Elias Salloum

I enjoy all fields in science & technology, however my favourite branch is biology, particularly animal physiology and behaviour.

In the final event, I performed better at chemistry and maths and developed a fascination with metals, hence I completed my undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering and PhD in Mechanical Engineering & Fabrication to hopefully become either a metallurgist or Sauron, depending if I feel like integrating a bit of biology into my work (it’s a Lord of the Rings reference, so shame on you if you don’t get it).


  • Piping and Instrumentation diagrams
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PhD Project

Topic: Optimizing Friction Stir Welding and Alloy Design to Ensure the Durability of Light Weight Carriages in the Australian Rail Fleet        

There is a two-part focus to ultimately make aluminium alloys weldable using the friction stir welding (FSW) process (FSWP). The first part entails redesigning aluminium alloy formulations by addition of grain refinement alloys to prevent recrystallisation annealing resulting from FSWP. The second part is optimisation of the FSWP by assessing tool design and operating parameters to reduce the heating of the material, thereby keeping below the critical temperature required for recrystallisation to take place. 

FSW has been applied in the rail industry for construction of lightweight carriages, however application has been limited to internal framework and flooring. These limitations are due to the thermal cycle effect the process has on the heat-affected zone (HAZ), themomechanical affected zone (TMAZ) and weld zone (WZ) of aluminium alloys. Strengthening precipitates (SP) within aluminium alloys typically pin grain boundaries in place while dislocations provide mechanical strength. However, when a thermal cycle is induced by frictional heating, recrystallisation and grain growth occurs, resulting in loss of mechanical strength to each zone to levels well below that of the base metal. 

Prior work

  • Research Assistant at RMIT under Professor Ivan Cole part of the Rapid Development and Fabrications team, researching feasibility in utilizing quantum nanoparticles for qualitative and quantitative detection of electrochemical corrosion.    

Further information

  • Supervisor: Prof. Ivan Cole (RMIT)
  • Supervisor: Dr. Xiao-Bo Chen (RMIT)
  • Collaborator: Prof. Daniel Liang (CSIRO)
  • Collaborator: Dr. Kun Yang (CSIRO)        


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Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business. - Artwork created by Louisa Bloomer