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From here you can shape the world.

Research is an integral aspect of the College, and our research degrees equip graduates with the skills, knowledge, confidence and connections to kick start, or further, their careers.

The College of Sciences and Engineering offers a diverse range of research degrees in each of our disciplines, from hard science to creative design.

We recognise the importance of academic and non-academic careers, and work closely with industry to cross-skill our graduates with real-world experience.

Our research degrees may see you travelling to Antarctica, testing cutting-edge technology in local micro-breweries, or designing new naval ships or sustainable housing. Choose a research degree from the University of Tasmania’s College of Sciences and Engineering.

Research Degrees at the University of Tasmania
Find out about entry requirements, application procedures, scholarships, and finding a supervisor

Looking for undergraduate options?
Visit the 'Find a Course' page to explore our study options

Available Research Degree Projects

A research degree candidate may develop their own research project in collaboration with their supervisor or apply for one of our currently available projects below:

Applicants who are interested a specific project should first contact the supervisor listed and then find out more about our Entry Requirements, Scholarships if relevant, and then Apply Now.

Closing Date

30 March 2019

Research Theme

Marine, Antarctic & Maritime

The Research Project

The United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG) (Vienna, 1980) came into force on 1 January 1988. The year 2018 marks the 30th anniversary of its application. 89 States, including Australia, ratified the CISG. Despite its wide acceptance, it is questionable whether the CISG is suitable for modern international trade environment.

This research project examines problems associated with the application of the CISG and evaluates the CISG in light of the contemporary trade atmosphere in view to suggest reforms to the CISG.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to domestic (Australian and New Zealand) and international candidates
  • The degree must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a First Class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Prior legal background holding an LLB or an LLM degree
  • Prior academic publishing experiences

More Information

Please contact Dr Poomintr Sooksripaisarnkit for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2018

The Research Project

This is a theoretical, computational and experimental work to develop adaptive model predictive controllers for the grid integration of marine renewable energy systems. The particular problem addressed in this project is the parameter variation due to aging and environmental condition. The developed control technologies should be able to adapt to the changes and maintain satisfactory performance while ensuring the robust operation of the power converter system.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to domestic (Australian and New Zealand) and international candidates
  • The degree must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a First Class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Power electronics
  • Power systems
  • Hands-on in experimental work

More Information

Please contact Dr Shantha Jayasinghe for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2018

The Research Project

The Australian Maritime College is building a capacity in Augmented Reality research in Naval Architecture, Maritime Engineering Design, Ship Operations including Human Factors and Maritime Training.

A range of research projects will be open to suitable individuals wishing to join a dynamic research team, with projects tailored to their individual strengths. In general, studies will investigate the application of contemporary proprietor holographic technology when used to enhance maritime engineering and/or maritime operations.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to domestic (Australian and New Zealand) and international candidates
  • The degree must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a First Class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

Candidates with strong digital literacy and computer programming skills will rank highly. Candidates from the following disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply:

  • Naval architecture/Maritime engineering
  • Maritime operations/Maritime training and education
  • Human machine interface/Human factors engineering

More Information

Please contact Associate Professor Michael Woodward for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2018

The Research Project

The shipping industry plays an important role in today’s global economy as it is a facilitation mechanism for more than 90% of the world trade. However only in recent history thousands of incidents and accidents involving ships have resulted in loss of life and property - not to mention environmental damages of different magnitudes. It is estimated that over 80% of all maritime mishaps are presently attributable to human element and onboard human actions. However, from early in their career, mariners have to attend formal learning environment to gain skills and knowledge that they need to practice safely onboard ships. Yet, little is known about how this learning applied practically on the job, i.e., what is transferred from one setting to another and how this transfer occurs. Through the investigation of the mariners in their formal learning environment (marine colleges) and in their workplace (on board ships), it is the utmost purpose of the present ethnographic study to understand the implications of this discussion in reducing the shipping accidents. The database will be composed of videotapes, field notes, interviews and documents. The implications of this study are relevant to workplace learning research in general and to maritime education and safe shipping practice in particular.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to Australian (domestic) and International candidates
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Applicants with a maritime background, who are familiar with qualitative research methodology are preferred.

More Information

Please contact Dr Reza Emad for more information.

Closing Date

31 March 2020

The Research Project

While a thorough theoretical investigation is required, the research work is concentrated on the design, fabrication of a testing apparatus for dual-mode rotors for their performance in both propulsion and turbine mode. The outcomes of the research are the measured data, analysis of the data, design optimization of a towed shaft generator for yachts and sailing boats.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to Australian (domestic) and International candidates
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Applied statistics
  • Programming skills
  • Hands-on in experimental work

More Information

Please contact Associate Professor Pengfei Liu for more information.

Closing Date

30 June 2019

The Research Project

This research involves analysis of the Insurance Act 2015 of the United Kingdom which sought to amend various provisions of the Marine Insurance Act 1906, a very successful statute which had not been amended prior to 2015 and which served as a model for similar statutes in other jurisdictions, including the Marine Insurance Act 1909 (Cth) of Australia and the Marine Insurance Ordinance (Cap. 329) of Hong Kong. This research aims at evaluating impacts of the Insurance Act 2015 on marine insurance businesses (in the United Kingdom as well as in other countries, .e.g. Australia) and recommending whether Australia should amend its Marine Insurance Act 1909 (Cth) in line with the Insurance Act 2015.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to Australian (domestic) and to International candidates
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

Candidates with a legal background holding an LLB or an LLM degree are strongly encouraged to apply.

More Information

Please contact Dr Poomintr Sooksripaisarnkit for more information.

Closing Date

31 March 2020

The Research Project

This research is to develop optimum skew and blade planform shape of high performance propellers for fast and low noise merchant ships. This research work involves numerical modeling and generic code implementation and CFD work for performance evaluation, analysis and design optimization, in terms of optimum propulsive efficiency, low noise and cavitation.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to Australian (domestic) and International candidates
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Applied statistics
  • Programming skills
  • Hands-on in experimental work

More Information

Please contact Associate Professor Pengfei Liu for more information.

Closing Date

31 March 2020

The Research Project

This research project is to design and fabricate a testing apparatus; acquire measured data for two types of ducts; test their propulsive performance, under open water, behind-ship and/or cavitation conditions.

Eligibility:

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to Australian (domestic) and International candidates
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Applied statistics
  • Programming skills
  • Hands-on in experimental work

More Information

Please contact Associate Professor Pengfei Liu for more information.

Closing Date

31 March 2020

The Research Project

The main research work is to design and fabricate an auto-pitch WIG thruster and test its open water at the AMC tow tank. A large amount of measured open water data is required for propulsive efficiency with respect to the pitch and heave amplitudes, oscillating frequency, stiffness of the auto-pitch spring, oblique angle versus manoeuvrability, and speed variation (bollard-pull or sudden acceleration).

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to Australian (domestic) and International candidates
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Applied statistics
  • Programming skills
  • Hands-on in experimental work

More Information

Please contact Associate Professor Pengfei Liu for more information.

Closing Date

29 June 2018

Research Theme

Environment, Resources & Sustainability

The Research Project

Current wastewater treatment technologies are mostly energy and cost intensive. Constructed Wetlands (CWs) are promising alternatives for contaminants removal from municipal and industrial wastewaters. However, these treatment techniques are suffering from high land use and treatment deficiency. Microbial Fuel Cell (MFC) have been used in past few years as an emerging technology for wastewater treatment and electricity generation. Integration of MFC technology into CWs would improve the efficiency of these treatment systems and improve the capability of the treatment process by reducing the need for energy in operational processes. To have the real field applications, the performance of current CW-MFC technology need to be improved. New carbon-based nano-materials are suggested as one potential technique to improve the efficiency of this treatment processes.

The candidate conducting this research will consider the following research objectives:

  1. To evaluate different electrodes materials to enhance the performance of MFC-CW process for contaminants removal and electricity generation in wastewater treatment process
  2. To develop new carbon-based nanomaterials as the emerging materials for both anode and cathode construction
  3. To develop new algorithm using machine learning tools for estimating the contaminants removal in MFC-CW technology

The candidate working on this project needs to have a good understanding of different wastewater treatment technologies particularly MFC and CW, materials technology, and different techniques from developing mathematical tools for prediction purposes. Previous research experience in using different instruments (IC, TOC/TN machine and spectrophotometer) in environmental laboratory is an advantage.

The candidate working on this project will join the Environmental, Energy and Safety (EES) engineering group at the Australian Maritime College (AMC) of the University of Tasmania, led by Dr Vikram Garaniya. He will have the opportunity to collaborate with the known national and international researchers in this field from Macquarie University (Sydney, Australia) and CSIR-India. He will have access to a well-developed environmental facility at AMC, and other required facilities (material and microbiology laboratory facilities) at the University of Tasmania.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this scholarship:

  • The scholarship is open to domestic (Australian and New Zealand) and international candidates
  • The degree must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a First Class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

More Information

Please contact Dr Vikram Garaniya for more information.

Closing Date

31 March 2019

The Research Project

Since late 2017, many shipping companies have announced that they would move towards using blockchain bills of lading. While such announcement is exciting, there are many legal risks and implications associated with such use. The aims of this research are to examine legal risks and implications from the use of the blockchain bills of lading and the rules or laws will be formulated for such use, bearing in mind that maritime law is lagging behind in accommodating such new technologies.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to domestic (Australian and New Zealand) and international candidates
  • The degree must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a First Class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Prior legal background holding an LLB or an LLM degree
  • Prior academic publishing experiences

More Information

Please contact Dr Poomintr Sooksripaisarnkit for more information.

Closing Date

30 June 2019

Research Theme

Marine, Antarctic & Maritime

The Research Project

This project aims to develop models and algorithms for the optimal scheduling of ships through the navigation channel with time-varying water depths caused by tide conditions, in order to maximize the productivity/profit of the port. This research objective will be achieved by conducting the research in the following two modules:

1. Mathematical optimization models and algorithms for ship scheduling through the channel

This module quantifies how much the productivity of the port can be improved through development of mathematical models and algorithms. We will investigate the geographical/hydrographical conditions and operational policies of all the main tidal ports in the world, for all types of ships including containerships, bulk carriers and tankers. The restrictions posed by the numbers of berths and tugs will also be considered. In terms of methodologies, mathematical programming and constraint programming models will be developed. Both general-purpose commercial optimization solvers (CPLEX, Gurobi) and dedicated solution algorithms will be evaluated.

2. Auction mechanisms for channel usage

The port authority could consider auctioning tidal windows and making additional profit through the auction by providing an online auto-auction platform, allowing the ships to iteratively bid for certain tidal windows, preferably based on their sailing schedules.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to domestic (Australian and New Zealand) and international candidates
  • The degree must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a First Class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Computer programming in C++/Java/.Net/Python and Matlab
  • Operations research and optimization

More Information

Please contact Dr Yuquan (Bill) Du for more information.

Closing Date

31 March 2020

The Research Project

This research work is mainly experimental - design and build a polar class propeller apparatus to acquire measured data for the ultimate strength theory and URI3 rules by the International Association of Classification Societies. Computational work is also required to use the existing software Propella or similar CFD software with URI3 implementation to compare the design strength of new and as-built polar class propellers by using the URI3 implementation and the ultimate strength theory.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to Australian (domestic) and International candidates
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Applied statistics
  • Programming skills
  • Hands-on in experimental work

More Information

Please contact Associate Professor Pengfei Liu for more information.

Closing Date

31 March 2020

The Research Project

The core research work is both theoretical and numerical. The theoretical part of the work involves in the ultimate strength theory in the literature. The research outcomes include, but no limited to: a numerical model and an effective tool to predict the ultimate strength of new and as-built polar class propellers; The relationship of the design strength between the ultimate strength theory and the URI3 (by the International Association of Classification Societies) that was implemented in to a panel method by Liu et al. (2015). The research work involves in theoretical modeling, code development and computational work using a propeller code, Propella, and/or suitable CFD code.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to Australian (domestic) and International candidates
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Applied statistics
  • Programming skills
  • Hands-on in experimental work

More Information

Please contact Associate Professor Pengfei Liu for more information.

Closing Date

30 June 2019

The Research Project

In a climate of shipping downturn, a judicial sale of ship presents an effective means for creditors of ships to have their debts satisfied. However, there is a complex problem when the ship is sold by the judicial sale order of a court in one country but such sale was not recognised by the court in the other country. The Comite Maritime International (CMI) has been working on the Draft International Convention on Foreign Judicial Sales of Ships and their Recognition (the 'Beijing Draft').

The purpose of this research is to examine problems in terms of the recognition of foreign judicial sales of ships and assess the likely effectiveness of the 'Beijing Draft' if it becomes an international convention.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to domestic (Australian and New Zealand) and international candidates
  • The degree must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a First Class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Prior legal background holding an LLB or an LLM degree
  • Prior academic publishing experiences

More Information

Please contact Dr Poomintr Sooksripaisarnkit for more information.

Closing Date

30 March 2019

Research Theme

Marine, Antarctic & Maritime

The Research Project

In November 2017, the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development, and Cities of the Australian Government produced a discussion paper to consult on the possibility for Australia to ratify the Athens Convention relating to the Carriage of Passengers and their Luggage by Sea 1974 as amended by the 2002 Protocol.

This research project aims at examining impacts of this Convention, should it be adopted in Australia, upon the Australian cruise ship industry.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to domestic (Australian and New Zealand) and international candidates
  • The degree must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a First Class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Prior legal background holding an LLB or an LLM degree
  • Prior academic publishing experiences

More Information

Please contact Dr Poomintr Sooksripaisarnkit for more information.

Closing Date

16 December 2018

Research Theme

Marine, Antarctic & Maritime

The Research Project

The current standard means for conducting surfacing calculations of underwater vehicles is to utilise a pseudo static approach by which the stability can be approximated under calm water conditions with certain simplifying assumptions relating to drain down rates and blow down/pumping rates of water ballast, which may not reflect the true dynamics of the process. Such an approach provides for a time history of changing BG/GM throughout the diving evolution, which can be checked against certain criteria. Whilst static stability is expected to remain positive throughout a normal surfacing evolution, stability can be lost for significant time periods during emergency surfacing as rise rates can be much higher resulting in higher levels of entrained water in free flooding compartments. Negative static stability that is restored in short enough duration to avoid rolling to greater than 20 degrees is acceptable by the applied standard.

Due to the dynamics of an underwater vehicle rising through water, and the dynamic changes of BG/GM throughout the surfacing evolution, the roll angle it achieves cannot be easily calculated, thus requiring more complicated procedures not readily available. This aim of this PhD study is to investigate transitional stability by developing suitable analytical and simulation models validated through experimental and other available data.

Eligibility

Please refer to the Entry Requirements for a Doctor of Philosophy degree.

The applicant must be a domestic candidate with Australian citizenship and the degree must be taken on a full-time basis.

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Research  experience aligned with the project topic
  • Applicants  must already have been awarded a First Class Honours degree or hold equivalent  qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an  appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

More Information

Please contact Jonathan Duffy for more information prior to applying.

Closing Date

31 December 2018

The Research Project

This is a theoretical, computational and experimental work to design a wireless power transfer module which can be stacked-up to meet high power rapid charging requirements of electric ferries. The focus of this project is to explore new ways to increase the module-level efficiency as well as the system level efficiency.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to domestic (Australian and New Zealand) and international candidates
  • The degree must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a First Class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Power electronics
  • Ship power systems
  • Hands-on in experimental work

More Information

Please contact Dr Shantha Jayasinghe for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2019

The Research Project

Women are generally underrepresented in the STEM fields and in entrepreneurial ventures linked to high technology domains. This project will use the latest psychological and sociological research to propose a framework to facilitate that more girls and young women enter and remain in those STEM and entrepreneurial fields where they are significantly underrepresented. The framework will be designed to actively encourage creativity, inventiveness, and global awareness in harmony with the development of a socially responsible and sustainable entrepreneurial mindset. Strategies will be designed, tested and fine-tuned in diverse settings within the secondary and tertiary education sectors, and within the emerging Tasmanian STEM-based entrepreneurial ecosystem, respectively.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to domestic and International candidates
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

More Information

Please contact Dr Bernardo A. León de la Barra for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2019

Research Themes

  • Data, Knowledge and Decisions
  • Creativity, Culture and Society

The Research Project

The Boundary Element Method (BEM) is a computationally efficient method for full wave-based computational acoustics simulations, even so it requires significant computational resources for shorter wavelengths. However the most interesting problems are at moderate wavelengths where there is significant diffraction. A particularly interesting class of problems involves coupling between the acoustic medium and its boundaries (fluid-structure interaction). Examples include sound transmission through panels, absorption by curtains near walls, porous surfaces.

This project aims to extend the computational capabilities of the acoustic BEM, with regard to structural coupling, porous surfaces, higher order methods, the effect of corners and edges, etc. These developments can then be applied to problems such as those mentioned above. Through collaboration or co-supervision with colleagues in University of Sydney the project may have access to high class experimental facilities for validation of the models.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to domestic (Australian and New Zealand) and international candidates
  • The Research Higher Degree must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a First Class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Applied maths, physics or any branch of engineering with an interest in mathematics or computation
  • Programming skills

More Information

Please contact Dr Damien Holloway for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2018

The Research Project

This project is aimed to develop a three-dimensional hybrid continuous-discontinuous method for studying dynamic fracture of rock under impact and cyclic loads and arching behaviour of resultant irregular-shaped deformable and further breakable fragments.

The project will address:

  1. How can the transition of rock from continua to discontinua during fracture be modelled?
  2. How can the hybrid method be accelerated using heterogeneous CPU and GPU parallel computing technique for large-scale real time modelling?
  3. How can the hybrid method to consider dependence of rock strength on loading rates and how can heterogeneity be implemented to simulate rock fracture progressive process?
  4. How can the hybrid method be calibrated against well-known dynamic/cyclic rock fracture experiments?
  5. How can the hybrid method be applied to model rock fragmentations in rock boring & blast and rock mass instability in surface and underground excavations.

The outcome of this project will improve the rock mass excavation / fragmentation efficiency in rock cutting, drilling, crushing and blasting, and improve the rock mass stability in surface and underground excavation in mining, tunnelling and civil engineering. This project will improve our access to natural resources, especially deep or offshore natural resources, and safeguard our existing and new infrastructures.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to Australian (domestic) and International candidates
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Continuous or discontinuous mechanics
  • Programming skills (preferably C/C++ and Python)
  • Computer graphics

More Information

Please contact Dr Hong Y Liu for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2022

The Research Project

Hobart based shipbuilder, INCAT, builds some of the world's largest and fastest high speed aluminium catamaran ferries. Critical to the success of INCAT's vessels has been their ability to operate at high speed in heavy seas, and INCAT's position as worldwide leaders in their market niche has been assisted over more than two decades by ongoing collaborative research with the University of Tasmania's School of Engineering. A long term goal is to optimise the ship structure, minimising weight without compromising integrity at critical locations. Past recent research in this area has sought to quantify the loads exerted during a slam (severe wave impact) event. Structural vibrations following a slam (known as "whipping") are known to significantly modify the internal forces as determined by a quasi static analysis, and their effect has been partially quantified through testing of a 2.5m hydroelastic model, full scale strain measurements, and dynamic finite element analysis. The current project aims to extend this work by relating the asymmetric slams and bending moments to the asymmetric design loads within the superstructure connecting the two hulls (referred to as "pitch connecting moment" and "split loads") whilst further quantifying the motions response in oblique sea directions. This has the capacity to influence international design codes and to provide a more rational framework for the determination of design loads in similar ships worldwide.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to Australian (domestic) and International candidates.
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills
  • Applicants must meet English requirements, or be able to do so before commencement

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Experience in shipping industry
  • Model testing experience in towing tanks or model test basins
  • Marine engineering or naval architecture academic background
  • Experience in use of Computational Fluid Mechanics and/or Finite Element Analysis

More Information

Please contact Dr Jason Lavroff for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2018

The Research Project

The growth of many cities has resulted in increasing infrastructure. As urban spaces become more limited, new excavations have to be designed nearby existing structures, such as adjacent tunnels, buildings, pile and raft foundations, and pipelines. In this case, it is essential to control ground displacements resultant from excavation in order not to cause adverse effects on existing structures. Thus, the study on effect of excavation on adjacent structures becomes an important issue in the planning, designing and constructing processes of any new developments in urban cities.

This project will conduct a case study on the recent Myer project disaster occurred in Hobart's CBD using laboratory triaxial tests, field observations and three-dimensional modelling. Samples will be taken from Hobart's CBD and tested using the triaxial compression testing equipment at Geomechanics Lab to obtain the physical and mechanical behaviour behaviours of soils and rocks in Hobart's CBD, which will then be implemented into the three-dimensional numerical method TunGeo3D developed by the supervision team. After that, three-dimensional models will be built for the Myer project to clarify the effect of the new Myer development in Murray St on the collapse of adjacent buildings and Hobart Rivulet combining with field observations.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to Australian (domestic) and International candidates
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Continuous or discontinuous mechanics
  • Programming skills (preferably C/C++ and Python)
  • Computer graphics

More Information

Please contact Dr Hong Liu for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2018

The Research Project

Due to the energy crisis and environmental impact, more and more attentions have been attracted to improve the overall energy efficiency in thermal systems. Low grade energy including geothermal energy, solar thermal, coal seam gas and waste energy are essential to improve the energy utilization and human life and reduce environmental impacts. How to effectively transfer the low grade energy in thermal systems like desalination, heat pump, power generation and energy storage systems are the key. This research topic aims to address the technical problems and challenges related to the application of low grade energy in the aforementioned systems.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to Australian (domestic) and International candidates
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills
  • Applicants must meet English requirements, or be able to do so before commencement

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Thermodynamics
  • Fluid dynamics

More Information

Please contact Associate Professor Xiaolin Wang for more information.

Closing Date

7 June 2019

The Research Project

Soils, though often modelled as continuum, are particulate in nature. Professor Andrew Chan has performed extensive research on the breakage and crushing of particles using a novel method by combining scaled boundary finite element and discrete element method. This project is to extend current research to three-dimensions, to include better breakage algorithm including chipping and implementation on a parallel computer. The method can then be applied to various practical engineering problems such as breakage of particles under loading, crushing of mineral ores as well as change in stress-strain behaviour of the soil due to change in particle size distribution.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The scholarship is open to Australian (domestic) and International candidates
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills
  • Applicants must meet English requirements, or be able to do so before commencement

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Programming skills
  • Engineering mechanics

More Information

Please contact Professor Andrew Chan for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2018

The Research Project

A two-level control scheme for a hybrid system with wind turbine, fuel cell, electrolyser, and battery storage is very important in renewable power systems. Depending on wind and load conditions, the top-level energy management system generates reference operating points for individual sub-systems on the lower level, and controls load shedding during insufficient wind and inadequate energy storage to avoid black-outs. This work led to our development of a dynamic operation strategy for a fully renewable solar-wind micro-grid power system. The key innovation was the integrating of demand management, and wind, solar and load forecasting into the energy management system.

