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Building a concept for hydrogen-tolerant alloys

   Department of Materials Science and Engineering

   Applications accepted all year round  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Supervisors: Professor Michael Preuss (Monash)

Application deadline:  accepting applications immediately for a planned PhD commencement March/April 2023

Fully Funded PhD Project:  open to all nationalities

About the project

With the anticipated transition from natural gas to hydrogen to combat climate change, new challenges for engineering materials are created. Today, the mechanical properties of most engineering alloys degrade quickly in a hydrogen environment, known as hydrogen embrittlement, requiring the development of new engineering materials concepts for an infrastructure to safely store, transport and combust hydrogen.

This project will explore a new concept of creating hydrogen reservoirs within an engineering alloy to store the picked-up hydrogen without affecting the mechanical properties. To explore this concept, we will utilise well-known two-phase titanium alloys where the minority beta-phase can be utilised as a reservoir. The mechanical performance and phase-specific properties will be studied using novel in-situ loading methodologies. This will be achieved by undertaking loading experiments inside electron microscopes and at large-scale research facilities (for example

The project is part of a collaboration with researchers from the University New South Wales, Sydney, and TIMET, a large titanium manufacturer based in the UK and the US. The PhD candidate will have the opportunity to present their work and interact with the industrial partner and other companies due to the very high industrial interest in this field of research. In addition, the candidate will have the opportunity to undertake one-week experiments at international facilities in Europe or the US. 

Interested candidates: 

This project is open to students of any nationality although the ability to obtain a student visa to enter Australia is required. The candidate should have a 1st class Undergraduate or Masters degree (or equivalent) in Materials Science and Engineering, Metallurgy or a related discipline. A strong background in metallurgy, microstructural characterisation and/or mechanical testing and/or physical science is advantageous.

To express an interest please provide: (1) a curriculum vitae (CV) including your academic transcripts, (2) a cover letter summarising your research interests and suitability for the position, and (3) the contact details of two referees. 

Please send to: Professor Michael Preuss –

Funding Notes: 

This is a fully funded PhD project of 3.5 yrs duration. Reasonable relocation costs will be provided as well as student healthcare coverage for non-Australian citizens. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to participate in an international conference and a domestic conference as part of their candidature.

Living in Melbourne and the research environment at Monash University

Monash University is located in Melbourne, Australia.  It is Australia’s largest University, ranked in the top 50 universities in the world, and the Department of Materials Science & Engineering (MSE) is the top-ranked MSE department in Australia. The successful applicant will be embedded within the Metallurgy & Corrosion Cluster which consists of ~8 academic staff members, ~ 70 PhD students and 30 post-docs. Whilst the student will be directly supervised by the academics listed above, they become part of a highly collaborative and collegial cohort of researchers where communication and interaction with other researchers and sharing of expertise and experiences is highly valued. The Metallurgy & Corrosion Cluster at Monash especially values and encourages diversity in its participants – diversity in all senses of its meaning. We recognise and value the contribution to science that arises from different opinions, from people of different backgrounds and experiences, and try to encourage this at every opportunity. As a result, our PhD students become highly competent researchers with excellent communication and teamwork skills and are highly sought after for post-doc positions at the most reputable research institutions in the word or future leaders in industry.  

Metallurgy research Monash is one of the top-ranked fields of research at Monash and is one of the best known and highly ranked groups in the world ( Monash has a wide range of world class infrastructure to support your research including the Monash Centre for Electron Microscopy (, the Monash X-Ray Platform (, and co-located at Monash University is the Australian Synchrotron ( All the facilities required for your project can be found at Monash.

Melbourne is the 2nd largest city in Australia, with a population of ~4.5 million and is frequently voted one of the most liveable cities in the world ( It is the arts and culture capital of Australia and Melbournians are passionate about food, coffee, culture and sport. Melbourne is a highly multicultural city welcoming people from all around the world who have made Melbourne their home. This is reflected in the diverse cuisine and languages one can find when walking around Melbourne. Melbourne is a waterfront city located on Port Phillip Bay and intersected by gardens, walking and riding paths and within day trip driving distance to wine regions, surf beaches and countryside (the bush!). Melbourne hosts more than 5 large universities, leading to a large and lively student population and is the host to major international sporting events such as the Australian Open and the Australian Grand Prix.

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