Professor Michael Ferry

My Expertise

Mechanisms of microstructure and texture evolution during solidification, solid-state phase transformation and deformation & annealing with particular emphasis on agile manufacturing processes.

Fields of Research (FoR)

Metals and Alloy Materials, Composite and Hybrid Materials, Biomaterials, Physical Metallurgy, Theory and Design of Materials


Professional Experience

  • Head of School, School of Materials Science & Engineering, UNSW Sydney (2019- )
  • Professor, School of Materials Science & Engineering, UNSW Sydney (2008- )
  • Deputy Director, ARC Centre of Excellence for Design in Light Metals (2005-14)
  • Associate Professor, School of Materials Science & Engineering, UNSW Sydney (2004-07)
  • Senior Lecturer, School of Materials Science & Engineering, UNSW Sydney (2000-03)
  • Lecturer, Department...view more

Professional Experience

  • Head of School, School of Materials Science & Engineering, UNSW Sydney (2019- )
  • Professor, School of Materials Science & Engineering, UNSW Sydney (2008- )
  • Deputy Director, ARC Centre of Excellence for Design in Light Metals (2005-14)
  • Associate Professor, School of Materials Science & Engineering, UNSW Sydney (2004-07)
  • Senior Lecturer, School of Materials Science & Engineering, UNSW Sydney (2000-03)
  • Lecturer, Department of Materials Engineering, University of Wollongong (1996-99)
  • EPSRC Postdoctoral Fellow, School of Materials, University of Manchester (1994-96)
  • Metallurgical Engineer, Alcan Australia Limited (1989-94)


Visiting Academic Positions

  • Baosteel Talent Development Institute Teaching Professor, Baosteel, China (2013-16)
  • Visiting Professor, School of Materials Science & Engineering, National University of Singapore (2012-13)
  • Visiting Professor, Ecole des Mines de Saint Etienne (2008-11)
  • Visiting Senior Fellow, School of Materials, University of Manchester (2004)
  • Visiting Fellow, Department of Metallurgy & Materials Science, University of Cambridge (2002)


Professional Memberships

  • Chartered Materials Professional, Australia (CMP, 2020)
  • Fellow of Institution of Engineers Australia (FIEAust, 2007)
  • Fellow of Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (UK) (FIMMM, 2006)
  • Chartered Engineer (UK) (CEng, 1996)
  • Chartered Professional Engineer (Australia) (CPEng, 1996)
  • Member of Institute of Materials Engineering, Australia (IMEA, 1996)
  • Member of Minerals, Metals and Materials Society, USA (TMS, 1996)

My Grants

I have received funding over the years from the Australian Research Council (ARC) and other sources for research projects and centres. ARC LIEF funding has also been received for a broad range of processing and characterisation facilities for understanding the structure and properties of materials.


ARC Discovery Grants (exc. ARC COE program grants from 2005-14)

  • Unlocking the diverse property profile of Mg alloys via microstructural engineering (2019-23)
  • An integrated crystallographic approach to understanding annealing mechanisms (2018-21)
  • Ultra-lightweight alloys with unique multi-dimensional property profiles (2015-17)
  • A new class of poly-amorphous alloy exhibiting outstanding damage tolerance (2012-14)
  • The nature of internal interfaces in annealed metals by 3-D FIB tomography (2009-11)
  • 3-D study of internal interface boundaries in annealed metals by FIB tomography (2005-07)
  • Thermal stability of nanocrystalline alloys produced by severe plastic straining (2003-05)
  • Texture enhancement by inoculation in as-cast metallic strip (2002-04)


ARC Linkage Grants

  • Reducing the environmental impact of passenger vehicles using lightweight alloy components, with Cold Forge (2015-17)
  • Reducing the environmental impact of steel making through direct strip casting, with Baosteel (2012-15)
  • Atomic-scale insights into interfaces in ultrafine-grained low-solute alloys, with Prof. Cairney (USyd) & Zeiss Ltd (2012-14)
  • The design of die-castable bulk metallic glasses exhibiting superior mechanical performance, with CJC Ltd Korea (2012-14)
  • High resolution EBSD of fine grained alloys (2004-05)
  • Silicon on sapphire using solid-phase epitaxial techniques, with Perigrine Electronics (2003-05)
  • Optimising the formability of strip-cast low carbon steel, with BlueScope Steel (2002-04)
  • The peritectic reaction and surface quality of continuous cast steel, with BlueScope Steel (2000-02)
  • Cast structure development during simulation of thin-slab casting, with BHP Research (1999-01)
  • Texture and formability of ultra-low carbon steel, with BHP Billiton (1997-99)
  • Microstructure and texture of strip-cast steels, with BHP Billiton (1997-99)


ARC LIEF Grants (multiple chief investigators)