This research will contribute to the development of multiple Network Solutions for systems operating under uncertainties.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to Australian (domestic) and International candidates
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills
  • Applicants must meet English requirements, or be able to do so before commencement

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Electrical engineering
  • Intelligent systems

More Information

Please contact Professor Michael Negnevitsky for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2019

The Research Project

We have developed an automated blood oxygen level controller for preterm infants that has recently been undergoing clinical trials. This PhD project aims to make further advances by investigating enhancements to our current oxygen control algorithm and technology.

Potential research areas include development of advanced algorithms and predictive methods to enhance the control algorithm, for example by using intelligent pattern recognition including neural network techniques and our extensive clinical signal database.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to Australian (domestic) and International candidates
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills
  • Applicants must meet English requirements, or be able to do so before commencement

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply, including Biomedical, Mechatronic and Electrical/Electronics Engineering.

More Information

Please contact Dr Tim Gale for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2019

The Research Project

The State of Tasmania exhibits some of the lowest levels of educational attainment among Australia’s states and territories. This project will use the latest educational, psychological and sociological research to design practical research- and evidence-based strategies to enthuse Tasmanian children to fully engage during their schooling years. The strategies will collectively target and inclusively align the many stakeholders (parents, guardians, teachers, peers, career counsellors, etc.) that play a role in influencing children’s aspirations for a better and brighter future. The strategies will be designed, tested, evaluated, and fine-tuned in diverse formal and informal educational settings. The project will make use of trans-disciplinary and integrative learning approaches with a strong focus on bridging the gap between the STEM and STEAM domains.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to domestic and International candidates
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

More Information

Please contact Dr Bernardo A. León de la Barra for more information.

Closing Date

21 January 2019

Research Theme

  • Marine, Antarctic & Maritime
  • Data, Knowledge & Decisions
  • Environment, Resources & Sustainability

The Research Project

Australia is the world leader in the design and manufacture of state of the art large aluminium ferries, and Incat Australia Pty Ltd (Incat) is one of the dominant builders of these vessels in the international market. Research is required to increase reliability, seakeeping and passenger comfort of Incat vessels by improving vessel design, systems and performance in relation to the key operational conditions of vessel speed and random wave characteristics. To satisfy these overarching design requirements, this Project aims to:

  1. Establish an ongoing ship monitoring system to remotely measure vessel motions and structural loads, exploiting cloud technology to obtain real time-data on vessel performance.
  2. Improve structural efficiency by analysing large datasets at full-scale using sophisticated statistical methods to more accurately predict the peak wave loads acting on the vessel.
  3. Improve passenger comfort by extensively investigating and interpreting the motions response of the vessel and ride control activity under commercial operating conditions.
  4. Develop a “Smart” semi-autonomous interface to provide on-board seakeeping guidance to the operator in moderate and rough seas to increase ship safety, vessel longevity and improve passenger comfort.

Successful PhD applicants with a background in mechanical engineering, civil, marine engineering or naval architecture will be based at the University of Tasmania in Hobart.

Successful PhD applicants with a background in applied statistics will be based at a partner institute in Sydney. Those interested in applying for the position in Sydney must directly contact Dr Babak Shabani to discuss the application process.

Eligibility

Please refer to the Entry Requirements for a Doctor of Philosophy degree.

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to domestic (Australian and New Zealand) and international candidates;
  • The degree must be undertaken on a full-time basis;
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a First Class Honours or Upper Second Class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector;
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills.

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Background skills and experience in Marine Engineering or Naval Architecture specific to high-speed craft;
  • Knowledge and  experience in stochastic process modeling;
  • Well-developed skills in programming, data analyses or optimisation techniques.

Applicants MUST include a one-page cover letter expressing their interest in the project based on their background experience whilst also addressing their suitability for the project.

Successful PhD applicants with a background in mechanical engineering, civil, marine engineering or naval architecture will be based at the University of Tasmania in Hobart.

Successful PhD applicants with a background in applied statistics will be based at a partner institute in Sydney. Those interested in applying for the position in Sydney must directly contact Dr Babak Shabani to discuss the application process.

More Information

Please contact Dr Babak Shabani for more information prior to applying.

Closing Date

31 December 2018

The Research Project

Renewable energy sources such as wind and solar, have vast potential to offer cost competitive power supply and reduce dependence on fossil fuels and environmental issues across the electric sector. However, wind and solar power systems have variable and uncertain energy supply, which has led to concerns regarding reliability and the security of any electric grid which derives a large fraction of its energy from these sources. There has been an increased demand for the deployment of electrical energy storage (EES) as an essential component of future energy systems adopting large amounts of renewable generation. Unfortunately the need for EES often introduces economic, environmental and complexity concerns. Developing an EES system balancing cost, efficiency and environment impact is essential in application of renewable power systems.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to Australian (domestic) and International candidates
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills
  • Applicants must meet English requirements, or be able to do so before commencement

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Thermodynamics
  • Fluid dynamics

More Information

Please contact Associate Professor Xiaolin Wang for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2018

The Research Project

With massive distributed renewable energy sources and sensors, complete and accurate administration and control of entire power network for optimal use becomes impossible from a central administrative station. The major challenges are the large amount of data with various precision and various latencies. Network fluctuations can also be a significant cause. This project is to investigate the impact of information incompleteness and latencies, and develop an effective protocol to distributed administration and control of such power networks featuring massive connected heterogeneous sources and sensors. The developed method can also be applied to other sensor networks with massive nodes and asynchronous communication.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to domestic and international candidates
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Applied statistics
  • Programming skills

More Information

Please contact Dr Danchi Jiang for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2021

Research Theme

Data, Knowledge & Decisions

Environment, Resources & Sustainability

The Research Project

Currently, there are numerous methods and techniques aimed at extending the service life or repair existing structural elements. Bolting or welding of steel plates, applying CFRP and external prestressed tendons are the most common among these techniques. Nevertheless, these techniques have limitations and disadvantages such as increasing the self-weight of the structure, introducing stress concentration, reducing the fatigue lie of the structure or high labour and materials cost. Among the recently developed repairing and upgrading methods is the so-called Local Post-Tensioning (LPT) which increases the stiffness and the load carrying capacity of the structural member through adding reinforcing steel bars to a segment of the beam.

This project will be investigating the use of innovative strengthening and upgrading techniques (or their combinations) in order to extend the service life and restore the load carrying capacity of various steel, concrete or composite structural elements. The candidate will be using nonlinear Finite Element Analysis, experiments, or both to validate theoretical findings.

Eligibility

Please refer to the Entry Requirements for a Doctor of Philosophy degree.

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Civil (Structural  Engineering)

More Information

Please contact Dr Assaad Taoum to discuss prior to applying.

Closing Date

31 December 2019

Research Theme

Data, Knowledge and Decisions

The Research Project

Some forms of structural failure can be quite abrupt (e.g. buckling) whereas others may exhibit early warning signs. I have an interest in understanding and predicting both types of failure, and in measures to mitigate them. In the former category I am particularly interested in moderately thin walled shells, the effect of irregular geometries (e.g. cutouts, defects) and in local reinforcement. These could be studied by nonlinear Finite Element Analysis, or experimentally. In the latter category there is a growing body of knowledge on Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) using sensors and ambient excitations (such as wind loading) to detect changes in a structure. Wind turbine towers and blades are examples of application of these two areas.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The scholarship is open to domestic (Australian and New Zealand) and international candidates
  • The Research Higher Degree must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a First Class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • A background in one or more of:
    • civil/structural engineering
    • computational mechanics
    • applied mathematics
    • signal processing
  • Programming skills

More Information

Please contact Dr Damien Holloway for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2018

The Research Project

This project will develop a novel, low-cost, environmentally friendly technology for simultaneous pollutant removal and electricity generation in existing rural sewage and dairy wastewater treatment lagoons using microbial fuel cell (MFC) technology. This will allow the energy of microbial reactions in treatment lagoons to be utilized for sustainable bioelectricity generation. It will be extremely valuable to municipal water authorities and the dairy industry as it can simultaneously generate electricity and efficiently treat effluent before release or re-use. The results are also expected to be transferable to various other types of wastewaters such as winery and food processing wastewater.

Wastewater lagoons are typically used in regional sewage treatment processes and dairy farms to treat effluent prior to discharge or reuse. Solids settle out of the effluent forming sludge at the bottom that decomposes under anaerobic conditions. At the same time there is an aerobic layer at the surface of the lagoon. This provides ideal conditions for fabricating a new fuel cell technology using the aerobic surface and anaerobic bottom zones of lagoons.

The project will optimise the various operational and process factors using a laboratory-scale lagoon set-up and synthetic effluents in preparation for real-field applications.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to Australian (domestic) and International candidates
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills
  • Applicants must meet English requirements, or be able to do so before commencement

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • An understanding of waste water treatment processes and routine analytical chemistry
  • An understanding of the Work, Health and Safety aspects of working in an analytical laboratory

More Information

Please contact Dr Trevor Lewis for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2018

Research Theme

Environment, Resources & Sustainability

The Research Project

Micro-grids encounter high renewable energy penetrations early, given their small size. The inherent variability is managed with enabling technologies such as energy storage. This proposal aims to eliminate the cost and complexity of energy storage, via adoption of synthetic storage. Synthetic storage allows for improved renewable penetration and reduced diesel fuel consumption. The approach investigates replacement of fixed speed diesel assets with variable speed diesel technology, for improved generator flexibility, response and efficiency. The expected project outcomes include both a reduction in cost and complexity for high renewable energy penetration micro-grids. Project benefits extend to reduced emissions and improved reliability. The research improves accessibility and affordability of renewable energy based micro-grids, addressing the key barriers of cost and complexity.  The outcomes include the ability of existing micro-grid configurations to transition from low to high levels of renewable energy penetration without a reliance on energy storage technologies. The benefits in simplifying the micro-grid framework include, accelerated uptake and utilisation of renewable energy, grid consolidation and grid decarbonisation, the impacts of which extend to cleaner, cheaper energy provision.

Eligibility

Please refer to the Entry Requirements for a Doctor of Philosophy degree.

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Hybrid diesel power system simulation;
  • Wind turbine generator simulation;
  • Power converter configuration and simulation.

More Information

Please contact Michael Negnevitsky for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2018

The Research Project

Hydropower is the largest contributor to renewable energy generation on a national (63%) and global market (84%). The very nature of hydropower allows production of power on demand: a flexibility not offered by most other forms of renewable energy. The increasing penetration of other sources such as wind and solar into the NEM are placing a new importance on hydropower. Hydropower turbines are increasingly being operated for long periods at off-design conditions to meet rapid demand changes, and with more frequent stop-start cycles. It is accepted that these new operating conditions will reduce turbine life, however little is understood about the conditions that lead to such damage. This project aims to identify how particular operating conditions influence turbine life. Experimental measurements made using unique laboratory scale model Francis turbine developed in previous collaborations with Hydro Tasmania will complement numerical models using Computational Fluid Dynamics. A system for assessing the dynamic stresses in runners will be developed and implemented on the scale model turbine. The approach will be scaled to full size turbines to confirm the validity of the mechanisms identified in the model. The outcomes of the project will greatly benefit the renewable energy community through improved understanding of how particular operating conditions affect the life of turbines.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to Australian (domestic) and International candidates
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills
  • Applicants must meet English requirements, or be able to do so before commencement

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Applied Fluid Mechanics
  • Computational Engineering

More Information

Please contact Dr Alan Henderson for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2018

The Research Project

This project is aimed to develop a thermal (T), hydraulic (H), mechanical (M) and even chemical (C) coupling model to study underground fluids such as groundwater, oil and gas through damaging and fracturing rock mass. In the coupled THM or even THMC models, the damage and fracture of the rock mass follow damage mechanics, and the thermal and hydraulic properties of the rock mass continuously change during its damage and fracture process. The existing natural fracture in the rock mass is to be described using a discrete fracture network (DFN) model. The fluid flow through the existing natural fracture and the propagating new fractures are to be solved using open-source CFD (computer fluid dynamics) and LBM (lattice Boltzmann method) libraries available in various free and open-source online repositories.

The outcome of this project will improve our understanding of underground fluids flow through the jointed and damaging rock mass, which has major applications in underground water engineering, geostructure instability analysis, mining water and gas outbursts, oil and gas exploitation, underground waste disposal, carbon dioxide geosequestration and hydraulic fracturing reservoir stimulation.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to Australian (domestic) and International candidates
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills
  • Applicants must meet English requirements, or be able to do so before commencement

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Continuum or non-continuum mechanics
  • Programming skills (preferably C/C++ and Python)
  • Computational geomechanics

More Information

Please contact Dr Hong Liu for more information.

Closing Date

31 March 2019

The Research Project

Climate change has been described as "the biggest global health threat of the 21st Century", putting the "lives and wellbeing of billions of people at increased risk". Despite a comprehensive set of competing priorities, health and emergency response systems need to better understand and adapt appropriately to localised climate change and health-related issues. This project will attempt to quantify the health, social and emergency response impacts of extreme weather events in the Tasmanian context. Using a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods, the candidate will utilise a variety of available health service data (including ambulance case load, emergency hospital admission, coroner data), using recent events in Tasmania as case studies as well as any other significant events that occur during the course of the research. Using climate change data available from the Climate Futures for Tasmania project, they will then attempt to project these impacts into the future, developing a model that can predict the health and welfare impacts on vulnerable communities from these natural disasters in Tasmania.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to Australian (domestic) and International candidates
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills
  • Applicants must meet English requirements, or be able to do so before commencement

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • A background or experience in public health, emergency management or climate impacts

More Information

Please contact Dr Chris White for more information.

Closing Date

31 March 2019

The Research Project

The recent "energy crisis" in Tasmania, caused by the temporary loss of the Basslink power cable linking Tasmania to the mainland exacerbating already low lake levels for power generation, has highlighted the State's need to better understand how exposed it is to external stressors such as extreme weather events.

Using a mix of statistical and quantitative methods, the candidate will attempt to understand the complex relationship between environmental factors, such as extreme weather events and other natural hazards, and renewable energy generation capability in Tasmania, and quantify the likelihood of several impact events occurring either in sequence or concurrently to cause an "energy crisis".

Using climate change data available from the Climate Futures for Tasmania project, they will then attempt to project these impacts into the future, developing a model that can predict changes to energy generation capability in Tasmania.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to Australian (domestic) and International candidates
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills
  • Applicants must meet English requirements, or be able to do so before commencement

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • A background or experience in climate impacts would be advantageous

More Information

Please contact Dr Chris White for more information.

Closing Date

30 November 2019

The Research Project

For the past 58 years, science in Antarctica has been carried out under the terms of the Antarctic Treaty, and national and international scientific research programs have been the most conspicuous visible expression of the workings of the treaty. It has been said that "science is the currency of the influence in the Antarctic Treaty" (Press, 2013). This project will study how scientific cooperation among the contracting parties and the consultative parties, how they are organized and how they play their respective roles. The project will focus on China as a specific case study.

Essential skills/experience

  • Understanding of China's Antarctic science program

Assessment criteria

Applicants will be assessed and ranked according to the quality of their basis for entry research degree and institution, prior peer reviewed publications, academic awards, project-specific skills, training or relevant industry experience, referee's reports and supervisory support.

Contact for more information

Please contact Prof Marcus Haward at Marcus.Haward@utas.edu.au for more information.

Closing Date

30 November 2019

The Research Project

This PhD project seeks to undertake an integrated assessment of climate change adaptation policy planning and investment for marine protected areas (MPAs) in West Africa. The assessment will include climate risk screening to evaluate exposure and vulnerability of MPA communities to climate change impacts, multi-criteria decision-making (MCDM) and social vulnerability assessments using stakeholder perceptions for prioritization and public acceptability of adaptation options. Cost benefit analysis (CBA) and cost effectiveness analysis (CEA) will be undertaken for investment prioritization of the climate change adaptation policy options, based on financial rewards, largest net social welfare value and their successful implementation. Coastal communities must have the capacity to adapt to climate change in order to reduce their socio-economic vulnerabilities (Metcalf, S. J., et.al (2015) http://dx.doi.org/10.5751/ES-07509-200235). Climate resilient MPAs can mitigate climate impacts on surrounding communities, enhance marine ecosystem health and function thereby conserving fish stocks and marine biodiversity. This supports food security, reduce poverty, promote tourism, culture and the economic growth of countries. West African Countries are among the most vulnerable nations in the world affected by climatic variability. The development of policies for long-term costs and benefits of climate change adaptation options for MPAs are needed to create resilience in the protection of cities, coastal communities and the marine resources of these emerging nations

Essential skills/experience

  • Ocean governance
  • fisheries and climate science
  • policy analysis
  • resource economics
  • GIS

Assessment criteria

Applicants will be assessed and ranked according to the quality of their basis for entry research degree and institution, prior peer reviewed publications, academic awards, project-specific skills, training or relevant industry experience, referee’s reports and supervisory support.

Contact for more information

Please contact Gretta Pecl at Gretta.Pecl@utas.edu.au for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2018

The Research Project

The goal of this project is to develop a high-resolution numerical ocean model for the continental shelf around southeast (SE) Australia, with a focus on shelf and near-shore processes. This model will be used to examine historical coastal marine variability over the historical period as well as to predict and understand changes in the coastal marine climate under a possible future climate change scenario. In particular, we are interested in questions regarding ocean temperature changes at relatively small scales, with respect to climate simulations. For example, what is the relationship between the temperature changes in the deep ocean and on the continental shelf, e.g., are the changes amplified or reduced along the coast? What is the role of modes of climate variability, such as El Nino, on nearshore marine climate? How frequently are marine heat waves projected to occur, relative to the present day? In the downscaled model SE Australian shelf regime, where are these marine heat wave events simulated to occur? Are the projected changes consistent with expected circulation mechanistic responses to rising greenhouse gases? What is the associated variability in nearshore marine chemical and biological constituents and how is this projected to change in the future?

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to Australian (domestic) candidates
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Applied statistics
  • Programming skills
  • Background in physics and/or mathematics or related disciplines

More Information

Please contact Dr Eric Oliver for more information.

Closing Date

30 November 2019

The Research Project

The Handfish family (Brachionichthyidae) is one of the most threatened families of marine fishes in the world, with Tasmania their last stronghold. The red handfish (Thymichthys po/itus) is critically endangered, with only two known populations in SE Tasmania. The species has suffered a catastrophic decline over the past few decades and is threatened by possible extinction in the face of a changing climate, sea urchin over-grazing of seaweed habitat, and anthropogenic pressures. We still lack even the most basic information on the biology of this species. This PhD project aims to provide desperately needed information to manage the remaining small populations of this species, and test new techniques for finding other, presently unknown populations. The study will involve extensive diving fieldwork at red and spotted Handfish sites, collection of field data on the Handfish and important components of their ecosystem.

Essential skills/experience

  • SCUBA experience and ability to be listed on the UTas dive register

Assessment criteria

Applicants will be assessed and ranked according to the quality of their basis for entry research degree and institution, prior peer reviewed publications, academic awards, project-specific skills, training or relevant industry experience, referee's reports and supervisory support.

Contact for more information

Please contact Rick Stuart-Smith at rstuarts@utas.edu.au for more information.

Closing Date

30 November 2019

The Research Project

Marine phytoplankton grow in association with their own bacterial communities –  microbiomes –that are critical for their growth and physiology. Isolation/culture of algal cells results in depletion, disturbance or imbalance of their unique microbiomes (dysbiosis), reduced growth, unreliable biomass production, and often death. In contrast, retaining balanced microbiomes improves algal growth rate and biomass production and optimise biochemical/nutritional composition for aquaculture and biotechnology.

A PhD opportunity is open for a talented graduate to examine the diversity and function of marine haptophyte microbiomes. The project aims to determine how microbiome structure/composition modifies growth and physiology of haptophytes, and to engineer micr0biomes– construct synthetic microbiomes to optimise productivity of haptophytes such as Isochrysis, Tisochrysis and Diachronema.  The project combines NGS-based microbial community profiling, transcriptomics and culture-based approaches to examine host-functional responses, and construct/test synthetic engineered microbiomes of key haptophyte species used in aquaculture and biotechnology.  The project will be based in the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) and CSIRO Marine Research Laboratories in Hobart. The project is supervised by Drs Christopher Bolch (IMAS) and Anusysa Willis (CSIRO), and Kelli Anderson (IMAS) and Dr Heroen Verbruggen (Univ. Melbourne).

Essential skills/experience

Graduates with a strong academic record in Biological or Health Sciences and a background/experience in molecular biology and/or microbiology are encouraged to apply. Applications for this PhD position are open to domestic and international students, provided the latter are competitive when applying for fee waiver scholarships.

Desirable skills/experience

Candidates with strong computing skills and experience of collecting and analysing next-generation-sequencing (NGS) data will be viewed favourably.

Assessment criteria

Applicants will be assessed and ranked according to the quality of their basis for entry research degree and institution, prior peer reviewed publications, academic awards, project-specific skills, training or relevant industry experience, referee's reports and supervisory support.

Contact for more information

Please contact Christopher Bolch at chris.bolch@utas.edu.au for more information.

Closing Date

30 November 2019

The Research Project

Plastic debris is found throughout the world's oceans where it sorbs & concentrates pollutants from the surrounding environment. Marine wildlife commonly mistake debris for food, and >1400 marine species from all trophic levels interact with plastics, including -60% of seabird species. Once ingested, debris leaches chemicals into an animal's blood streams, but the effect the plastic, its associated chemicals or bacterial communities may have on the growth or survival of individuals, or populations or how the plastics' properties influence this transfer are unknown. Documenting and communicating impacts that are not visible to the naked eye is difficult; this is important, not just because public perception strongly influences government policy, but because the lack of data on imperceptible impacts ultimately means we have an incomplete understanding of the scope and severity of the plastics issue. Now or in the future, can ingested plastic contribute to sub-lethal effects, such as infertility or morbidity? These are largely unanswered questions, the outcome of which has potentially serious repercussions for the future of our oceans.

Essential skills/experience

  • First class Honours (or equivalent) in marine ecology or similar area
  • Strong scientific writing skills: ability to synthesise information, write concisely, and publish in timely manner
  • Excellent project management skills: ability to secure research funding, meet deadlines, and liaise with project partners
  • Lab experience: ability to identify and mitigate risks, prepare and analyse samples in clean environment
  • Experience working with wildlife, especially seabirds, including securing ethics, banding, and possession permits

Desirable skills/experience

  • Experience working in remote locations, including islands, and preparing the necessary paperwork
  • Science communication: ability to communicate complex topics to a broad audience
  • Quantitative skills: ability to critically analyse data (ideally using the statistical program R)
  • Data management: strong awareness of importance, proven ability to store data in safe and meaningful way

Assessment criteria

Applicants will be assessed and ranked according to the quality of their basis for entry research degree and institution, prior peer reviewed publications, academic awards, project-specific skills, training or relevant industry experience, referee's reports and supervisory support.

Contact for more information

Please contact Jennifer Lavers at Jennifer.Lavers@utas.edu.au for more information.

