HDR Scholarship - Next-generation Corrosion Resistant Coatings

Applications now open. A PhD scholarship is available to initiate and conduct research on the topic 'Next-generation Corrosion Resistant Coatings'.

Project Supervisor

Additional Supervision


Melbourne Burwood Campus or Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus

Research topic

The longevity of alloy coatings upon steels is reliant upon corrosion inhibition and surface passivation. The project will:

  • Identify passivation mechanisms and develop a detailed passivation model for alloy (Zn-Al-Mg-Si) coatings upon steel.
  • Identify and simulate corrosion mechanisms occurring during storage of passivated (Zn-Al-Mg-Si) coated products.
  • Identify new strategies of corrosion inhibition/passivation using chromate free approaches.

The project is part of the Australian Research Council Steel Hub. The Hub’s goal is to support the transition of Australia’s steel manufacturing industry to a more sustainable, competitive and resilient position based on the creation of new, higher value-added products and more advanced manufacturing processes. This research is partially funded by the Australian Government through the Australian Research Council.

Project aim

The PhD candidate will be working with a team that includes academic researchers and industry partners from BlueScope Steel. The project is integrated into a broader team that conducts research on metallic coatings for steel products. Specifically, this project is concerned with the corrosion of protective Zn-Al-Mg coatings upon steel. The aim of the project will be to:

  • Undertake corrosion testing and electrochemical characterisation to understand the corrosion of Zn-Al-Mg coatings
  • Work across the research team to develop a model of Zn-Al-Mg coating corrosion, that is relevant to benchmarked data (from exposure and characterisation).
  • Use corrosion model to predict coating lifetimes and coating protection (that may include the prediction of passivation).

The project is suitable to materials science/engineering, chemical engineering, chemistry and mechanical engineering.

Important dates

Applications close 5pm, Thursday 7 March 2024


This scholarship is available over 3 years.

  • Stipend of $34,400 per annum tax exempt (2024 rate)
  • Relocation allowance of $500-1500 (for single to family) for students moving from interstate
  • 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 a domestic or international candidate. 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:

  • Communication skills in both in writing and orally, presenting research work and outcomes to different audiences
  • Experience in any of materials, chemical engineering or chemistry; including one of either metals, alloys, or coatings.
  • Some understanding of corrosion and materials characterisation

How to apply

Please submit the Expression of interest to Prof Nick Birbilis. If you are successful you will then be invited to submit a formal application.

Contact us

For more information about this scholarship, please contact:

Prof Nick Birbilis
Email Prof Nick Birbilis