Qiushi Deng

I'm Qiushi Deng, a PhD candidate at RMIT University. I started my PhD project in mid-2019 with a focus on corrosion inhibitors on zinc/galvanised surfaces.

Before this new journey, I received my Bachelors’ degree in Material Science & Engineering from China university of Petroleum (Qingdao campus) in 2015. The following year, I was recommended for postgraduate study and then awarded my Masters’ by Research Degree in 2018. Given this background, I’m passionate about material discovery and property optimisation. 


  • Electrochemical characterisation
  • Surface analysis (such as scanning electron microscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy)
  • Mechanical tests (i.e. low-speed tensile test)

PhD Project

Topic: Rapid Discovery of Next-Generation Inhibitors for Galvanised Steel

The use of organic compounds as corrosion inhibitors is an often-used solution in different industrial sectors to mitigate corrosion of metallic materials, particularly steel and galvanised steel. Corrosion inhibitors are crucial to ensuring, e.g. integrity, durability and safety. However, candidate molecules for effective corrosion inhibitors are rich in diversity of chemistry and structural complexity. The fundamental understanding of underlying protection mechanisms is still sought, as these are crucial for tailoring corrosion inhibitor technologies and efficient discovery of new environmentally friendly technologies.

This project studies a large variety of organic molecules with respect to their inhibiting effect on zinc/galvanised surfaces in chloride-containing media. A high-throughput strategy combined with electrochemistry will be applied to explore highly efficient inhibitors as well as to establish a database of shortlisted inhibitors. The eventual objective is to correlate the structural forms of molecules with their inhibition efficiency and explore the mechanisms of inhibition. The expected results of this project will deepen the understanding of inhibition mechanisms from a molecular viewpoint and will form a concrete basis for the design and preparation of new inhibitor molecules of engineering relevance.

Figure 1: A flow diagram showing the design of the high-throughput procedure used in this project Figure 1: A flow diagram showing the design of the high-throughput procedure used in this project

Prior Work

  • 1/2017 – 4/2017, Project Assistant: Cooperative project with Sinopec Oilfield Service Corporation
  • 2014 – 2016, Research Assistant: Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities programme. Hydrogen induced failure and safety prediction of pipelines for high-pressure coal gas.

Further Information

  • Senior Supervisor: Prof. Ivan Cole (RMIT University)
  • Associate Supervisor: Dr. Xiao-Bo Chen (RMIT University)
  • Associate Supervisor: Dr. Liam Ward (RMIT University)
  • Associate Supervisor: Dr. Patrick Keil (BASF Coatings)


  • Q. Deng, W. Zhao, W. Jiang, T. Zhang, T. Li, Y. Zhao, “Hydrogen Embrittlement Susceptibility and Safety Control of Reheated CGHAZ in X80 Welded Pipeline”, Journal of Materials Engineering & Performance, vol. 27, pp. 1654-1663, 2018.
  •  T. Zhang, W. Zhao, Q. Deng, W. Jiang, Y. Wang, Y. Wang, W. Jiang, “Effect of microstructure inhomogeneity on hydrogen embrittlement susceptibility of X80 welding HAZ under pressurized gaseous hydrogen”, International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, vol. 42, 25102-25113, 2017.
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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.