Thein Than Tun

University:
School of Engineering, Computer & Mathematical Sciences

Thesis Topic:
Energy-optimal control scheme for mobile robotic platforms in offshore aquaculture

PhD Start Date:
1 November 2021

Contact Email:
theinthan.tun@nullautuni.ac.nz

PhD Project Objectives

Mobile robotic platforms such as USVs (Unmanned Surface Vessels) and UUVs (Unmanned Underwater Vehicles) used in offshore or open ocean aquaculture, rely on an on-board power supply (e.g., battery). This project aims to develop energy-optimal control schemes to allow a robotic platform to achieve its operation objectives with minimum energy consumption. The developed control schemes will not only extend the operation time and the working range of the robotic platform, but also reduce the size of the power supply, leaving room to enhance the payload capacity of the platform.

Almost all the man-made or natural phenomenon cannot be explicitly modelled as simple linear systems. Non-linearity exists in almost all the systems, but not all the parameters associated with nonlinearity are experimentally measurable and thus, not all the non-linear analytical models are practically applicable due to uncertainties, noises and other confounding factors which are not accurately reflected or ignored in the models. Specifically, in this proposed project, both the robotic platform and the operating environment (hydrodynamic: fluid system) are highly non-linear and high dimensional complex system. Thus, in addition to the conventional method of modelling the systems with closed form mathematical expressions derived from first principles in engineering, data-driven approach based on sensor fusion and data analytics is the trend to model and analyse complex systems. Upon building up those models, an optimal scheme developed from data driven approach and non-linear optimal control theory is proposed to control mobile robotic platforms in offshore aquaculture with minimal energy. Personally, I believe the research impact (outcome of this project) and the experience I would gain throughout my doctoral study will be highly relevant to what the research community (both industry and academics) will explore as marine robotics is an active research field to deep dive into the unexplored ocean.

Bio

I was born and raised in different town, cities and states in Myanmar. Upon completing my high school in Myanmar, I pursued diploma in mechatronic engineering from Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Singapore and Bachelor of Engineering in engineering product development from Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD). I worked as a research officer/ assistant in SUTD about two years and I joined SUTD PhD programme for about one and half years. Before enrolling in Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand as a PhD student, I was working in robotics industry for about one and half years.

Supervisory Team

Primary Supervisor: A/Prof. Loulin Huang
Faculty, School or Institute: Design & Creative Technologies, School of Engineering, Computer & Mathematical Sciences
University Name: Auckland University of Technology
Contact Email: loulin.huang@nullaut.ac.nz

Co-Supervisor: A/Prof. Sarat Singamneni
Faculty, School or Institute: Design & Creative Technologies, School of Engineering, Computer & Mathematical Sciences
University Name: Auckland University of Technology
Contact Email: sarat.singamneni@nullaut.ac.nz

Research Advisor: Prof Shuhong Chai
Organisation Name: University of Tasmania
Contact Email: Shuhong.Chai@nullutas.edu.au

Research Advisor: Mr. Grant Rosewarne
Organisation Name: The New Zealand King Salmon Co Ptd
Contact Email: Grant.Rosewarne@nullkingsalmon.co.nz

Kelly Hoareau
Kelly Hoareau

University:
IMAS – Oceans and Cryosphere

Thesis Topic:
Science, Technology, and Decision-making in the Blue Economy: Addressing knowledge gaps

PhD Start Date:
October 2021

Contact Email:
kelly.hoareau@nullutas.edu.au

PhD Project Objectives

There is broad agreement between spheres of science, management, politics and business that good evidence and analysis should be central to addressing complex environmental problems. There is less agreement on how this should be achieved. There are substantial barriers, mostly imposed by time and human capacity, to incorporating even the most appropriate and well-targeted science into policy development, planning and management decisions.

There are also science ‘supply-side’ constraints in targeting the specific or very broad problems decision-makers face, including recognizing and considering differing interests and organizational goals. A major challenge in addressing the ‘science-policy gap’ is simultaneously managing effective stakeholder engagement and institutional legitimacy, while balancing methodological rigor and meaningful impact of knowledge production and transfer.

