Robust Offshore Feed Delivery Systems

Numerical Methods to Develop Robust, Sustainable Salmon Feed Delivery Systems

Degree type


Closing date

18 July 2022



Citizenship requirement


About the research project

In the development of sustainable offshore farming solutions for salmon aquaculture, fish feed represents a major cost of business. Tonnes of feed per day are often delivered from feed barges to the individual pens, using sophisticated monitoring and remote feeding control systems. Fish feed pellets are conveyed from feed barges to individual pens using High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) pipes which float in a loose bundle. These pipes and their connections can become disordered and damaged in more exposed sites, especially in the case of bad weather. This project aims to investigate the major aspects controlling the performance and operation of feed pipe systems for open, floating and flexible fish pen environments, with the specific objective of improving the design of feed pipe systems used in high-energy sites.

The proposed research project will employ advanced large deformation numerical methods such as Smooth Particle Hydrodynamics and the Coupled Eulerian Method to simulate structural components of offshore fish pen and fish feed aquaculture systems. The research will focus on the soil-structure and fluid-structure interactions of foundation and anchoring systems, while considering the effects of field conditions in both low and high-energy environments. As a result of the research, numerical models will be developed to produce sustainable engineering solutions for offshore feed pipe performance.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Dr Ali Tolooiyan


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:

  • Applicants must be commencing a new course of study with the University of Tasmania in the 2022 academic year

Applicants from the following disciplines are encouraged to apply:

  • Civil Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering

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 solid knowledge of soil-structure and fluid-structure interaction
  • A solid knowledge of numerical modelling methods such as (Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics, Finite Element and
    Computational Fluid Dynamics)
  • A solid knowledge of marine hydrodynamics
  • Knowledge of a programming language (e.g. Python and MATLAB)
  • Strong academic background in engineering and capability to work independently
  • Motivated to learn and have a scientific mindset and team spirit

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 Ali Tolooiyan 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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