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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

22nd March 2019

Applicants should contact the primary supervisor, and submit their Expression of Interest (EOI) and Application as soon as possible.

The Research Project

Australia coastal shipping faces significant economic impacts from climate change. The coastal shipping industry has made a significant contribution to the Australian economy over decades, however, its contribution has been on a decline in recent years due the threat poses by climate change. The 2018 drought on the east coast of Australia has been one of the worst droughts in modern history. With the impact of climate change and global warming becoming more apparent, yet there is limited evidence on how climate change will affect the Australian coastal shipping industry for a number of decades to come.  

This project aims to build evidence on the impact of climate change on the coastal shipping industry of Australia, specifically the dry bulk sector. This doctoral study will explore how changes to the physical environment (e.g. temperature, sea level rise, and storms and waves) will shape the future of Australian coastal shipping industry and what plausible measures can be adopted and to link the physical science with societal and economic impacts.

Eligibility:

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

The following eligibility criteria also apply:

  • The scholarship is open to Australian and New Zealand (domestic) candidates and to International candidates.
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills.
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a First Class Honours degree or hold equivalent qualifications (e.g. master’s degree) or relevant and substantial research experience in an appropriate sector

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

  • A previous research qualification (Honours or Masters by Research) in a management discipline, preferably shipping or business
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate quantitative and qualitative research experience
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate good knowledge on climate change
  • Highly developed written and communication skills

Application Process

Applicants who require more information or are interested in this specific project should first contact the listed Supervisor. Information and guidance on the application process can be found on the Apply Now website.

Information about scholarships is available on the Scholarships webpage.

More Information

Please contact the Primary Supervisor Peter Fanam for further information.

Closing Date

25 February 2019

Research Theme

AMC Research Themes:
Marine, Antarctic & Maritime  

The Research Project

Rigid-Hull Inflatable Boats (RHIBs) have been adopted around the world as the small boat workhorse of choice for navies, coast guard and lifeboat organisations. In the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), RHIBs provide major fleet units with a versatile and rapidly deployable small boat capability relied upon for various tasks ranging from search and rescue to high speed interception and boarding operations. During these operations, RHIBs often need to be launched, recovered and operated in harsh seaway environments, which can result in considerable risk to both personnel and materiel.

Traditionally the RAN has utilised side-davit based systems for sea boat launch and recovery, however with the future acquisition of the Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV), the RAN will have the capability to perform sea boat launch and recovery via stern ramps integrated into the transoms of these vessels. Several multifaceted and interacting hydrodynamic phenomena materialise during stern ramp-based sea boat launch and recovery. The aim of this project is to develop a new CFD-based simulation capability for examining the multi-vessel hydrodynamic interactions that occur during stern ramp-based launch and recovery operations.

Eligibility

Please refer to the Entry Requirements for a {Doctor of Philosophy/Master of Research} 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 experience in an appropriate sector
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills
For More Information

Please contact Dr Jonathan Duffy for more information.

Closing Date

10th February 2019

Research Theme

AMC Research Themes:
Innovations in marine technology and coastal environment

CoSE Research Areas: 
Smart Places and Infrastructure
Natural and Extreme Environments

The Research Project

The management of corrosion and integrity for sewer pipelines (concrete pipelines) has become increasingly critical as their failures costs millions of dollars. Leakage from these pipelines can have significant hazardous effects on health, safety and the environment. In-situ investigation of pipeline corrosion is labour intensive and costly, and cannot be applied as a predictive tool to determine the effect on corrosion under various environmental and operational conditions.

The significance of the proposed project is the development of a comprehensive model (probabilistic) to predict the corrosion rate in sewer pipelines considering the data received from online monitoring (e.g. humidity, H2S level, temperature). This predictive model will aim to reduce failure probabilities, optimize maintenance and inspection schedules, optimize the operational conditions (required venting), and to aid in material selection for this type of application. This is essential to improve the safety and significantly reduce risk in sewer pipelines and save billions of dollars per year in Australia.

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;
  • Advanced Knowledge of probabilistic techniques in engineering applications
  • Basic knowledge of asset integrity management
  • Knowledge of computer programming with MATLAB

Applicants with the following skills will rank highly:

  • In-depth Knowledge of corrosion engineering particularly corrosion phenomena in sewer pipelines.
  • Knowledge of using different machine learning techniques.
For More Information

Please contact Dr Vikram Garaniya 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

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 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.

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 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

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 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

June 2019

The Research Project

Marine phytoplankton drive global climate, form the base of marine food-webs, and can cause ecosystem disruption and collapse due to harmful algal blooms. In the ocean, phytoplankton interact with bacterial symbionts - their microbiomeswhich lab studies show are essential for their growth. However, we currently know almost nothing about phytoplankton microbiomes in natural marine systems, or how they interact to enhance the growth and toxicity of harmful algal blooms.

