About IFM

The Institute for Frontier Materials (IFM) is at the forefront of innovation in materials design and engineering research. We are focused on two broad themes: redesigning materials for a circular economy and imparting materials with extraordinary functionality.
IFM logo


To lead and inspire innovations in materials science and engineering that have a transformational benefit to society.


To create and translate knowledge at the frontier of materials science for globally raised standards of living by::

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

Through excellence in research quality, translation, training and research culture.

Welcome from IFM Director

The Institute for Frontier Materials is a vibrant multicultural research institute graduating over 30 PhD students per year and training 80 Post-docs at any given moment.

Our researchers are excellent – we have persistently received the highest rating in Materials Engineering from the national excellence in research assessment.

We are wholeheartedly dedicated to leading and inspiring innovations that have a transformational benefit to society.

We seek to facilitate material solutions that deliver extraordinary functionality but which also enable multiple high value material lifetimes. We will re-design materials explicitly for a circular economy – to reduce waste and maximize resources.

We also seek to impart materials with extraordinary functionality – materials to clean water, materials to safely power electric vehicles, materials to save energy, in short, materials that will transform society.

These challenges are substantial and by addressing them we aim to inspire and equip a generation of researchers for an exceptional future.

Professor Matthew Barnett

Director, Institute for Frontier Materials


The IFM Board is responsible for advising on the external opportunities for research, development and commercialisation activities of IFM.

Board members

Alfred Deakin Prof Julie Owens
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Deakin University
Chair, IFM Board
Prof Matthew Barnett
Director, Institute for Frontier Materials
Deakin University
Prof Maria Forsyth
Associate Director, Institute for Frontier Materials
Deakin University
Prof Karen Hapgood
Executive Dean,
Faculty of Science, Engineering & Built Environment
Prof Saeid Nahavandi
Institute for Intelligent Systems Research and Innovation (IISRI)
Prof Gordon Wallace
External Independent Director
Dr Leonie Walsh
External Independent Director
Dr Kathie Mcgregor
Senior Representative, CSIRO

Ms Genevieve Reid
Director, Deakin Strategic Partnerships – Research

Professor Sybrand van der Zwaag
External Independent Director
Professor Seeram Ramakrishna
External Independent Director
Mr Francois Souchet
External Independent Director

Occupational health and safety

At IFM, the health and safety of students, staff and visitors is paramount. We are committed to providing a safe and healthy working environment.

The University’s OHS Policy applies to all staff, students, visitors, contractors and labour hire employees.