Light Weight Instrument Panel (IP) Cockpit System

High-level optimisation of Instrument Panel (IP) for mass reduction; Optimisation of topology, materials, production processes and joining techniques. Develop, integrate, optimise instrument panel and associated components, including electronics, restraints, steering system, pedal system and HVAC.

One PhD scholarship is available to conduct research into lightweight automotive extrusions as a part of the ARC Training Centre in Lightweight Automotive Structures (http://atlas-innovation.com.au/). Working in close partnership with researchers and technical experts from DEAKIN, Ford and CAPRAL in a multi-disciplinary team environment, the successful candidate will have a unique opportunity to develop methods to evaluate and develop aluminium automotive extrusions with improved bendability and toughness. Aluminium alloys are already being used extensively within the automotive industry to reduce weight and greenhouse gas emissions. Understanding the bendability and toughness of these alloys can lead to improved joining and forming leading to further weight savings and application of these alloys.

The project will provide numerous research and development opportunities including:

  • Being part of the wider ARC Training Centre Community which includes 14 partners over 3 continents.
  • Conducting at least 12 months of the research project (over the course of the PhD) embedded within industry

Objectives: High-level optimisation of Instrument Panel (IP) for mass reduction; including optimisation of topology, materials, production processes and joining techniques. A formal systems approach will be developed to integrate and optimise instrument panel and associated components, including electronics, restraints, steering system, pedal system and HVAC. The output should be a CR (Concept Ready) design, which could then be brought to AR (Application Ready) status. The design will include the combination of elements from the steering column fully integrated into the IP structure and possibly the incorporation of the pedals into the IP Assembly.

Outcomes: The methods developed in this project will allow rapid identification of efficient design architectures early in the IP design phase, including opportunities for optimisation of topology and material selection. The integration of components and materials results in system interactions with NVH and assembly. The effects of these interactions should be measured such that the optimal practical IP architecture can be quickly identified.

Personnel: This project will provide a 3 year funded PhD position to a graduate Mechanical Engineer of high calibre. The graduate will have a strong interest in automotive design and will be able to work autonomously and in interaction with teams to deliver industrially relevant PhD quality research. Key skills include: numerical analysis, CAE, CAD and a capability or interest in developing custom Matlab scripts to automate the design.

Value and duration

Scholarship is valued at up to $31,298 per annum for three years with a possible six-month extension.

Number of scholarships available

One

Eligibility

To be eligible for this scholarship you must:

  • be an Australian citizen, or Australian permanent resident
  • have a first class honours or 2a honours in engineering (mechanical, materials, chemical, manufacturing, aerospace) science (chemistry, physics) or equivalent.
  • provide evidence of good oral and written communication skills
  • demonstrate an ability to work as part of a multi-disciplinary research team
  • meet RMIT University’s entry requirements for the Higher Degree by Research programs.

How to apply

To apply, please submit the following documents to A/Prof. Martin Leary, Chief Investigator, ARC Training Centre in Lightweight Automotive Structures:

  • curriculum vitae
  • academic transcripts

Prospective candidates will be required to submit an application for admission to the PhD Aerospace Engineering program (DR216) as per instructions available on the School of Engineering website.

Scholarship applications will only be successful if prospective candidates are provided with an offer for admission.

Open date

Applications are now open.

Close date

Applications will close when final candidates are selected.

Terms and conditions

  • Conducting at least 12 months of the research project (over the course of the PhD) embedded within industry
  • This Scholarship will be governed by RMIT's University Scholarship Terms and Conditions

Contact

A/Prof. Martin Leary, Chief Investigator,
ARC Training Centre in Lightweight Automotive Structures