A PhD research opportunity is open for a talented graduate to investigate the diversity and function of natural phytoplankton microbiome, and how they enhance growth and toxicity of harmful dinoflagellates. The project combines microfluidics and single-cell genomics and microbial community profiling using NGS sequencing to characterise microbiome membership, structure and function directly from phytoplankton blooms. Using lab model co-culture techniques, the project will also determine how microbiomes are recruited by toxic phytoplankton, and examine their role in algal physiology and toxin production.

The project is supervised by Drs Christopher Bolch and Andrew Bridle and will be based in the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) at the University of Tasmania in Launceston. The project also includes collaboration with researchers in the Scotland (Scottish Association for Marine Science) and the USA (New York University).

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

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

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

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

30 December 2019

  • 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 as soon as possible.

The Research Project

This project will develop portable analytical technology for the in-field measurement of soil chemistry.  By using a 3D printer, devices will be rapidly prototyped and then produced in sufficient volume for field evaluation to obtain crucial data on the usability.  A rapid design/use cycle will accelerate the development of a low-cost and practical device for in-field measurement of soil chemistry that can be used by environmental consultants, farmers and home gardeners.

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

  • Analytical and/or soil chemistry
  • 3D printing and/or microfabrication

Application Process

Applicants who require more information or are interested in this specific project should first contact the listed Supervisor. Information and guidance on the application process can be found on the Apply Now website.

Information about scholarships is available on the Scholarships webpage.

More Information

Please contact the Primary Supervisor, Prof. Michael Breadmore, School of Natural Sciences (Chemistry), for further 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 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.

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

30th June 2019

Applicants should contact the primary supervisor, and submit their Expression of Interest (EOI) and Application as soon as possible.

The Research Project

Evaluating the chemical composition of minerals formed during hydrothermal alteration is a rapidly emerging tool for mineral exploration. This PhD project, funded as part of the Geological Survey of Queensland’s “New Discovery” program, will evaluate the textures and trace element chemistry of various mineral phases from different IOCG deposits in Queensland to define both a chemical “fingerprint” and provide “footprints” of these systems to enhance exploration success. The student will work with world-renowned researchers in the Centre for Ore Deposits and Earth Sciences (CODES), as well as closely with government and industry partners. The ideal student will have an interest in ore deposits and a background in geochemistry, microanalysis methods or related techniques.

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.
  • Ability to carry out field work and work with government and industry partner facilities and follow appropriate health and safety procedures.

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

  • Degree-level undergraduate education in geology, economic geology, geochemistry or related subjects
  • Experience with laser ablation ICPMS or other microbeam techniques

Application Process

Applicants who require more information or are interested in this specific project should first contact the listed Supervisor. Information and guidance on the application process can be found on the Apply Now website.

Information about scholarships is available on the Scholarships webpage.

More Information

Primary Supervisor Name (Discipline/Centre): Shaun Barker (CODES)
Co-Supervisor Name (Discipline/Centre): Jeff Steadman (CODES), Jonathan Cloutier (CODES)

Please contact the Primary Supervisor, Shaun Barker, School of Natural Sciences (CODES), for further information.

Closing Date

30th June 2019

Applicants should contact the primary supervisor, and submit their Expression of Interest (EOI) and Application as soon as possible.

The Research Project

Evaluating the chemical composition of minerals formed during hydrothermal alteration is a rapidly emerging tool for mineral exploration. This PhD project, funded as part of the Geological Survey of Queensland’s “New Discovery” program, will evaluate the textures and trace element chemistry of various mineral phases from different IOCG deposits in Queensland to define both a chemical “fingerprint” and provide “footprints” of these systems to enhance exploration success. The student will work with world-renowned researchers in the Centre for Ore Deposits and Earth Sciences (CODES), as well as closely with government and industry partners. The ideal student will have an interest in ore deposits and a background in geochemistry, microanalysis methods or related techniques.

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.
  • Ability to carry out field work and work with government and industry partner facilities and follow appropriate health and safety procedures.

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

  • Degree-level undergraduate education in geology, economic geology, geochemistry or related subjects
  • Experience with laser ablation ICPMS or other microbeam techniques

Application Process

Applicants who require more information or are interested in this specific project should first contact the listed Supervisor. Information and guidance on the application process can be found on the Apply Now website.

Information about scholarships is available on the Scholarships webpage.

More Information

Primary Supervisor Name (Discipline/Centre): Shaun Barker (CODES)
Co-Supervisor Name (Discipline/Centre): Jeff Steadman (CODES),

Please contact the Primary Supervisor, Shaun Barker, School of Natural Sciences (CODES), for further 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

30 June 2019

The Research Project

Mineral chemistry is an emerging applied science being used in mineral exploration. Current methods rely upon a combination of electron microprobe and laser ablation ICPMS methods, which both require substantial laboratory preparation and time. Emerging analytical technologies such as hand held laser induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) offer the potential to transfer mineral chemistry from the laboratory to the field.

