Machine learning-augmented GPR Imaging

Development of machine learning-augmented ground-penetrating radar imaging algorithms for subsurface sensing

Degree type


Closing date

27 March 2023



Citizenship requirement


About the research project

Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) is a non-destructive technology that uses electromagnetic waves to inspect the subsurface environment. It has found widespread applications in a diverse range of fields, including agriculture, environmental engineering, civil engineering, glaciology, and space exploration. High-resolution imaging of subsurface structures using GPR is the key to gain an intuitive understanding of the subsurface environment. However, subsurface imaging with GPR data is a highly non-linear and ill-posed inverse electromagnetic scattering problem, especially in irregular subsurface environments that cannot be expressed in rigorous mathematic formations. Conventional imaging algorithms are computational expensive and have limited accuracy and resolution in diverse subsurface environments. To overcome these limitations, this project aims to integrate the domain knowledge of GPR with the powerful feature recognition capability of machine learning models to develop robust and high-resolution imaging algorithms. The algorithms will automatically and reliably extract and integrate informative features from large-scale radar data and reconstruct the subsurface permittivity distribution. The project is highly interdisciplinary, encompassing the fields of antenna and radar technologies, wave physics, and artificial intelligence. The outcome of this research project will significantly enhance our understanding of subsurface environments, benefiting a wide range of non-destructive subsurface inspections and promoting sustainable engineering practices.

Primary Supervisor

Meet A/Prof Evan Franklin


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:

  • 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 essential selection criteria specific to this project:

  • A basic knowledge of electromagnetic theories and antennas

Additional desirable selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Research experience related to applied electromagnetic, and proficient in programming languages such as Python and Matlab

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, A/Prof Evan Franklin 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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