Debris Flows and Baffle Systems

Modelling non-Newtonian Debris Flows and Baffle Protective Structures

Degree type


Closing date

25 September 2023



Citizenship requirement

Domestic / International

About the research project

Debris flows are a form of catastrophic landslide, predominantly occurring in mountainous terrain.  Debris flows consist of a fluidised mixture of soil sediments, fragmented rock, boulders, and water which flow in the down-hill direction at high velocity.  A range of debris flow protective structures are suitable for impeding flow, including check dams, screens, and flexible barriers.  One such defensive measure to minimise the effects of debris flow damage is the use of baffle structures which can drastically reduce debris flow velocity.

In this study, computational methods are used to consider non-Newtonian debris flows and the fluid-structure interactions with debris flow baffles.  The objective of this project is to assess the impact forces on these structures and their suitability in reducing flow velocity for the purpose of reducing landslide hazard risk.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Dr Gholamreza Kefayati


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:

  • The project is open to domestic (Australia and New Zealand) and international applicant
  • Applicants must be commencing a new course of study with the University of Tasmania in the 2023 academic year
  • Applicants from the following disciplines are encouraged to apply:
    • Civil Engineering
    • Mechanical Engineering
  • 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:

  • Strong academic background in engineering and capability to work independently
  • Solid knowledge of numerical modelling techniques
  • Knowledge of a programming language

Additional desirable selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Solid knowledge of the Lattice Boltzmann Method (LBM)

Application process

  1. Select your project, and check that you meet the eligibility and selection criteria, including citizenship;
  2. Contact Dr Gholamreza Kefayati 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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