This project seeks to determine how accurately and precisely LIBS analytical methods can be used to evaluate the major, minor and trace element chemistry of various mineral species. If successful, this project will have a major impact on the way in which the minerals industry is able to approach and use mineral chemistry during routine mineral exploration. 

The candidate will work with leading scientists on mineral chemistry and mineral exploration at the University of Tasmania, and will interact with mineral industry and instrument manufacturing partners.

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 geology, chemistry, physics or a related subject

More Information

Please contact Associate Professor Shaun Barker 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

30th June 2019

Applicants should contact the primary supervisor, and submit their Expression of Interest (EOI) and Application as soon as possible.

The Research Project

The Cerro Negro epithermal district is in the Deseado Massif of Argentina. Three main areas of mineralized low sulfidation veins have been identified by Goldcorp Inc., namely the Eureka Complex, Vein Zone Complex and the Mariana Complex, with the latter including the Emilia, San Marcos and Mariana Central, Norte, Norte Este, Norte Este B ore zones. The district is considered to be at least in some parts barely eroded (Guido and Campbell, 2011, 2012), thereby potentially limiting the exposure of the epithermal veins beneath near‐surface low temperature clay alteration. Vein exposures may also be restricted at least in part due to the local presence of late‐ to post‐mineralization Jurassic volcanic cover (Vidal et al. 2016).

The primary aims of this PhD project is to compare key mineralogical, hydrothermal alteration and texture features in low sulfidation epithermal veins from the north western and south eastern domain of the district. The research work will involve field mapping, core logging, structure architecture analysis, and volcanic facies study. A series laboratory work will be conducted, including SWIR techniques, mineral, whole rock, and fluid chemistry, as well as isotopic studies. A secondary aim will be detail investigation of geochemical dispersion halos around low epithermal environments.

The candidate will be supervised by a research team who specialize in magmatic-hydrothermal ore deposits, mineral chemistry and mineral exploration at the University of Tasmania. The candidate will also work with industry geologists whilst on site at Cerro Negro.

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.
  • Applicants must meet English speaking and writing requirements.
  • A background in some of the following areas will be ranked highly: field mapping skills, mineralogy and crystallography, geochemistry, analytical chemistry

Application Process

Applicants who require more information or are interested in this specific project should first contact the listed Supervisor. Information and guidance on the application process can be found on the Apply Now website.

Information about scholarships is available on the Scholarships webpage.

More Information

Please contact the Primary Supervisor, Lejun Zhang, or Francisco Testa, School of Natural Sciences, for further 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 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

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 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

30th June 2019

Applicants should contact the primary supervisor, and submit their Expression of Interest (EOI) and Application as soon as possible.

The Research Project

This project is part of a recently funded Australian Research Council Discovery Project (DP190102020) to the supervisors and two international experts, Dr Sue Vandewoude (Colorado State University) and Dr Meggan Craft (University of Minnesota).  DP190102020 addresses a crucial issue in understanding the spread of infectious disease in wildlife: that we simply cannot observe an entire population.  We will investigate ways to make better epidemiological predictions in wildlife (such as Tasmanian devils, wombats, and American mountain lions and bobcats – for all of which we have real data), where we know we have only incomplete information about the contact networks by which diseases may spread.  This is one of three related HDR projects that will be supported by this grant.

This PhD project will focus on developing methods to account for uncertainty, or missing information, in the network of contacts that exists among individuals in a population of wild animals such as Tasmanian devils. In order to achieve this, we must make inferences about the nature of contact networks (CNs). We model contact networks with weighted networks (graphs), whose vertices are individual animals, and whose edges are epidemiologically significant contacts between them (i.e., contacts where disease transmission could occur).

The successful student will create efficient methods to propose “super-networks” that could contain given (observed) CNs, and to each assign a likelihood, using a model we have already developed.  This will form part of a Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) sampling process to find out characteristics of the most likely true networks for a given observed sub-network. The space of possible networks is huge, growing as nn, where n is the number of vertices, so the sampling needs to be as fast as possible. This may also lead to simulation studies in which disease are “grown” on the super-networks and compared with what we know about spread of infectious disease on observed CNs. Understanding the kind of super-network that is most likely associated with an observed network, and how it affects disease spread, will be critical to understanding making informed management decisions about many threatened species.

Through the international collaboration enabled by this grant you will be able to work with our US partners, and may be eligible for either an international or national conference presentation of your research findings.

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.
  • Ideally, candidates should have proven ability in discrete mathematics and statistics, and some ability to program in a standard language (e.g., C++, Java, Python, R).
  • Candidates from the following disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply.  Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Degree-level undergraduate education in mathematics, statistics, computer science, bioinformatics or a related subject.
  • An understanding of basic biology is a very desirable bonus.

Application Process

Applicants who require more information or are interested in this specific project should first contact the listed Supervisor. Information and guidance on the application process can be found on the Apply Now website.

Information about scholarships is available on the Scholarships webpage.

More Information

Please contact the Primary Supervisor, Michael Charleston, School of Natural Sciences (Mathematics), for further information.