  • A 4-D X-Ray Microscopy Laboratory (2020)
  • An upgraded nanoindenter facility with in-situ Raman at high temperature (2020)
  • Maintaining Intersect member access to the NCI peak supercomputing facility (2017)
  • Distributed memory cluster (2016)
  • High temperature atomic structure and physical property analysis facility (2015)
  • Quench and deformation dilatometer for studying materials science (2014)
  • Renew Intersect consortium's share of NCI’s peak facility (2014)
  • Thermomechanical processing facility for the light metals (2013)
  • Joint processing facility for the production of far-from-equilibrium alloy structures (2012)
  • National in-situ transmission electron microscopic facilities (2012)
  • Dynamic Phase Behaviour Characterisation Facility for Nanostructured Interfaces (2011)
  • High-temperature probes for investigating phase transitions (2010)
  • FIB / SEM for Nanometre Scale Characterisation and Fabrication (2010)
  • A National Facility for Light Metal Powder Processing (2008)
  • High-Resolution Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscopy (FESEM) Platform (2008)
  • Laser Flash Thermophysical Properties Analyser (2007)
  • Near Net Shaped Casting and Alloy Development Facility (2007)
  • Combinatorial deposition and characterization facility for alloy thin film materials (2006)
  • Surface mechanical property analysis facility (2005)
  • Advanced deformation simulation laboratory (2005)
  • Mechanical property investigation facility for development of advanced materials (2000)


Membership of Local & International Centres, Hubs & Institutes

  • UNSW Centre for Advanced Solid and Liquid based Electronics and Optics (2020- )
  • UNSW Materials and Manufacturing Futures Institute (2018- )
  • SJTU International Light Metals Innovation Center (2016-21)
  • UNSW-SJTU Innovation Hub (2015-18)
  • Baosteel-Australia Joint Research Centre (2012-)
  • Australia-China Research Centre for Light Metals (2013-15)
  • Australia-China Joint Research Centre For Minerals, Metallurgy and Materials (2013-15)
  • ARC Centre of Excellence for Design in Light Metals (2005-14)
  • ARC Research Network for Advanced Materials (2004-06)
  • BHP-UoW Steel Research Institute (1996-2000)


International Student Exchange Education Grants

  • National Science Foundation IRES Grant: NSF#1261525 (2013-16)
  • National Science Foundation IRES Grant: NSF#1357113 (2014-17)
  • National Science Foundation IRES Grant: NSF#1129412 (2011-14)
  • NSF Materials World Network Grant: NSF#0807240 (2008-12) 

My Qualifications

  • BEng Hons I (1989), University of Wollongong
  • PhD (1994), The University of New South Wales

My Awards

  • International Expert, Plan 111 International Advanced Light Metals Innovation Center, Shanghai Jiao Tong University (2016-21)
  • Baosteel Talent Development Institute Professor (2013-16)
  • Outstanding Collaborative Research Award, Baosteel Research Institute, China (2017)
  • Outstanding Product Development Award, Ruipa Technology (2016)
  • Outstanding Contribution Award: Australia-China Symposium on Biomaterials and Applications, Xi'an, China (2013)
  • CNRS Fellowship, École Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Saint-Étienne, France (2009-10)
  • EPSRC Fellowship, School of Materials, University of Manchester, UK (2004)
  • UNSW European Fellowship, University of Cambridge, UK (2002)
  • Institute of Materials Engineering Australia Meritorious Service Award (1998)

My Research Supervision

Currently supervising

Project Topics:

  • Design of new classes of ultralight alloys with unique property profiles
  • Design of new classes of compositionally complex alloys
  • Processing and properties of thin film and bulk metallic glasses and their composites
  • Recovery/recrystallization mechanisms in deformed single-phase and two-phase alloys
  • Engineered microstructures by additive manufacturing and other net-shape methods
  • Computational materials science and engineering


Staff and Students:

  • Dr Martin Xu – Physical metallurgy and advanced processing
  • Dr David Miskovic – Materials design and processing
  • Murray Sullivan (PhD candidate) Development of bio-metallic glass composites and methods for healthcare industry 5.0
  • Chenze Li (PhD candidate) Jointly with Xiaopeng Li, Mech Eng –  – Additive manufacturing of lightweight high entropy alloys
  • Hao Su (MSc candidate) – Structure and properties of ultralight magnesium alloys


Recent PhD Completions:

