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.carternullutas.edu.au

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

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

Research Advisor: Dr. Jane Symonds
Organisation Name: Cawthron Institute
Contact Email: jane.symondsnullcawthron.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.Soutarnullxylem.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

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

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

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