Entrapment Tunnel Monohull Performance

Hydrodynamic Performance of Entrapment Tunnel Monohulls

Degree type


Closing date

25 September 2023



Citizenship requirement


About the research project

Rigid-Hull Inflatable Boats (RHIBs) featuring conventional deep-vee hull form designs have been widely adopted as the small boat workhorse of choice for navies, coast guards and offshore maritime industries. RHIBs provide a versatile and rapidly deployable capability relied upon for various tasks including all-weather servicing of renewable energy installations, search and rescue, high speed interception and boarding operations. During such operations, these small craft often need to be operated at high speeds and in harsh seas, which can result in considerable risk to both personnel and materiel due to exposure to high accelerations from repeated wave impacts.

Recently, novel hull form designs featuring innovative variable longitudinal camber and tunnels for air entrapment have been proposed as a practical means to permit vessels with sufficient longitudinal and transverse stability to carry significant and sensitive payloads in waves at moderate-to-high speeds. Several multifaceted and interacting hydrodynamic phenomena materialise during the operation of monohulls featuring entrapment tunnels. At present, the appropriate consideration of these complex hydrodynamic characteristics cannot be achieved using traditional naval architecture tools relied upon by designers, classification societies and operators. As a result, new design and analysis approaches are required in order to critically examine the influence that key hydrodynamic design characteristics have on the performance of these vessels in a range of conditions. These new capabilities will assist designers and operators to better understand the attendant risk profiles associated with new and emerging high speed craft operations.

The project aims to investigate the complex hydrodynamic phenomena that arise for entrapment tunnel monohulls operating at moderate-to-high speeds. This will include a) the development of new simulation and/or experimental-based capabilities for predicting vessel motion and wake characteristics in both calm water and waves; and b) verification and validation using public domain resources and/or measurements from a companion model scale experimental program, as appropriate.

Primary Supervisor

Meet A/Prof Jonathan Duffy


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.

Additional funding

If successful, applicants will also receive a top-up scholarship of $10,000 per annum for 3 years with a possible 6 month extension. This scholarship is funded from the Defence Science Technology (DST) Group.

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:

  • Applications are only open to domestic applicants who are Australian citizens
  • 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:

  • Bachelor of Engineering in a relevant field, or equivalent

Additional desirable selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Relevant hydrodynamics knowledge.
  • Experience in CFD and MATLAB

Application process

  1. Select your project, and check that you meet the eligibility and selection criteria, including citizenship;
  2. Contact A/Prof Jonathan Duffy 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.

Apply now Explore other projects

Why the University of Tasmania?

Worldwide reputation for research excellence

Quality supervision and support

Tasmania offers a unique study lifestyle experience