Passive samplers from 3D printing

High capacity chemically functionalised passive samplers produced using additive manufacturing methods

Degree type


Closing date

6 March 2023



Citizenship requirement


About the research project

The development of functional materials for applications within environmental sample and monitoring possess many technical challenges, including the formulation of appropriately robust functional composites, the control and modification of their surface chemistry to retain target chemicals species, and the design and development of the sampling format/device for future applications. Within this project the focus will be upon the fundamental design and development of such functionalised polymer composite materials (including where possible natural polymers and/or materials from industrial waste residues - e.g. pulp and paper residues, natural extractives and material recycling supplies) and their tailored surface chemistries, for specific environmental applications, most significantly the sampling and monitoring of emerging environmental contaminants in natural water systems (e.g. per- and polyfluorinated substances). Further to this, the project will focus upon modern additive manufacturing processes (e.g. 3D printing) to develop and deliver deployable sampling formats (e.g. porous high-capacity passive samplers) to provide a means to evaluate and characterize each new material/sampler system in real-world applications. The project thus includes a valuable mix of new polymer/composite chemistry development, new manufacturing capability and design skills, with real-world environmental application and potential impact.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Prof Brett Paull


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 $28,854 per annum (2022 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.


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

Additional eligibility criteria specific to this project/scholarship:

  • 1st class honours degree, or masters degree in analytical science, materials science, environmental science, or equivalent  closely related discipline
  • Proven outstanding communication skills and demonstrable research experience
  • 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:

  • Experience in areas of materials development
  • Experience in areas of environmental sampling and monitoring
  • Experience in areas of nano- and micro- materials chemistry

Additional desirable selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Publication record
  • Evidence of team working skills
  • Evidence of research excellence, capacity and impact

Application process

There is a three-step application process:

  1. Select your project, and check you meet the eligibility and selection criteria;
  2. Contact the Primary Supervisor, Prof Brett Paull to discuss your suitability and the project's requirements; and
  3. 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 2 x 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 by the advertised outcome date.

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