Associate Professor Sophie Primig

My Expertise

My research contributions are in processing-structure-property relationships of structural metallic materials for high performance applications, with key interests in aerospace. Currently, these materials include Ni-based superalloys, advanced steels, Ti-alloys, and refractory metals processed by conventional thermo-mechanical routes or 3D printing. I combine state-of-the-art experimental techniques such as electron microscopy, atom probe tomography and thermal analysis with mechanical testing and contemporary modelling approaches. My research philosophy is to achieve a balance between fundamental discovery and industrial application. I am excited about developing the next generation of structural metallic materials in collaboration with industrial partners.

I am an editor of Journal of Materials Science, current vice chair of the TMS Phase Transformations Committee, and active member of other professional organisations such as Materials Australia.

Check out 'Engineering Microstructures' (group website) and '3D Additive' for more information on my research:

Fields of Research (FoR)

Metals and alloy materials, Aerospace materials, Additive manufacturing, Mechanical engineering, Nanoscale characterisation, Numerical modelling and mechanical characterisation

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  • Associate Professor, School of Materials Science and Engineering, UNSW Sydney, Australia, 2020 - current
  • UNSW Scientia Fellow, 2019 - current
  • ARC DECRA Fellow, 2018 - 2020
  • Senior Lecturer, School of Materials Science and Engineering, UNSW Sydney, Australia, 2017 - 2019
  • Lecturer, School of Materials Science and Engineering, UNSW Sydney, Australia, 2015 - 2017
  • Senior Scientist and Head of the ‘High Performance Materials and Steels’ group,...view more
  • Associate Professor, School of Materials Science and Engineering, UNSW Sydney, Australia, 2020 - current
  • UNSW Scientia Fellow, 2019 - current
  • ARC DECRA Fellow, 2018 - 2020
  • Senior Lecturer, School of Materials Science and Engineering, UNSW Sydney, Australia, 2017 - 2019
  • Lecturer, School of Materials Science and Engineering, UNSW Sydney, Australia, 2015 - 2017
  • Senior Scientist and Head of the ‘High Performance Materials and Steels’ group, Department of Physical Metallurgy and Materials Testing, Montanuniversitaet Leoben (Austria), 2013 - 2015
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Christian Doppler Laboratory 'Early Stages of Precipitation', Montanuniversitaet Leoben (Austria), 2012 - 2013

My Grants

Selected recent grants:

S. Primig, S.P. Ringer, B. Oberwinkler
Australian Research Council Linkage Project (LP190101169)
'Structure-property relationships of next generation aero-engine materials'

S.P. Ringer, S. Primig, C. Czettl
Australian Research Council Linkage Project (LP190100850)
'Advanced hard metals: microstructure-property-processing relationships'

M. Ferry, S. Primig, N. Birbilis, P. Nakashima
Australian Research Council Discovery Project (DP190103592)
'Unlocking the diverse property profile of ultra-lightweight magnesium alloys'

S. Primig
Australian Research Council Linkage Project (LP180100144)
'Advancing the Australian Specialty Alloy Processing Capability'

S.P. Ringer, X. Liao, S. Primig
AUSMURI program, Department of Industry, Innovation & Science, Australia (AUSMURI000005)
'Rationalization of Liquid/Solid and Solid/Solid Interphase Instabilities During Thermal-Mechanical Transients of Metal Additive Manufacturing'

S. Primig
Australian Research Council DECRA Fellowship (DE180100440)
'Engineering hierarchical microstructures in high strength low alloy steels'

Industry grants with Australian and international specialty alloy manufacturers

Undergraduate scholarships/internships with Australian manufacturers

Consulting on a wide range of metallurgical and materials problems for Australian and international partners

My Qualifications

  • Graduate Certificate of Management (2021), Australian Graduate School of Management, UNSW Sydney
  • Graduate Certificate of University Learning and Teaching (2018), UNSW Sydney
  • Ph.D. in Mining and Metallurgical Engineering (2012), Montanuniversitaet Leoben (Austria)
  • M.Eng. in Materials Science and Engineering (2008), Montanuniversitaet Leoben (Austria)

My Awards

  • Postgraduate Research Supervisor Award (2021)
  • Dean of Science Collaboration & Partnership Award (2020)
  • Future Women Leaders Conference Award, Monash University (2019)
  • UNSW Scientia Fellowship (2019)
  • Postgraduate Research Supervisor Award (2018)
  • ARC DECRA Fellowship (2018)

My Research Supervision

Supervision keywords

Areas of supervision

For prospective PhD candidates:

PhD projects and scholarships are currently available! I am especially keen to consider applications for projects in the areas of thermo-mechanical processing of specialty alloys, metal additive manufacturing and microscopy technique development.