Closing Date

31 May 2019

The Research Project

Tasmanian waters are undergoing unprecedented warming rates almost four times the global average, setting off a large-scale shift of specie’s distribution. The unique Tasmanian marine ecosystem and associated fisheries is affected by newly arriving species. The long-spined sea urchin Centrostephanus rodgersii has extended its distribution from NSW and eastern Victoria to along the east-coast of Tasmania, converting rich and diverse kelp forests into deserted barren habitats. Change in the abundance of Centrostephanus is affected by predation including by southern rock lobsters and eastern rock lobsters. These two species are found from NSW to Tasmania but with Easterns dominating catches in NSW while Southerns dominate catches in Tasmania. The abundance of both lobster species changes through time with rapid increase in southern rock lobster stocks underway at present because of rising recruitment and reduced catches regulated by government. Abundance of eastern rock lobsters is currently low and constrained to North-East Tasmania, however, progressive warming conditions of eastern Tasmania would be expected to favour this species.

This project aims to test relative predation of urchins and optimal foraging by eastern rock lobsters and southern rock lobsters, by applying field and laboratory experiments. Outcomes will be relevant to the management of this threat to Tasmanian ecosystems and fisheries.

Essential skills/experience

An honour’s/master’s degree in biology, ecology, animal physiology or related field Laboratory and technical skills and independent problem solving Excellent written, oral and communication skills Desirable skills/experience: Diving, setup of experiments and previous experience with aquatic animal husbandry would be advantageous Experience in statistical programming with R. Video analysis

Assessment criteria

Applicants will be assessed and ranked according to the quality of their basis for entry research degree and institution, prior peer reviewed publications, academic awards, project-specific skills, training or relevant industry experience, referee’s reports and supervisory support.

Contact for more information

Please contact Dr Michael Oellermann for more information.

Closing Date

30 November 2019

The Research Project

This project will focus on the distribution of marine plastics in Antarctic sea ice. The candidate will analyse plastics in archived and new ice cores collected around Antarctica to evaluate the spatial and seasonal patterns, if any, in the samples. Additional work will be conducted in the home laboratory to quantify the mechanisms of plastics incorporation during sea ice formation, using both a sea-ice tank and modelling approaches. Work is envisage with SCRIPPS advisors to evaluate the bioaccumulation and toxicology of microplastics through the polar food-web, from algae, to zooplankton and marine mammals.

Essential skills/experience

  • An undergraduate degree plus Honours or Masters that includes marine biology and chemistry
  • Experience with laboratory-based work, programming for data analysis
  • Strong written and oral communication skills

Desirable skills/experience

  • Familiarity with plastics or sea-ice biogeochemistry

Assessment criteria

Applicants will be assessed and ranked according to the quality of their basis for entry research degree and institution, prior peer reviewed publications, academic awards, project-specific skills, training or relevant industry experience, referee's reports and supervisory support.

Contact for more information

Please contact Delphine Lannuzel at delphine.lannuzel@utas.edu.au for more information.

Closing Date

30 November 2019

The Research Project

The project will use observations and a high-resolution ocean-sea ice model to investigate the impact of the Southern Ocean on Antarctic sea ice trends and variability.

Essential skills/experience

  • Honours (or equivalent) or Master's degree in physics, maths, engineering, physical oceanography, meteorology or related geophysical disciplines
  • Solid mathematical skills, particular in regards to partial differential equations and linear algebra
  • Basic programming skills (UNIX/Linux operating systems and scripting languages, python, matlab, CDO, R, etc)
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team

Desirable skills/experience

  • File format handling (e.g. NetCDF) and post-processing of model data
  • Good communication skills
  • Ocean and/or coupled-modelling experience
  • High performance computing environment

Assessment criteria

Applicants will be assessed and ranked according to the quality of their basis for entry research degree and institution, prior peer reviewed publications, academic awards, project-specific skills, training or relevant industry experience, referee's reports and supervisory support.

Contact for more information

Please contact Dr Will Hobbs at Will.Hobbs@utas.edu.au for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2018

Funding

The project includes up to AUD$1,500pa operational funds to support the PhD research project.

The Research Project

A new era of understanding ocean dynamics and sea level is rapidly approaching with new satellite altimetry missions offering increased accuracy, higher spatial resolution and improved temporal sampling. Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) altimeters offer a stepping stone to future Interferometric SAR (InSAR) altimeters that will revolutionise ocean sampling. This project seeks to further understand SAR altimetry around the Australian coast, with a focus on dedicated experiments and modelling in Bass Strait, aligned with the Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS) satellite altimeter calibration and validation facility. The project will contribute to the further development of a high resolution ocean model over the Bass Strait domain, and study in detail the effects of wind/waves on data from the Sentinel-3A and 3B missions. The candidate will develop and participate in field experiments, and combine in situ, altimeter and modelled datasets to provide an improved understanding of ocean dynamics in the region.

The scholarship will benefit from access to the Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS) satellite altimeter calibration and validation facility located in Bass Strait.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this scholarship:

  • The scholarship is open to domestic candidates and to international candidates.
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis.
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector.
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills.

Candidates with strong quantitative skills from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Candidates with a background in oceanography, geodesy, maths and/or physics are particularly encouraged. Programming and quantitative computational skills would be ranked highly for this project.

Contact for more information

Please contact Dr Christopher Watson in the School of Land and Food (Discipline of Geography and Spatial Sciences) at Christopher.Watson@utas.edu.au for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2018

Funding

The project will include operational funds to support the PhD research project.

The Research Project

This project will use the trace element content of marine pyrite to determine how trace elements have varied in the ocean over the last 65 million years. The pyrite will be analysed by laser ablation-ICP-MS for 30 trace elements, including those elements that are essential for life. The data will be used to infer variations in pO2 and pCO2 in the atmosphere, nutrient supply, organic productivity and pH variations in the Cenozoic ocean. Previous experience in thermodynamic modelling of water chemistry will be useful. Students will visit various locations in Australia and overseas to obtain drill core samples of marine mudstones for analysis. This may involve a scientific cruise to collect new samples.

Applications are welcome from students with a BSc Hons 1 in Geology or Geochemistry with at least a credit in Chemistry 1.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to Australian (domestic) and International candidates
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree in Geology or Geochemistry, including credit level Chemistry 1, and/or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills
  • Applicants must meet English requirements, or be able to do so before commencement

More Information

Please contact Distinguished Professor Ross Large or Dr Sebastien Meffre for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2018

The Research Project

Recently, the use of gold-catalysed reactions has had a transformative impact on the industrial chemical synthesis of organic compounds. These catalysed reactions have been used for the preparation of medicines and other useful compounds. Understanding of the reaction mechanisms assists in improvement of the procedures and enhances our fundamental knowledge of homogeneous catalysis. Usually, due to the high complexity of the mechanisms of these reactions, experimental findings are not capable of fully elucidating mechanisms. Computational approaches are extremely useful for providing insight. This research project is intended to investigate a series of catalytic systems and may involve supporting synthetic studies entailing trialling reaction scope or new catalyst development. Example reactions of interest include the gold(I) catalysed cyclisation of allenyl ketones versus allenoates. By performing this, we will address this question why the cyclization mechanism of allenyl ketones is different from allenoates.

Synthetic chemistry is a core research strength in the chemical sciences at the University of Tasmania, recently rated well above (Inorganic Chemistry) and above (Organic Chemistry) world standard in the Excellence in Research Australia 2015 report. The grouping of computational and synthetic chemistry staff are active in many overlapping collaborative projects ranging from strategic basic to applied areas.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to Australian (domestic) and International candidates
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills
  • Applicants must meet English requirements, or be able to do so before commencement

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Computational chemistry methods
  • Inorganic and/or organic chemistry synthetic chemistry

More Information

Please contact Professor Brian Yates for more information.

Closing Date

30 June 2019

Research Theme

Environment, Resources and Sustainability

The Research Project

This project involves developing a novel synthetic methodology for the synthesis of nitrogen containing complex molecules.  The method will utilise heterocycles as templates by exploiting their reactivity to build up chemical complexity.  This protocol would permit the efficient access to numerous compounds from a common intermediate, an approach that is desirable in any synthesis, but particularly for producing chemical libraries as required for drug discovery.  Targets include the stemona alkaloids stenine, stemoamide and croomine which posses complex molecular architecture and proposed as the active agents in many traditional medicines.

Eligibility

Please refer to the Entry Requirements for a Doctor of Philosophy degree.

The following eligibility criteria apply to this scholarship:

  • The scholarship is open to Australian (domestic) candidates and to International candidates.
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis.
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector.
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills.

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Applied statistics
  • Programming skills

More Information

Please contact Jason Smith for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2022

The Research Project

This project is focused on designing and engineering novel transition metal-based catalysts to establish unprecedented chemical reactions. The potential of these processes to establish new modes of small molecule activation and develop novel synthetic methodology will be explored. The results of this project may lead to the establishment of new strategies for the rapid and direct synthesis of important classes of organic molecules, including natural products and their derivatives.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to domestic and international candidates
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Organic synthesis
  • Inorganic chemistry
  • Organometallic chemistry

More Information

Please contact Dr Alex Bissember for more information.

Closing Date

31 January 2019

The Research Project

This project aims to adopt a drug discovery approach to provide solid evidence for the effect of different cannabinoids by isolating the individual components for thorough evaluation of any therapeutical applications. In this way, clear dose dependant activity can be studied and protocols for the prescription of cannabinoids can be developed that are in-line with modern pharmaceutical procedures. This will also be the start point for the development of novel semi-synthetic cannabinoids that will allow us to develop structure activity relationships for different indications. This potentially extends the scope of the medicinal cannabis industry to be a raw material for the synthesis of active non-natural derivates.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to domestic (Australian and New Zealand) and international candidates
  • The degree must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a First Class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Synthetic Organic Chemistry, including chromatographic techniques
  • Structural Characterisation techniques including NMR,IR and MS

More Information

Please contact Dr Jason Smith for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2018

The Research Project

Effective antibiotic treatment of intensive care unit (ICU) patients with overwhelming infections, including sepsis, remains a significant challenge to critical care physicians world-wide. The incidence of sepsis exceeds colon cancer, breast cancer, and AIDS, with up to 50% of all patients diagnosed with severe sepsis or septic shock dying during hospital admission. Achieving therapeutic antibiotic exposures in ICU patients is highly challenging as these patients display significant pathophysiological changes compared with non-ICU patients. Towards this end, a prototype microdevice has been developed that can detect therapeutic levels of the anbiotic ampicillin in whole blood within 5 min using laboratory instrumentation. This proposal aims to help translate this research into a commercial product through implementation in more manufacturable materials and to expand the applicability of the device to all betalactam antibiotics increasing both the clincial utility and commercial viability of the device.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to Australian (domestic) and International candidates
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills
  • Applicants must meet English requirements, or be able to do so before commencement

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Analytical chemistry
  • Pharmaceutical science, pharmacology
  • Microfabrication

More Information

Please contact Professor Michael Breadmore for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2018

Funding

This project is jointly funded by the Australian Research Council (ARC).

The Research Project

Ubiquitous but inert molecules such as molecular nitrogen and carbon dioxide are processed in biological systems under mild conditions in stark contrast to existing industrial processes which require drastic temperatures and pressures to perform the same function. Our project addresses this in-balance by using powerful computational methods to develop highly-tuned, low-coordinate metal complexes specific for the activation and scission of small molecules possessing strong, multiple bonds. These complexes offer new, inexpensive and less hazardous routes to generating high-value products from simple industrial feedstock molecules, and provide a template for building metal complexes with novel ligands.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to Australian (domestic) and International candidates
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Computational chemistry methods
  • Inorganic chemistry

More Information

Please contact Professor Brian Yates for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2022

Research Theme

Environment, Resources & Sustainability

The Research Project

This project involves the screening of endemic Tasmanian plants to discover new and valuable compounds that can be used to lead drug discovery. By employing a practical pressurised hot water extraction (PHWE) method developed in-house, a range of plants will be extensively screened to determine their chemical profiles. The identification of plants containing significant quantities of organic molecules that can facilitate semi-synthesis and/ or feature chemotaxonomic value will also be pursued.

Eligibility

Please refer to the Entry Requirements for a Doctor of Philosophy degree.

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Synthetic organic chemistry, including chromatographic techniques
  • Structural characterisation techniques including NMR, IR and MSA

More Information

Please contact Dr Alex Bissember for more information.

Closing Date

20 September 2019

The Research Project

In this project, we will develop novel strategies to incorporate porous crystalline metal-organic framework (MOF) materials into macroporous organic polymer monoliths, obtaining novel hierarchically porous separation supports.

Polymer/MOF supports will be applied as advanced stationary phases for liquid chromatographic separation. This research project will include:

  • Polymer, MOF, and polymer/MOF hybrids synthesis and characterization
  • The implementation of polymer/MOFs in capillary column format
  • Their application as chromatographic stationary phases for the separation of different types of mixtures of organic molecules of interest
  • In situ modification of the selectivity and porosity of polymer/MOFs

Eligibility

Please refer to the Entry Requirements for a Doctor of Philosophy degree.

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Analytical chemistry, including chromatographic techniques
  • Synthetic polymer chemistry
  • Coordination polymer synthesis
  • Materials characterization techniques (XRD, FT-IR, BET, TGA)

More Information

Please contact Dr Fernando Maya Alejandro for more information.

Scholarship Type

Faculty Supportive Tuition fee/Living allowance Scholarship

Value & Duration

This scholarship provides $27,596 living allowance (2019 rate, indexed annually) for 3 years, with a possible 6 month extension.

This scholarship is jointly funded by ACROSS and the University of Tasmania in conjunction with two large international Pharmaceutical companies.

Closing Date

22 December 2018

Research Theme

Better Health

The Research Project

With the development of continuous manufacturing processes for tablets and capsules, the need arises for frequent sampling and monitoring of the process used to make the final dosage forms.  This analytical monitoring is in most cases carried out in-situ by spectroscopic methods (NIR, Raman).  However, these methods have limited sensitivity, particularly when used in-situ, that can impair the monitoring of low dose formulations. To achieve the required sensitivity, it is often necessary to bring a sample from the manufacturing line to the laboratory and analyse it using a separation based technique (typically HPLC). This can be time consuming, labour intensive and potentially a safety risk in manufacturing environments. Although online chromatography systems are commercially available, their size and thus explosion risk, and cost are prohibitive for broader or multiple installations.

The student will research and test potential analytical and separation technologies that could be combined to enable the rapid determination concentration of APIs and impurities during the tablet manufacturing process would be of value, particularly in analytical applications where spectroscopic solutions do not deliver the required sensitivity and selectivity.  The goal of this research is to develop knowledge and understanding of which technologies would be optimal to enable real time monitoring of API concentration during the tablet manufacturing processes, with an emphasis on low dose formulations.

Eligibility

Please refer to the Entry Requirements for a Doctor of Philosophy degree.

The following eligibility criteria apply to this scholarship:

  • The scholarship is open to domestic (Australian and New Zealand) and international candidates;
  • The degree must be undertaken on a full-time basis;
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a First Class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector.

Selection Criteria

The scholarship will be competitively assessed against selection criteria.

Applicants should demonstrate knowledge and skills in:

  • Analytical and/or Bioanalytical Chemistry;
  • Instrumentation and Monitoring Technology;
  • Platform Development and Analytical Instrument  Engineering;
  • Software Design and Development for Analytical Systems;
  • Strong research and analytical skills;
  • Ability to work to deadlines;
  • Ability to work as part of a team;
  • Proven Scientific writing skills.

More Information

Please contact Professor Brett Paull for more information.

Closing Date

30 June 2019

Research Theme

Environment, Resources & Sustainability

The Research Project

Stratiform sediment hosted copper deposits are a major source of copper, cobalt and silver. This project will involve the study of the chemistry of pyrite in and around a major sediment-hosted copper deposit. The geology surrounding the deposit will be determined by drill core logging and mapping. This will form the basis of a 3D sampling program to study pyrite textures and LA-ICPMS trace element chemistry in order to map out the geochemical footprint of the deposit.

A 3D model will be developed of pyrite trace element chemistry and paragenesis that will inform the genetic model for the deposit and develop criteria to assist mineral exploration. The successful candidate will have a keen interest in research, economic geology, geochemistry and sedimentary rocks.

Eligibility

Please refer to the Entry Requirements for a Doctor of Philosophy degree.

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Willingness to work in remote field camps if required
  • Drivers licence
  • Degree-level undergraduate education in economic geology and geochemistry or a related subject
  • Drill core logging skills desirable
  • Interest in sedimentology

More Information

Please contact Professor Ross Large for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2018

Funding

Research funds are available to support this PhD project.

The Research Project

Lithocaps have been recognised for over 20 years, but there remains little understanding of the details of their associated alteration and of the processes that produce them. In the southwest of the Republic of Korea a thick lithocap is exposed in quarries that extracted alunite and clay minerals, giving extensive total exposure of the lithocap and the details of its contacts with wallrocks. This project will make use of this unique exposure to determine in detail the vertical variations in mineralogy, chemistry and isotopic signatures of the lithocap, and will use detailed study of the contacts between lithocap alteration and wallrocks to determine the processes by which lithocap alteration occurs, resulting in total modification of the texture, mineralogy and chemistry of the affected wallrocks. This understanding has important implications for how we use lithocaps to help locate major economic orebodies that are spatially and genetically related to them.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to Domestic and International candidates
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours or Master degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Broad-based geology
  • Economic geology
  • Geological field mapping

More Information

Please contact Dr Lejun Zhang for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2019

The Research Project

This project will focus on the economic geology potential of a relatively less explored part of the Asia-Pacific region. The candidate will combine furthering the understanding of the regional tectonics and geological setting with a more detailed study of orogenic gold deposit formation in Central Myanmar.

The project will combine field geology with advanced geochemical analytics using the facilities in Earth Sciences/CODES at UTAS.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to domestic and international candidates
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Broad-based geology
  • Economic geology
  • Geochemistry and analytical experience

More Information

Please contact Professor Khin Zaw for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2018

Funding

Research funds are available to support this project.

The Research Project

Devonian granitoids in eastern Tasmania are associated with numerous Au and Sn-W mineral districts. These I- and S-type batholiths have intruded a package of Cambrian turbidites of the Mathinna Supergroup. Many of the granitoids include textural features associated with fluid and volatile saturation and exsolution, which has implications into ore genesis. This project will involve detailed and regional mapping of the Coles Bay granite plutons of eastern Tasmania, with emphasis along the Freycinet Peninsula and Schouten Island regions. Well constrained sample material will be analysed to determine the variations in mineralogy, chemistry, geochronology and isotopic signatures across this suite of granite bodies. These results will improve our understanding of protracted and episodic magmatic processes and modes of emplacement of distinct granite systems. Understanding the geochemical, volatile and fluid evolution of the Coles Bay granites has implications for how we explore for granite-related mineral systems worldwide. Furthermore, the results from this project will form the basis for regional maps yet to be produced in the region.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to domestic (Australian and New Zealand) and international candidates
  • The degree must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a First Class Honours degree or Master’s degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills
  • Applicants must meet English speaking and writing requirements, or be able to do so before commencement

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Broad-based geology
  • Geological field mapping

More Information

Information can be found here: http://www.utas.edu.au/codes/whats-new/news-item/phd-petrogenesis-of-the-devonian-coles-bay-granites,-eastern-tasmania

Please contact Dr Evan Orovan for more information.

Closing Date

31 March 2019

The Research Project

Rheology is one of the least well-constrained physical properties of the deep Earth. It is extensively used in relating changing ice-sheet loads to the vertical motion of land masses in the polar regions and therefore of broad interdisciplinary impact. This study will establish a method of simulating rheological properties from seismic tomography and other information and map the variation of such properties across Antarctica. Appraising the uncertainties and their impact on glacial isostatic modelling will be a key component of the research.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to domestic and international candidates
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Global geophysics
  • Mathematics and physics
  • Informatics and computation

More Information

Please contact Associate Professor Anya Reading for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2019

Funding

Research funds are available to support necessary costs.

The Research Project

Myanmar is long known as a country, endowed with rich mineral resources and there remains considerable potential for future exploration to identify a diverse range of commodities from tin, tungsten, copper, gold, silver, led, zinc, nickel and gemstones. The Monywa copper district in Myanmar is an high sulphidation copper deposits of Kyisintaung, Sabetaung, Sabetaung South and the much larger Letpadaung. Together these deposits have pre-mining resources totalling 2 billion tonnes of ore with over 7 million tonnes contained copper.

The aims of this project are:

  1. A chronologically ordered, well dated paragenetic sequence of host rocks, alteration styles, mineralization and veins/fracture fills
  2. Allow constraints on the nature of the ore fluids within distinct hydrothermal stages
  3. Clarify the provenance of the involved fluids
  4. Finally, in the light of the newly obtained data, the geological and geochemical characteristics of Cu-Au mineralization of the Monywa-Popa-Wuntho area will be compared and contrasted with other high sulfidation epithermal deposits in the world

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to Australian (domestic) and International candidates
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills
  • Applicants must meet English requirements, or be able to do so before commencement

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Applied geology
  • Programming skills

More information

Please contact Professor Khin Zaw for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2018

The Research Project

This project will use the trace element content of black shales and associated marine pyrite to determine how Platinum Group Elements (Pt, Pd, Rh, Re, Os) have varied in the ocean through Earth history. Preliminary unpublished research suggest that certain times in Earth history showed elevated PGE in the oceans (e.g. 2100 Ma and 1100 Ma). The minerals in selected black shales will be analysed by LA-ICPMS to determine partitioning of PGE between sulfides, silicates, oxides and organic matter. The project will determine what geological and geochemical factors controlled the PGE content of the oceans.  The Ph.D. candidate will visit various locations in Australia and overseas to obtain drill core samples of marine mudstones for analysis. This may involve a scientific cruise to collect new samples.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to domestic and international candidates
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Broad-based geology
  • Geochemistry and analytical experience
  • Environmental geochemistry

More Information

Please contact Distinguished Professor Ross Large more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2018

The Research Project

This project is aimed to develop a three-dimensional hybrid continuous-discontinuous method for studying dynamic fracture of rock under impact and cyclic loads and arching behaviour of resultant irregular-shaped deformable and further breakable fragments.

The project will address:

  1. How can the transition of rock from continua to discontinua during fracture be modelled?
  2. How can the hybrid method be accelerated using heterogeneous CPU and GPU parallel computing technique for large-scale real time modelling?
  3. How can the hybrid method to consider dependence of rock strength on loading rates and how can heterogeneity be implemented to simulate rock fracture progressive process?
  4. How can the hybrid method be calibrated against well-known dynamic/cyclic rock fracture experiments?
  5. How can the hybrid method be applied to model rock fragmentations in rock boring & blast and rock mass instability in surface and underground excavations.

The outcome of this project will improve the rock mass excavation /fragmentation efficiency in rock cutting, drilling, crushing and blasting, and improve the rock mass stability in surface and underground excavation in mining, tunnelling and civil engineering. This project will improve our access to natural resources, especially deep or offshore natural resources, and safeguard our existing and new infrastructures.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to Australian (domestic) and International candidates
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills
  • Applicants must meet English requirements, or be able to do so before commencement

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Continuum or non-continuum mechanics
  • Programming skills (preferably C/C++ and Python)
  • Computer Graphics

More Information

Please contact Dr Hong Y Liu for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2018

Funding

Research funds are available to support this PhD project.