  • Michael Dela Cruz (PhD, 2023) Jointly with Xiaopeng Li, Mech Eng – Additive manufacturing of shape memory alloys
  • Hui Kong (PhD, 2023) Jointly with Xiaopeng Li, Mech Eng – Selective laser melting of high entropy alloys
  • Thomas Xin (PhD, 2022) – Spinodal strengthening in magnesium lithium alloys
  • Qijing Sun (PhD, 2020) – Ultrastable thin film metallic glasses
  • Song Tang (PhD, 2020) – Unique property profiles in magnesium lithium alloys
  • Li Xianchao (PhD, 2019) – Thermomechanical processing of duplex stainless steels
  • Yu Chen (PhD, 2019) – Structure and properties of in situ metallic glass composites
  • Caitlin Healy (PhD, 2018) – Development of precious metal high entropy alloys
  • Scott Gleason (PhD, 2018) – Biocompatible metallic glass thin films
  • Nicholas Hamilton (PhD, 2017) – MD simulations of the structure and properties of metallic glasses
  • Patrick Conway (PhD, 2017) – Development of lightweight high entropy alloys
  • Lance Tang (PhD, 2017) – High specific strength and corrosion resistant magnesium alloys
  • Michael La Robina (PhD, 2017) – Extreme temperature materials using cold crucible technology
  • David Miskovic (PhD, 2016) – MgZnCa metallic glasses for use as bioresorbable implants
  • Jiaqi Duan (PhD, 2016) – Roll bonding and grain stability of low solute alloys
  • Jacky Cao (PhD, 2015) – Production and properties of Al-based metallic glasses
  • Karl Shamlaye (PhD, 2014) – Processing and properties of ex situ BMG composite sheets
  • Fitri Wahid (PhD, 2014) – Production and properties of Al-based metallic glasses
  • Olga Biletska (PhD, 2014) – Lightweight in situ BMG composites
  • Nasima Afrin (PhD, 2013) – 3D-EBSD of deformation microstructures
  • Jake Cao (PhD, 2013) – Processing and properties of biocompatible metallic glasses
  • Gregory Guo (PhD, 2012) – Processing and properties of multifunctional TiNbO alloys
  • Oday Al-Buhamad (PhD, 2010) – Microstructure and properties of multilayered Al alloys


Some Recent Student/Staff Publications:

  • Xin T; Zhao Y; Mahjoub R; Jiang J; Yadav A; Nomoto K; Niu R; Tang S; Ji F; Quadir Z; Miskovic D; Daniels J; Xu W; Liao X; Chen LQ; Hagihara K; Li X; Ringer S; Ferry M, 2021, 'Ultrahigh specific strength in a magnesium alloy strengthened by spinodal decomposition', Science Advances, vol. 7,, ROS ID: 1633865
  • Tang S; Xin T; Xu W; Miskovic D; Sha G; Quadir Z; Ringer S; Nomoto K; Birbilis N; Ferry M, 2019, 'Precipitation strengthening in an ultralight magnesium alloy', Nature Communications, vol. 10,, ROS ID: 1426855
  • Hamilton N; Ferry M, 2018, 'ggtern: Ternary Diagrams Using ggplot2', Journal of Statistical Software, vol. 87, pp. 1 - 17,, ROS ID: 1398252
  • Mahjoub R; Laws KJ; Stanford N; Ferry M, 2018, 'General trends between solute segregation tendency and grain boundary character in aluminum - An ab inito study', Acta Materialia, vol. 158, pp. 257 - 268,, ROS ID: 1371935
  • Xu W; Birbilis N; Sha G; Wang Y; Daniels JE; Xiao Y; Ferry M, 2015, 'A high-specific-strength and corrosion-resistant magnesium alloy', Nature Materials, vol. 14, pp. 1229 - 1235,, ROS ID: 777946
  • Laws KJ; Miracle DB; Ferry M, 2015, 'A predictive structural model for bulk metallic glasses', Nature Communications, vol. 6,, ROS ID: 761581

My Engagement

  • Member, ARC ERA Research Evaluation Committee (2018)
  • Director, Advanced Alloy Holdings Pty Ltd (2016- )
  • Member, International Committee of International Conference Series on Recrystallization and Grain Growth (2010- )
  • Member, International Advisory Group of The Australian Microscopy & Microanalysis Research Facility (2008-15)
  • Member, Board of Review of Metallurgical and Materials Transactions A (2000- )
  • Member, Australasian Committee of LMT2021, Melbourne, Australia (2021)
  • Member, Organising Committee of NANO2020, Melbourne (2020)
  • Member, Organising Committee of IUMRS-ICA, Perth, Australia (2019)
  • Member, Organising Committee of NanoSPD-7, Sydney, Australia (2017)
  • Member, Australian Organising Committee of PRICM-9,  Kyoto, Japan (2016)
  • Australian Chair, Symposium on BMGs, Nanocrystalline & Ultrafine-Grain Materials, PRICM-8, Waikoloa, USA (2013)
  • Member, Organising Committee of Rex&GG-5, Sydney, Australia (2013)
  • Australian Chair, Symposium on Bulk Metallic Glasses & Nanomaterials, PRICM-7, Cairns, Australia (2010)

My Teaching

  • Physical Properties of Materials
  • Thermodynamics & Phase Equilibria
  • Crystallography & X-ray Diffraction
  • Dislocation Mechanisms
  • Phase Transformations
  • Thermomechanical Processing
  • Crystallographic Texture & Properties



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School of Materials Science & Engineering
Hilmer Building (E10)
UNSW Sydney


02 9385 4453