On offer: Access to world-class facilities, a great international network, travel opportunities, team spirit, and more. Check out

If you are interested, please send me an email with a short motivation statement, your current CV, transcripts, and copies of any publications you are proud of. International applicants need to be competitive for UNSW scholarships. This means that you need to hold or be close to completion of a first-class Honour's or equivalent undergraduate or Master's degree in Materials Science & Engineering or related, and fulfil the UNSW English language requirements. Domestic applicants need to have at least a Bachelor's degree with upper second class Honour's, and/or extended relevant professional experience.

For prospective Post Doctoral researchers:

Any openings for Post Doctoral researchers are advertised via UNSW jobs.

Currently supervising

Post Doctoral Researchers:

  • Dr Ehsan Farabi (Jan 2022 - current): Processing of advanced materials for aerospace and tooling
  • Dr Felix Theska (Sep 2019 - current): Thermo-mechanical processing of Ni-based superalloys
  • Dr Carina Ledermueller (casual, Sept 2019 - current): Correlative microscopy
  • Dr Nima Haghdadi (Jan 2019 - current): Advanced manufacturing

PhD Students:

  • Xinyi (Cindy) He (Mar 2022 - current): Advanced characterization of additively manufactured alloys
  • Ming Luo (Aug 2021-current): Grain boundary engineering during metal additive manufacturing
  • Michael Haines (Oct 2020 - current): Understanding the effects of thermal-mechanical cycling in additive manufacturing
  • Nana Kwabena Adomako (UNSW Scientia PhD scholar, Oct 2020 - current): In-situ characterization of additively manufactured Ni-based superalloys
  • Bernd Schulz (Sep 2019 - current): Processing-structure-property relationships of forged Ni-based superalloys
  • Maxwell Moyle (Aug 2019 - current): Microstructure control during advanced manufacturing
  • Vitor Vieira Rielli (UNSW Scientia PhD scholar, Feb 2019 - current): Microstructural design of next generation Ni-based superalloys
  • Arnab Chakraborty (Aug 2018 - current): Alloy development of modern Nb/V HSLA steels
  • Richard Buerstmayr (Aug 2018 - current): Advancing the Australian specialty alloy processing capability

MSc Students:

  • Wai (Wilson) Fung Tse (Feb 2020 - current): Advancing the Australian specialty alloy processing capability

Recent Alumni:

  • Dr Alireza Samiee (2017-2022): Role of local variations of solute atoms in the strengthening mechanisms of dilute Al alloys
  • Dr Ryan Demott (2017-2021): Characterization of Alpha Variant Selection and Morphology in Additively Manufactured Ti-6Al-4V via 3D-EBSD
  • Dr Carina Ledermueller (2016-2020): Advanced thermo-mechanical processing of modern HSLA steels
  • Dr Felix Theska (2016-2020): High resolution characterisation of strengthening effects in Ni-based superalloys

My Engagement

  • TMS Phase Transformations Committee Vice Chair (2022 - current)
  • NSW branch president of Materials Australia (2019 - 2021)
  • Thermec Scientific and Executive Committees (2018 - current)
  • TMS Phase Transformations Committee (2018 - current)
  • AIST (Association for Iron & Steel Technology, 2019 - current)
  • DGM (Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Materialkunde, 2018 - current)
  • TMS (2017 - current)
  • Australian Fracture Group (2017 - current)
  • Certified Materials Professional (CMatP), Materials Australia (2016 - current)
  • Australian Microscopy & Microanalysis Society (2015 - current)
  • NSW councillor and branch secretary of Materials Australia (2015 - current)

My Teaching

  • MATS2004: Mechanical Behaviour of Materials (2021 - current)
  • MATS3003: Engineering in Process Metallurgy (2015 - current)
  • MATS1192: Design and Application of Materials in Science and Engineering (2017 - 2018)
  • MATS6002: Materials Design (2015 - 2017)
  • Metallurgy for the Non-Metallurgist for Materials Australia NSW (2016 - 2020)
  • Pre-UNSW teaching contributions at Montanuniversitaet Leoben (Austria, 2009 - 2015):
    Lecturing and lab demonstration in Physical Metallurgy, Mechanics & Testing of Materials, Advanced Materials Characterisation, and Failure Analysis
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Room 346, Hilmer Building, E10
Kensington, New South Wales, 2033


+61 2 9385-5284
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