The blue economy brings with it several challenges: working in a low knowledge area that usually requires rapid and dynamic decision-making; bringing together different sectors and stakeholders who have not previously worked together and are likely to have different agendas, timeframes and policy expectations. The research will identify forms of engagement, enhance awareness of managing divergent demands and tensions as well as enable knowledge sharing between stakeholders from selected blue economy initiatives. This will assist in enabling models and processes for decision-making and adaptive management that support the objectives of the blue economy and help address current key uncertainties and risk.

Bio

Kelly Hoareau is a PhD candidate with an interest in enabling knowledge resources that support ocean-based sustainable development. Kelly has first-hand experience of working in Africa and with various small island developing states and costal nations, across marine and terrestrial ecosystems. Coupled with her engagement with academic, government, private and non-governmental entities, this has led to her interest in transdisciplinary research and knowledge co-creation. Kelly’s research will explore the Blue Economy and the role that knowledge resources, science and technology plays in decision-making.

Supervisory Team

Primary Supervisor: Professor Marcus Haward
Faculty, School or Institute: IMAS Oceans and Cryosphere
University Name: University of Tasmania
Contact Email: marcus.haward@nullutas.edu.au

Co-Supervisor: Adjunct Professor Steward Frusher
Faculty, School or Institute: Centre for Marine Socioecology
University/ Organisation Name: University of Tasmania
Contact Email: stewart.frusher@nullutas.edu.au

Research Advisor: Dr David Rissik
Organisation Name: BMT Environment Eastern Australia
Contact Email: David.Rissik@nullbmtglobal.com

Brett Bolte

University:
School of Environment and Science, Griffith University

Thesis Topic:
Exploiting filter feeding bivalves as a natural sampling platform

PhD Start Date:
October 2021

Contact Email:
brett.bolte@nullgriffithuni.edu.au

PhD Project Objectives

This project aims to exploit filter feeding bivalves as a natural eDNA sampling medium to determine the presence of some of the most crucial pathogens, including algal and bacterial blooms and parasites such as amoeba, in the Tasmanian aquaculture industry. Specifically, this study aims to provide a more cost effective and continuous monitoring method for disease identification and potentially prevention of large scale outbreaks.

Environmental DNA, eDNA, has been pioneering its way as a useful detection method for both invasive and critically endangered species in recent years. It’s sensitivity and cost effectiveness has proved it to be a vital tool, with only a fragment of a target organism’s DNA needed for positive identification. However, traditional methods utilise mechanical or manual filtration, and constant monitoring remains tedious. Especially in the aquaculture industry, where farm location makes manual sampling difficult. It is within this sector that continuous sampling is needed to maximise the survival and health of stock.

Bivalves continuously filter water and retain particles, the same size as DNA, within their siphons and faeces. Additionally, they are one of the most common biofouling species on fish pen nets and other aquaculture infrastructure allowing for them to be an excellent candidate for natural sampling mediums. Throughout the project, filter and clearance rates will be determined, threshold values will be determined for specific planktonic species (Alexandrium catenella, Neoparamoeba perurans, Vibrio and Flavobacterium spp.). All studies will be conducted at CSIRO facilities in Hobart, utilising connections with aquaculture industry.

Bio

I am an American student who graduated from James Cook University with both my Bachelor of Science and Honours in Marine Biology, where I developed eDNA assays to detect the presence of deadly box jellyfish (cubozoans), including the infamous Irukandji. This research is being utilised to understand the gap in cubozoan ecology, with the detection of polyp source reefs having been identified. Currently, I am a remote student at Griffith University, working with CISRO in Hobart, Tasmania. When I am not in the lab, I am exploring national parks and sun baking on the beach with my puppy.

