Stormwater management

Sustainable stormwater management solutions from the perspective of circular economy to address the pollution of Derwent River

Degree type


Closing date

27 March 2023



Citizenship requirement


About the research project

Derwent Estuary has been known to be significantly polluted after heavy rain periods. The exact level of pollution load and the original source has not been researched. This project will look into the pollution carried by stormwater from greater Hobart area and methods to capture that pollution and reuse the treated stormwater to lower the requirement for water delivered to the city. The first phase of the project will focus around experimental work to determine pollution load in the stormwater coming from crucial parts of the city. The second phase will be wrapped around investigating the best possible solutions for capturing stormwater in order to treat it and recycle clean water to be used for local purposes. Different Engineering designs of water biofiltration and treatment have been researched around the world, but sustainable approach to this problem requires in depth approach highly based on local conditions. This phase of the project will be dedicated to identifying the optimal Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) solution for researched area, and experimental work related to installing it and monitoring/modelling the pollution load before and after device installation. The main experimental component will be to design, build and calibrate (in the engineering workshop) an optimal WSUD unit to be installed in the researched location and test stormwater samples before and after installation (N, P, K, heavy metals and other site-specific indicators). The innovation of the project will be illustrated by a) designing a unit adjusted to local needs and conditions, b) testing and proposing different filtration insert, based on the chemical analyses results The whole project will be a direct follow up from the City Metabolism concept, where city is treated as a living organism, processing resources (i.e. water) and generating waste (i.e. stormwater) and the drive to implement elements of circular economy to the processing phase.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Professor Andrew Chan


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:

  • Open to all, but the project needs to be completed in Hobart
  • 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:

  • Experimental experience

Additional desirable selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Background in environmental engineering and fluid mechanics and experience with HecRas and/or other water modelling software

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, Professor Andrew Chan 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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