Engineered timber and indoor air quality

Impact of engineered timber products from Tasmanian hardwood on indoor air quality

Degree type

PhD

Closing date

18 July 2022

Campus

Hobart

Citizenship requirement

Domestic/International

About the research project

Engineered timber products offer many advantages for construction, providing sufficient performance to replace steel and concrete in some applications with the advantage of being produced from a renewable resource and serving as a carbon sink. Current research conducted at the University of Tasmania focuses on developing new structurally reliable engineered wood products (EWPs) from sawn boards recovered from the available plantation hardwood estate in Tasmania, which improves industry efficiency as it allows material currently chipped for pulp and paper to be converted into much more valuable, manufactured products. However, while gaining in popularity both as structural and decorative elements in buildings, these materials have been demonstrated to be a significant contributor to volatile organic compounds in indoor environments and concerns have been raised about the impacts on indoor air quality and building occupants.

This project will investigate the impact of decisions made during manufacturing (e.g. glue and species selection) and application (e.g. coatings, exposed surfaces) on the type and magnitude of off-gas emissions from these products. Specific focus will be placed on the nature and dynamics of these emissions and understanding their importance in the context of other emission sources in the indoor environment. Outcomes from this project will support the development of guidance for industry to improve the production and application of these materials and reduce the potential for adverse impacts on indoor air quality and building occupants.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Dr Eric Sivret

Funding

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.

Eligibility

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

Additional eligibility criteria specific to this project/scholarship:

  • The applicant 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 desirable selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Previous experience in gas chromatography

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 Eric Sivret 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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