HDR Scholarship - Flexible Roll Forming of Automotive Structures

Applications now open

A PhD scholarship is available to initiate and conduct research on the topic 'Flexible Roll Forming of Automotive Structures'.

Project Supervisor

Associate Groups

RMIT University, Australian Roll Forming Manufacturers, data M (Germany), Shape Corp (USA) and the Ford Motor Company (USA).


Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus

Research topic

Deakin University is setting up the world’s first Flexible Roll Forming (FRF) facility to form long sections of both variable width and variable depth parts for BIW structural members. FRF is an extension of the conventional roll forming process and represents a cost effect alternative to hot stamping of automotive crash and structural components. However, the limits of the process in regard to part complexity and metal alloys that can be formed is still unknown which currently restricts the widespread application of the process.

This project is in collaboration with the Ford (Global) Motor Company, Australian Roll Forming Manufacturers (a local special sections roll forming company), data M sheet metal solutions (a world leading developer of advanced roll forming design software in Germany) and Shape Corp. (a leading supplier of roll formed components to the automotive industry in the USA). The student will be expected to spend extended periods of time in Germany and the USA at our research partners, while their main office will be situated in Geelong, Australia. This research is conducted by the Australian Research Council Centre in Lightweight Automotive Structures and funded by the Australian Government.

Project aim

The major aim of this project is to verify the manufacturability of automotive components by FRF that are variable in depth and of high complexity and to develop part geometry guidelines for the identification of part families that are suitable for the process and can be formed with minimum tooling requirements. Of secondary focus will the investigation of the forming of complex part shapes by combining FRF with Ford`s free forming tool. The general approach will be to manufacture the initial longitudinal shape by FRF followed by the forming of small and complex regions with Ford`s free forming tool; this will permit the reasonably rapid forming of overall shape in long parts such as pillars, rocker reinforcements and roof rails.

Important dates

Applications will remain open until a candidate has been appointed.


This scholarship is available over 3 years.

  • Stipend of $32,788 per annum tax exempt (2018 rate)
  • International students only: Tuition fee and overseas health coverage for the duration of 4 years

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible you must:

  • be either a domestic or international candidate
  • meet Deakin's PhD entry requirements
  • be enrolling full time and hold an honours degree (first class or upper second 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:

  • provide evidence of good oral and written communication skills
  • demonstrate ability to work as part of a multi-disciplinary research team.

How to apply

Please apply using the expression of interest form


Contact us

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

Dr Matthias Weiss
Senior Research Fellow
Email Matthias Weiss
+61 3 522 73368