HDR Scholarship - Industry 4.0 - Material Monitoring for Process Control in the Roll Forming Process

Applications now open. A PhD scholarship is available to initiate and conduct research on the topic 'Industry 4.0 - Material Monitoring for Process Control in the Roll Forming Process'.

Project Supervisors

Dr Matthias Weiss (Deakin University) and Dr Vit Janik (Coventry University)


Institute for Frontier Materials, Deakin University (Home Institute)
Institute for Future Transport and Cities, Coventry University


Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus, Australia
Coventry University, UK


This PhD scholarship is part of the Cotutelle & Joint PhD Program between Deakin University, Australia and Coventry University, UK. The student will be enrolled at both universities and study 2 years at the Institute for Frontier Materials (IFM) of Deakin University and one 1 year at Coventry University. No fees apply. The student will be jointly supervised by research staff from both universities and, if successful, will be awarded the PhD degree by both universities at the end of the program.

Research topic

Roll forming, where a flat sheet is incrementally bent into shape in successive roll stands is increasingly used for the forming of high strength steels and light metal alloys to high end products for the construction and transport industry. For this achieving high and consistent part quality is important. With increasing material strength the effect of material property variations on the final component shape becomes more significant. In addition most roll forming metal grades are skin-passed or tension levelled to improve flatness. This results in residual stresses through the material thickness that can affect part shape. To achieve high component quality and process robustness in the forming of high strength metal sheet therefore new methods for in-line material property monitoring and part shape control need to be established.

The team at Deakin University has developed a simple bending test that can be used on the shop for the monitoring of material properties from coil to coil. Combined with numerical analysis and a simple inverse routine the bend test allows identifying residual stress profiles in the incoming strip; this information can be used in FEA to achieve an improved representation of material behaviour in the process. Deakin's team also developed a new approach for in-line shape control. Here roll load and torque measurements in combination with FEA analysis are used to identify property variations in the incoming material and to link those with the final part shape. Using special roll tooling in-line part shape compensation is achieved. So far above methods have only been proven in a laboratory environment and for components shapes. A fundamental understanding of the effect of residual stress on part shape does not exists. It is likely that both, changes in material strength and residual stress influence the final shape and therefore need to be considered for final part shape adjustment.

Project aim

The three main scientific objectives of this project are:
- To investigate the range of material property variation observed in conventional roll forming and how it affects part shape quality and specific shape defects such as twist, flare and bow.
- To separately understand the effect of residual stress and microstructure on roll forming process robustness and component shape.
- Based on above to develop and experimentally validate techniques for material monitoring and part shape control.

Further Information
The project is in collaboration with the Hadley Group, UK and will include the placement of the PhD candidate at the Hadley Group, UK to perform industrial roll forming studies and to integrate and test the developed solutions for process monitoring and control.

Important dates

Applications close 5pm, Thursday 25th February 2021.


This scholarship is available over 3 years.

  • Stipend of $28,092 per annum tax exempt (2020 rate)
  • Relocation allowance of $500-1500 (for single to family) for students moving from interstate or overseas
  • 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
  • have a first-class honours (H1) degree or equivalent in materials, manufacturing or mechanical engineering, physics or chemistry
  • provide evidence of good oral and written communication skills
  • demonstrate ability to work as part of a multi-disciplinary research team
  • 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.
  • Language proficiency (IELTS overall minimum score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component)
  • be able to physically locate to both Coventry University (England) and Deakin University (Australia).

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

How to apply

Please apply using the expression of interest form

Learn more about submitting a successful application on Deakin's How to apply page.

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