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PhD Scholarship in Flexible Roll Forming of Automotive Structures

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  • Full or part time
    Dr M Weiss
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Deakin University is setting up the world’s first Flexible Roll Forming (FRF) facility to form long sections of both variable width and variable depth parts for BIW structural members. FRF is an extension of the conventional roll forming process and represents a cost effective alternative to hot stamping of automotive crash and structural components. However, the limits of the process in regard to part complexity and metal alloys that can be formed is still unknown, which currently restricts the widespread application of the process.

The major aim of this project is to verify the manufacturability of automotive components by FRF that are variable in depth and of high complexity and to develop part geometry guidelines for the identification of part families that are suitable for the process and can be formed with minimum tooling requirements. Of secondary focus will be the investigation of the forming of complex part shapes by combining FRF with Ford`s free forming tool. The general approach will be to manufacture the initial longitudinal shape by FRF followed by the forming of small and complex regions with Ford`s free forming tool; this will permit the reasonably rapid forming of overall shape in long parts such as pillars, rocker reinforcements and roof rails.

This project is in collaboration with the Ford (Global) Motor Company, Australian Roll Forming Manufacturers (a local special sections roll forming company), data M sheet metal solutions (a world leading developer of advanced roll forming design software in Germany) and Shape Corp. (a leading supplier of roll formed components to the automotive industry in the USA). The student will be expected to spend extended periods of time in Germany and the USA at our research partners, while their main office will be situated in Geelong, Australia.

PhD scholarships are available for students interested in undertaking cutting edge research into lightweight multi-material and functional structures as part of the ARC Training Centre in Lightweight Automotive Structures. The Centre brings together leading academic and industry researchers from RMIT University, Deakin University and Australian National University with key partner Ford and a consortium of local and international industry organisations. The centre aims to develop a cohort of industry-focused researchers delivering new insights into the design and manufacture of lightweight multi-material structures to underpin a new generation of low footprint smart and functional products for automotive and related applications.

Funding Notes

Scholarship is valued at up to $31,298 per annum for 3 years with a possible 6 month extension.
To be eligible for this scholarship you must:
• be an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or an international student
• have a first class honours or 2a honours or equivalent (such as a Master) in materials, manufacturing or mechanical engineering, physics or chemistry
• provide evidence of good oral and written communication skills
• demonstrate ability to work as part of a multi-disciplinary research team.
• meet Deakin University’s entry requirements for the higher degree by research



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