It’s been a big year for RMIT students, winning two of the three prizes on offer at CSIRO’s annual Titanium Challenge.

Since 2011, the Titanium Challenge has called on university students to learn about the incredible properties of titanium and come up with innovative ideas to demonstrate the material’s potential. Titanium is both lightweight and strong, so it can be used for a wide range of applications.

There were three prizes on offer for students keen to get their cranium around titanium – an undergraduate award, a graduate award and a brand new category to encourage the link between design and 3D printing. Through 3D printing technology, we’re able to make things out of titanium that we never could have through ‘conventional’ manufacturing processes.   

Afshin Hosseini's unitised impeller concept
Afshin Hosseini's unitised impeller concept

Afshin Hosseini’s unitised impeller concept

RMIT aerospace engineering student Nathan Snoxall won the undergraduate award for his re-design of a standard titanium aerospace bracket for additive manufacture. His idea resulted in average material savings of more than 70 per cent for each design. With aircrafts containing thousands of brackets, lugs and fasteners, this demonstrates the huge potential for savings using this technology.

RMIT PhD student Inam Ullah was awarded the graduate prize for his work using additive manufacture to enable an advanced titanium core design for aerospace composite sandwich materials.

The pair will travel to the United States as part of their awards – Nathan to Boeing in Seattle and Inam to Las Vegas, where he will present at a top international conference.

The new 3D printing prize was taken out by Swinburne University PhD candidate Afshin Hosseini thanks to his concept of a unitised (incorporating several parts into one) impeller, which could be used to drive personal watercraft like jet skis. Afshin will receive a UP! Personal 3D printer.

The 2013 Titanium Challenge was sponsored by CSIRO, Boeing, the International Titanium Association (ITA) and Coogee Chemicals.

CSIRO supports a range of initiatives to advance the development of an Australian titanium industry, through the Future Manufacturing Flagship, Titanium Technologies research program.

Read more about the winning designs.