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Bio-inspired design to create strong and toughness composites

A fundamental challenge when designing materials for mechanical use is to attain both strength and toughness in one body. Conventional metallic materials generally have relatively large plasticity due to having a massive population of microstructural defects and effective plastic deformation mechanism. This has been exploited for fabricating tolerant (toughness) materials for structural applications. However, these structural defects render the materials relatively low strength and a low load-bearing capability. In contrast, ceramics and intermetallic compounds have higher strengths, owing to their …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty
School
School of Mechanical, Medical and Process Engineering
Research centre(s)

Optimising bone shape with memory networks

Bone is a dynamic tissue that optimises its shape to the mechanical loads that it carries. Bone mass is accrued where loads are high, and reduced where loads are low. This adaptation of bone tissue to mechanical loads is well known and observed in many instances. However, what serves as a reference mechanical state in this shape optimisation remains largely unknown.

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours, Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty
School
School of Mathematical Sciences
Research centre(s)

Advanced materials for supercapacitors

Energy storage devices, such as supercapacitors, play an increasingly important role in our daily life as a reliable energy supplier. Supercapacitors are a type of energy storage system that possess merits of rapid energy storage and release (high power density) with a cycling lifetime of ten thousand or more. Nevertheless the energy density of conventional electrochemical capacitor is quite low.This project aims to enhance the energy density of supercapacitor by designing and synthesising nanostructured materials using transition metals. …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours, Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty
School
School of Chemistry and Physics
Research centre(s)
Centre for Materials Science
Centre for Clean Energy Technologies and Practices

Macromolecular barcoding for tracing plastic materials for the circular economy – a game changer for recycling

Plastic waste reduction and management is perhaps the most critical challenge facing modern economies, and plastic pollution cannot be resolved by generic approaches to research or to problem-solving.QUT's Soft Matter Materials Team aims to resolve the anonymity and ubiquity of plastics by pioneering a simple optical readout system that can identify the uniquely coded information in macromolecules that have been embedded in plastics.You will be part of this dynamic team led by ARC Laureate Fellow, Christopher Barner-Kowollik, from QUT’s Centre …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours, Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty
School
School of Chemistry and Physics
Research centre(s)
Centre for Materials Science

Solar thermal power materials testing and analysis

Concentrating solar thermal power (CSP) technology presents a number of materials based challenges.Corrosive media, elevated temperatures and thermal transients in combination with mechanical stresses can induce various degradation mechanisms which affect the durability of plant components.The QUT Australian Solar Thermal Research Institute (ASTRI) Materials group are investigating many variations of structural materials in conjunction with CSP environments to better understand these degradation mechanisms and provide materials information to the CSP community.

Study level
Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty
School
School of Mechanical, Medical and Process Engineering
Research centre(s)
Centre for Materials Science
Centre for Clean Energy Technologies and Practices

Development of diffusion analysis methods for characterisation of tissues and porous materials

Molecular diffusion can be used as a probe of the microstructure and organisation of materials and biological tissues.Biomedical applications of diffusion include diffusion-tensor imaging, which has been used as the basis for nerve fibre tractography in the brain, as well as microstructural imaging of tissues and materials. Diffusion measurements of tissues and biomaterials can reveal the organisation and anisotropy of their structural scaffold (e.g., collagen fibres or muscle cells).In the oil and gas industry, the diffusion propagator in porous media …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours
Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty
School
School of Chemistry and Physics
Research centre(s)
Centre for Materials Science

Characterisation of 3D-printed auxetic materials and composites

Auxetic materials are unconventional materials that show counteractive behaviour through negative Poisson’s ratio. This means they compress laterally under direct compression load and expand/swell laterally under direct tension owing to their special micro-structure.This property enables them to bond with the structural elements and absorb energy released in extreme events such as blast, collisions and impacts. Our 3D printing facility will print these materials and laboratory tests will be conducted to measure their strength, stiffness and other properties for engineering applications. …

Study level
Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty
School
School of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Research centre(s)
Centre for Materials Science

Super metal organic framework-mineral composite material for hydrogen energy storage

Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are an emerging class of crystalline materials that hold huge promise for significant applications such as adsorption, separation, catalysis and drug delivery. Attributed to their exceptional porosity and surface area, the adsorptive performance of MOF materials has high potential for solving challenging issues such as hydrogen storage, greenhouse gas capture and water vapour harvest in arid regions.However, the practical application of many MOF materials encounters challenges from poor chemical stabilities, low yields and expensive manufacturing costs. With …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy
Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty
School
School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
Research centre(s)

Centre for Clean Energy Technologies and Practices

Developing models of failure for porous materials

The field of fracture mechanics effectively models failure of sharp flaws (e.g., cracks). However, when modelling porous materials we'd like to develop more of an understanding of how stresses are concentrated around smooth flaws in the material (i.e., rounded pores).In this project we'll start to build such an understanding, starting from simple U shaped notches.

Study level
Honours, Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty
School
School of Mathematical Sciences
Research centre(s)

Controlling soft matter materials at the nano-level – how to construct materials whose mechanical properties can be remotely adjusted

Nature is an expert at developing high-performance materials which combine properties like high toughness, stiffness, and low weight.Some well-known examples include:woodbonespider silk.In this project we aim to mimic the structure and properties of another, less known natural high-performance material: nacre.Additionally, we want to introduce a light-adaptive control mechanism. This will enable a controlled transformation of physical and mechanical properties in real-time.To achieve adaptable properties, a control mechanism on the molecular level is required, featuring several distinct functional plateaus.It is proposed …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours, Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty
School
School of Chemistry and Physics
Research centre(s)
Centre for Materials Science

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