Closing Date

30th June 2019

Applicants should contact the primary supervisor, and submit their Expression of Interest (EOI) and Application as soon as possible.

The Research Project

This project is part of a recently funded Australian Research Council Discovery Project (DP190102020) to the supervisors and two international experts, Dr Sue Vandewoude (Colorado State University) and Dr Meggan Craft (University of Minnesota).  DP190102020 addresses a crucial issue in understanding the spread of infectious disease in wildlife: that we simply cannot observe an entire population.  We will investigate ways to make better epidemiological predictions in wildlife (such as Tasmanian devils, wombats, and American mountain lions and bobcats – for all of which we have real data), where we know we have only incomplete information about the contact networks by which diseases may spread.  This is one of three related HDR projects that will be supported by this grant.

This PhD project will focus on improving the reliability of management decisions for the protection of wildlife suffering infectious disease.  Pathogens often spread via contact networks, which we model as (connected) mathematical graphs whose vertices are host individuals (such as individual Tasmanian Devils) and whose edges are contacts between individuals that could lead to successful transmission of pathogen. However we do not in general know the complete network.

The successful student will develop mathematical and computational simulation tools to generate networks using a range of approaches, such as Erdös-Renyi, small world, proximity graphs, and networks based on home ranges.  On these networks will be simulated pathogen spread.  Once this is ready, you will modify the generated networks in a manner to model management decisions such as culling or selective vaccination, and other extrinsic effects such as increasing foraging range, or intensifying contacts, in response to climate change (and lack of resources). The goal is to then determine which effects can be reliably predicted, if any, without knowing the complete contact network.

Through the international collaboration enabled by this grant you will be able to work with our US partners, and may be eligible for either an international or national conference presentation of your research findings.

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.
  • Ideally, candidates should have proven ability in discrete mathematics and statistics, and some ability to program in a standard language (e.g., C++, Java, Python, R).
  • Candidates from the following disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply.  Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Degree-level undergraduate education in mathematics, statistics, computer science, bioinformatics or a related subject.
  • An understanding of basic biology is a very desirable bonus.

Application Process

Applicants who require more information or are interested in this specific project should first contact the listed Supervisor. Information and guidance on the application process can be found on the Apply Now website.

Information about scholarships is available on the Scholarships webpage.

More Information

Please contact the Primary Supervisor, Michael Charleston, School of Natural Sciences (Mathematics), for further information

Closing Date

30th June 2019

Applicants should contact the primary supervisor, and submit their Expression of Interest (EOI) and Application as soon as possible.

The Research Project

This project is part of a recently funded Australian Research Council Discovery Project (DP190102020) to the supervisors and two international experts, Dr Sue Vandewoude (Colorado State University) and Dr Meggan Craft (University of Minnesota).  DP190102020 addresses a crucial issue in understanding the spread of infectious disease in wildlife: that we simply cannot observe an entire population.  We will investigate ways to make better epidemiological predictions in wildlife (such as Tasmanian devils, wombats, and American mountain lions and bobcats – for all of which we have real data), where we know we have only incomplete information about the contact networks by which diseases may spread.  This is one of three related HDR projects that will be supported by this grant.

This PhD project will focus on improving the reliability of management decisions for the protection of wildlife suffering infectious disease.  Pathogens often spread via contact networks, which we model as (connected) mathematical graphs whose vertices are host individuals (such as individual Tasmanian Devils) and whose edges are contacts between individuals that could lead to successful transmission of pathogen. However we do not in general know the complete network.

The successful student will develop mathematical and computational simulation tools to generate networks using a range of approaches, such as Erdös-Renyi, small world, proximity graphs, and networks based on home ranges.  On these networks will be simulated pathogen spread.  Once this is ready, you will modify the generated networks in a manner to model management decisions such as culling or selective vaccination, and other extrinsic effects such as increasing foraging range, or intensifying contacts, in response to climate change (and lack of resources). The goal is to then determine which effects can be reliably predicted, if any, without knowing the complete contact network.

Through the international collaboration enabled by this grant you will be able to work with our US partners, and may be eligible for either an international or national conference presentation of your research findings.

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.
  • Ideally, candidates should have proven ability in discrete mathematics and statistics, and some ability to program in a standard language (e.g., C++, Java, Python, R).
  • Candidates from the following disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply.  Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Degree-level undergraduate education in mathematics, statistics, computer science, bioinformatics or a related subject.
  • An understanding of basic biology is a very desirable bonus.

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

  • Degree-level undergraduate education in geology, economic geology, geochemistry or related subjects
  • Experience with laser ablation ICPMS or other microbeam techniques

Application Process

Applicants who require more information or are interested in this specific project should first contact the listed Supervisor. Information and guidance on the application process can be found on the Apply Now website.

Information about scholarships is available on the Scholarships webpage.

More Information

Please contact the Primary Supervisor, Michael Charleston, School of Natural Sciences (Mathematics), for further information.

