HDR Scholarship - Using Laue x-ray diffraction to explore metal crystal rotation in real time

Applications now open. A PhD scholarship is available to initiate and conduct research on the topic 'Using Laue x-ray diffraction to explore metal crystal rotation in real time'.

Project Supervisor


Geelong Technology Precinct (GTP), Waurn Ponds Campus

Research topic

Metals comprise crystallites. When a metal is subject to a stress these crystallites can rotate. Such grain rotation impacts on performance and so a good understanding of it is needed for advanced engineering applications.

Although we understand many of the mechanism involved, the intermittent nature of grain rotation is only now coming to light and the role of temperature on this intermittency is not well understood. To shed new light on these processes of grain rotation, new methods are needed that can follow the rotation in real time, at the millisecond resolution. In-situ x-ray analysis provides such capability.

Project aim

The proposed project will develop new approaches to monitoring and analysing individual grain rotation in real time using both lab and synchrotron x-ray sources. Of particular interest is the effect of temperature, both during and following testing.

Being based at Deakin University’s Institute for Frontier Materials, in the Barnett research group, the project will have ready access to the Deakin InsitX x-ray facility, which houses a bright liquid metal jet source ideal for in-situ studies. The Australian Synchrotron is located only an hour and half drive away.

The work will build on the preliminary study that recently appeared in Acta Materialia -Barnett et al. “Grain scale bursts of plasticity in Mg-4Zn via high energy X-rays: Towards twin observation in real-time” Acta Materialia 264 (2024)119549.

Important dates

Applications  will remain open until a candidate has been appointed


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:

  • background in Physics, Metallurgy, Advanced Mechanics or Mathematics is required.

How to apply

Please email Prof Matthew Barnett for more details.

Contact us

For more information about this scholarship, please contact Prof Matthew Barnett or Dr Ramesh Varma

Prof Matthew Barnett
Email Prof Matthew Barnett
+61 3 522 72797

Dr Ramesh Varma
Email Dr Ramesh Varma
+61 3 522 73728