Sustainable Synthesis and Energy Storage

Sustainable Chemical Synthesis and Energy Storage with New Organometallic Catalysts

Degree type


Closing date

27 March 2023



Citizenship requirement


About the research project

Atmospheric greenhouse gases are one of the major concerns facing the modern world. One strategy to reduce the levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) is to transform it into feedstocks for new materials including energy storage molecules and value-added organic compounds. CO2 is a very stable molecule and requires tailor-designed catalysts for its activation and transformation. Nature employs enzymes (biological catalysts) centred around earth-abundant metals such as iron, nickel and cobalt to achieve similarly challenging chemical transformations with extremely high efficiencies.

This project aims to develop new catalysts inspired by enzymes for CO2 valorisation. It will generate new knowledge in understanding CO2 activation by organometallic complexes and provide innovative strategies to transforming CO2 into value-added materials. These strategies will be applicable to other stable small molecules such as nitrogen (N2) resulting in new nitrogen activation catalysts.

Outcomes will enhance the capacity to utilise CO2 as a carbon feedstock for the production of fuels and materials which ultimately provides significant economic and environmental benefits through CO2 recycling and upcycling.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Dr Curtis Ho


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.


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

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:

  • Synthetic organic/organometallic/inorganic chemistry skills, including experience with chromatographic purification techniques
  • Experience with Structural characterisation techniques, such as NMR spectroscopy

Additional desirable selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Knowledge regarding single crystal X-ray diffraction

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, Dr Curtis Ho 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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