Akshay Krishna Ambika Harikumar

School of Mechanical and Mining, University of Queensland

Thesis Topic:
Developing a robust collar tie

PhD Start Date:
April 2020

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.


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

School of Environment and Science, Griffith University

Thesis Topic:
DC microgrids for offshore applications

PhD Start Date:
March 2020

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.

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