Closing Date

30th June 2019

Applicants should contact the primary supervisor, and submit their Expression of Interest (EOI) and Application as soon as possible.

The Research Project

This project is part of a recently funded Australian Research Council Discovery Project (DP190102020) to the supervisors and two international experts, Dr Sue Vandewoude (Colorado State University) and Dr Meggan Craft (University of Minnesota).  DP190102020 addresses a crucial issue in understanding the spread of infectious disease in wildlife: that we simply cannot observe an entire population.  We will investigate ways to make better epidemiological predictions in wildlife (such as Tasmanian devils, wombats, and American mountain lions and bobcats – for all of which we have real data), where we know we have only incomplete information about the contact networks by which diseases may spread.  This is one of three related HDR projects that will be supported by this grant.

This PhD project will address the question of how predictions of disease spread are affected when we do not know the complete contact network.  We model contact networks with weighted networks (graphs), whose vertices are individual animals, and whose edges are epidemiologically significant contacts between them (i.e., contacts where disease transmission could occur). Additionally, we model pathogens spreading through a population as a mathematical tree (connected, acyclic graph) whose vertices are instances of infection of host individuals and whose edges correspond to infection spread events.

The successful student will extend existing algorithms (developed by A/Prof Charleston and others) to map the pathogen trees into host contact networks and to assign a likelihood value to each potential mapping according to canonical models.  You will then subsample from contact networks and pathogen trees on them, to mimic real observation, and compare most likely predictions of disease spread with what actually occurred, using simulated and some observed data. Through the international collaboration enabled by this grant you will be able to work with our US partners, and may be eligible for either an international or national conference presentation of your research findings.

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.
  • Ideally, candidates should have proven ability in discrete mathematics and statistics, and some ability to program in a standard language (e.g., C++, Java, Python, R).
  • Candidates from the following disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply.  Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Degree-level undergraduate education in mathematics, statistics, computer science, bioinformatics or a related subject.
  • An understanding of basic biology is a very desirable bonus.

Application Process

Applicants who require more information or are interested in this specific project should first contact the listed Supervisor. Information and guidance on the application process can be found on the Apply Now website.

Information about scholarships is available on the Scholarships webpage.

More Information

Please contact the Primary Supervisor, Michael Charleston, School of Natural Sciences (Mathematics), for further information.

The Research Project

This project aims to synthesise knowledge and develop seismic tools which will characterise the basement beneath the East Antarctic Ice sheets in order to provide more robust constraints for ice sheet models at basin and continental scales.  Important factors including elevation, slope angle, sedimentary basins and the presence of water.  A significant component of the  project will be a compilation of existing seismic and other geophysical and spatial data from across East Antarctica.  This will involve communication with other Antarctic nations with a significant presence in East Antarctica to form an improved GIS database. The ongoing research will then take the form of computer simulations of seismic waveforms, and a comparison to likely ice-rock scenarios beneath major ice sheets.

At UTAS the successful applicant will join one of the leading international groups that use seismology to investigate Earth environment systems.   The research environment within Physics at UTAS is a vibrant and supportive place to develop geophysics, applied mathematics, and computational physics skills with real-world applications and strong links to the Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies.  While the research for this project is computer-based, there may be opportunities to travel to Antarctica on partner projects for suitably skilled applicants.

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:

  • Degree-level undergraduate education in geophysics, physics or applied mathematics or related fields
  • Experience with GIS-type computing environments and scientific computing
  • Aptitude for high-performance computing

Aptitude for interdisciplinary collaboration

More Information

For more information contact the Primary Supervisor, Professor Anya Reading, School of Natural Sciences (Physics), for further 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 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

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

30th April 2019

Research Theme

Environment, Resources and Sustainability

The Research Project

Knowledge of species' responses to past climate change can be used to predict their resilience to current and projected climate change. However, species have varying sensitivity to environmental stressors. Therefore, to identify which species track the impact of environmental change in the past, with a view to monitoring in the present and predicting the future, we must assess a variety of taxa. This project addresses a key knowledge gap for Antarctic biota by genetically assessing responses of 6 flighted seabird species to past climate change, and combining these with inferences already made for penguins and seals in a meta-analysis. Knowledge of the spatial distribution of genetic variation can also guide the selection of Antarctic Specially Protected Areas through the identification of populations that are demographically-independent, represent long-term refugia, or contain genetic (and potentially taxonomic) novelty.

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.
  • An ability to perform and interpret population genetics analyses is highly desirable

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

  • Honours/MSc degree in population genetics or phylogenetics
  • Degree-level undergraduate education in biology
  • Interpersonal communication skills
  • Time management
  • Ability to work both independently, and as part of a team

Application Process

Applicants who require more information or are interested in this specific project should first contact the listed Supervisor. Information and guidance on the application process can be found on the Apply Now website.

Information about scholarships is available on the Scholarships webpage.

More Information

Please contact Chris Burridge for more information.