Supervisory Team

Primary Supervisor: Dr. Carmel McDougall
Faculty, School or Institute: School of Environment and Science
University Name: Griffith University
Contact Email: c.mcdougallnullgriffith.edu.au

Co-Supervisor: Dr. Kylie Pitt
Faculty, School or Institute: School of Environment and Science
University/ Organisation Name: Griffith University
Contact Email: k.pitt@nullgriffith.edu.au

Research Advisor: Dr. Pascal Craw
University/ Organisation Name: CSIRO
Contact Email: pascal.craw@nullcsiro.au

Research Advisor: Dr. Andrew Bissett
University/ Organisation Name: CSIRO
Contact Email: andrew.bissett@nullcsiro.au

Research Advisor: Dr. James Wynne
University/ Organisation Name: CSIRO
Contact Email: james.wynne@nullcsiro.au

Mingyuan Ma

University:
School of Engineering and Built Environment, Griffith University

Thesis Topic:
Hydroelastic analysis of offshore fish net cages under wave action

PhD Start Date:
July 2019

Contact Email:
mingyuan.ma@nullgriffithuni.edu.au

PhD Project Objectives

Offshore fish farming will become an inevitable trend for high productivity and low pollution in the future. For deep-sea fish cages, there are a few technical challenges that need to be overcome. First, there are limited information and references about the feasibility of deep-sea fish cages due to the more complex sea conditions. Secondly, stronger waves, currents, and other environments loads will lead to more stringent requirements on the types, materials, and strengths of the fish cage structure. This project will focus on the hydrodynamic analysis of fish cages. The specified objectives include:

  • Identify fish cage structures suitable for application in offshore areas.
  • Develop a hydro-elastic analysis model for fish net cages. The method can quickly and effectively calculate flow field information and simulate the dynamic response of the cage structure, so it has advantages in large domain wavefield research.
  • Study the factors affecting the properties of hydrodynamic loads in fish cage design, including wave conditions and structural properties.
  • Simulate and analyse the distribution of the flow field under the influence of the fish cage and cage groups, which will provide a reference for seawater transportation and fish survival conditions.
  • Real case studies of the offshore fish net cages in Tasmania, including operating ranges, mechanical properties, flow field distributions.

Based on the above goals, we will develop a set of tools used to fluid-structure simulation for offshore fish cages and conduct a series of numerical experiments to provide references for the design of deep-sea fish cages. Benefits to this tool:

  • Time and cost will be effectively reduced in the cage structure design.
  • Identify structural safety risks to avoid personal injuries and property losses.
  • Under the premise of ensuring infrastructure safety, reducing the cost of construction and maintenance of the fishing cage system.
  • Optimize the living environment of fish through flow field analysis to improve production efficiency.
Bio

I am Mingyuan from China. I received my double Bachelor of Engineering in Civil Engineering from China University of Mining and Technology and Griffith University, Australia, and Master of Civil Engineering from the University of New South Wales. Currently, I am pursuing my PhD at Griffith University and conducting research on the hydro-elastic interaction between ocean waves and offshore structures. In my spare time, I like travelling and photography.

Supervisory Team

Primary Supervisor: Hong Zhang
Faculty, School or Institute: School of Engineering and Built Environment
University Name: Griffith University
Contact Email: hong.zhang@nullgriffith.edu.au

Co-Supervisor: Dong-Sheng Jeng
Faculty, School or Institute: School of Engineering and Built Environment
University/ Organisation Name: Griffith University
Contact Email: d.jeng@nullgriffith.edu.au

 Research Advisor: Lex Mulcahy
Organisation Name: Pacific ESI
Contact Email: lexm@nullesi.com.au

 Aaron Hibberd

University:
IMAS, University of Tasmania

Thesis Topic:
Advances in benthic-pelagic solute flux modelling in marine environments

PhD Start Date:
April 2021

Contact Email:
aaron.hibberd@nullutas.edu.au

PhD Project Objectives

The project will contribute to quantifying coastal marine seafloor ecosystem functioning under proposed offshore aquaculture activities. Working with the team on the larger project ‘A novel approach to measuring the depositional footprint of the Blue Economy’ the PhD will integrate modelling with data collected by experiments. This will include developing process models, inform by the data, and deploying them in ecosystem models and decision support tools to assess the sustainability of proposed Blue Economy activities.

Generally, benthic processes (sediments) in biogeochemical models have been underrepresented when compared to their pelagic (water column) counterparts. The measured in situ benthic fluxes, using a novel eddy-covariance technique alongside traditional chamber measurements, present as an opportunity to critically evaluate and improve these processes in ecosystem models.