The Research Project

Lithocaps have been recognised for over 20 years, but there remains little understanding of the details of their associated alteration and of the processes that produce them. In the southwest of the Republic of Korea a thick lithocap is exposed in quarries that extracted alunite and clay minerals, giving extensive total exposure of the lithocap and the details of its contacts with wallrocks. This project will make use of this unique exposure to determine in detail the vertical variations in mineralogy, chemistry and isotopic signatures of the lithocap, and will use detailed study of the contacts between lithocap alteration and wallrocks to determine the processes by which lithocap alteration occurs, resulting in total modification of the texture, mineralogy and chemistry of the affected wallrocks. This understanding has important implications for how we use lithocaps to help locate major economic orebodies that are spatially and genetically related to them.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to Domestic and International candidates
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours or Master degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Broad-based geology
  • Economic geology
  • Geological field mapping

More Information

Please contact Dr Lejun Zhang for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2018

The Research Project

Tertiary outcrops in Iran show thick welded ignimbrite sequences interbedded with deep marine sediments. Unequivocal evidence of hot gas-supported volcaniclastic deposits in marine setting is rare, and the exceptional outcrop quality will allow unprecedented documentation of sedimentological interaction of a hot pyroclastic flow with the marine sea floor. This study will evaluate the bedforms and welding textures of the widespread deposits to interpret provenance (subaerial pyroclastic flow entering the ocean versus submarine eruption), and discuss on their associated marine hazards. In addition, the survivability of a hot gas pocket transported over large distances under water will be evaluated. This study will include fieldwork campaign in Iran, and will be undertaken in collaboration with the Iran Geological Survey.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to domestic and international candidates
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Broad-based geology including field mapping
  • Sedimentology and Stratigraphic Logging
  • Volcanology
  • Spoken and written language skills in Farsi

More Information

Please contact Dr Martin Jutzeler for more information.

Closing Date

31 March 2019

The Research Project

Rheology is one of the least well-constrained physical properties of the deep Earth. It is extensively used in relating changing ice-sheet loads to the vertical motion of land masses in the polar regions and therefore of broad interdisciplinary impact. This study will establish a method of simulating rheological properties from seismic tomography and other information and map the variation of such properties across Antarctica. Appraising the uncertainties and their impact on glacial isostatic modelling will be a key component of the research.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to domestic and international candidates
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Global geophysics
  • Mathematics and physics
  • Informatics and computation

More Information

Please contact Associate Professor Anya Reading for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2018

The Research Project

Very little information is available on the transport and sedimentation of volcanic clasts during and following deep submarine eruptions. In response to the large magnitude eruption of the 2012 submarine Havre volcano in the Kermadec arc, a marine expedition collected exceptional video footage and sediment samples of pumice-rich seafloor deposits linked to this eruption. This project aims to identify syn-eruptive and post-eruptive sedimentation processes associated with the 2012 Havre submarine eruption by analysing bedforms and sediment componentry. The study will reconstruct the main current trajectories, and infer on the associated eruption and transport processes.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to domestic and international candidates
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Broad-based geology
  • Sedimentology
  • Volcanology

More Information

Please contact Dr Martin Jutzeler for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2018

Funding

Research funds are available to support necessary costs.

The Research Project

In 2014, the IODP 350 expedition drilled at proximity of volcanic seamounts in the Izu-Bonin-Mariana rear-arc. This expedition was part of a huge investment from the international Earth science community to understand evolution of volcanic island arcs and formation of continental crust in a global perspective, and through three IODP expeditions. From the collected cores, there is a strong opportunity for outstanding and innovative research on submarine sedimentology and volcanology.

IODP expedition 350 recovered more than 1,800 m of in situ sediments from a volcano-bounded basin and a volcanic apron in the rear of the Izu-Bonin-Mariana arc, giving an exceptional proximal to distal record of submarine volcanic activity during the Miocene to the Quaternary. The cores used in this project would be multiple well-preserved, consolidated volcaniclastic deposits from the lower part of the hole (Units II to VI). This extensive dataset will provide an outstanding record of submarine explosive eruptions, providing temporal constrain on frequency and types of eruptions from underwater volcanoes. This project has large implications on transport and sedimentation processes during subaerial and submarine eruptions, style of submarine volcanism, provenance of sediments, eruption periodicity, etc. Additional research on samples from other IODP expeditions (126, 340) and possible onland deposits (e.g. USA, Japan) is likely.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to Australian (domestic) and International candidates
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills
  • Applicants must meet English requirements, or be able to do so before commencement

More Information

Please contact Dr Martin Jutzeler for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2018

The Research Project

This project will use the trace element content of black shales and associated marine pyrite to determine how Platinum Group Elements (Pt, Pd, Rh, Re, Os) have varied in the ocean through Earth history. Preliminary unpublished research suggest that certain times in Earth history showed elevated PGE in the oceans (e.g. 2100 Ma and 1100 Ma). The minerals in selected black shales will be analysed by LA-ICPMS to determine partitioning of PGE between sulfides, silicates, oxides and organic matter. The project will determine what geological and geochemical factors controlled the PGE content of the oceans.  The Ph.D. candidate will visit various locations in Australia and overseas to obtain drill core samples of marine mudstones for analysis. This may involve a scientific cruise to collect new samples.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to domestic and international candidates
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Broad-based geology
  • Geochemistry and analytical experience
  • Environmental geochemistry

More Information

Please contact Distinguished Professor Ross Large more information.

Closing Date

30 June 2019

Research Theme

Environment, Resources & Sustainability

The Research Project

The 1886 Tarawera eruption is one of only four global examples of the high intensity end-‐member of basaltic volcanism and the only one for which there are detailed written eyewitness accounts. The deposits are exposed exceptionally close to the source to within <100 m of the 1886 vents. Such exposure permits a rich and detailed record of eruption dynamics.

The ultraproximal deposits consist of a series of truncated scoria cones confined to <400 m of source. Three units (phreatomagmatic-­‐magmatic-­‐phreatomagmatic) are identified within the stratigraphy at most locations. The contacts between Units 1 and 2 and Units 2 and 3 are time transgressive, with some sub-­‐craters remaining phreatomagmatic long after the onset of “dry” magmatic fragmentation at other sites.

This proposed science will test the following hypotheses: 

  • That craters with thick uniform phreatomagmatic Unit 1 and 3 deposits are coincident with vents that were in the powerful plinian phase of eruption
  • The availability of water drove shifts of eruptive style
  • Mass eruption rates were the principal factor in shifts in eruption style
  • A threshold of conduit excavation was a principal factor in shifts in eruptive style

Eligibility

Please refer to the Entry Requirements for a Doctor of Philosophy degree.

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • A desire for fieldwork
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Degree-level undergraduate education in Geology, Geochemistry and Volcanology or a related subject

More Information

Please contact Dr Rebecca Carey for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2018

Funding

The project will be part of a large ARC Linkage Project, which will provide operational funds to undertake the work.

The Research Project

The project will involve developing algorithms to identify bird species present in Tasmanian and Victorian wet eucalypt forests from acoustic recordings. These algorithms will be applied to recordings from a range of sites in order to address a suite of ecological questions about how of the distribution of mature forest in a landscape affects the distribution of bird species.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to Australian (domestic) and International candidates
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills
  • Applicants must meet English requirements, or be able to do so before commencement

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Applied statistics
  • High level programming skills

More Information

Please contact Associate Professor Greg Jordan for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2019

Research Theme

Environment, Resources and Sustainability

The Research Project

The evolution of galaxies over cosmic time is influenced by factors such as environment, interactions, AGN feedback and star formation. We are using a powerful new tracer to investigate nearby starburst galaxies, where large-scale processes are driving the rapid formation of large numbers of stars.

In order to better understand the factors which cause enhanced star formation rates in starburst galaxies we need to form a holistic picture of the process, which includes the dense molecular gas that acts as the fuel. We have recently discovered a new type of methanol maser, associated with the molecular gas in the central regions of starburst galaxies and the primary purpose of this project is to improve our understanding of these masers, in order to determine how they relate to the starburst phenomenon.

This project will involve utilising world-class radio and millimetre interferometers, such as the Australia Telescope Compact Array, the Jansky Very Large Array and the Atacama Large Millimetre Array to make sensitive, high-resolution observations of methanol maser transitions and range of other molecular tracers.  These data will be used to better understand the physical conditions in the regions where the maser arise and how these relate to large-scale dynamical and chemical processes within the host galaxy, with the overall aim of providing a new tool to help understand the causes of starbursts and its relation to the evolution of galaxies over cosmic time.

Eligibility

Please refer to the Entry Requirements for a Doctor of Philosophy degree.

The following eligibility criteria apply to this scholarship:

  • The scholarship is open to Australian (domestic) candidates and to International candidates.
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis.
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector.
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills.
  • Experience in Radio interferometry is highly desirable.

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Degree-level undergraduate education in physics, astronomy, or a related subject.

More Information

Please contact Simon Ellingsen for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2018

The Research Project

Accretion onto supermassive black holes at the centres of galaxies powers relativistic jets of radio-emitting plasma, which in turn significantly affect the fate of galactic gas - the raw material from which stars are made. In this way, these objects (known as Active Galactic Nuclei; AGN) regulate the growth of galaxies through the process of AGN feedback.

AGN feedback is a major science goal for both the recently constructed Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) and the future SKA. However, the physics of how AGN jet energy couples to the surrounding gas is still poorly understood. This PhD project will combine analytical models and numerical simulations to quantify the efficiency of AGN feedback for a wide range of jet and galaxy parameters, and how the feedback mechanisms have evolved over cosmic time. A unique feature of this project is in the ability to model the AGN and galaxy populations together for the first time. This is made possible by a self-consistent treatment of gaseous environments through which AGN jets propagate. The successful candidate will use the UTAS-developed RAiSE analytical model for AGN jet propagation, complemented by simulations with the PLUTO numerical hydrodynamics code run on a distributed grid.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to Australian (domestic) and International candidates
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Candidates with physics or astronomy experience are particularly encouraged. Programming skills would be an advantage for this project.

More Information

Please contact Dr Stanislav Shabala for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2019

Research Theme

Environment, Resources and Sustainability

The Research Project

One of the six ‘big questions’ posed in the 2016 Decadal Plan for Australian Astronomy: How do stars and planetary systems form? This PhD project will directly address this fundamental question.

The University of Tasmania is collaborating in a “Legacy” science project being undertaken with the Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA) that is building on Australia’s rich tradition of spectral line legacy surveys to deliver a 7-mm dense gas survey of the Fourth Quadrant Galactic Plane in multiple molecular spectral lines and continuum emission. This will address a wide range of astrophysical challenges, including directly testing competing theories of massive star formation and mapping the dense gas structure of the Milky Way through to the far side of the Disk.  By locking in key measurements in our "astronomical backyard", the project will provide a crucial astrophysical template that will allow us to interpret future sensitive, high-resolution surveys of external galaxies with ALMA and the SKA.

This project will involve utilising the Australia Telescope Compact Array to make sensitive, high-resolution observations of the dense-gas molecular tracer CS, along with methanol masers and range of other molecular tracers.  These data will be used to obtain a census of high-mass star forming regions (through CS, SiO, methanol masers and radio continuum observations) and directly test theoretical predictions of high-mass star formation and their precursors, feeding directly into future work on high-mass star formation.

Eligibility

Please refer to the Entry Requirements for a Doctor of Philosophy degree.

The following eligibility criteria apply to this scholarship:

  • The scholarship is open to Australian (domestic) candidates and to International candidates.
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis.
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector.
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills.
  • Experience in Radio interferometry is highly desirable.

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Degree-level undergraduate education in physics, astronomy, or a related subject.

More Information

Please contact Simon Ellingsen for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2018

The Research Project

The paradigm that amino acid sequences are uniquely associated with particular protein structures (folds) has been found to be incorrect: for example there can be many very different amino acid sequences that still encode the same protein, and different proteins with similar structures (and therefore functions). The same sequence can even have more than one stable structure.

Understanding the evolution of protein sequences in this complex environment is a significant challenge; hence we will focus on single domain (essentially, single functional unit) proteins. This project will analyse some of the relationships between sequence and structure of single-domain proteins: how many sequences have each stable structure? For a given sequence with a certain favoured fold, how much mutation need occur before another fold is more stable? How connected, in sequence space, are the folds of single-domain proteins? How much of all the possible sequence space is really being "used"?

We hope to take this new knowledge and use it to inform models of protein sequence evolution to get better estimates of evolutionary distance, and of how and where selection is acting in the tree of life.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to domestic candidates and to international candidates
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Molecular biology
  • Computer science
  • Discrete mathematics
  • Applied statistics

More Information

Please contact Associate Professor Michael Charleston for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2018

Research Themes

  • Environment, Resources & Sustainability
  • Data, Knowledge and Decisions

The Research Project

Our research into the phylogenetic relationships among eucalypts, using genome-wide markers and multiple geographically widespread samples, has revealed numerous puzzling discrepancies, most likely due to recent radiation, incomplete lineage sorting of given genomic markers, and/or reticulate (non-tree-like) evolution. However, these evolutionary processes are difficult to distinguish, and the relative contribution of each is likely to vary across the continent and among groups of species. This cross-disciplinary project will exploit this molecular phylogeny of eucalypts to tease apart these evolutionary processes and reconstruct the relative timing of the evolution of key traits, to test whether these traits are correlated with each other in time and whether they are associated with major changes in environment.

The project will be embedded in the Eucalypt Genetics Research Group at UTAS, which has a world-class interdisciplinary research programme that investigates the evolutionary and ecological forces that shape diversity in Eucalyptus. It involves cross-disciplinary collaboration with mathematicians in the Theoretical Phylogenetics Group at UTAS, which has a special interest in applying mathematics and statistics to problems in evolutionary biology and ecology.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to domestic (Australian and New Zealand) and international candidates
  • The degree must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a First Class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Phylogenetics
  • Genomics
  • Bioinformatics
  • Plant adaptation and evolution
  • Forest trees (particularly eucalypts)

More Information

Please contact the below staff for more information:

Closing Date

31 December 2018

The Research Project

Estimating phylogenetic trees from DNA sequence data is a standard task in biology, yet it remains a difficult challenge. One aspect of that challenge is that genes themselves can have different evolutionary trees from those of their host organisms as genes can duplicate independently of their host species, transfer across species boundaries, or become extinct. Hence, even though we might have a very good chance of inferring the gene tree correctly, it's not always an easy task to calculate what the underlying organismal tree is.

This project will develop new methods to reconcile evolutionary trees of multiple genes to find the species tree that best explains the inferred gene trees. Depending on the background of the student and the progress during the PhD project, this will either focus on a likelihood-based approach using an existing probabilistic model, or a more combinatorial strategy to minimise the number of non codivergence evolutionary events are required on the gene trees to fit the species tree.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to domestic and international candidates
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Particular knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include

  • Applied statistics
  • Discrete mathematics/computer science
  • Programming

More Information

Please contact Associate Professor Michael Charleston for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2018

The Research Project

The Large and Small Magellanic Clouds are the nearest gas-rich galaxies to the Milky Way. Because of their proximity, they are a benchmark for studies of a variety of topics, including stellar populations, the interstellar medium, and the cosmological distance scale. However, there is a high degree of uncertainty as to the true orbits and masses of the Magellanic Clouds, because he internal motions of stars and gas within and around the Clouds are of the same order of magnitude as their orbital velocities around the Milky Way.

The PhD candidate will create a large database of stellar radial velocities to derive improved dynamical parameters for both Clouds. They will link the stellar velocities to proper motions to obtain the full phase-space position of thousands of stars, and compare the trends in orbital motion across various stellar populations to see how radio wavelength tracers of gas motions relate to the stellar motions. This will allow an accurate reconstruction of the past orbits and interactions of the Clouds with each other and with the Milky Way. This project involves collaboration with world-leading groups, and has the potential to answer a major unresolved 50-year old question in astrophysics.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to domestic and to international candidates
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Candidates with physics or astronomy experience are particularly encouraged. Programming skills would be an advantage for this project.

More Information

Please contact Dr Andrew Cole for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2018

The Research Project

This research project will focus on the mathematical design of shim and gradient coils for Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). In particular, the project will extend recent research conducted by our group into the use of basis sets pertinent to the geometry of the coils.

All MRI machines contain a collection of magnets and coils that, when used in concert in a predefined way, permit high resolution images to be reconstructed from magnetic field measurements. Most medical MRI machines have cylindrical configurations, with the magnets either lining the walls of the cylindrical chamber or forming the circular endplates. Despite the cylindrical structure, mathematical models are often influenced by spherical harmonics, linked to the spherical imaging region – the diameter sensitive volume (DSV).

In this project we aim to develop mathematical models that are computationally more efficient than existing models. The improved efficiency will come from matching the DSV basis set to the basis set used to model various operational and engineering quantities such as current density, magnetic field, power, heat, and acoustic noise.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to Australian (domestic) and International candidates
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills
  • Applicants must meet English requirements, or be able to do so before commencement

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Applied mathematics or related areas
  • Programming skills - experience in the use of MATLAB

More Information

Please contact Dr Michael Brideson for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2018

Research Theme

Data, Knowledge & Decisions

Funding

This project includes an AUD$27,082pa (2018 rate) living allowance scholarship for three years, with a possible six month extension, funded by DECRA/ARC funds and the School of Natural Sciences.

The Research Project

Under contract with Geoscience Australia, the University of Tasmania (UTAS) operates a continent-wide network of geodetic Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) telescopes. Our antennas in Katherine (NT), Yarragadee (WA) and Hobart (TAS) contribute to measuring global reference frames and Earth orientation.

VLBI observations to satellites have the aim of improved space ties, meaning to better connect VLBI and GPS in establishing the most precise coordinate system of the Earth. UTAS is leading efforts towards realising this exciting new observing technique, supported by the Australian Research Council with project funds and a PhD scholarship.

This project includes work on VLBI observations to satellites, perform the observations, process the data and analyse results. The candidate should resolve current issues with signal strengths and receiver characteristics and develop new processing chains, in order to exceed current accuracies.

The successful candidate should be prepared to work in developing existing programs and software, as well as responsibly use the University’s radio telescopes. She/he is expected to perform independent research, assisted by the supervisory team. The project further offers the opportunity to take an active role in supporting daily operations as part of a global telescope network.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The scholarship is open to domestic (Australian and New Zealand) and international candidates
  • The degree must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a First Class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Education in geodesy and spatial sciences
  • Familiarity  with space geodetic techniques is welcome
  • Education in Physics or Astronomy
  • Knowledge of Linux, programming and software development is also welcome

More Information

Please contact Dr Lucia McCallum for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2018

Funding

The project will include AUD$1,500pa operational funds to support the PhD research project.

The Research Project

The Southern HII Region Discovery Survey (SHRDS) is a radio frequency survey of the Milky Way Galactic plane, using the Australia Telescope Compact Array telescope. Coupled with a similar survey in the Northern Hemisphere, the SHRDS has detected radio recombination line emission from some 200 new HII regions in the inner Galaxy. The challenge now is to determine the distances, chemical compositions, masses and temperatures of these regions. Using the existing data, plus new observations from telescopes at UTAS and CSIRO, the Ph.D. student will map the structure and motions of our Galaxy. In particular, HII regions trace spiral arms, and the SHRDS will allow a more complete picture of the spiral structure of the Milky Way to be drawn. The project combines technical expertise working with telescopes and radio astronomy data calibration, with numerical modelling and radiative transfer astrophysics to interpret the data in the context of the interstellar medium.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to Australian (domestic) and International candidates
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Astrophysics and astronomy experience
  • Programming and computer systems and networking skills

More Information

Please contact Professor John Dickey for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2018

The Research Project

The evolution of black holes and their host galaxies are intricately linked. One manifestation of this link is the active phase of the black hole lifecycle, when the previously dormant supermassive black holes at the centres of galaxies emit jets of relativistic plasma. These jets burrow through the surrounding gas, significantly affecting the evolution of their host galaxy; they also emit synchrotron radiation observable with radio telescopes. Understanding the mechanisms responsible for triggering and truncation of jet activity is a key science driver for next-generation astronomical instruments, including the Square Kilometre Array. The SKA and pathfinders will collect a wealth of relevant data over a wide range of radio frequencies. The challenge is to interpret these data within a robust theoretical framework.

This PhD project will use a combination of analytical models and numerical simulations to link models describing two different spatial scales: within and outside the gaseous disk of the galaxy hosting the radio jets. The models will be applied to existing and upcoming observational data, including from the Australian SKA Pathfinder (ASKAP), the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) and the Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA), to infer the lifetimes and energetics of black hole jets.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to Australian (domestic) and International candidates
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Candidates with physics or astronomy experience are particularly encouraged. Programming skills would be an advantage for this project.

More Information

Please contact Dr Stanislav Shabala for more information.

Closing Date

31 March 2019

Funding

Operational funds to support the PhD research project will be provided, as well as opportunities for further funding applications.

The Research Project

Sarcoptic mange disease (etiologic agent Sarcoptes scabiei mite) is a significant threat to animal welfare and conservation globally, and also to human health. The transmission of this parasitic mite involves interactions among hosts leading to direct transmission and also an environmentally persistent stage leading to indirect transmission among hosts. Transmission can be dominated by one host species or among a community of host species. Further, the transmission of this parasite can be influenced by use of parasiticides. Thus, the complex ecology of S. scabiei transmission requires integrative approaches to comprehend and manage.

This multidisciplinary PhD focusses on combining expertise in biology and mathematics under a Data, Knowledge and Decisions framework to understand the transmission and control of S. scabiei. It will focus primarily on sarcoptic mange disease of bare-nosed wombats (Vombatus ursinus) and have opportunities for extending beyond this host species, including to humans. Research directions may include, but are not limited to:

  • How the spatial variation of wombat populations shapes transmission of S. scabiei
  • How environmental factors shape the divergent dynamics of S. scabiei transmission among wombat populations
  • How the community of native and invasive mammals in Australia influence spatiotemporal disease dynamic
  • The links between European colonial history and the global dissemination of S. scabiei

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to domestic (Australian and New Zealand) and international candidates
  • The degree must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a First Class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

More Information

Please contact Dr Scott Carver and Professor Larry Forbes for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2018

Funding

The scholarship also includes AUD$1,500pa operational funds to support the PhD research project.

The Research Project

Interactions between galaxies are known to play a key role in their evolution throughout cosmic history.  Studies of past and current interactions between Local Group galaxies provide us with a unique opportunity to investigate the key factors and effects of such interactions at high resolution and sensitivity.  The Large and Small Magellanic Clouds (LMC & SMC), at distances of ~50 kpc and ~62 kpc respectively, are two of the closest galaxies to the MW. Because of their proximity, they are a benchmark for studies of a variety of topics, including stellar populations, the interstellar medium, and the cosmological distance scale.  Observations of the MCs can be compared with cosmological simulations to determine how interactions may have led to the triggering of star formation and how infall into the MW's halo may have led to quenching of star formation in the MCs due to gas stripping.

