Study As
Full Time

Principal Supervisor
Associate Professor Mohammad Uddin

Main Campus
Mawson Lakes

Applications Close
28 Sep 2023

Study Level

Applications Open To
Domestic Candidate or International Candidate

Tuition Fees:

All domestic students are eligible for a fee waiver. Find out more about fees and conditions.

Project Stipend:
$32,500 p.a. (2023 rates) available to domestic applicants only

About this project

Improve fatigue performance in additive manufacturing

If you are looking to develop your career in advanced manufacturing and keen to develop innovations that extend fatigue life, the University of South Australia – Australia’s University of Enterprise – is offering a hands-on project-based PhD within UniSA STEM and Future Industries Institute (FII), in partnership with Laserbond Ltd, Liebherr Australia Pty Ltd, and QPE Pty Ltd (Starke-AMG).

Additive manufacturing (AM) has the potential to satisfy stringent, complex and unprecedented property requirements for critical components in aerospace, defence, mining, and biomedical industries. Due to its inherent process mechanics, anisotropy, rough surfaces, internal cracks, and porosity are major challenges that deteriorate fatigue performance of additively manufactured (AMed) components.  

Post-processing is often employed to alleviate these issues and improve fatigue life. But outcomes vary and the relationship between input and output is complex. Experiments can be performed to study the underlying mechanism but this is tedious, resource-intensive and often impractical with constantly changing materials and parameters. Overall, there is a lack of robust prediction modelling combining experimental insights for fatigue evaluation of AMed components.  

To address this, our project will develop a framework to predict the fatigue life of AMed components by integrating experimental and modelling approach. Key process defect signatures (porosity, cracks, roughness from as-built and post-processed coupons) and their influence on fatigue failure will be experimentally determined. By leveraging the experimental findings and insights, a machine learning-based algorithm will be employed to correlate the signature parameters and predict the fatigue life.  

The findings of the project will enable AM engineers/researchers to optimise AM and post-processing to develop tailored AMed components with a desired fatigue life. No other studies have taken this approach to reliably address this challenge.  

You’ll join the collegial cohort at UniSA STEM and Future Industries Institute (FII). With researchers who are thought leaders in their fields, you’ll receive mentoring and guidance in all facets of your studies. There will be opportunities, through Institute activities, to build connections with fellow researchers and industry, giving you the opportunity to start building your professional network.

What you’ll do

In this project-based research degree, you will develop a framework to predict the fatigue life of AMed components. You will undertake experiments and robust fatigue analysis and develop a reliable prediction tool for fabricating tailored AMed components with extended fatigue and service life. 

Upon completion of the project, you will expand your knowledge in mechanical and material engineering with a specific focus in additive manufacturing, allowing you to take the next steps in your unstoppable career. As part of the project, you may get the opportunity to travel conferences and workshops to present your work and findings from the project.

Where you’ll be based

You will be based in UniSA STEM and Future Industries Institute (FII) which were established with a new research culture in mind – one deeply engaged with industry, with the end goal of building economic growth through relevant innovation and industry partnership. 

Both STEM and FII reflect the University’s strategic ambition to be Australia’s University of Enterprise which engages fully with the professions and industry globally, whose research is informed, leading edge and relevant. FII continues to forge national and international research partnerships in new industries and technologies that address real world issues. Our goal is to support a creative and engaged culture and to help develop a sustainable ecosystem in which innovation, complex, growth-focused industries thrive. 

FII's research supports state and national research priorities and comprises top research teams able to collaborate across disciplines and to work with industry partners to deliver innovative solutions. 

With a vibrant research environment, a strong industry orientation, and active international and national links, both academic and industry based, the Institute is among the very best in Australia and attracts and retains leading researchers.

Supervisory team

Laserbond Ltd
Liebherr Australia Pty Ltd
QPE Pty Ltd (Starke-AMG)
Financial Support

This project is funded for reasonable research expenses. Additionally, a living allowance scholarship of $32,500 per annum is available to Australian and New Zealand citizens, and permanent residents of Australia, including permanent humanitarian visa holders. Australian Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander applicants will be eligible to receive an increased stipend rate of $46,653 per annum (2023 rates). A fee-offset or waiver for the standard term of the program is also included.  For full terms and benefits of the scholarship please refer to our scholarship information. International applicants will not be eligible for the scholarship.

Eligibility and Selection

This project is open to application from both domestic and international applicants. International applicants will not be eligible for the scholarship.

Applicants must meet the eligibility criteria for entrance into a PhD. Additionally applicants must meet the projects selection criteria: 
  • Hold a Master degree in Engineering (Mechanical, Material) or have equivalent industry experience in a relevant field
All applications that meet the eligibility and selection criteria will be considered for this project. A merit selection process will be used to determine the successful candidate.

The successful applicant is expected to study full-time and to be based at our Mawson Lakes campus in the north of Adelaide.

Essential Dates

Applicants are expected to start in a timely fashion upon receipt of an offer. Extended deferral periods are not available. Applications close Thursday 28 September 2023. 

How to apply:

Applications must be lodged online, please note UniSA does not accept applications via email.

For further support see our step-by-step guide on how to apply , or contact the Graduate Research team on +61 8 8302 5880, option 1 or email us at You will receive a response within one working day.

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