Outcomes created by the project centre around an improvement in understanding and quantifying environmental and ecosystem impacts of offshore aquaculture. In particular, how offshore benthic regions respond to enrichment, which at this stage is largely unknown. Improved ecosystem models can inform Government and industry on appropriate site selection and monitoring techniques for offshore aquaculture.

Bio

I returned home to Tasmania to pursue a PhD in Marine Science. I completed a Master of Science in Applied Mathematics at The University of Melbourne, studying biology and epidemiology of drug-resistant malaria parasites, using a modelling approach. I am interested in the way mathematics and modelling can describe the physical world and advance science. Prior to my masters, I spent a year travelling through Europe and Asia, and prior to that, working as an engineering consultant in Hobart. I am into outdoors activities, hiking, camping and surfing, ball sports, tennis and golf.

Supervisory Team

Primary Supervisor: Dr Scott Hadley
Faculty, School or Institute: IMAS
University Name: University of Tasmania
Contact Email: s.hadley@nullutas.edu.au

Co-Supervisor: Dr Karen Wild-Allen
Faculty, School or Institute: Coastal Environmental Modelling
University/ Organisation Name: CSIRO
Contact Email: karen.wild-allen@nullcsiro.au

Co-Supervisor: Associate Professor Jeff Ross
Faculty, School or Institute: IMAS
University/ Organisation Name: University of Tasmania
Contact Email: jeff.ross@nullutas.edu.au

Research Advisor: Joel Cooper
Organisation Name: Tassal
Contact Email: joel.cooper@nulltassal.com.au

 Leteisha Prescott

University:
IMAS, University of Tasmania

Thesis Topic:
The effects of sustained swimming on long-term changes to Chinook salmon form and composition.

PhD Start Date:
July 2021

Contact Email:
Leteisha.prescott@nullutas.edu.au

PhD Project Objectives

Recently, New Zealand King salmon aquaculture has proposed to move their salmon farming to offshore sites. This means the salmon, which have been genetically selected for current farming conditions, will be exposed to high energy environments.

This PhD project, a collaboration with Cawthron Institute, UTAS and Skretting, aims to determine how sustained swimming at increased velocities may cause changes to Chinook salmon form, function, and chemical characteristics.

Outcomes generated from this PhD, such as changes to product quality, nutritional requirements, and sustained swimming abilities, will indicate necessary changes to commercial practice required to transition salmon farming to high energy environments while continuing to produce high-quality King salmon.

Bio

I earned my Bachelor of Science and Masters of Research at James Cook University in Marine Biology, where I focused on early respiratory and ionoregulatory development in coral reef fish embryos. Since then, I have attained several research assistant positions, where I was involved in studies focusing on
fish, algae and mice. I am now based at Cawthron Institute in Nelson, New Zealand, where I am undertaking my PhD. Outside of work, I enjoy playing netball, hanging out at the beach, and camping

Supervisory Team

Primary Supervisor: Professor Chris Carter
Faculty, School or Institute: IMAS
University Name: University of Tasmania
Contact Email: chris.carter@nullutas.edu.au

Co-Supervisor: Dr Matt Miller
Faculty, School or Institute: Analytical Science
University/ Organisation Name: Cawthron Institute Contact
Contact Email: matt.miller@nullcawthron.org.nz

Co-Supervisor: Professor Jayson Semmens
Faculty, School or Institute: IMAS
University/ Organisation Name: University of Tasmania Contact
Contact Email: Jayson.semmens@nullutas.edu.au

Research Advisor: Dr. Jane Symonds
Organisation Name: Cawthron Institute
Contact Email: jane.symonds@nullcawthron.org.nz

Avik Nandy Blue Economy CRC PhD student
Avik Nandy

University:
School of Civil Engineering, University of Queensland

Thesis Topic:
Use of Multispectral imagery to enhance aquaculture operations

PhD Start Date:
July 2021

Contact Email:
a.nandy@nulluq.edu.au

PhD Project Objectives

The project seeks to assess water quality through a combination of multispectral imagery and cloud data processing. With global temperature increase, sea-level rise and water quality degradation, the marine environment has been impacted severely over the last few decades.