Our understanding of the interaction of the LMC & SMC with each other and with the Milky Way (MW) have changed dramatically in the last decade due to new measurements of the proper motions of the LMC and SMC. This project will utilise the three orders of magnitude improvement in resolution of very long baseline interferometry (VLBI) over optical observations and avoid the substantial systematic effects inherent in proper motion determination from the stellar population.  LBA observations with a time baseline of 18-24 months have been undertaken and will be able to provide an independent estimate of the proper motions of both Magellanic Clouds accurate to ~50 μas/yr (corresponding to an uncertainty in velocity of ~13 kms-1 and thus giving stronger constraints on their past orbits than any previous measurements.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to Australian (domestic) and International candidates
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree in physics or astrophysics or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

More Information

Please contact Professor Simon Ellingsen of the School of Physical Sciences for more information.

Closing Date

31 March 2019

The Research Project

Many situations exist where two different fluids are in contact at some interface. When the two-fluid configuration is disturbed, the interface can be unstable, in the sense that the initial disturbance grows with time, eventually forming bubbles or jets of one fluid inside the second fluid. Situations like this occur naturally, and over an enormous range of length scales. Examples include water from a melting iceberg meeting the surrounding sea-water, or in astrophysics as stars explode, or even at microscopic scales in some biological processes. Such flows also occur during volcanic eruptions, or in fountains, or in storm fronts in meteorology.

PhD projects in this area might involve:

  • The stability of intrusion currents in reservoirs, meteorological flows, volcanic outflows or flows in the ocean
  • Evolution of an initially spherical ball of gas, after it has been disturbed by a shock wave (the Richtmyer-Meshkov instability)
  • The effects of magnetic fields on eventual outflow shapes (in astrophysics)
  • Modelling three-dimensional instabilities in rising plumes

New solutions of these problems will be obtained using the tools of Applied Mathematics, such as linearized approximations and asymptotic analysis, combined with the design of powerful new computational techniques designed specifically for these applications.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to domestic (Australian and New Zealand) and international candidates
  • The degree must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a First Class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

Candidates with an Applied Mathematical, Physics or Engineering background are encouraged to apply.

More Information

Please contact Professor Larry Forbes for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2018

The Research Project

The 1.3-metre H127 telescope 65km north of Hobart is designed to accommodate a suite of instrumentation that can be switched “on the fly” to meet observer demands. The goal of this project is to develop a fibre feed to bring light from the focal plane of the telescope to the optical/near-infrared spectrograph ~15m away in an environment-controlled location. Spectroscopy is a fundamental aspect of modern astrophysical research and is the backbone of areas from planetary science to stellar, galactic, and extragalactic astronomy.

The University is in possession of a dual-beam spectrograph capable of recording blue and red wavelengths simultaneously. The spectrograph will sit on a vibration-isolated optical bench in a room below the telescope. In this project, the candidate will design and implement a system by which optical fibres may be positioned in the focal plane to bring light to the spectrograph.

The candidate will:

  1. Determine the optimum fibre characteristics to match the site and telescope properties to optimise the spectrograph performance
  2. Investigate the potential to use image slicers or other front-end optics to increase the spectral resolution of the instrument
  3. Demonstrate the performance of the spectrograph with application to exoplanet searches and stellar astrophysics

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to domestic and to international candidates
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Candidates with physics or astronomy experience are particularly encouraged. Programming skills would be an advantage for this project.

More Information

Please contact Dr Andrew Cole for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2018

Funding

The projects will include a AUD$27,082pa (2018 rate) living allowance scholarship for three years, co-funded by The Forest Practices Authority (FPA)

Research Theme

Environment, Resources & Sustainability

The Research Project

Three PhD opportunities are available in the area of environmental and resource economics focussed on the forestry sector. The projects form part of the broader programme funded by the Tasmanian State Government to improve forestry-related socio-economic data to facilitate policy analysis in environmental decision making within the Forest Practices System. These research opportunities would suit environmental or resource economists or biological scientists/ecologists with a demonstrated capacity to work across disciplines.

The Forest Practices Authority (FPA) is the independent statutory authority responsible for forestry regulation on Crown and private lands. The aim is to further develop strategic economic and related social advice to the FPA to augment existing environmental advisory services and consider economic and related social data.

The projects will be supervised across the ARC Centre for Forest Value, the Tasmanian School of Business and Economics (TSBE) and the The Forest Practices Authority (FPA).

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to domestic (Australian and New Zealand) and international candidates
  • The degree must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a First Class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

More Information

Please contact the below staff for more information:

Closing Date

30 June 2019

Research Theme

Environment, Resources & Sustainability

The Research Project

Eucalypts are keystone species in numerous Australian ecosystems, many of which are under threat. As climates change, restoration programs must maximise the capacity of regenerating ecosystems to adapt to new environments. The choice of germplasm for ecological restoration requires careful consideration to maximise survival in a rapidly changing climate. One consideration is the long-term adaptive potential of the genetic material being used. Various strategies have been developed, particularly focused on maximising genetic diversity of seed sources.

The University of Tasmania has partnered with Greening Australia to establish a series of large, long-term experiments to test a variety of restoration strategies in the degraded agricultural landscapes of the midlands of Tasmania. Using these field trials and wild populations of native Eucalyptus species, the research project will use morphometric, functional trait and genomic approaches to assess adaptation capacity and test strategies for optimising survival and performance of restoration plantings now and into the future.

This project offers an excellent opportunity to contribute to real world science using traditional quantitative genetic and functional trait analyses, advanced DNA technologies and novel computer-modelling approaches.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to domestic (Australian and New Zealand) and international candidates
  • The degree must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a First Class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Genomics
  • Quantitative genetics
  • Functional trait analysis
  • Bioinformatics
  • Modelling
  • Applied statistics

More Information

Please contact Dr Dorothy Steane for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2018

Research Themes

  • Environment, Resources & Sustainability
  • Data, Knowledge and Decisions

The Research Project

Our research into the phylogenetic relationships among eucalypts, using genome-wide markers and multiple geographically widespread samples, has revealed numerous puzzling discrepancies, most likely due to recent radiation, incomplete lineage sorting of given genomic markers, and/or reticulate (non-tree-like) evolution.  However, these evolutionary processes are difficult to distinguish, and the relative contribution of each is likely to vary across the continent and among groups of species. This cross-disciplinary project will exploit this molecular phylogeny of eucalypts to tease apart these evolutionary processes and reconstruct the relative timing of the evolution of key traits, to test whether these traits are correlated with each other in time and whether they are associated with major changes in environment.

The project will be embedded in the Eucalypt Genetics Research Group at UTAS, which has a world-class interdisciplinary research programme that investigates the evolutionary and ecological forces that shape diversity in Eucalyptus. It involves cross-disciplinary collaboration with mathematicians in the Theoretical Phylogenetics Group at UTAS, which has a special interest in applying mathematics and statistics to problems in evolutionary biology and ecology.

Eligibility

Please refer to the Entry Requirements for a Doctor of Philosophy degree.

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Degree-level undergraduate education in plant science, genetics and evolution, mathematics or a related subject
  • Knowledge of phylogenetics, genomics, bioinformatics, plant adaptation and evolution, forest trees (particularly eucalypts)

More Information

Please contact the below staff for more information:

Closing Date

31 December 2018

Research Theme

Environment, Resources & Sustainability

The Research Project

An exciting opportunity is available for a highly motivated student to join the Eucalypt Genetics Research Group at UTAS in a project that uses state-of-the-art genomic technologies to characterise genomic regions associated with speciation, introgression and adaptation in Australia’s iconic eucalypts.

A major international effort has recently seen a eucalypt become the second forest tree genome sequenced. The PhD project links the expanding international knowledge on the eucalypt genome to the evolutionary dynamics of wild populations in Australia to provide insights into the nature of species and processes which have shaped their evolution.

Eligibility

Please refer to the Entry Requirements for a Doctor of Philosophy degree.

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Degree-level undergraduate education in plant science, genetics and evolution or a related subject
  • Knowledge of genomics, next-generation sequencing, hybridisation, plant adaptation and evolution, forest trees (particularly eucalypts), population genetics, bioinformatics

More Information

Please contact the below staff for more information:

Closing Date

21 December 2018

The Research Project

Signalling by hormones and other small molecules directs plant development and coordinates the activities of shoots and roots. These signalling processes are vital to plant growth and productivity. For example, hormones control shoot elongation, shoot branching, flowering and seed production. Signals transferred between roots and shoots coordinate shoot growth according to the amounts of water and nutrients available in the soil. These signalling mechanisms underlie crop and hence food production. Intelligent breeding for these characters can potentially increase food production, as demonstrated by the ‘Green Revolution’ genes.This project will explore the molecular mechanisms of signalling by strigolactone hormones in plants. It will involve the use of defined mutants in Arabidopsis or rice to discover new genes that participate in strigolactone signalling. The target genes will be identified by transcriptome analysis and isolation of mutants. Collaboration with partners in China is likely. Experience of techniques or knowledge of the theory of molecular genetics is needed for this project. New skills in gene discovery and function will be acquired. The results from this project will be potentially useful in plant breeding for increased yield or nutrient use efficiency.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to domestic and international candidates
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Molecular genetics including gene expression analysis and mutant characterization
  • Whole plant physiology including photosynthesis and water relations

Funding

Operational funds needed to support the PhD research project will be provided through ARC grant DP140104567.

More Information

Please contact Professor Steven Smith for more information.

Closing Date

18 June 2019

Research Theme

Environment, Resources and Sustainability

The Research Project

Efficient water use and drought tolerance are among the most desirable traits required for the development of resistant cereal crop plants in the future, yet cereal species are typically very difficult to characterize using traditional methods employed in woody species. For this reason there is little understanding of the potential to use traits such as resistance to xylem and photosystem damage as breeding tools. This project aims to use newly developed techniques to explore novel water management characteristics in cereal crop species.

The project will use optical techniques to explore variation in xylem cavitation and photosystem damage in barley, wheat and rice species. This new methodology provides an ability to characterize within-species variation in drought sensitivity at a scale suitable for genetic characterization and trait mapping using genetic resources currently available in Australia.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this scholarship:

  • The scholarship is open to Australian and New Zealand (domestic) candidates and to International candidates.
  • Research must be undertaken on a full-time basis.
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector.
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills.

Candidates from the following disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Plant physiological training
  • Water relations
  • Image analysis
  • Plant genetics

More information

Please contact the Primary Supervisor, Timothy Brodribb, for further information.

Closing Date

31 December 2020

Funding

This project includes substantial operational funds and logistical support, funded by a five year Australian Research Council (ARC) grant to Professor Barry Brook (ARC Australian Laureate Fellow).

An additional top-up award of AUD$5,000pa will also be considered for outstanding applicants.

The Research Project

The University of Tasmania has world-leading research strengths in eco-evolutionary dynamics, ecosystem science and the impacts of global change on biodiversity. This project will use a combined approach to analyse, model and forecast the impact of different drivers of land-use change on biodiversity at local to regional scales.

The PhD project will involve field work, compilation and analysis of existing information (historical and database sources), and development of new meta-modelling approaches to assess biodiversity responses. A key outcome of the research will be to help develop solutions that resolve inherent trade-offs between ongoing human development and the competing need to protect habitats, ecosystems, and species. This vexed problem is highly relevant to Tasmania (and Australia more broadly), given the newsworthy issues surrounding the need to balance the socio-economic benefits of forestry and hydropower with the natural heritage and tourism-related values embodied in its World Heritage forested lands.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to Australian (domestic) and International candidates
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that are particularly desirable and will be ranked highly include:

  • Ecological, evolutionary or conservation biology theory and practice (including fieldwork)
  • Experience in ecological modelling, programming, and/or statistical coding
  • Geographical Information Systems and Remote sensing, database management

More Information

Please contact Professor Barry Brook for more information.

Closing Date

31 January 2019

Research Theme

Environment, Resources and Sustainability

The Research Project

Domestic dogs are an emerging threat to large wildlife, especially carnivores, in many parts of the world. Their impacts on wildlife appear to be especially significant in rural areas with high densities of small villages in landscapes that also contain extensive wildlife habitat. The Himalayan nation of Nepal is an excellent example of this. Conservation landscapes that still support carnivores such as tigers, common leopards and snow leopards also have significant human populations and associated large populations of dogs.

Preliminary research in Nepal shows that (i) dogs are customarily allowed to roam freely, and so could interact frequently with populations of both wild carnivores and prey; (ii) there is high prevalence in dog populations of diseases such as Canine Distemper Virus, which can be transmitted from dogs to wildlife, and (iii) free-roaming domestic dogs frequently prey on wild ungulates, potentially reducing prey for wild carnivores.

This project will examine the ecology of free-roaming dogs in Nepal and quantify their interactions with wildlife in this region to establish the effects of dogs on populations of wild carnivores and major prey species. It will also develop further understanding of the epidemiology of diseases in dog and wildlife populations. The project will provide the scientific basis for management of populations of dogs in mixed conservation and cultural landscapes in this region.

Eligibility

Please refer to the Entry Requirements for a Doctor of Philosophy degree.

The following eligibility criteria apply to this scholarship:

  • The scholarship is open to Australian and New Zealand (domestic) candidates and to International candidates.
  • Research must be undertaken on a full-time basis.
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector.
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills.
  • Experience in studies of animal management, wildlife ecology and human-animal relationships in Nepal or comparable regions.

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Degree-level undergraduate education in biology, environmental sciences or a related subject.
  • Experience and awareness of Nepali culture

More Information

Please contactthe Primary Supervisor, Chris Johnson, for more information.

Closing Date

1 July 2019

Research Theme

Environment, Resources & Sustainability

The Research Project

Nodulation is the formation of root organs that house nitrogen-fixing bacteria. The capacity to form nodules offers a huge advantage to the host plant. The bacteria inside these nodules are able to fix N2 into ammonia (NH3), a form of nitrogen that plants are able to absorb and use effectively for their growth and development. However, these symbioses are restricted largely to legumes and do not form in the major staple crops (wheat, rice, maize, most fruits and vegetables). This means staple food production is heavily reliant on nitrogen fertiliser that leads to pollution of waterways and significant greenhouse gas emissions. New solutions are required to feed a growing world population. This includes the ultimate aim of transferring this symbiosis to the major crops.

This project aims to understand how legume plants form nodules, unique root organs that form de novo from inner root cells in response to signaling and entry of bacteria at the root surface. Plant hormones are small, potent and often mobile compounds that control plant growth and development, including nodule organogenesis. In this project we will focus on defining the legume-specific hormone responses that trigger nodule organ development. This will provide foundational knowledge to underpin the ultimate goal of deploying this symbiosis in major non-legume crops.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to domestic (Australian and New Zealand) and international candidates
  • The degree must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a First Class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Plant physiology, molecular biology and/or hormone biology
  • Plant development

More Information

Please contact Dr Eloise Foo for more information.

Closing Date

21 December 2018

The Research Project

Karrikins are small chemical compounds produced by wildfires. They stimulate germination of dormant seeds present in the soil, so that plant growth is stimulated after the fire. The mechanism of karrikin action has been discovered by research using Arabidopsis thaliana as a model system. This research has identified a gene known as KARRIKIN INSENSITIVE 2 (KAI2) which is required for response to karrikin. The KAI2 protein is present in all plants, including those that do not respond to wildfires or karrikins. Apparently the KAI2 protein is usually involved in perception of a karrikin-like endogenous plant signal. The aim of the research project is to discover this endogenous signal. It will involve the selection of Arabidopsis mutants with phenotypes similar to karrikin insensitive mutants, but which still retain sensitivity to karrikin. These will be putative biosynthesis mutants. It will also involve collaboration with colleagues in chemistry to synthesise and test karrikin analogues for bioactivity, and to search for endogenous plant chemicals with karrikin activity. Experience or knowledge of genetics and biochemistry will be expected for this project. The outcomes will be new skills in plant biochemistry and genetics, and potentially discovery of a new plant signalling molecule.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The scholarship is open to domestic and international candidates
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Molecular genetics including gene expression analysis and mutant characterization
  • Whole plant physiology including photosynthesis and water relations

Funding

Operational funds needed to support the PhD research project will be provided through ARC grant DP140104567.

More Information

Please contact Professor Steven Smith for more information.

Closing Date

1 July 2019

Research Theme

Environment, Resources & Sustainability

The Research Project

The ancient practice of grafting, joining a shoot to the root of another plant, has become an integral tool in research and horticulture. However, the physiological and molecular mechanisms governing this process remain ambiguous. Grafting is particularly important in improving plant resilience and fruit quality in commercial fruit trees. This proposal will investigate what controls graft compatibility between species with a view to improve the success and array of available graft combinations.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to domestic (Australian and New Zealand) and international candidates
  • The degree must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a First Class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Plant physiology, molecular biology and/or hormone biology
  • Plant development

More Information

Please contact Dr Eloise Foo for more information.

Closing Date

31 March 2019

Funding

Operational funds to support the PhD research project will be provided, as well as opportunities for further funding applications.

The Research Project

There are eight species of microbat in Tasmania, and all species use tree hollows for roosting and breeding. Conserving bats is important, not only because of their intrinsic value, but also because they play an important role in forest ecosystems as insect controllers. This role may be particularly important in agricultural and plantation landscapes. There has been a significant study looking at the effectiveness of the multi-scaled approach to retention of bat habitat in dry forest subject to forestry activities. This study found that bat communities and breeding populations in an area are influenced by the availability and spatial arrangement of mature forest (that potentially contains tree hollows) in the broader landscape (Cawthen, 2014). However, there have been no studies looking at the health and ecology of bat populations in more intensively managed plantation landscapes and the value of native forest retention for bats in such areas.

The overall aim of this thesis is to assess the effectiveness of plantation forest management at providing suitable habitat for bats, enabling recolonisation of harvested areas by bats and maintaining Tasmanian bats in timber production landscapes.

More specifically, the objectives of the project are:

  1. To determine habitat use by bats in plantation vs native forest landscapes and to determine the response to harvesting events (disturbance at a local scale)
  2. To compare the population health of bats in plantations vs native forest landscapes
  3. To investigate the individual and maternal colony health in plantations vs native forest
  4. To determine how use of native habitat patches in and surrounding plantations is influenced by habitat availability (ie mature forest) at broader spatial scales (1km and 5km radius)

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to domestic (Australian and New Zealand) and international candidates
  • The degree must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a First Class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

More Information

Please contact Professor Chris Johnson for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2018

The Research Project

Many species are directly impacted by climate change via its effects on basic biological processes. As a result climate change can have important consequences for the ecological trajectory of a population, in some cases leading to population collapse. What is less well understood is the extent to which climate change has consequences for the evolutionary trajectory of a population. This is particularly the case in the context of social evolution, where subtle differences in climate can mediate how individuals interact with one another and thus shape how selection may act on social behaviour itself. This PhD project will integrate molecular, field and experimental approaches with theoretical modelling to address this short coming. To achieve this, it will utilise the family living lizard, Liopholis whitii, which displays relatively simple forms of family life that are amenable to experimental manipulation. This offers a fantastic opportunity to test the causal links between variation in climate and key social traits that either promote or reduce social complexity at the population level. This can then be combined with theoretical models to explore the broader consequences of these relationships for the social trajectory of populations across evolutionary time.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to domestic (Australian and New Zealand) and international candidates
  • The degree must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a First Class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • A good understanding of the fields of behavioural and evolutionary ecology
  • Proven success in conducting large scale field and experimental projects
  • Ability to work as part of an interdisciplinary team
  • Skills in quantitative, molecular and genomic analyses

More information

Please contact Dr Geoff While for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2018

Research Theme

Creativity, Culture & Society

The Research Project

A collection of private (e.g., Electrolytic Zincworks) and government bodies (e.g., Hydro-Electric Commission) chose to build factories and stations in Tasmania due to its geographic and socioeconomic landscapes. These same factors encouraged the construction of housing for workers. Due to their inherently controlled design and construction processes and often overt ideological framing, company housing schemes offers ideal vehicles through which to interrogate design objectives including formal variety, linguistic coherence, and typological tolerance. This project will involve work in archives and in the field, analysis of texts, production of analytical drawings and other visualisations, and the generation of arguments related to rationalisation and house design. Outputs will include curated exhibitions, visual analyses, and scholarly papers.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The scholarship is open to domestic (Australian and New Zealand) and international candidates
  • The degree must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a First Class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

More Information

Please contact Dr Andrew Steen or Dr Helen Norrie for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2018

Research Theme

Creativity, Culture & Society

The Research Project

Like many examples of its kind, the Tasmanian Department of Housing actively addressed social and economic issues in the post-war period through social housing policy. The architects and bureaucrats charged with catering for demographic shifts and increased urbanisation approached their task with strategic intent. This project will look to articulate their intent, and examine the effectiveness of their processes – both in terms of methodology and designs. It will look back at the history of social housing in post-war Tasmania with ambitions of uncovering a set of guidelines to influence current policy on affordable housing. The methodology of this project will involve archival research, and may include design–research or other social-science practices.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The scholarship is open to domestic (Australian and New Zealand) and international candidates
  • The degree must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a First Class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

More Information

Please contact Dr Andrew Steen or Dr Helen Norrie for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2018

Research Theme

Creativity, Culture & Society

The Research Project

This design research project responds to the emerging sub-discipline of ‘biodesign.’ This design approach involves incorporating living organisms as part of the design process and in the final design output.

Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast (SCOBY) and Mycelium (mushroom spores) are materials that are increasingly being utilised by both product and fashion designers. This research project will explore upscaling their use to that of an architectural scale and bringing these materials together as hybrid composites. During the research for/through design process, the candidate will examine:

  • How digital fabrication processes can intersect and be used alongside the growing properties of SCOBY and mycelium
  • What the implications are for the discipline stemming from this new approach to materials and fabrication
  • What the ethical and sustainable implications might be for practitioners operating in this space
  • The architectural applications for these grown and fabricated materials

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The scholarship is open to domestic (Australian and New Zealand) and international candidates
  • The degree must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a First Class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

More Information

Please contact Dr Michael Hornblow or Dr Jacqueline Power for more information.

Closing Date

30 June 2019

Research Theme

Creativity, Culture & Society

The Research Project

The small, meagrely populated and remote island of Tasmania has a rich architectural culture. State capital Hobart has been home to many notable practitioners. The diversity of these architects is reflective of the city’s intrinsic characteristics. Many are marked by their national and international relations; many others have diachronic connections to the place. The small but connected professional body, in constant dialogue with the University of Tasmania’s architectural degrees (including the radical Environmental Design degree), has a vibrant but largely untold history. This project looks to reveal this history by conducting interviews with those involved, mapping associations, writing narratives, and developing a theory of interaction and influence.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The scholarship is open to domestic (Australian and New Zealand) and international candidates
  • The degree must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a First Class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

More Information

Please contact Dr Andrew Steen or Dr Helen Norrie for more information.

Closing Date

30 June 2019

Research Theme

Environment, Resources and Sustainability

The Research Project

Tasmania has an established range of appearance hardwood products, mainly drawn from native forest resources. However, this product range has limitations: its appeal in the current architectural and interior design market is limited by its longevity and conventional acceptance; the native hardwood resources from which it is drawn is reducing; and opportunities for incorporating new resource and product options are being forgone.  

In order to generate renewed interest in the design potential of Tasmania’s hardwood products, this project will pursue a multidisciplinary approach to develop new timber products and product combinations that can be manufactured in Tasmania from native, reclaimed and plantation hardwood resources. It will explore innovative solutions for new application types by exploiting developments in resource availability and material processing, new timber modification and assembly technologies, and the potential of advanced computer-controlled manufacturing. It will seek new ways of extending the existing (but diminishing) native forest resource by including more plentiful materials to develop hybrid, engineered and product designed options that may compete with international engineered products.  