Closing Date

31st July 2019

Applicants should contact the primary supervisor as soon as possible, and start the application process by completing an Expression of Interest at
http://www.utas.edu.au/research/degrees/apply-now

Research Theme

Forests, Trees and Agroforestry
Evolutionary Ecology
Environment, Resources and Sustainability
Data, Knowledge and Decisions

The Research Project

An exciting opportunity is available for a highly motivated student to join the Eucalypt Genetics Group at UTAS in a project that uses state-of-the-art genomic technologies to study adaptation in eucalypts, a field of research that is growing world-wide as the effects of global climate change become more acute.

The project aims to:
1) identify adaptive DNA variants that can be used to monitor whether natural populations are adapting to climate change or whether conservation intervention is required;
2) further refine the innovative 'genomics-assisted provenancing' approach to forest restoration to promote climate change adaptation; 
3) implement approaches to validating genomic predictions of provenance performance in restoration plantings. 

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 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:

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

More Information

The project will be embedded in the Eucalypt Genetics Group at UTAS (led by Profs Brad Potts and René Vaillancourt) which has a world-class interdisciplinary research programme that investigates the evolutionary ecological forces that shape diversity in Eucalyptus.

Supervisory Team

Primary Supervisor Name

  • Dr Dorothy Steane - (Biological Sciences)

Co-Supervisor Name (Discipline/Centre)

  • Prof Brad Potts (Biological Sciences)
  • Prof René Vaillancourt (Biological Sciences)

For more information please contact:
Dr Dorothy Steane, School of Natural Sciences 
Prof Brad Potts, School of Natural Sciences
Prof René Vaillancourt,School of Natural Sciences

Closing Date

30 June 2019

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

30 June 2019

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

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

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

31st July 2019

Applicants should contact the primary supervisor as soon as possible, and start the application process by completing an Expression of Interest at http://www.utas.edu.au/research/degrees/apply-now

Research Theme

Forests, Trees and Agroforestry 
Evolutionary Ecology
Environment, Resources and Sustainability
Data, Knowledge and Decisions

The Research Project

This Genome-Wide Association Study (GWAS) will provide fundamental information on the genetic architecture of phenotypic traits that will be critical for the adaptation of natural and industrial Eucalyptus globulus forests to future climates. The project will explore the application of new analytical procedures to estimate the effects of genetic variants on phenotypic traits, using pedigree links between phenotyped individuals and individuals which have been the subjects of whole genome sequencing.  Key target traits will include drought tolerance, as well as other growth and performance traits. The student will gain valuable experience with industry collaborators through our partnership with the Southern Tree Breeding Association (STBA) and PlantPlan Genetics.

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 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:

  • Degree-level undergraduate education in forestry, plant science, genetics or a related subject.
  • Computer programming experience is desirable, for example, a statistical scripting language such as R, and programming languages such as C or FORTRAN.
  • Knowledge of bioinformatics, statistics and modelling, forest tree (particularly eucalypts) breeding, genomics.

More Information

The project will be embedded in the Eucalypt Genetics Group at UTAS (led by Profs Brad Potts and René Vaillancourt) which has a world-class interdisciplinary research programme that investigates the evolutionary ecological forces that shape diversity in Eucalyptus.

Supervisory Team

Primary Supervisor Name

  • Prof René Vaillancourt (Biological Sciences)

Co-Supervisor Name (Discipline/Centre)

  • Prof Brad Potts (Biological Sciences)
  • Dr Dorothy Steane (Biological Sciences)

For more information please contact:
Prof René Vaillancourt,School of Natural Sciences
Dr Dorothy Steane, School of Natural Sciences 
Prof Brad Potts, School of Natural Sciences
Dr Richard Kerr, PlantPlan Genetics Pty Ltd

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

25 FEB 2019

Research Theme

Data, Knowledge & Decisions

The Research Project

Tasmanian devils are threatened by two fatal transmissible cancers, devil facial tumour disease (DFTD), firstly observed in 1996 and devil facial tumour 2 (DFT2), discovered in 2016. Dramatic population declines (>90%) led to concerns of disease-induced local extinctions. However, recent studies have identified divergent genetic and phenotypic adaptations to DFTD, suggesting that devils are evolving different strategies as defence mechanisms against tumours. This has raised hope that natural selection may protect this iconic and endemic species from extinction.

The project uses an integrative approach combining immunology, epidemiology and evolutionary biology to understand the role of host genetic and phenotypic adaptations to transmissible cancers. The project aims to assess the immune adaptive capabilities of devils in response to DFTD and DFT2 and to determine how the expression of immune genes differ between wild and captive populations. This approach will enable the development of novel diagnostic tools and disease markers for managing this and other threatened species. The project involves large field and lab work components and analyses of existing epidemiological and genetic datasets. The successful candidate will participate in research collaborations with an international team of researchers from government and non-government organisations and Universities in Australia, France and United Kingdom.