Remote sensing applications have been proven successful in the past to map aquatic environments. However, the number of those studies are limited due to lack of expertise on how to link spatial and spectral information to the field data. The process also comes with challenges due to the harsh environment and related cost to manually survey each study area. Analysing and understanding the physical and chemical characteristics of the water column through aerial platforms will be one of the main focuses of the research.

The project will involve collecting in-situ data using smart buoys to analyse the trend throughout the study period and link those to assessments of chlorophyll from high resolution unmanned aerial vehicle (multispectral drone) and satellite imagery. Calculating phytoplankton abundance will also provide insights towards the food resources for oyster farms. The overall outcome is to design a methodology and deliver a cost-effective approach to collect continuous data to achieve a real-time analysis of water quality monitoring using big data for aquaculture operations.

Bio

I am a geospatial scientist specialised in remote sensing and GIS applications. I completed my master’s in Geographical Information Science from the University of Queensland in December 2019. During my study, I dealt with various projects, involving critical analysis of the environment using multispectral imageries from space. I held several positions in the past as research officer, GIS data specialist and team leader, cartographer, teaching assistant, academic mentor and Town Planner.

My experience also provides strong background in urban planning and field data collection. My hobbies include painting, cooking cuisines from different parts of the world, baking, photography, image editing and exploring nature.

Supervisory Team

Primary Supervisor: Dr Simon Albert
Faculty, School or Institute: School of Civil Engineering
University Name: University of Queensland
Contact Email: s.albert@nulluq.edu.au

Co-Supervisor: Prof Stuart Phinn
Faculty, School or Institute: School of Earth and Environmental Sciences
University/ Organisation Name: University of Queensland
Contact Email: s.phinn@nulluq.edu.au

Co-Supervisor: Dr Remo Cossu
Faculty, School or Institute: School of Civil Engineering
University/ Organisation Name: University of Queensland
Contact Email: r.cossu@nulluq.edu.au

Co-Supervisor: Dr Alistair Grinham
Faculty, School or Institute: School of Civil Engineering
University/ Organisation Name: University of Queensland
Contact Email: a.grinham@nulluq.edu.au

Research Advisor: David Balk
University/ Organisation Name: Oysters Tasmania
Contact Email: david@nulloysterstasmania.org

Industry Advisor: Josh Soutar
University/ Organisation Name: Xylem
Contact Email: Josh.Soutar@nullxylem.com

Amara Steven

University:
School of Business and Economics, University of Tasmania

Thesis Topic:
Blue Economy Explorations Using Behavioural Economics

PhD Start Date:
July 2021

Contact Email:
amara.steven@nullutas.edu.au

PhD Project Objectives

The aims of this PhD project will be to apply a novel mix of behavioural economics and qualitative/quantitative methods to explore and expand knowledge of:

  1. Domain and place-based risk and perceptions of the trade-offs relating to climate, the environment and perceived impacts related to the Blue Economy (BE).
  2. Place-based risk that relate directly to Tasmania’s BE (current and emerging) offshore industries.
  3. Social Licence to Operate within communities through a place-based investigation into BE industries and how culture and demographic factors, such as age and gender may/may not play a role in decision-making outcomes that influence these core business decisions.

There are well-established methods for analysing risks and hazards quantitatively from an engineering or economic perspective. The emergence of new opportunities in the BE requires insights into how individuals and communities perceive different risks, policies and institutional arrangements that are potentially acceptable to manage these risks. A gender perspective and overlay will provide a more holistic perspective.

This research aims to form insights and synergies that will influence the operationalisation and policy implementation of offshore industries to directly contribute to a more inclusive and equitable BE. Through this research there is an opportunity for industry to better understand Australian risk perceptions and consciously engage in more inclusive decision-making. The promotion of diversity in Tasmania’s BE space has the potential to reshape how risk, resilience and SLO are practised for building sustainable economies.