To enhance product appeal, this project will also exploit treatment and coating opportunities including but not limited to densification, thermal modification, and finishing systems either as individual treatments or in combination. Both internal and external applications will be investigated.

Eligibility

Please refer to the Entry Requirements for a Doctor of Philosophy degree.

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The scholarship is open to domestic (Australian and New Zealand) and international candidates
  • The degree must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have a First or Upper Second-Class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications, or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research, analytical and design skills
  • The incumbent’s selection will be based on their expertise in product design and development, and their interest in sustainability and manufacturing with wood.

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

More Information

Please contact Nathan Kotlarewski for more information.

Closing Date

30 June 2019

Research Theme

Environment, Resources & Sustainability

The Research Project

Timber-rich construction systems are increasingly being used in commercial buildings. Cross laminated timber panels (CLTP) are often used as primary structural and fabric elements in these solutions. The production of CLTP is being planned for northern Tasmania, using timber sawn from the available plantation hardwood estate. However, milling fibre-managed Tasmanian plantation eucalypt logs into dry and graded boards, converting these boards into CLTP and similar products, and using these products in buildings are all novel activities.  

This PhD project will focus on the potential to make and deliver efficient CLTP systems for building applications. The project will examine the use of CLTP for internal and external walls, floors, roof panels, and for architectural componentry using thin CLT panels for internal and external joinery applications. High levels of engineering and manufacturing skills will need to be developed to service these target markets.

Outcomes from the project will advance the knowledge in the areas of structural design and manufacturing of CLTP elements using plantation hardwood. It will provide recommendations on board assembly and panel performance with various compositions and configurations. It will also produce structural results for the performance of CLTP.

Eligibility

Please refer to the Entry Requirements for a Doctor of Philosophy degree.

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The scholarship is open to domestic (Australian and New Zealand) and international candidates
  • The degree must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have a First or Upper Second-Class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications, or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills
  • The Applicant’s selection will be based on their expertise in timber and/or production engineering systems.

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

More Information

Please contact Gregory Nolan for more information.

Closing Date

31 March 2019

Funding

This project includes AUD$3,000pa operational funds to support the PhD research project.

The Research Project

It has been an estimated 40% of Australian residential buildings suffer condensation problems. This problem has been recognised nation-wide and new standards are being evaluated and debated to mitigate this problem within new buildings. The University of Tasmania is undertaking ground-breaking Australian research in this area, for example the two projects “Investigation of Destructive Condensation in Australian Cool temperate Buildings” with the Tasmanian Government Building Standards and Occupational Licensing, and “Scoping Study of Condensation in Residential Buildings” with the Australian Building Codes Board.

Built fabric vapour permeability is a key aspect in dealing with the increasing occurrence of condensation in buildings. However there are critical shortcomings in the current Australian Standards in the quantification of permeability in many building materials and pliable building membranes. There is also a lack of information to determine the climate specific appropriateness of membranes when introduced into the complexities of a built fabric and how they may or may not affect the overall performance of the envelope system.

The candidate will undertake scientific measurements of membranes and their efficacy when introduced into building fabric systems and undertake a systematic evaluation of their impact on vapour management under various climates and building practices in Australia.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The scholarship is open to Australian (domestic) and International candidates
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must have established skill in building physics
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills
  • Applicants must meet English requirements, or be able to do so before commencement

Contact for more information

Please contact Dr Mark Dewsbury for more information.

Closing Date

30 June 2019

Research Theme

Creativity, Culture & Society

The Research Project

The relatively underdeveloped island of Tasmania saw significant expansion in the second half of the twentieth century. The geopolitical context out of which these developments grew is both unique and clearly defined. Tasmania thus offers a case study with which to investigate the theoretical foundations to Modernist architecture. By examining a series of case studies, the project looks to reveal the mechanisms by which a coherent language, perhaps even a tradition, developed. The project will include archival research; field work; historical–theoretical investigations; diagrammatic analyses. In additions to a written thesis, project outcomes may include exhibitions.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The scholarship is open to domestic (Australian and New Zealand) and international candidates
  • The degree must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a First Class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

More Information

Please contact Dr Andrew Steen or Dr Helen Norrie for more information.

Closing Date

31 March 2019

Funding

This project includes AUD$3,000pa operational funds to support the PhD research project.

The Research Project

The National Construction Code of Australia has four stated objectives in safety, health, amenity and sustainability. The sustainability objective focusses on the thermal efficiency of the built envelope to reduce probable, and thermal comfort based, heating and cooling energy. This focus has been shown to have had a critical impact on other aspects of indoor environment. In many climates it has led to wet buildings and likely human health impacts. The University of Tasmania is undertaking ground-breaking Australian research in this area, for state and federal agencies, which has been exploring aspects of built fabric systems and their linkage to condensation and mould in housing.

Indoor air quality is a critical aspect of built fabric design and energy efficiency. The candidate will analyse the dangers of prioritising heating and cooling energy use to establish adequate thermal comfort without corresponding regulation, guidance and systems that maintain adequate indoor air quality. This research will identify the paradigm shift that is required for the design and construction of the next generation of Australia’s healthy homes. This translational research will establish transitional requirements for the design and construction of residential buildings that are able to properly achieve all functional objectives of the construction code.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to Australian (domestic) and International candidates
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must have established skill in building physics. It would also be highly desirable for applicants to have foundational knowledge on the evidence-based aspects of building biology
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills
  • Applicants must meet English requirements, or be able to do so before commencement

Contact for more information

Please contact Dr Mark Dewsbury for more information.

Closing Date

30 June 2019

Research Theme

Environment, Resources & Sustainability

The Research Project

Tasmanian hardwood species generally have limited natural durability, low resistance to bushfire attack and are relatively soft and these characteristics limit the material’s utility in key appearance and external markets.

As the timber’s material properties can be modified by chemical or thermal treatment, or by densification, this unique project will investigate if desirable material characteristics of Tasmanian hardwood species, Tasmanian oak and plantation hardwoods, can be improved so a product may be acceptable for several different markets.

Presently demonstrating durability constrains innovation. The only acceptable processes are long-term exposure tests (untreated and treated species), and the measured retention of preservative chemical in the wood. Accommodating or overcoming these constraints will be an important aspect of this project’s research.

Eligibility

Please refer to the Entry Requirements for a Doctor of Philosophy degree.

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The scholarship is open to domestic (Australian and New Zealand) and international candidates
  • The degree must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have a First or Upper Second-Class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications, or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills
  • The incumbent’s selection will be based on their expertise in physical and/or organic chemistry and their interest in wood science.

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

More Information

Please contact David Blackburn for more information.

Closing Date

30 June 2019

Research Theme

Environment, Resources & Sustainability

The Research Project

The University of Tasmania (UTAS) sees a clear opportunity to use its proposed state building program to stimulate and advance development of higher value timber products for use in construction in Tasmania. This project explores two key innovation questions: Firstly, how can the Tasmanian forestry industry adapt and use real-time testing from the NTP to transform industry opportunities? And secondly, how can the proposed new buildings be harnessed as ‘living laboratories’ to integrate and gather test data to support and advance the Tasmanian forestry and products sector?

This project will harness a multi-professional approach and existing UTAS industry-focused expertise to identify innovative techniques that will provide an industry up-lift using: Design thinking methodologies to identify opportunities and new solutions. This present an opportunity for a highly motivated PhD candidate to join a dedicated team of designers/architects and develop design propositions based on ‘living laboratories’ and highlighting the beneficial use of timber in building solutions, to support sustainable living environments.

Given the broad scope of this project the focus of the PhD candidate’s research will be determined after considering the applicants’ background and interests.

Eligibility

Please refer to the Entry Requirements for a Doctor of Philosophy degree.

The following eligibility criteria apply to this scholarship:

  • The scholarship is open to domestic (Australian and New Zealand) and international candidates
  • The degree must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have a First or Upper Second-Class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications, or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills
  • The Applicant’s selection will be based on their expertise in architecture and built environment systems.

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

More Information

Please contact Gregory Nolan for more information.

Closing Date

31 March 2019

Funding

This project includes AUD$3,000pa operational funds to support the PhD research project.

The Research Project

Condensation has been recognised as a common occurrence in Australian buildings, and when condensation is not well managed, persistent damp will lead to mould growth and structural degradation. The need to undertake a condensation risk analysis is becoming increasingly important following ground breaking Australian research completed by the University of Tasmania for the Tasmanian Government and the Australian Building Codes Board.

In a recent Australian Building Codes Board survey, an estimated 40% of Australian residential buildings constructed in the last 15 years suffer from the presence of condensation. There is a recognised need to transform the design and construction phases of the building industry. To inform this move a thorough cost-benefit analysis is required of built fabric transformations that may be implemented at a national level. Similarly, there are chronic medical conditions, with significant medical costs, that may be exacerbated by the presence of condensation and mould. The candidate will develop a regulatory impact statement that explores structural and human health risks to building occupants, likely links to productivity in the workplace, and costs that may be associated with built fabric changes to mitigate the occurrence of condensation within Australian buildings.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to Australian (domestic) and International candidates
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must have established skill in architecture with experience in design practice or construction management. In addition it is highly desirable for the applicant to have a strong finance background (like in economics or actuarial science)
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills
  • Applicants must meet English requirements, or be able to do so before commencement

More Information

Please contact Dr Mark Dewsbury for more information.

Closing Date

30 June 2019

Research Theme

Environment, Resources & Sustainability

The Research Project

The quality of the hardwood drying strongly influences the profitability of milling. Timber boards dried without induced drying degrade can be sold at a premium, as differentiated appearance product for architectural applications. Timber with degrade features such as checking, collapse and splits must compete against commodity softwoods in structural and industrial markets, where their value does not cover log procurement and processing costs. The outcome for the producer is a loss of the product market value and this loss is forgone, while the producer still bears the high cost of production.

The project will aim to advance a prototype sensing technology suite, and an accompanying ‘app’ simulation decision support tool that were recently developed by Centre for Sustainable Architecture with Wood (CSAW) and the data analytics group Sense-T. These capabilities have been designed to predict timber moisture content during air-drying in the holding yard, which will improve the management of native and plantation grown hardwood eucalypt species. This prototype now requires further research work in Tasmania, which will validate its capabilities.

This presents an opportunity for a Masters by research student who will be involved in testing and validating the equipment suite. The incumbent will also assist in the development of a timber drying support tool application (App) for hardwood species in climates across Australia.

Eligibility

Please refer to the Entry Requirements for a Master of Research degree.

  • The scholarship is open to domestic (Australian and New Zealand) and international candidates
  • The degree must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have a First or Upper Second-Class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications, or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills
  • The Applicant’s selection will be based on their expertise in physics and/or mechatronics and their interest in climatology and wood science.

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

More Information

Please contact David Blackburn for more information.

Closing Date

31 March 2019

Funding

This project includes AUD$3,000pa operational funds to support the PhD research project.

The Research Project

Condensation has been recognised as a common occurrence in Australian buildings. The need to undertake a condensation risk analysis is becoming increasingly important to build on ground breaking Australian research completed by the University of Tasmania for the Tasmanian Government, and the Australian Building Codes Board.

As condensation is a complex phenomenon, a performance-based approach to the National Construction Code of Australia will require development of software that is able to simulate the risk of condensation of a building design. Whilst house energy raters in Australia are able to simulate temperatures and energy consumption of buildings, they do not currently have a tool that can include a simulated hygrothermal risk analysis.

The candidate will translate the steady state method defined in ISO 13788 (2012), into a dynamic software tool that is compatible with the nationally adopted NatHERS residential building occupancy patterns, dynamically simulated room temperatures and location specific nationally supported climate data. This new approach is world leading and addresses the hygrothermal and vapour pressure complexities of Australia’s warm and cool temperate climates. The output from the dynamic hygrothermal analysis will provide critical condensation risk mitigation guidance for the design and construction sectors of the Australian building industry.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The scholarship is open to Australian (domestic) and International candidates
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must have established skill in programming and building physics as they relate to building thermal performance and building simulation
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills
  • Applicants must meet English requirements, or be able to do so before commencement

More Information

Please contact Dr Mark Dewsbury for more information.

Closing Date

31 March 2019

Funding

This project includes AUD$3,000pa operational funds to support the PhD research project.

The Research Project

The National Construction Code of Australia, which only applies to new buildings, has four stated objectives, namely; safety, health, amenity and sustainability. However, the national building regulations were only adopted in 1996. Furthermore, building regulation to address thermal comfort and corresponding energy use were not included until 2002/2003. New residential construction accounts for less than 2% of Australia’s homes, with many homes being greater than 50 years old. Many of these houses have only received minimal and superficial built fabric upgrades since construction. This indicates that more than 75% of Australia’s existing residential buildings may have no, or very limited, insulation and internal environmental conditions that are outside World Health Organisation expectations to support human health. When regional housing data is analysed, the proportion of older, low grade housing is normally much higher. Furthermore, many of these buildings are occupied by elderly or low income families who are often at a greater risk of ailments instigated by low quality environment within many of these buildings.

This project will, through a systematic evaluation, explore the conditions within existing Australian housing, assess indoor air and indoor environmental conditions, and correlate these conditions with the World Health Organisation’s guidelines for healthy human habitats

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The scholarship is open to Australian (domestic) and International candidates
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must have established skill in building design, especially around construction detailing
  • Experience in the construction industry (designing or building) is highly desirable
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills
  • Applicants must meet English requirements, or be able to do so before commencement

More Information

Please contact Dr Mark Dewsbury for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2020

Research Theme

Environment, Resources and Sustainability

The Research Project

Governments and communities have invested large amounts of project funds and efforts in vulnerability assessment and planning for adaptation to climate change. This research project investigates the long term effectiveness of this investment in improvement of resilience, reduction of vulnerability, and effectiveness of the adaptation options.

Eligibility

Please refer to the Entry Requirements for a Doctor of Philosophy degree.

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

More Information

Please contact Joanna Ellison for more information.

Closing Date

30 May 2020

The Research Project

Dr Kate Booth is inviting expressions of interest from those interested in undertaking a PhD. Located within one of the strongest geography schools in Australia, potential co-supervisors include:

Kate’s research is underpinned by an interest in place and places and the possibility of political dissent. Her work spans economic, social and cultural geography, and planning. She supervises students with a wide range of perspectives and topics. Working with Kate will allow you to define and develop your own area of interest. In addition, joining Kate’s team provides access to:

  • Tourism Tracer – world-first tracking and survey data of tourist movements within Tasmania. This rich dataset offers opportunity for analysis and critical interpretation in light of theories of space and place, mobility studies, and science and technology studies. Tourism Tracer is led by Dr Anne Hardy (University of Tasmania).
  • When Disaster Strikes: Geographies of Under-insurance – ground breaking research on the co-production of insurance in everyday life and in the context of socio-natural change. Team members: Dr Kate Booth, Professor Bruce Tranter and Chloe Lucas (University of Tasmania), Dr Christine Eriksen and Dr Eliza de Vet (University of Wollongong), and Associate Professor Shaun French (University of Nottingham, UK).

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to domestic (Australian and New Zealand) and international candidates
  • The degree can be undertaken on a full-time or part-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a First Class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial academic research experience evidenced by peer-reviewed publications
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Background in human geography
  • Demonstrated capacity in critical thinking
  • Evidence of an ability to understand, apply and critique theory

More Information

Please contact Dr Kate Booth for more information.

Closing Date

31 March 2019

Research Themes

  • Data, Knowledge & Decisions
  • Environment, Resources & Sustainability

Funding 

This project is jointly funded by Australian Research Council (ARC) FT160100477.

The Research Project

The study will be part of an Australian Research Council project “Bridging scales in remote sensing of vegetation stress” aiming at development of new remote sensing methods for mapping pre-visual stress and vegetation health at regional scales from optical Earth observations of the latest space-borne missions. The new approaches under development will use modern computer radiative transfer models in combination with measurements from unmanned aircraft systems (UAS/drones). The PhD study will pave the way towards regular satellite monitoring of plant health across extensive and inaccessible Australian landscapes.

The successful candidate will learn how to retrieve health-indicating traits of vegetation, for instance content of photosynthetic pigment or plant water content, from spectral information of airborne and satellite images. S/he will be trained in modelling and inversions of the virtual optical remote sensing data simulated in the Discrete Anisotropic Radiative Transfer (DART) model. As a virtual computer simulator, DART requires input parameters that could be acquired with small size unmanned aircraft systems (drones) carrying on-board various optical spectral instruments. Coupling of drone-based measurements and radiative transfer modelling will enable creation of quantitative space-borne maps derived from satellite platforms of the European Space Agency (ESA) known as Copernicus Sentinels and the future ESA Earth Explorer mission FLEX.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to domestic (Australian and New Zealand) and international candidates
  • The degree must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a First Class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate domain
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong analytical  research and practical computer skills

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds (geo-information sciences/remote sensing; physics/optics; plant biology/physiology, phenotyping, agriculture & forestry) are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Practical skills in optical remote sensing image analysis and data processing software (ENVI, Erdas, Idrisi, etc.)
  • Advanced computer skills in both Windows & Linux OS
  • Expertise in statistical data analyses, including advanced machine learning approaches (random forest, support vector regression, neural networks, etc.)
  • Active ability of computer scripting/programming (in Matlab and/or Python, R, IDL, BASH, etc.)
  • Previous experience in vegetation radiative transfer modelling at both leaf (PROSPECT/FLUSPECT) as well as canopy levels (4SAIL, DART, FLIGHT, etc.)

More information

Please contact Dr Zbynek Malenovsky for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2018

Funding

The project will include up to AUD$1,200pa operational funds to support the PhD research project for three years.

The Research Project

Antarctica's deformation is assumed to be dominated by plate motion and its response to past and present ice loading changes. Antarctica is seismically quiet and hence post-seismic deformation due to viscoelastic deformation of the Earth's mantle has been considered to be negligible. However, such deformation has recently been observed for the first time, resulting from a 1998 Magnitude-8 earthquake that occurred hundreds of kilometres north of the Antarctic coastline. Provisional modelling of the earthquake was not able to reproduce the observed deformation pattern and furthermore many other earthquakes have occurred before and since this time and their impact on Antarctica is not known.

The project will focus on modelling the deformation of Antarctica due to recent large earthquakes, adopting an existing Antarctic finite element model to consider the three-dimensional variation in Earth structure and rheology and its effect on predicted spatio-temporal deformation patterns. The results of the project will contribute to improving the accuracy of measurements of the overall contribution of Antarctica to sea-level change.

The student will acquire deep understanding of earthquake-related deformation and numerical modelling and work with an international team of Earth scientists.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to Domestic and International candidates (providing suitable English language qualifications)
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills
  • To be competitive for an international tuition fee scholarship, applicants should have an established record of publishing in quality international peer-reviewed journals

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply, including those with backgrounds in physics, applied mathematics, engineering, geodesy or quantitative Earth Sciences. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Numerical modelling experience, especially with developing finite element models
  • Programming skills

More Information

Please contact Professor Matt King for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2018

The Research Project

A major component of delivering on environmental outcomes is documenting social, economic, and environmental impacts of policy interventions, and responding to lessons learnt, both good and bad. Yet, despite the enormous sums of money that have been spent on environmental programs and continued calls to increase funding, conservation remains unable to provide well-designed empirical support for what policies have worked where.

Conservation is at a critical crossroads: a meaningful evidence base is needed to compare and contrast the success of different policies and with the advent of big data we are now able to deliver on this need. This project will tackle policy impact evaluation (using methods from econometrics) for key environmental policies in Tasmania and across Australia to answer the question of what has worked and why. With this information in hand, the candidate will then look at designs of future policies that are designed to deliver on high impact conservation outcomes.  

Candidates can work with a range of scientists across disciplines. Appropriate supervisors will be suggested as specific projects are developed.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to domestic (Australian and New Zealand) and international candidates
  • The degree must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a First Class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Spatial analysis skills (e.g. training in GIS, remote sensing)
  • Existing skills or interest in learning new skills in big data analysis and programming
  • Existing skills or interest in learning new skills in economics

More Information

Please contact Dr Vanessa Adams for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2018

Funding

The project includes up to AUD$1,500pa operational funds to support the PhD research project.

The Research Project

One of the most intriguing glacier observations of the last decade or so has been that the velocity of many large glaciers varies substantially from its long-term mean due to tidal variation in the zone where the glaciers begin to flow – their grounding zone. Such changes in motion have been observed using GPS on large West Antarctic glaciers, with the changes propagating tens of kilometres upstream. Combined with modelling, they provide unique insights into the interaction of the ice and its bed, the role of subglacial water, and the sensitivity of glaciers to modest changes in forcing.

In parallel the floating extension of entire glacier systems, the ice shelves, have also been observed to experience tidal modulation of their flow. The precise link between the modulation of flow of grounded and floating ice is yet to be fully established.

The Larsen C Ice Shelf system’s response to tidal forcing is little studied to date, in particular the upstream glaciers. This PhD will focus on modelling the response of the Larsen C system to tidal forcing in an attempt to understand the characteristics of the glaciers feeding the ice shelf and their sensitivity to changes in forcing in their grounding zone.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to Australian (domestic) and International candidates
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Mathematics, physics or engineering
  • Numerical modelling, especially Finite Element Modelling
  • Informatics and computation

More Information

Please contact Professor Matt King for more information.

Closing Date

31 March 2019

The Research Project

Hedging and topiary are important garden practices, with millions of urban gardens around the world containing examples of topiary, and millions of gardeners actively engaged in the practice of trimming shrubs. Railton in Tasmania has become a ‘town of topiary’ and hedges are characteristic of some affluent suburbs within cities. Topiary has been a central subject of Hollywood movies (Edward Scissorhands, Over the hedge) where it has deployed in a variety of ways. Hedging is used for utilitarian (e.g. controlling stock, privacy) and aesthetic purposes (e.g. formal gardens). However, the practice has been the subject of surprisingly little academic research in urban areas. What drives people to trim things? How can we break down different kinds of practices? What are the social and ecological effects of these practices? This project has the potential to draw on a variety of different theoretical traditions; human geography and sociology approaches may be interested in understanding how the practices of trimming shrubs reproduce, or what motivates these behaviours, while spatial scientists or urban ecologists may be interested in mapping the distribution of hedges and trying to understand the social-ecological contexts that shape them and in turn, what social and ecological patterns they may influence.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to domestic (Australian and New Zealand) and international candidates
  • The degree must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a First Class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Social disciplines exploring human-natural environment relations including human geography, sociology and psychology
  • Horticulture and other urban-environment studies
  • Spatial analysis of urban environments, or urban ecology

More Information

Please contact Dr Dave Kendal for more information.