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 good understanding in the fields of disease ecology and evolutionary biology.
  • Quantitative analyses of epidemiological and  immunological data.
  • Ability to work with large genetic data sets.
  • Proven success in conducting field and lab-based  experiments.
  • Ability to work as part of an interdisciplinary team.

The College of Sciences & Engineering, School of Natural Sciences, is offering a 3-year (with a possible 6 month extension) fully funded PhD scholarship in Zoology.

The following eligibility criteria apply:

  • 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.
  • Applicants must meet English requirements or be able to do so before commencement.

More Information

Applicants should send a CV and Expression of Interest (one page maximum) to rkhamede@utas.edu.au before February 25th 2019.

Please contact Rodrigo Hamede for more information about this project, or take a look at Dr Rodrigo Hamede's research profile here.

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

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

7th March 2019

Applicants should contact the primary supervisor, and submit their Expression of Interest (EOI) and Application as soon as possible

The Research Project

Access to energy is an area of concern for both developed and developing countries. The world’s average per capita electricity consumption was around 3MWh in 2014 (The World Bank, 2014), but with a range of 54MWh to less than 0.1KWh (IEA, 2014). Furthermore, 1 billion people worldwide are still without access to electricity (IEA, 2017). The status of electrification in developed and developing countries varies widely but there are some common challenges in providing clean energy: developing countries face challenges in providing clean and affordable energy, and developed countries in transferring oil and coal-based electrification to clean energy sources.

In tackling this big problem of energy access, Earth Observation (EO) data and predictive models can be used to better understand energy access in diverse geographical territories. Energy access is not always easy to assess from the ground using convention surveys, but it has recently begun to be measured from space, using satellite sensors to identify night-time electric lighting. This project will investigate the impact of improved EO geographical granularity in assessing and predicting energy access. Understanding uncertainties in predictive models due to the EO data granularity will help to contribute in developing new knowledge. Minimising associated uncertainties will help to develop robust methods to assess electrification at scale.

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.

Candidate from Earth Observation (EO) and Geo-information (GI) disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply. KNowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Existing EO data modelling and spatial analysis skills (e.g. Remote sensing data manipulation, GIS and granularity analysis)
  • Existing skills or interest in learning new skills in energy economics
  • Interest in learning spatial statistics and machine learning 

Application Process

Applicants who require more information or are interested in this specific project should first contact the listed Supervisor. Information and guidance on the application process can be found on the Apply Now website.

Information about scholarships is available on the Scholarships webpage.

More Information

Please contact the Dr Jagannath Aryal or Prof Heather Lovell, for further information.

References

1. IEA. (2014). IEA Energy Atlas. Retrieved December 18, 2018, from http://energyatlas.iea.org/#!/tellmap/-1118783123/1

2. IEA. (2017). Special Report: Energy Access Outlook - Executive Summary - English. Retrieved from www.iea.org/energyaccess

3. The World Bank. (2014). Electric power consumption (kWh per capita) | Data. Retrieved December 18, 2018, from https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/EG.USE.ELEC.KH.PC

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

31st December 2019

Applicants should contact the primary supervisor, and submit their Expression of Interest (EOI) and Application as soon as possible.

The Research Project

Dr Dave Kendal is seeking expressions of interest from prospective RHD students interested in understanding how and why we can better incorporate the community into environmental/nature policy and management decision-making. Global, national and local nature conservation policy has been through a period of being heavily framed as scientific, rational and evidence based. However, this framing largely excludes other ways of knowing nature, and the wide variety of ways that nature is important to people. Much public policy is being reframed to incorporate a wide range of values of the public, and management decision-making is increasingly including objectives other than species conservation and biodiversity protection. Dave has been a member of Australia's Threatened Species Scientific Committee and has a broad range of experiences managing research projects and supervising RHD students exploring topics related to public involvement in nature conservation.

Potential co-supervisors within Geography include: Prof Jason Byrne, Prof Jamie Kirkpatrick, A/Prof Aidan Davison, Dr Vanessa Adams, Dr Rebecca Harris

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.

Application Process

Applicants who require more information or are interested in this specific project should first contact the listed Supervisor. Information and guidance on the application process can be found on the Apply Now website.

Information about scholarships is available on the Scholarships webpage.

More Information

Please contact the Dr Dave Kendal for further information.

Closing Date

31st December 2019

Applicants should contact the primary supervisor, and submit their Expression of Interest (EOI) and Application as soon as possible .

The Research Project

Dr Dave Kendal is seeking expressions of interest from prospective HDR students interested in understanding the reciprocal effects of people on urban nature. Dave has a broad range of experiences managing research projects and supervising HDR students exploring topics such as:

  • What drives decision making in urban parks and street tree management? How can we incorporate the views of the public into urban landscape management?
  • Which urban trees will be best suited to our future climates? What traits of trees influence the benefits they provide to people and wildlife?
  • What roles does nature play for urban dwellers? How do values shape the way people think about and interact with urban nature and its management?
  • What role do cities play in the conservation of threatened species? Can species conservation co-occur with other urban landscape uses such as recreation and the provision of ecosystem services?