Bio

I completed my Masters of Environment and Resource Economics at the Australian National University, having previously completed a Bachelor of Arts/Business Management at the University of Queensland. I am passionate about marine resources. For the last few years, I have been a fisheries economist within the Australian Federal Government. I have also led/contributed to several domestic and international marine research projects, for leading Australian research organisations and as a grant recipient at a bilateral organisation. I am excited to continue my work finding equitable and sustainable marine resource use solutions. My hobbies include travelling, reading and Ikebana (Japanese flower arranging).

Supervisory Team

Primary Supervisor: Prof. Darla Hatton MacDonald
Faculty, School or Institute: Tasmanian School of Business and Economics
University Name: University of Tasmania
Contact Email: darla.hattonmacdonald@utas.edu.au

Co-Supervisor: Prof. Swee-Hoon Chuah
Faculty, School or Institute: Tasmanian School of Business and Economics
University/ Organisation Name: University of Tasmania
Contact Email: chuah@utas.edu.au

Co-Supervisor: Dr. Mary Mackay
Faculty, School or Institute: Oceans and Atmosphere
University/ Organisation Name: Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)
Contact Email: Mary.Mackay@csiro.au

Co-Supervisor: Dr. Hanne Nielsen
Faculty, School or Institute: Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS)
University/ Organisation Name: University of Tasmania
Contact Email: hanne.nielsen@utas.edu.au

Industry Supervisor: Stephanie Thornton
University/ Organisation Name: Ocean Energy Group
Contact Email: Stephanie@oceanenergygroup.org.au

Yuan Zhen Cai

University:
School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering, University of Queensland

Thesis Topic:
Development of a mechanical tensioner for wave energy harvesting

PhD Start Date:
January 2021

Contact Email:
yuanzhen.cai@nulluqconnect.edu.au

PhD Project Objectives

The efficient and cost-effective conversion of wave energy into electrical energy has remained an unsolved technological challenge. In collaboration with Carnegie Clean Energy Limited and Advanced Composite Structures Australia, this project attempts to develop a novel fibre reinforced plastic mooring tensioner for Wave Energy Converters (WEC). This project will focus on establishing a deeper understanding of the durability and fatigue aspects of such a large composite mooring tensioner. The project will also investigate benefits and opportunities similar mooring tensioners could provide to other areas of the blue economy.

Bio

I have completed my Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical and Material Engineering at The University of Queensland. I have discovered my interest in fibre reinforced plastics during my internship, where I worked in the R&D department of Zoomlion and was involved in the development of composites crane booms. Following this passion, I have also designed the spoiler which helped UQ racing team win the 2nd place in Australian FSAE competition in 2019. I gained hands-on composite manufacture skills at PARTEC as part of my work with the UQ Racing Team. I am excited to be involved in the development of new technologies in this project for the future of renewable energy. In my spare time, I enjoy travelling, cooking different types of food, training at gym and playing basketball.

Supervisory Team

Primary Supervisor: Dr. Michael Heitzmann
Faculty, School or Institute: School of Mechanical and Mining
University Name: The University of Queensland
Contact Email: m.heitzmann@uq.edu.au

Co-Supervisor: Dr. Martin Veidt
Faculty, School or Institute: School of Mechanical and Mining
University/ Organisation Name: The University of Queensland
Contact Email: m.veidt@uq.edu.au

Research Advisor: Rodney Thomson
Organisation Name: ACS-A
Contact Email: r.thomson@acs-aus.com

Akshay Krishna Ambika Harikumar

University:
School of Mechanical and Mining, University of Queensland

Thesis Topic:
Developing a robust collar tie

PhD Start Date:
April 2020

Contact Email:
a.ambikaharikumar@nulluq.edu.au

PhD Project Objectives

The attachment point of fish farming nets to the floatation structure, referred to as the Collar Tie, has been identified as a weak point for particularly for areas where pens are deployed in high energy environments. With industry partner Tassal, the project will develop a new and robust methodology, and a marketable product as a replacement to the current Collar Tie solution. The project will employ a novel injection-over-moulding technology to provide more robust and wear resistant rope-to-rope connections. As part of the research, the present wear mechanisms will be investigated and the results used to select appropriate materials and develop designs that effectively mitigate wear. Field trials of prototypes will be conducted to validate the product performance and to gain valuable insights for future improvements.