Closing Date

31 March 2019

The Research Project

The explosion in the use of social media over the last decade has created new opportunities for understanding how people think about the world around them. This project aims to explore how people talk about trees (and nature more broadly) in cities on social media, how this kind of data can be used to test and develop theory in the social sciences, and how it can be used to inform better city planning and people’s engagement with urban nature. The project will draw on a database of more than 50,000 spatially-explicit tweets harvested during 2017 and 2018.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to domestic (Australian and New Zealand) and international candidates
  • The degree must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a First Class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Social disciplines exploring human-natural environment relations including human geography, sociology and psychology
  • Science and technology studies with an emphasis on understanding the role of social media in society
  • Geomatics/Spatial Sciences/ICT with an emphasis on the analysis of the human dimensions of spatially explicit social media

More Information

Please contact Dr Dave Kendal for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2018

Research Themes

  • Environment, Resources & Sustainability
  • Data, Knowledge and Decisions

The Research Project

Robust indicators are central to the complex problem of conserving vegetation biodiversity. The project aims to address this by developing advanced techniques for interpreting data from ultrahigh-resolution remote sensing of essential indicators in Australian biodiversity hotspots. A key objective is to bridge the ‘scale gap’ between low-resolution global satellite data and detailed but localised on-ground assessment of biodiversity – by developing the science to enable the use of ultrahigh-resolution spectral and structural 3D data captured by unmanned aircraft systems (also known as UAVs or drones). The expected benefit is to significantly advance international efforts in the large-scale validation of biodiversity indicators mapped from satellites. The project will deliver novel approaches for collecting and analysing ultrahigh-resolution remote sensing data to transform the way biodiversity is assessed.

The PhD project will develop new image processing workflows – machine-learning algorithms that link spectral information to plant species and traits – that for the first time will combine ultrahigh spatial and spectral resolution data. We will achieve this using a multi-rotor UAS with a hyperspectral sensor acquiring data over key biodiversity sites in Australia. In addition, the project will collect and use UAS LiDAR data to quantify structural vegetation traits. The overarching goal is to identify optimal spectral and structural vegetation properties that can be derived from UAS remote sensing and enable the scaling of local field observations to broad-scale satellite observations of Essential Biodiversity Variables (EBVs).

You can find more information about the TerraLuma research project here: www.terraluma.net

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to domestic (Australian and New Zealand) and international candidates
  • The degree must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a First Class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Remote sensing
  • Spatial analysis
  • Spectroscopy
  • LiDAR
  • Statistics and machine learning
  • Ecosystem science
  • Landscape ecology
  • Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS or drones)
  • Programming
  • Field skills

More Information

Please contact Associate Professor Arko Lucieer for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2018

Funding

This project includes up to AUD$1,500pa operational funds to support the PhD research project.

The Research Project

A new era of understanding ocean dynamics and sea level is rapidly approaching with new satellite altimetry missions offering increased accuracy, higher spatial resolution and improved temporal sampling. Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) altimeters offer a stepping stone to future Interferometric SAR (InSAR) altimeters that will revolutionise ocean sampling. This project seeks to further understand SAR altimetry around the Australian coast, with a focus on dedicated experiments and modelling in Bass Strait, aligned with the Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS) satellite altimeter calibration and validation facility. The project will contribute to the further development of a high resolution ocean model over the Bass Strait domain, and study in detail the effects of wind/waves on data from the Sentinel-3A and 3B missions. The candidate will develop and participate in field experiments, and combine in situ, altimeter and modelled datasets to provide an improved understanding of ocean dynamics in the region.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to domestic and to international candidates
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

Candidates with strong quantitative skills from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Candidates with a background in oceanography, geodesy, maths and/or physics are particularly encouraged. Programming and quantitative computational skills would be ranked highly for this project.

More Information

Please contact Dr Christopher Watson for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2018

Funding

The project will include up to AUD$1,200pa operational funds to support the PhD research project.

The Research Project

Knowledge of vertical land movement near to tide gauges is required to obtain estimates of sea-level change free from local effects. To date, vertical land movement has been approximated as being due to glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) and modelled or, more recently, Global Positioning System (GPS) data has been used to measure the motion of the tide gauges.

However, data from other Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) are now available and can be applied to this problem, potentially increasing the precision and accuracy of the estimates, as well as the number of tide gauges where reliable estimates are available. This project will make use of this new opportunity to understand if multi-GNSS actually provides an advance on GPS alone and, if it does, to apply it to the problem of estimating sea level change from tide gauges and/or satellite altimetry.

The PhD project will enable the candidate to obtain specific skills in space geodesy, time series analysis and sea level as well as a wide set of more generic skills.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to domestic and international candidates
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills, teamwork and self-management abilities
  • To be competitive for an international tuition fee scholarship, applicants should have an established record of publishing in quality international peer-reviewed journals

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Geodesy
  • Quantitative Earth Sciences
  • Physics, Engineering or Mathematics
  • Programming and performance computing skills

More Information

Please contact Professor Matt King for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2018

Funding

This project includes up to AUD$1,500pa operational funds to support the PhD research project.

The Research Project

The Antarctic Peninsula has experienced dramatic surface loading changes since the 1990s, when a series of ice shelves broke up resulting in the acceleration of their in-feeding glaciers. There is great interest in using this natural experiment in unloading the Earth to understand the viscoelastic properties of the Earth in this region. This study will make use of new geodetic and seismic datasets from the Antarctic Peninsula to construct new models of the viscoelastic structure of this region. Quantifying the uncertainties and their impact on glacial isostatic modelling will be a key component of the research.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to domestic and international candidates
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills
  • To be competitive for an international tuition fee scholarship, applicants should have an established record of publishing in quality international peer-reviewed journals

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Global geophysics
  • Mathematics and physics
  • Geodesy
  • Informatics and computation

More Information

Please contact Professor Matt King for more information.

Closing Date

30 October 2019

The Research Project

Machine learning approaches have been used for developing predictive models such as recommender systems, which seek to predict the preference that a user would give to an item. In recent years a new algorithm named Extreme Learning Machine (ELM) has been developed for training Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs). With ELM, there are no iterations for adjusting connection weights and parameters tuning as in back propagation based ANNs.

While ELM has demonstrated superior performance in developing smaller recommender systems, one drawback of it is that, given an application with a big dataset, the number of neurons in its single hidden layer are typically very large and hence training the network can be computationally impractical. The ELM algorithm’s complexity is at least O(KM2), where K is the number of training instances and M is the number of hidden units. ELM also makes use of batch training, which leads to large memory consumption.

The project aims to evaluate several different solutions (such as representation learning and Deep ELMs) for these problems, and propose a new algorithm for maintaining the strengths of ELM but overcoming its weaknesses in performance and efficiency. Such a solution would be very valuable for developing more effective recommender systems in the current big data era.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to domestic (Australian and New Zealand) and international candidates
  • The degree must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a First Class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Machine learning algorithms
  • Data mining and data analytics

More Information

Please contact Dr Shuxiang Xu for more information.

Closing Date

30 October 2019

The Research Project

Sentiment analysis (also known as opinion mining) refers to the use of natural language processing and text analysis to identify and extract subjective information in source materials. Sentiment analysis is widely applied to reviews and social media for a variety of applications, ranging from marketing to customer service. Sentiment analysis aims to determine the attitude of a speaker or a writer with respect to some topic or the overall contextual polarity of a document. The attitude may be his or her judgment or evaluation, affective state (the emotional state of the author when writing), or the intended emotional communication (the emotional effect the author wishes to have on the reader).

The rise of social media such as blogs and social networks has fuelled interest in sentiment analysis. With the proliferation of reviews, ratings, recommendations and other forms of online expression, online opinion has turned into a kind of virtual currency for businesses looking to market their products, identify new opportunities and manage their reputations. Companies look to automate the process of filtering out the noise, understanding the conversations, identifying the relevant content, and actioning it appropriately. This project aims at employing Machine Learning algorithms to automatically detect sentiment in user reviews of interested online business websites.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to Australian (domestic) and international candidates
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills
  • Applicants must meet English requirements, or be able to do so before commencement
  • Candidates must demonstrate experience and strong interest in Machine Learning or general computational intelligence

More Information

Please contact Dr Shuxiang Xu for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2019

The Research Project

Game mechanics are constructs of rules or methods designed for interaction with the game state, thus providing gameplay. All games use mechanics; however, theories and styles differ as to their ultimate importance to the game.
Different games may have the same mechanic (e.g. jumping) but differ in the exact implementation of that mechanic. The differences between these basic mechanics can be slight, or vast, and the differences between all of the core mechanics in a game can lead to games feeling entirely different for the player.

This study proposed developing techniques to sample the differences between mechanics across a range of games and to reverse engineer the techniques used to create them. From the collected mechanics a taxonomy could then be built to classify these games by the gameplay techniques they employ.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to Australian (domestic) and International candidates
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills
  • Applicants must meet English requirements, or be able to do so before commencement

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Algorithms
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Cognition

More information

Please contact Dr Ian Lewis for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2018

The Research Project

Recently, wearable Augmented Reality (AR) displays have attracted many scientists' attention, such as Microsoft HoloLens, Meta2, and Google Glass. However, there is less certainty on what kinds of real-world applications in which those displays can be fully utilized. This project will investigate potential uses of the AR displays in a scientistic visualization domain. The project will explore the relationship between visual augmentation and spatial cognitive function, which needs to meet the required level to be able to gain the understanding of the meanings of the targeted scientific data. The project will design and develop an AR application to visualise the scientific data such as molecular structure, climate changes, and environmental sensor data. A suit of intuitive spatial interaction techniques will be proposed, developed, and evaluated to fit the application needed. The outcomes of this project will open the door to the new kinds of interactive scientific data visualization applications.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to Australian (domestic) and International candidates
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills
  • Applicants must meet English requirements, or be able to do so before commencement

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Candidates must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Augmented Reality
  • Human Computer Interaction
  • Programming skills (such as Unity 3D, C/C++, C#, OpenGL)

More Information

Please contact Dr Winyu Chinthammit for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2019

The Research Project

Higher Education is transforming with advancement of internet technologies and globalisation. Students are becoming more diverse, heterogeneous and large. The traditional way of university teaching, with one teaching material for all, cannot work and is currently making several students dissatisfied. Due to increases in the competition from online courses such as MooCs, it is becoming more and more important for higher education institutions to provide their students with a good learning experience. They need to increase student retention and make them engaged. Moreover, they have to deal with limited resources, thus making personalised education which an individual student will look for, an impossibility.

Due to these challenges, big data analytics have been seen as a solution. We have technology and access to more data about each student than before. Thus, if one can process this large data and generate insights, the education personalisation is not an unreachable goal. The sentimental analysis, data mining, machine learning and recommendation systems are already helping in areas such as Medical care system.

The aim of this project is to develop BigData analytical models and techniques for improving learning among students and improving education processes.

Eligibility

  • The project is open to domestic and international candidates
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

Candidates having knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Strong Algorithmic Skills
  • Programming Skills
  • Distributed Systems

More information

Please contact Dr Saurabh Garg for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2019

The Research Project

BigData applications for their execution requires not only consideration of their computation requirements but also of their data. IoT (Internet of Things) applications have led to further importance of fast execution of big data applications. Many solutions have been proposed to run them in a single cloud. However, due to distribution of big data across several regions and each region having their own privacy policy, multi-Cloud environments become important for efficient and privacy preserving execution. However, these environments also bring challenges as large data needs to be transferred between different Cloud computing environments using the Internet which can adversely affect the execution performance and also needs more specialised security frameworks to preserve privacy of the data. In this PhD project, new mechanisms and frameworks will be investigated which can allow execution of BigData applications across multiple Cloud environments for IoT applications.

Eligibility

  • The project is open to domestic and international candidates
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

Candidates having knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Strong Algorithmic Skills
  • Programming Skills
  • Distributed Systems

More information

Please contact Dr Saurabh Garg for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2019

The Research Project

For environment conservation, on-going bird monitoring is required which is done through acoustic sensors installed across different forests in Australia. Currently, analysis of this is done by few specialists who need to hear long recordings to detect species of birds and then do further analysis. This is really infeasible when one talks about petabytes of data to analyse. However, current machine learning methods which can scale to bigdata and detect bird species are not available. This PhD project will investigate such machine learning methods that can detect bird species in real time.

Eligibility

  • The project is open to domestic and international candidates
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

Candidates having knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Data Mining and Predictive Analytics Skills
  • Strong programming skills
  • Statistics

Contact for more information

Please contact Dr Saurabh Garg for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2018

The Research Project

Large datasets are now available on a scale and in volume like never before. The nature of data is diverse, ranging from global climate data to financial and market data, to data derived from the humanities and social sciences. Often change in data is very important. It may signify a fundamental shift in the process that produces the data, and may offer ample opportunity for an observer able to detect the change. Detecting the change is complex, and often unreliable. This project will study methods for detecting change, and will apply these techniques to large datasets. The project will require proficiency in mathematics and statistics, and an ability to create software and scripting languages on the UNIX/Linux platform.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to Australian (domestic) and International candidates
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills
  • Applicants must meet English requirements, or be able to do so before commencement

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Applied statistics, mathematics, physics or engineering
  • Programming

More Information

Please contact Professor JC Olivier for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2019

The Research Project

Human centred design and the more focused area of human computer interaction have emerged as key approaches when making information accessible to people across a range of human conditions, including but not limited to people with low literacy skills and people suffering from one or more cognitive conditions. This project leverages the information grounds framework developed at the University of Washington (Seattle, USA) and revisited in our research group to understand the specific needs of a target population and then derive ways to address the specific needs of individuals in addition to groups.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to Australian (domestic) and International candidates
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research skills in addition to an interest in and passion for the human condition
  • Applicants must meet English requirements, or be able to do so before commencement

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Human Centered Design/Human Computer Interaction
  • Information Systems/Library and Information Science (LIS)
  • Psychology

More Information

Please contact Professor Christopher Lueg for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2018

The Research Project

The use and prevalence of public displays has significantly increased in the past decade. More and more digital media content are being delivered through these displays. The financial values associated with these content are immensely high. As a result, a value return of the investment becomes one of the major considerations. One of the ways to maximize the value of this digital media is presumed to be the maximisation of the engagement of consumers with those content. The more consumers engage with the content, the more the commercial messages from the content are delivered to the consumers. This is the premise of this research, which to explore the roles that the Human Computer Interaction (HCI) can have over the effectiveness of the consumer engagement with the digital content on the public displays. This project will design and develop a new consumer experiences with the public displays, through an intuitive and creative interfaces. Furthermore, the project will determine the effectiveness of the proposed interfaces in various settings such as usability testing and field trials. The outcomes of this project will make a significant contribution in the new frontier of HCI, the consumer experience design.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to Australian (domestic) and International candidates
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills
  • Applicants must meet English requirements, or be able to do so before commencement

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Human Computer Interaction
  • Usability Design
  • User Experience Design
  • Programming skills (such as Unity 3D, C/C++, C#)

More Information

Please contact Dr Winyu Chinthammit for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2018

The Research Project

This project investigates the use of deep neural networks and develops effective intelligent methods for medical image processing.

Medical imaging is critical in collecting and visualising medical conditions for diagnosis, monitoring and surgical design for human body. However, the use of it is far from efficient. On one hand, new imaging technology offers much more information than what doctors can understand currently, and the amount of image data is quickly exceed doctors' processing capability. On the other hand, the computing devices available nowadays cannot have the same level of cognitive and decision making capability of human beings to use the huge amount of images acquired.

Deep learning neural network is the latest development of artificial intelligence. It imitates the learning process of human beings in the way of accumulating knowledge from extensive experiences. By diving the knowledge accumulation and abstraction into multiple layers, a deep neural network, if designed appropriately, can be trained and effectively applied in decision making. Several successful examples of such deep network have been reported recently, such as those used by Google and Facebook. In March of 2016, a computer system equipped with a deep learning network won the Go game, known as the most sophisticated board game, against the best human player in the world.

This project will explore the structure of deep learning network and develop an efficient intelligent image processing system with effective cognitive thinking and decision making capability for medical images and apply the system prototype in some particular health issues of major concern of the community. It is expected the outcome will advance the machine cognitive capability for automatic medical image processing.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to Australian (domestic) and International candidates
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills
  • Applicants must meet English requirements, or be able to do so before commencement

More Information

Please contact Dr Danchi Jiang for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2019

The Research Project

BigData applications for their execution requires not only consideration of their computation requirements but also of their data. Many solutions are proposed to run them in single cloud. However, due to distribution of big data across several regions and each region having their own privacy policy, Multi-Cloud environments becomes important for efficient and privacy preserving execution. However, these environments also bring challenge as large data need to be transferred between different Cloud computing environments using internet which can adversely affect the execution performance and also needs more specialised security frameworks to preserve privacy of the data. In this PhD project, new mechanisms and frameworks will be investigated which can allow execution of BigData applications across multiple Cloud environments.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to Australian (domestic) and International candidates
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills
  • Applicants must meet English requirements, or be able to do so before commencement

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Distributed systems
  • Programming skills
  • Mathematical skills, particularly optimisation

More Information

Please contact Dr Saurabh Garg for more information.

Closing Date

30 September 2019

Research Themes

  • Data, Knowledge & Decisions
  • Environment, Resources & Sustainability

The Research Project

Harvesting trees that contain internal defects such as knots and cracks is neither financially nor environmentally sustainable. In native forest, high quality sawlogs can only be produced from knot free logs and forest habitats and ecology can only be maintained by selecting and retaining suitable habitat trees. Similarly in hardwood plantations it is impossible to produce sawlogs from knotty or cracked timber. For both types of forests challenges remain in being able to identify internal defects in a timely and cost-effective manner prior to harvesting.

This current project aims to:

  • Proof of concept through trials in native and plantation eucalypt forests
  • Build a predictive imputation model for different types of tree species and different growing conditions across Australia

The field assessment involve using various non-destructive techniques including ultrasonic and Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) that use electromagnetic and ultrasonic sound waves respectively to penetrate the internal structure of standing trees. These assessment techniques will assist forest growers to more accurately evaluate the quality of growing stems in the field. A wide selection of growing conditions and forest types will be assessed to generate data that can then be used to generate a software algorithm for predictive imputation of likely internal defect rates within particular forests under particular growing conditions.

Eligibility

Please refer to the Entry Requirements for a Doctor of Philosophy degree.

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Thorough understanding of NDE principles and techniques
  • Demonstrated experience supporting new software/hardware development and mobile applications
  • Minimum of 1 year of experience in at least 2 of the following test methods: Ultrasonic, Magnetic Particle, Eddy Current, Shearography, or Thermography
  • Must have a couple of peer-reviewed publication in Q1/Q2 journals or conference proceedings
  • Technical background in computational solid mechanics
  • Experience with modeling and simulation tools
  • Ability to assess tool capabilities and limitations when selecting and utilizing tools to perform simulations
  • Proficiency with modern programming languages such as C++, Python, Matlab, or similar languages

More Information

Please contact Dr Mohammad Sadegh Taskhiri for more information.

Closing Date

31 March 2019

The Research Project

Digital traceability along the forestry supply chain has considerable value generation potential (e.g. reducing intrinsic material-related uncertainties, supporting compliance and enhancing quality attribute selection) in industrial processing networks of renewable resources. However, the deployment of these track and trace systems do pose specific challenges in design, implementation and evaluation. Numerous studies have already been conducted for example in the application of radio frequency identification (RFID)-based traceability systems for agricultural products, as well as case studies on RFID applications in the timber chain but problems remain. This project aims to address these challenges through the implementation of enhance digital traceability within Tasmanian forest value chains

Research Themes

  • Data, Knowledge & Decisions
  • Environment, Resources & Sustainability

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to domestic (Australian and New Zealand) and international candidates
  • The degree must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a First Class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Designing and testing an Application Programming Interface (API) for track and trace of material properties
  • Evaluating and testing the existing sensors and information technologies for the integration of the information, optimally, in the supply chain

More Information

Please contact Dr Mohammad Sadegh Taskhiri for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2018

  • Applicants should contact the primary supervisor, and submit their application as soon as possible.
  • Applicants wishing to commence candidature in early 2019 should complete the Expression of Interest (EOI) and Application processes before 31 December, 2018.

Research Theme

Data, Knowledge and Decisions

The Research Project

This eLogistic project is focused investigating and resolving cyber-security breaches that may occur in Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems used by many industries as part of their protection of their critical infrastructure. As SCADA systems architecture have evolved over time to accommodate networking and the Internet of things they have become increasingly vulnerable to cyber-attack including unauthorized access to SCADA control systems, infiltration of data packets in transit, Denial of Service attacks.

Many organisations including those working in Agriculture, Aquaculture, Forestry and Mining have deployed SCADA but face challenges in being able to respond adequately to the new and emerging cyber-threat – it is anticipated that this project will work closely with industry partners in these sectors to explore and resolve the challenges faced.

Eligibility

Please refer to the Entry Requirements for a Doctor of Philosophy degree.

Essential skills/experience:

The following eligibility criteria apply to this scholarship:

  • The scholarship is open to Australian and New Zealand (domestic) candidates and to International candidates.
  • Research must be undertaken on a full-time basis.
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first-class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector. See the following web page for entry requirements: http://www.utas.edu.au/research/degrees/what-is-a-research-degree
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills.

Desirable skills/experience:

Candidates from ICT, engineering or related disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Degree-level undergraduate education in ICT, engineering or a related subject.
  • Must have a couple of peer-reviewed publication in Q1/Q2 journals or conference proceedings.
  • Experience with modelling and simulation tools.
  • Ability to assess tool capabilities and limitations when selecting and utilizing tools to perform simulations.
  • Proficiency with modern programming languages such as C++, Python, Matlab, or similar languages.

Assessment criteria

Applicants will be assessed and ranked according to the quality of their basis for entry research degree and institution, prior peer-reviewed publications, academic awards, project-specific skills, training or relevant industry experience, referee’s reports and supervisory support.

More Information

Please contact the Primary Supervisor, Paul Turner, to discuss prior to applying.

Closing Date

31 December 2019

The Research Project

Much of real world network data are visualised as node-link diagrams for sense making purposes. In drawing networks, link or edge crossings should be avoided since they are confusing. To achieve this, people have proposed to draw curved edges, rather than straight-line edges, to reduce the visual clutter. Curves also make diagrams look more visually pleasing. In contrast to the expectations, recent research have found that curved-edge diagrams do not necessarily lead to better human task performance. However, it is not known why and how curved-edge diagrams are not better in helping people read networks, and when curved-edge visualisations are better.

To answer this question, this project will use the latest eye tracking technology to understand how people execute visual queries moment by moment. More specifically in this project, the student will conduct literature review, and design and conduct a series of user studies to investigate 1) how people read straight-line and curved-edge networks; and 2) why and when one edge style is better than another.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to Australian (domestic) and International candidates
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience with publications
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills
  • Applicants must meet English requirements, or be able to do so before commencement

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Applied statistics
  • Programming skills

More Information

Please contact Dr Tony Huang for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2019

The Research Project

Increasingly, collaboration across distance requires communication about specific physical objects, such as valuable cultural artifacts or pricey merchandise. This project builds on well-published PhD research looking into the annotation of museum artifacts to generalise the approach to a range of situations where remote collaboration is anchored in physical objects present at particular locations.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to Australian (domestic) and International candidates
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research skills in addition to an interest in and passion for the human condition
  • Applicants must meet English requirements, or be able to do so before commencement

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Human Computer Interaction/Interaction Design
  • Design and Development, including Prototyping
  • Digital Libraries/Digital Humanities

More Information

Please contact Professor Christopher Lueg for more information.