Dave has a particular interest in understanding how landscapes and people might be changing with social-ecological change. Potential co-supervisors within Geography include: Prof Jason Byrne, Prof Jamie Kirkpatrick, A/Prof Aidan Davison, Dr Vanessa Adams, Dr Rebecca Harris

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.

Application Process

Applicants who require more information or are interested in this specific project should first contact the listed Supervisor. Information and guidance on the application process can be found on the Apply Now website.

Information about scholarships is available on the Scholarships webpage.

More Information

Please contact Dr Dave Kendal 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

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

31st December 2019

Applicants should contact the primary supervisor, and submit their Expression of Interest (EOI) and Application as soon as possible.

The Research Project

Computers are starting to be used to recognise affect which can provide better assistance to human users. Models to be used to recognise human emotion which will lead to another form of computer-assisted learning, perceptual information retrieval, interaction, and human health. Affective Computing is the term used to define IT systems and devices, which support the collection of data about human emotions through their facial expression, their voice tone, activities and interaction with other humans. Unlike other traditional types of computing, “affective computing” provides a method to “read” and “understanding” the emotion state of the user. Therefore, enhancement of the links between human and human as well as the interaction between users and their computers is worthy of investigation.

The learning domain as an applied area is a relatively new area in terms of finding out the user’s emotional status in order to equip teacher/teaching modules to react and enhance the user’s learning experiences and learning outcomes.

The aim of this project is to investigate if there is any way for the early detection of possible difficulties of learners. If the detection is possible, teacher/teaching module can assist to solve the problem promptly via an application based on deep learning algorithms.

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:

  • Experience with programming  in deep learning
  • Critical thinking
  • Programming skills

Application Process

Applicants who require more information or are interested in this specific project should first contact the listed Supervisor. Information and guidance on the application process can be found on the Apply Now website.

Information about scholarships is available on the Scholarships webpage.

More Information

Please contact the Soonja Yeom for further 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 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 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 October 2019

  • Applicants should contact the supervisor (Mohammad Sadegh Taskhiri), and submit their application as soon as possible.
  • Applicants wishing to commence in 2019 should complete the Expression of Interest (EOI) and Application processes as soon as possible.

Research Theme

  • Data, Knowledge and Decisions
  • Better Health

The Research Project

Non-invasive detection of illnesses by human breath analysis is an emerging field of bio-medical diagnostics representing a rapid, economic, and simple alternative to standard blood analysis and endoscopy. The bulk matrix of the breath is a mixture of nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide, water vapor, and inert gases. Acetone is a selective breath marker to type-1 diabetes. It is produced by hepatocytes via decarboxylation of excess acetyl-coenzyme A. The operation of a direct-reading, selective chemical sensor is based on the existence of a selective recognition event that results in a change in a measurable parameter. Most of the common commercial gas sensors are based on semiconductors, polymer materials and the methods used for sensing are optical methods, calorimetric methods, gas chromatography and acoustic methods.

In this project a titanium-based gas sensor will be developed for selective detection of acetone for easy diagnosis of diabetes by breath analysis. The synthetized titanium material can be composed with a semiconductor to investigate its material characterization. The prepared materials will be characterized using FTIR, XRD, FESEM-EDX, TEM, XPS and BET and other required characterizations.

The core of this project will involve developing an appropriate user-centred design for patients to be able to  process, understand and interpret electronic signals or data produced by the gas sensor. The input part then consists of transducers that gather and transform information from the physical world with the last step of the transformation resulting in an electrical signal.

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

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, chemistry 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.

More Information

Please contact Mohammad Sadegh Taskhiri for more information.

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 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 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 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

28th Feb 2019

Applicants should contact the primary supervisor, and submit their Expression of Interest (EOI) and Application as soon as possible.

The Research Project

With the rise of Gamification and Games for Change, much attention has been directed towards the impact of these games towards achieving behaviour change.  However, to date, little attention has been given towards validating the selection of specific game elements and game mechanics as mechanisms to bring about specific behavioural changes.  This project will investigate the psycho-physiological impact of a series of game elements and mechanics in order to identify their psychological affect on users, and their appropriateness as a tool towards behaviour change.

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 be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills.
  • The applicant should have experience in game design and have undertaken honours-level research in the broad fields of gaming and/or technology-influenced behaviour change.

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

  • Degree-level undergraduate education in games or creative technologies design and Experience with psycho-physiology research tools
  • Publications in Games and Creative Technologies outlets
  • Experience with psycho-physiology tools and techniques
  • Experience in Games research projects

Application Process

Applicants who require more information or are interested in this specific project should first contact the listed Supervisor. Information and guidance on the application process can be found on the Apply Now website.

Information about scholarships is available on the Scholarships webpage.

More Information

Please contact the Primary Supervisor, Associate Professor Kristy de Salas for further 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

28 February 2019

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 2019

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

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.

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