In-situ and in-silico investigations of hydrogen-induced deformation localisation

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Advancements in technology are enabled by materials that allow safe and efficient performance, ranging from turbines in airplanes and powerplants, to oil and gas pipelines and more lightweight transport materials that allow the reduction of carbon emissions. Engineering alloys are an enabler in our efforts for improved efficiency in the energy and transport sector, and the goal of net-zero emission. With the coming of the hydrogen economy, the safety of this energy infrastructure is in question and the reliable performance of engineering alloys needs to be (re)assessed efficiently and to be confirmed.

At the University of Melbourne, one PhD project will combine modelling expertise and modern data science to tackle the effect of hydrogen on materials failure. At the Forschungszentrum Jülich, another PhD project will develop and apply new micromechanical testing methods to quantify the effect of hydrogen on the properties of materials and failure and observe the changes in a material. These projects will have an experimental and simulation counterpart, working on the same material and at the same length scale, and they will collaborate to combine the insights gained from the simulations with the experimental findings, to accelerate understanding in this area.

Project goals

These projects aim to:

  • Develop a multiscale simulation framework for the effect of hydrogen on the shear localisation in steels.
  • Develop and utilise a novel micromechanical test setup for the characterisation of shear localisation in steels.
  • Obtain a mechanism-based understanding of deformation and failure of materials in the presence of hydrogen

Supervision team

The University of Melbourne: Dr Christian Brandl

Forschungszentrum Jülich: Professor Ruth Schwaiger

*Click on the researcher's name above to learn more about their publication and grant successes.

Who we are looking for

We are seeking PhD candidates with the following skills:

  • A masters qualification in Materials Science & Engineering, Physics, or Mechanical Engineering.
  • Demonstrated experience in the field of metallurgy and mechanical behaviour of materials.
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and as part of a team.
  • Demonstrated time and project management skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to write research reports or other publications to a publishable standard (even if not published to date).
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Demonstrated organisational skills, time management and ability to work to priorities.
  • Demonstrated problem-solving abilities.

Further details

  • Two PhD projects are available. One candidate will be based at University of Melbourne with a minimum twelve-month stay at Forschungszentrum Jülich. The FZJ candidate will be based in Jülich and will spend a minimum of 12 months at UoM.
  • The PhD candidate will benefit from the combined expertise of the project supervisors, and the embedding into two research environments.
  • Dr Christian Brandl at the University of Melbourne will contribute expertise in multiscale modelling of the mechanical behaviour of materials.
  • Professor Ruth Schwaiger at Forschungszentrum Jülich will contribute expertise in experimental micromechanics.
  • The candidate will be located at the Institute of Energy and Climate Research (IEK) at Forschungszentrum Julich and enrolled in the PhD program at RWTH Aachen and the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering at the University of Melbourne.

To apply for this joint PhD opportunity, and to view the entry requirements, visit How to apply.

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How to apply

Apply for a joint PhD with the Jülich-University of Melbourne Postgraduate Academy.

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