Closing Date

31 May 2019

The Research Project

Modern 3D renderers capture and store many images for a variety of uses. These images often include depth information and are used for effects such as reflections, ambient occlusion, and time-warping. Given the abundance of image-based data available this project will investigate novel ways that this information can be used.

The project will consider the use of layered depth images to improve existing techniques such as transparency and image warping; and novel uses for depth and layered depth images including global illumination, image-based rendering, ambient occlusion approximation, post-process anti-aliasing, and stereoscopic image generation.

The impact of these techniques on the design of the rendering framework and rendering hardware will also be considered.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to Australian (domestic) and International candidates
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills
  • Applicants must meet English requirements, or be able to do so before commencement

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Algorithms
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Cognition

More Information

Please contact Dr Robert Ollington for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2019

The Research Project

We have developed an automated blood oxygen level controller for preterm infants that has recently been undergoing clinical trials. This PhD project aims to make further advances by investigating enhancements to our current oxygen control algorithm and technology. The project will focus on topics such as development of advanced sensing technology for respiration and oxygenation using imaging based systems and electronic sensing technology. This will include development of advanced image processing and/or sensor signal processing algorithms.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to Australian (domestic) and International candidates
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills
  • Applicants must meet English requirements, or be able to do so before commencement

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply, including Biomedical, Mechatronic and Electrical/Electronics Engineering.

More Information

Please contact Dr Tim Gale for more information.

Closing Date

30 September 2019

Research Themes

  • Data, Knowledge & Decisions
  • Environment, Resources & Sustainability

The Research Project

Demand for effective and efficient approaches to map, monitor and manage underwater environments continues to grow. Industrial, climatological and environmental activities increasingly require ever-more accurate modelling and analysis of underwater environments. Many technological approaches have already been developed to address challenges imposed by darkness, depth/pressure and salinity. However water turbidity (cloudiness) continues to be a major inhibitor underwater, especially where there is a requirement for real-time data.

This project aims to contribute to the science of methods for data capture and analysis of real-time vision in turbid circumstances. To test these methods the research team have forged collaboration with an industrial partner who is actively engaged in industrial underwater timber harvesting. This project presents a unique opportunity to enhance the activities and advancing the science of real-time vision in turbid waters.

Recent improvements in underwater video systems and in processing algorithms for image filtering and detection suggest a new research opportunity. The plan is to mount a video camera system on the harvester head to capture video-images that will be processed in real-time to provide improved vision clarity in these turbid underwater environments. It is anticipated that this improved vision combined with improved sonar mapping will enable the harvester to locate, manoeuvre and safely harvest submerged tree stems at greater depth than is currently possible.

Eligibility

Please refer to the Entry Requirements for a Doctor of Philosophy degree.

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Thorough understanding of information systems, big data, acoustic
  • Demonstrated experience supporting new software/hardware development and mobile applications
  • Experience with modelling and simulation tools
  • Ability to assess tool capabilities and limitations when selecting and utilizing tools to perform simulations
  • Proficiency with modern programming languages such as C++, Python, Matlab, or similar languages

More Information

Please contact Dr Mohammad Sadegh Taskhiri for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2018

Research Theme

Data, Knowledge & Decisions

The Research Project

General artificial intelligence has long been a goal of AI research. Recent advances in deep reinforcement learning have brought us significantly closer to achieving that goal, but there are questions of ethics and safety that require further research.

While important debate and discussion on these issues is important, this project will take a more practical approach to the problem. In particular, we will investigate the role of multi-objective reinforcement learning in developing cooperative behaviours that can be trusted to deliver desirable outcomes. Reinforcement learning agents attempt to optimise their behaviour according to some objective function.

In simple tasks we use a single-objective function. However, in more complex tasks there are often competing objectives. In tasks requiring cooperation, it is possible that the different actors may have differing objectives. So not only are there multiple objectives, but for an individual agent, the objective functions governing the behaviour of other actors may be unknown. How do we ensure that our learning algorithms are robust under such conditions? How can we trust the behaviour of artificial agents when working with them to complete tasks? These are some of the questions that will be investigated in this project.

Eligibility

Please refer to the Entry Requirements for a Doctor of Philosophy degree.

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Experience with reinforcement learning algorithms
  • Critical thinking
  • Programming

More Information

Please contact Dr Robert Ollington for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2019

The Research Project

Practical applications of knowledge base systems to multidisciplinary domains with "big data" are typically limited to standard machine learning approaches – you take the domain data, develop a model and then apply it, with little further modification of the model possible. Unfortunately, such techniques limit the future practicality or maintenance of the developed system – additional knowledge or knowledge maintenance is a hard, cumbersome task that requires redeveloping the learnt model from scratch.

The project will focus on the development of hybrid method that can maintain knowledge base for new pattern found in the future. It will investigate how to improve existing machine learning algorithms in determining patterns (classification) in data sets by using a modified. The proposed system increases accuracy of results and greater computational efficiency for large datasets ("big data".) Then the system then supplements the model produced by using an incremental knowledge acquisition system, RDR (Compton and Jansen 1988)). Standard RDR incrementally adds to this machine-learnt knowledge base by allowing a (non ICT) domain expert to incrementally, independently supplement this knowledge model by way of adding new rules (for classification), and correcting or deleting incorrect classifications. This means the resulting system should be able to adapt quickly to new data – a deficiency from which traditional machine learning systems suffer.

Our future theoretical enhancements to the system include adding the capability of allowing simultaneous multiple classifications (Kang 1995). Existing machine learning algorithms for classification technically can only conclude with one classification at a time for a given data case – whereas some expert domains can greatly benefit from multiple classification. This is an exciting possibility for future research.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to Australian (domestic) and International candidates
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector.
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills
  • Applicants must meet English requirements, or be able to do so before commencement

More Information

Please contact Dr Byeong Kang for more information.

Closing Date

24 May 2019

The Research Project

Soils, though often modelled as continuum, are particulate in nature. Professor Andrew Chan has performed extensive research on the interaction of particles and fluid using the discrete element method and Lattice Boltzmann method. This project is to extend current research to three-dimensions, non-circular particles and implementation on a parallel computer. The method can then be applied to various practical engineering problems such as liquefaction of soil, undersea slope failure, behaviour of saturated soil under earthquake and dynamic loading as well as undersea extract of ores.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to Australian (domestic) and International candidates
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills
  • Applicants must meet English requirements, or be able to do so before commencement

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Programming skills
  • Engineering mechanics

More Information

Please contact Professor Andrew Chan for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2018

  • Applicants should contact the primary supervisor, and submit their application as soon as possible.

Research Theme

Data, Knowledge and Decisions

The Research Project

Hobart is embarking on a journey to becoming a ‘smart city’, a global phenomenon where cities are using networks of sensors to provide better services to citizens. From Dublin to Barcelona, Singapore to Bogota, smart cities have better connected public transport, more efficient waste collection, and more open and transparent data services. However, smart cities present a future scenario where more data from many sources are collected about citizens within the urban environment. How this will impact on the privacy of the citizens living in a ‘smart city’ is an area of active debate.

This project will examine the privacy of citizens in Hobart as the city increasing adopts technology. One of the key areas of interest is the usage of machine learning techniques that can be coupled with CCTV captured footage. This kind of technology presents not only problems of a technical nature as to how to effectively anonymise data to enable its usage by stakeholders within the city, but also the public perception of what is acceptable as fair use of data gathered within public spaces. The perceptions of privacy and technology usability of all stakeholders when moving towards the ideals of a ‘smart city’ is an essential key in the future use of machine learning and facial and behavioural recognition.  

This project will also enhance our ability to identify and enforce security concerns of the available data from both the provider and consumer side of the deployed technology.

Eligibility

Please refer to the Entry Requirements for a Doctor of Philosophy degree.

The following eligibility criteria apply to this scholarship:

  • The scholarship is open to Australian and New Zealand (domestic) candidates and to International candidates.
  • Research must be undertaken on a full-time basis.
  • As per the entry requirements, applicants must already have been awarded a first-class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector.
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills.
  • Applicants must exhibit strong communication skills.

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Degree-level undergraduate education in ICT or a related subject.
  • A strong awareness of security principles and practice within ICT systems
  • An ability to conduct both qualitative and quantitative research methods
  • Capacity to work within a team environment and maintain individual progress

More Information

Please contact Joel Scanlan or Erin Roehrer for more information.

Closing Date

31 May 2019

The Research Project

Reinforcement Learning has been successfully applied to a variety of problems ranging from the practical to the abstract. However, despite considerable effort resulting in partially effective solutions, problems where the action space is very large and/or continuous remain very difficult for RL-based approaches.

By utilising previous work on Concurrent Q-Learning, this project aims to rephrase the problem from a search of action-space to a search of goal-space, which it is hoped will be a more tractable problem. Rather than learning which action of many will take the agent closer to the goal, the agent will learn to map the desired change in state directly to actions. This mapping can be learned by observing the effect of actions in general rather than learning the effect of each possible action when in each possible state.

There are many real world problems where such a solution would be extremely valuable. For example, a robot with many degrees of freedom has a high dimensional and potentially continuous action space. Traditional RL-techniques for such a robot would learn very slowly and the final solution would likely be an approximation (discretisation) of the true solution at best.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to Australian (domestic) and International candidates
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills
  • Applicants must meet English requirements, or be able to do so before commencement

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Algorithms
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Cognition

More Information

Please contact Dr Robert Ollington for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2018

Funding

This project is jointly funded by CSIRO.

The Research Project

We will develop an extensive, easily maintainable Knowledge Base System (KBS) for Autonomous Systems (AS) technologies (such as drones) that will be trained by Knowledge Domain Experts (KDE) using a Natural Language (NL) interface for communication. The system will implement an abstracted architecture, taking a layer-based approach to separate data and hardware, information, and services, each with an associated, contextual knowledge base. We will introduce and develop a module (termed a Curator) that will facilitate the choice (or procurement via knowledge acquisition) of behavioural and information abstractions at each layer. This will allow the AS to infer correct behaviour given high-layer service directives.

A proposed system for knowledge inference and acquisition is proposed that will leverage and apply existing Induct-MCRDR techniques to graph-based knowledge representations of parsed NL cases from/to the KDE via a Control Language Interface (CLI). Our system will be distinct from other knowledge based systems where they do not specify how to maintain the knowledge base without a Knowledge Engineer.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The scholarship is open to Australian (domestic) and International candidates
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills
  • Applicants must meet English requirements, or be able to do so before commencement

More Information

Please contact Dr Byeong Kang for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2019

The Research Project

The Internet of Things (IoT) has encouraged the rapid growth of ubiquitous displays, yet research into how multiple displays are currently being used and how they could be more effectively used is limited to niche markets. E-learning is one area that stands to benefit from this growing number of displays, be that in the classroom or in the home. The future use of this technology will be influenced by a myriad of features ranging from the combinatorial use of multiple displays of different form factors, to the semantic division of the content that is to be communicated, and the target audience to which this content is to be communicated to.

This work will investigate how ubiquitous displays in e-learning environments can increase student engagement with the learning content, other students, and the teaching team. The work will also investigate the factors that encourage and oppose take-up of ubiquitous display technologies in the classroom, including the perceptions and the cost realisation of the technologies.

This work lies at the intersect of three separate themes:

  • HCI
  • Wearable and shared displays
  • E-learning

The outcomes will contribute significantly to improving our understanding of the use of multiple display technology in e-learning environments.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to domestic and international candidates
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills
  • Applicants must meet English requirements, or be able to do so before commencement

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Human Computer Interaction
  • User Centred Design, Prototyping, Testing and Evaluation

More Information

Please contact Dr Winyu Chinthammit for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2019

The Research Project

Virtual Reality (VR) systems are being released in 2016 by a number of high-profile vendors with Google Cardboard, Samsung Gear, Sony PlayStation VR, Oculus Rift, and HTC Vive.

It is assumed that Serious Games will benefit from the increase in immersion and presence that the user feels when using VR, but study is required to see whether this effect leads to greater benefits for the purpose that the game is trying to achieve, be it education, behaviour change, rehabilitation, or data collection.

It is proposed to use a variety of techniques including physiological measures, participant observation, self-efficacy studies, surveys, and direct data comparisons to study the effects of players in serious games while in VR and while using more traditional systems.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to Australian (domestic) and International candidates
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills
  • Applicants must meet English requirements, or be able to do so before commencement

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Algorithms
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Cognition

More Information

Please contact Dr Ian Lewis for more information.

Closing Date

17  December 2018

Funding

The project will include a AUD$27,082pa (2018 rate) living allowance scholarship for three years, with a possible 6 month extension.

Research Theme

Environment, Resources & Sustainability

The Research Project

Australia has the potential to become the “world's number one medicinal cannabis supplier”. The project is a unique opportunity to be at the forefront of this exciting research field. The successful applicant will develop skills and techniques required to study cannabinoid accumulation in the cannabis plant at a time when the need for expertise and knowledge will be at its highest demand in this rapid growth industry.

Cannabis must have access to abundant light energy to achieve sufficient levels of photosynthesis to meet that demand and the high throughput of commercial production requires optimal use of resources.

In this study, the biosynthesis of active ingredients will be investigated in relation to ontogeny and environmental conditions across a selection of seed lines originating from different climatic zones with view to maximising the production of material with specific and targeted ratios of bio-actives, such as THC, CBD CBG and CGC.

The changes in cannabinoids will be monitored in response to temperature, day length, water and nutrition relations in candidate seed lines. Rates of respiration and carbohydrate metabolism will be correlated to the production of active ingredients and to other terpenoids using techniques such as GC and UHPLC. The composition and aromatic profile will be standardised and described for new seed lines. Scanning Electron Microscopy will be used to understand the structure, distribution and density of oil producing organelles. The accumulation and distribution of components will be monitored throughout the growing cycle, with particular focus on the precursor, CBG and its biosynthetic conversion to THC, CBD and CBC.

Eligibility

Please refer to the Entry Requirements for a Doctor of Philosophy degree.

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Plant chemistry and analysis

More Information

Please contact Dr Sandra Garland for more information.

Closing Date

30 December 2018

Research Theme

Environment, Resources and Sustainability

The Research Project

Authenticity of a unique bioactive honey is the goal of this project.  Leatherwood (Eucryphia lucida) is a wild, native plant found in the northwest of Tasmania. Its white blossoms produce significant quantities of nectar which honey bees harvest to make an Australian iconic Leatherwood honey. Dedication and intensity of effort invested in the production of Leatherwood Honey is not reflected in its perceived value. Whilst bioactive, this honey is still to be appreciated for its health attributes.

This Scholarship, supervised by Dr Sandra Garland at the University of Tasmania and supported by the Tasmanian Beekeeping Association, provides an opportunity to identify the active constituents within the honey that promote antimicrobial, antioxidant and prebiotic activity.  This will lead into analytical methodology to prove provenance and authenticity through chemical signatures. These skills are sought across the food and extractives industry and will place the candidate at the forefront of the emerging trend for high value, low quantity niche global products. The student will have the opportunity to experience the unique wilderness within which Leatherwood trees thrive. The Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Honey Bee Products is focussing on tying the honey product to place and flora. CRC is the interdisciplinary centre where researchers will work closely with industry partners. Project must start within January 2019 for completion by June 2022.

Scholarship Value

The Scholarship offers a stipend for 3 years of $30,000 per annum with a 6 month extension, as well as funding to support the Project.

Eligibility

Please refer to the Entry Requirements for a Doctor of Philosophy degree.

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Applicants must:

  • Have skills in chemistry relevant to the project
  • Show their academic achievements

Both domestic and international applicants will be considered.

More Information

Please contact Dr Sandra Garland for further information.

Closing Date

31 March 2019

Funding

This project will include AUD$10,000 operational funds to support the PhD research project.

The Research Project

It is well known that there is an ideal grass-legume mix in pastures for optimal animal performance, with an ideal legume component composing at least 30% of the total sward. However, recent surveys in Tasmania and across south eastern Australia have indicated that most pastures in these areas have a legume component of significantly less than 30%. The reasons for this are multiple, and include a lack of understanding of the value of a higher legume component, but also a lack of understanding of appropriate management strategies for establishing and maintaining legumes in a mixed sward. This is true for all legume species, and is particularly true for novel alternative perennial legumes for low to medium rainfall areas. There has been low uptake of these species, even in the environments they have been developed for. In part, this is likely to be due to a lack of knowledge and understanding of the best methods of establishment and management.

This project seeks to investigate the best practices for establishment and management of alternative perennial legumes in mixed swards in low to medium rainfall areas.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to domestic (Australian and New Zealand) and international candidates
  • The degree must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a First Class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Crop or pasture agronomy
  • Livestock systems
  • Plant nutrition
  • Modelling

More information

Please contact Dr Rowan Smith or Dr Beth Penrose for more information.

Closing Date

29 April 2019

The Research Project

Waterlogging is one of the most hazardous natural constraints affecting agricultural crop production. In Australia, the annual loss in barley production is around $12 million in high rainfall zones and $10 – 15 million in other regions of Australia where waterlogging occurs 1-2 times in a 5 year cycle. The most economical way of reducing the damage caused by waterlogging is to introduce waterlogging tolerance into current varieties.

The research program from the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA) has set up a reliable facility to screen for waterlogging tolerance. Using this facility, they have identified a new QTL controlling one of the major tolerance mechanisms, i.e. aerenchyma formation, in roots under waterlogging conditions. The new QTL from a wild barley accession not only produces a greater proportion of aerenchyma but makes a greater contribution to the overall waterlogging tolerance. This gene has already been mapped with more than 100 co-segregating markers being identified.

This project will target on:

  • Fine map the waterlogging gene on chromosome 4H in cultivated barley varieties (Yerong and YYXT)
  • Characterise the candidate gene through RNAseq, RT-PCR and gene transformation
  • The haplotypes of the gene will be investigated in a natural population
  • The mechanism of waterlogging tolerance will also be illustrated
  • The gene marker will be provided to breeder for use in barley breeding programs

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to domestic (Australian and New Zealand) and international candidates
  • The degree must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a First Class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Plant molecular biology
  • Plant genetics

More Information

Please contact Professor Meixue Zhou for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2018

The Research Project

Biosolids are an end product from the treatment of raw sewage. Whilst current risk assessment methodology for the uptake of undesirable pollutants, such as Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons, is based on rigorous international policy, there are industrial situations for which the policy may be less effective in Australia.

The project will engage the investigator in a series of field and in-vivo trials, screening vegetables, soils and other food crops for the presence of TPH. Mechanisms of plant uptake, and phase partitioning will also be explored. The successful candidate will ultimately deduce a more accurate model of TPH uptake from crops grown in areas where biosolids have been applied, that can be used by practitioners and policy makers in Australia, and, in some circumstances, international organisations.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to domestic (Australian and New Zealand) and international candidates
  • The degree must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a First Class Honours or Masters degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Soil science
  • Physical Geography
  • Environmental Science
  • Plant Nutrition
  • Crop and Pasture Agronomy
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Knowledge of water treatment operations
  • Mathematical modelling and statistical analysis – especially plant uptake modelling

More Information

Please contact Dr Melinda McHenry for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2018

The Research Project

This project will investigate the spatial distribution of micronutrients in the agriculturally significant state of Australia, Tasmania. The extent of micronutrient deficiencies in Tasmanian soils and agricultural plants is currently unknown. By understanding the spatial distribution of micronutrients in both soil and plants, this project seeks to further improve the quality and quantity of food produced in the region and support environmental decision making for the establishment and maintenance of sustainable Tasmanian food production.

This project may assist in realising opportunities for skill development in the areas of soil and plant nutrition, spatial information and environmental decision-making. Prospective candidates with strong capabilities in one of these areas who are interested in developing further interdisciplinary and trans-disciplinary skills in agriculture and environment are encouraged to apply.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to domestic (Australian and New Zealand) and international candidates
  • The degree must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a First Class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Soil science
  • Physical Geography
  • Environmental Science
  • Plant Nutrition
  • Crop and Pasture Agronomy
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Agricultural economics

More Information

Please contact Dr Melinda McHenry for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2018

The Research Project

Innovation in agrifood industry has emerged as a key source of competitive advantage. Tangible innovations such as product innovations are easily identifiable and imitable. It is the intangible innovations such as process, governance or co-innovations that cannot be easily understood and therefore replicated. These innovations are ingrained in the societal values, the culture of networking, and the socio-economic environment in which the farms and agribusinesses operate. Scaling out of these innovations needs a clear understanding of those underlying conditions and a mechanism that is appropriate to the place-based socio-cultural environment of the industry. The project will explore success stories of intangible innovations in Tasmanian farms and agribusinesses, understand the underlying key socio-cultural drivers of their success, and model a mechanism that can out-scale the best practices and promote the culture of innovation among the farms and agribusinesses for the benefits of the wider community.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to domestic and international candidates
  • The PhD must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a first class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

More Information

Please contact Dr Rajendra Adhikari for more information.

Closing Date

31 March 2019

Funding

The project will include AUD$10,000 operational funds to support the PhD research project.

The Research Project

Perennial pasture legumes provide the nitrogen critical for animal live weight gain and profitability in mixed pasture swards. The establishment and persistence of perennial legumes is generally poor in mixed sward pastures. Generally, this has been hypothesised to be due to competitive advantage of grasses, but how to increase the competitiveness of legume species is poorly understood. It is likely that sub-optimal nutrient levels are a factor in poor legume establishment and persistence.

This project will investigate the role of soil nutrients in perennial legume establishment and develop nutrient management strategies for optimal legume productivity and persistence.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to domestic (Australian and New Zealand) and international candidates
  • The degree must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a First Class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Crop or pasture agronomy
  • Livestock systems
  • Plant nutrition
  • Plant science/botany
  • Biochemistry
  • Plant physiology

More Information

Please contact Dr Beth Penrose or Dr Rowan Smith for more information.

Closing Date

31 December 2018

Research Themes

  • Environment, Resources and Sustainability
  • Data, Knowledge & Decisions

The Research Project

Sustainable land and water management is faced with various challenges at the field, farm and larger regional and market scales. Natural resources are managed at field-scale but policy settings are usually regional or national. Likewise, the scalability of agricultural systems (i.e. methods used to integrate data and models at different scales) is often ignored or only partially represented.

This project will investigate how water management impacts crop productivity regionally in Tasmania. We will apply existing model-scaling techniques and assess the drivers of yield variability for diverse Tasmanian agricultural systems. This innovative research will combine strengths in irrigated agriculture at field-scale with multi-scale modelling, multi-model analysis and integrated bio-economic assessments. This project will develop methods which can support improved water risk management and planning with better understanding of the drivers of yield variability and scaling methods.

Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • The project is open to domestic (Australian and New Zealand) and international candidates
  • The degree must be undertaken on a full-time basis
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a First Class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills

Candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Research experience in agricultural systems, statistics, geographic information systems or physical sciences
  • Excellent quantitative skills and some previous experience with systems modelling
  • At least one publication in an international journal as a first author
  • Experience writing scientific code in R, Python or equivalent languages
  • Experience handling large datasets

More Information

Please contact Dr Jonathan Ojeda for more information.

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