Institute for Frontier Materials

  • Re-designing materials for a circular economy
  • Imparting materials with extraordinary functionality
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About IFM

The Institute for Frontier Materials is a vibrant, multicultural research institute, graduating more than 30 PhD students a year and training 80 post-docs at any given time. We address material challenges in the energy, mining, environment, health, transport and manufacturing sectors.

Technological advance springs often from a breakthrough in materials science.

Professor Matthew Barnett

Director, Institute for Frontier Materials

The Institute for Frontier Materials (IFM)

The Institute for Frontier Materials is the place to come for innovative research in materials science.

Discover research opportunities in the Institute for Frontier Materials

Featured researchers

Meet just a few of our leading researchers producing world-class outcomes.

Professor Xungai Wang

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Professor Maria Forsyth

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Professor Matthew Barnett

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State-of-the-art facilities

The institute has a wide range of specialised laboratories in the areas of metals, composites, polymers, textiles and biomedical research. Each is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment to enable our staff and students to undertake their research.

Find an IFM research supervisor

Search for topics you're interested in to discover the related supervisors that can help you achieve your research goals.

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Only at Deakin

Using IFM’s belt abrasion tester (the only one in Australia), Dr Chris Hurren and engineering student Patrick Phillips have revealed the urgent need for standards for protective motorbike clothing in Australia. They tested 10 pairs of reinforced jeans marketed as protective motorcycle clothing. The results were quite a shock – only three pairs met the minimum requirements of the European standards for protective motorbike clothing. Three were close to the standard while the others were no more protective than ordinary (much cheaper) jeans. 

The results have attracted interest from motorcycle magazines as well as road transport authorities in a number of states.

Join our research team

To become an IFM research student, you need to have a clear vision of what you want to investigate. For example, it could be new metallic biomaterials for use in artificial joint implants, new energy storage solutions or the development of new high-strength, lightweight materials.

In just a few steps you could help to create a more sustainable future, improving general quality of life or revolutionising the way we manufacture products.

Find out how to become a research student

Find us at Waurn Ponds

Contact us

The Institute for Frontier Materials (IFM)
General enquiries
+61 3 52272150
Email IFM

Deakin University
Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus   
Locked Bag 20000
Geelong, Victoria 3220

Twitter: @deakinIFM