Towards Net Zero: Thermal, hygrothermal

Thermal, hygrothermal and life-cycle research as critical design inputs for healthy and low-carbon buildings

Degree type


Closing date

25 September 2023



Citizenship requirement

Domestic / International

About the research project

Innovative thermal and hygrothermal research conducted at the University of Tasmania since 2006 has provided technical guidance for Australian regulatory and policy development. This has included technical advice for the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS), the regulator Australian Building Codes Board), State Governments and the design and construction industry.

Key considerations for zero-energy and net-zero carbon buildings include:

  • Building envelope thermal performance
  • Whole of building hygrothermal performance
  • Construction material hygrothermal performance
  • Whole of building life-cycle assessment
  • Whole of region GIS-informed planning.

However, national and international research has shown that some specific methods intended to advance a low carbon future may actually be creating interior environments that promote the occurrence of cardiovascular and respiratory human health conditions both short-term and life-long, and reduce the usable lifespan of the built environment.

The hygrothermal research team at UTAS focusses on this nexus between the need to move toward a zero carbon future combined with providing durable and heathy interior and exterior environments. Within this research field, prospective students will evaluate and use state-of-the-art simulation tools and experimental methods to develop a deep technical understanding of building physics and provide new knowledge to inform ongoing guidance to Government and Industry.

Ideally, and due to their complex nature, individual projects should only focus on one of two of the five fields listed above.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Dr Mark Dewsbury


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 $31,500 per annum (2023 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.

Other funding opportunities and fees

For further information regarding other scholarships on offer, and the various fees of undertaking a research degree, please visit our Scholarships and fees on research degrees page.


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

Ensure your eligibility for the scholarship round by referring to our Key Dates.

Additional eligibility criteria specific to this project/scholarship:

  • Applicants must be able to undertake the project on-campus

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 scholarship is open to Onshore applicants only (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 and its relationship to building thermal and hygrothermal 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

Application process

  1. Select your project, and check that you meet the eligibility and selection criteria, including citizenship;
  2. Contact Dr Mark Dewsbury to discuss your suitability and the project's requirements; and
  3. In your application:
    • 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.
    • Submit a signed supervisory support form, a CV including contact details of 2 referees and your project research proposal.
  4. Apply prior to 25 September 2023.

Full details of the application process can be found under the 'How to apply' section of the Research Degrees website.

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

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Why the University of Tasmania?

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