Collaborative research project

This research will be undertaken as part of a larger collaborative research project, IMCRC Design Robotics, that will involve three primary areas of expertise: computational design, robotic fabrication and machine vision. This larger project is in collaboration with Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and an industry partner UAP Company.

This research will explore the relationship between robotic fabrication techniques and mass-customised or non-standard geometries for the development and fabrication of metal facades.

The volatile nature of metals within fabrication processes necessitates the use of vision systems and feedback in robotic fabrication techniques. Consequently, this research trajectory will integrate the vision systems and real-time robotic control systems developed by QUT with a number of metal fabrication processes. The research will explore the relationship between emerging metal fabrication techniques, such as direct deposition (3D printing), and more traditional techniques which can be automated, such as welding.

The digital aspect of this research will focus on both the logic of real-time robotic feedback and algorithms used in the resolution and optimisation of geometry with respect to fabrication and structural constraints. These generative algorithmic approaches will include the use of multi-agent algorithms and machine learning. The complexity of material distribution of metal deposition processes enable the use of highly optimised geometry, which will be developed through structural optimisation including the use of the BESO algorithm.

The research will be developed through a series of prototypes and pilot projects.

Design-based PhD process

The PhD candidates will be enrolled within RMIT’s School of Architecture and Urban Design, undertaking a hybrid model of research that brings together design and technical innovation. The research will focus on an iterative process of feedback and will be collaborative in nature. The School of Architecture and Design conduct PhDs through a creative practice model that involves the constant critique and integration of criticism into ongoing research, where the reflection and evaluation of design is the key component of developing new knowledge.

Application material and process

Potential candidates will need to submit, a CV, academic transcripts, details of 3 referees, and a portfolio of design projects/research. Shortlisted candidates will be required to attend an interview in which they will present their previous design research.

Value and duration

Up to $30,000 per annum for 3 years, with possible six month extension.


To be eligible for this scholarship you must:

  • hold a Master of Architecture or equivalent (such as an accredited B.Arch Hons)
  • provide evidence of good oral and written communication skills
  • demonstrate 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 Associate Professor Roland Snooks:

  • curriculum vitae
  • academic transcripts
  • three references
  • design portfolio

Prospective candidates will be required to submit an application for admission to the Doctor of Philosophy (Architecture & Design)

Short-listed applicants will be invited to attend an interview with RMIT University.

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

Number of scholarships available


Open date

Applications are now open

Close date

Applications will close once the candidate is appointed.

Terms and conditions

This scholarship will be governed by RMIT's University Research Scholarship Terms and Conditions.