

Dr Matthias Weiss
Senior Research Fellow (Institute for Frontier Materials)
Email Matthias Weiss

+61 3 522 73368