Smart system for structural health monitoring of Maritime Assets

Degree type


Closing date

29 October 2021



Citizenship requirement

Domestic/International Onshore

About the research project

Marine structures are subject to dynamic loadings and material changes due to exposure to the harsh marine environment. The loadings may be short-term and long-term, extreme and cyclic, while erosion, corrosion can reduce material thickness. To enhance the reliability and safety of these structures, a structural health monitoring system is required. The utilisation of a reliable health monitoring system can reduce the maintenance cost of these assets in the future. More importantly, in naval vessels, They can help to ensure that the ship retains its design characteristics, and the navy has battle-ready platforms.

The structural health monitoring system will include the selection of appropriate sensing techniques for accurate fault detection and prediction capability of the forthcoming condition of the structural members. Experiments to analyse the best locations of the sensors are costly and time-consuming; instead, finite element analysis (FEA) will assist in the monitoring of displacement and stress in ship structures and finding the optimum locations for sensors. These data will be coupled with machine learning algorithms to predict the future health of the structures. The methodology developed in this PhD research will also help in scheduling the maintenance/replacement of the current structural members in a ship, thus enhancing the reliability of its operations.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Dr Vikram Garaniya


Applicants will be considered for a Research Training Program (RTP) scholarship or Tasmania Graduate Research Scholarship (TGRS) which, if successful, provides:

  • a living allowance stipend of $28,597 per annum (2021 rate, indexed annually) for 3.5 years
  • a relocation allowance of up to $2,000
  • a tuition fees offset covering the cost of tuition fees for up to four years (domestic applicants only)

If successful, international applicants will receive a University of Tasmania Fees Offset for up to four years.

As part of the application process you may indicate if you do not wish to be considered for scholarship funding.


The project is open to domestic (Australian and New Zealand) and international applicants who are already in Australia (onshore) at the time of submitting their application.

Due to current Australian COVID-19 travel restrictions the University cannot accept applications from international applicants who are currently overseas.

Applicants should review the Higher Degree by Research minimum entry requirements.

Applicants need to have completed one of the following degrees in Mechanical, Civil, or Maritime Engineering:

  • Australian honours degree with a First Class or 2A Honours or internationally equivalent degree
  • Masters by research degree
  • Masters by coursework degree, with at least 25% research

Selection Criteria

The project is competitively assessed and awarded.  Selection is based on academic merit and suitability to the project as determined by the College.

Additional essential selection criteria specific to this project:

  • The degree must be undertaken on a full-time basis

Additional desirable selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Sound knowledge of the ship structures
  • Knowledge of risk and reliability engineering in shipping operations
  • Basic knowledge of developing/using machine learning algorithms
  • Proficiency in a programming language (e.g. MATLAB)
  • Previous experience in statistical/probabilistic modelling

The successful candidate must be prepared to submit a valid application for Australian Security Clearance (for further information, see

Application process

There is a three-step application process:

  1. Select the project, and check you meet the eligibility and selection criteria;
  2. Contact the Primary Supervisor, Dr Vikram Garaniya, if you have any questions about the project; and
  3. Click here to submit an application by the closing date listed above.
    • Copy and paste the title of the project from this advertisement into your application. If you don’t correctly do this your application may be rejected.
    • As part of your application you will be required to submit a covering letter, a CV including contact details of two referees and your project research proposal.

Following the application closing date applications will be assessed within the College. Applicants should expect to receive notification of the outcome by email.

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