Dr Stuart McDonald

Senior Research Fellow

School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering
Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology
+61 7 336 57132


Dr McDonald is a graduate of The University of Queensland (UQ) having obtained a Bachelor of Engineering (Manufacturing and Materials) in 1997 and a PhD in Materials Engineering in 2002. He is a currently a Senior Research Fellow in the Nihon Superior Centre for the Manufacture of Electronic Materials (NSCMEM).

His research is in the field of microstructure control through solidification science and in particular on understanding the effect of trace element additions on nucleation and growth phenomena. He has numerous publications and expertise in the areas of:

1. Lead-free Solder Alloys

2. Grain refinement

3. Machining and heat treatment of titanium alloys

4. Mg-based Hydrogen Storage Alloys

5. Casting and Solidification of Al-Si Alloys

6. Eutectic solidification and modification

Research Interests

  • Eutectic Modification
  • Lead-Free Soldering
  • Grain Refinement
  • Solidification/Casting

Research Impacts

Dr McDonald has established the modifying elements, commonly used to alter the eutectic silicon morphology in Al-Si alloys dramatically alter the size and spatial distribution of individual eutectic colonies or ‘eutectic-grains’. It has since become accepted that research into modification mechanisms must consider the growth velocity of the etuectic interface as it relates to the size and number of eutectic grains.

He has been an advocate for the benefits of both eutectic and primary grain refinement, which can benefit many commercial foundry alloys and has contributed to the growing body of theoretical and computational modeling on eutectic and primary grain refinement. Commercially his research has been recognised with the following Patents.

Patents 1. T. Nishimura, K. Nogita, S. D. McDonald, J. Read, G. Zeng, “Low temperature brazing alloys”, Japanese Patent Application No.2013-183232, 04/09/3013.

2. T. Nishimura, K. Nogita, S. D. McDonald, J. Read, C. M. Gourlay, “Process for producing solder joint with improved reliability”, International Patent Application No: WO/2013/002112, 21/6/2012.

3. T. Nishimura, K. Nogita, S. D. McDonald, J. Read, T. Ventura, “Solder alloy”, International Patent Application No: WO 2012/137901-A1, 11/10/2012.

4. A.K. Dahle, L. Lu, K. Nogita and S.D. McDonald, “Aluminium Casting Alloy”, International Patent Application No: WO 2006/058388, 2/12/2005.


  • Bachelor of Engineering, The University of Queensland
  • PhD, The University of Queensland


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Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

Completed Supervision