Bio

I am currently pursuing a PhD at The University of Queensland in Mechanical Engineering. During my Master of Engineering Course at The University of Queensland prior to joining a PhD, I had the opportunity to work on a number of industry focused research projects related polymer matrix composites and their applications. This experience has invigorated my interest in this field and provided me with a solid foundation for this project. In my spare time I enjoy photography, playing cicket, cooking up new recipes and travelling to new locations.

Supervisory Team

Primary Supervisor: Dr. Michael Heitzmann
Faculty, School or Institute: School of Mechanical and Mining
University Name: The University of Queensland
Contact Email: m.heitzmann@uq.edu.au

Co-Supervisor: Dr. Martin Veidt
Faculty, School or Institute: School of Mechanical and Mining
University/ Organisation Name: The University of Queensland
Contact Email: m.veidt@uq.edu.au

Research Advisor: Brad Evans
Organisation Name: Tassal
Contact Email: bradley.evans@tassal.com.au

Neil Salam

University:
School of Environment and Science, Griffith University

Thesis Topic:
DC microgrids for offshore applications

PhD Start Date:
March 2020

Contact Email:
neil.salam@nullgriffithuni.edu.au

PhD Project Objectives

The PhD study is targeted at (i) examining the technical barriers to realising pure-DC microgrids; (ii) contributing to a plan to overcome these barriers; (iii) contributing to the design of a pure-DC microgrid for the Blue Economy CRC and (iv) creating mathematical models to be tested on the real demonstration system. This project is undertaken in conjunction with industry partners Optimal Group and Pitt & Sherry (Operations).

This research is being done in the period of growth and interest in green hydrogen as an energy source, the growth of decarbonisation and hydrogen’s use for industry as well as the increasing use of renewable microgrids around the world. There is a growth and demand for hydrogen products and its use as energy storage in Australia and around the world. Renewable systems are increasingly looking at pure-DC systems and renewable energy is increasing in its usage for energy in residential, industrial and commercial applications. Green hydrogen research and pilot projects include grid balancing, gas pipeline injection, energy storage, mining and chemicals production. Hydrogen can be used in energy systems in various storage types as well as to create chemicals or gases such as methanol, syngas and ammonia. What the aims and objectives of the study are and to achieve the target of the study the following will be researched, reviewed, the results will to be used for simulations and papers:

  • To review the state of the art for hydrogen, control architecture and pure-DC microgrids in the world.
  • To review storage methods that will be used in the short to medium term in such microgrids.
  • To review hardware for simulations and emulations to simulate these hydrogen DC microgrids for use in real life commercial situations.
  • To simulate such a hydrogen DC microgrid system with inputs and outputs using software such as Matlab/Simulink or PLECS, analyse and write on the findings.
Bio

Neil Salam (AIE member) has interests in hydrogen energy systems, renewable energy and simulations. Neil have a background in energy and industry projects. His work has included engineering consultancy, solar PV/renewable energy design, chemical engineering, petroleum engineering, major EPC projects, industrial gases, energy efficiency, software modelling/simulations and hydrogen. He has lived abroad in multiple cultures and countries including Australia, Malaysia, Thailand and Qatar. Currently Neil is a PhD candidate at Griffith University researching DC microgrids and hydrogen.

Supervisory Team

Primary Supervisor: Dr Evan Gray
Faculty, School or Institute: School of Environment and Science – Applied Mathematics and Physics
University Name: Griffith University
Contact Email: e.gray@griffith.edu.au

Co-Supervisor: Dr. Junwei Lu
Faculty, School or Institute: School of Engineering and Built Environment – Electrical and Electronic Engineering
University/ Organisation Name: Griffith University
Contact Email: j.lu@griffith.edu.au

Research Advisor: Craig Dugan
Organisation Name: Optimal Group Australia
Contact Email: craig.dugan@optimalgroup.com.au

Research Advisor: Bob Gregg
Organisation Name: Pitt & Sherry
Contact Email: bgregg@pittsh.com.au

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