Current PhDs on Offer

The Blue Economy CRC places heavy emphasis on Education & Training, with an unprecedented scale of research opportunities on offer, including fully funded Higher Degree by Research (HDR) PhD scholarships across its five research programs.

PhD scholarships will be funded up to 3.5 years in duration at the equivalent Research Training Program (RTP) full-time base stipend rates provided by the Australian Government Department of Education.

PhDs will be linked to industry-driven research topics and part of their candidacy will be embedded with industry and government partners. This will help ensure candidates are work-ready and are connected to potential employers.

Successful candidates will be enrolled with one of our University partners and will be supervised conjointly with research organisations, industry and government participants in the CRC.

The project is related to the development of advanced composite structures for a novel Wave Energy Converter (WEC). The PhD will focus on developing a fundamental understanding of the durability and fatigue aspects of composite materials in the marine environment for a specific application in the WEC design. As part of the PhD it will also be investigated how concepts developed for WECs can be employed in other marine applications such as the aquaculture industry.

The PhD candidate will be undertaken in the School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering and the Centre for Advanced Materials Processing and Manufacturing (AMPAM). The project is part of the Blue Economy Cooperative Research Centre (BE-CRC). The candidate will work directly with the industry participants as part of a larger team.

The project leader and primary supervisor is Dr. Michael Heitzmann, at the University of Queensland. This PhD will be hosted by the University of Queensland and the link below will take you to the relevant area of the University’s website.

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Offshore aquaculture offers a potential solution to environmental impacts from coastal, shallow water farming. With the deeper water and high energy environments waste from fish can be diluted, offering a low-risk input to the marine environment. However, we know little about how the benthic regions react to nutrients in these locations.

This project will align methods for measuring fluxes in these offshore locations, with biogeochemical models to build a predictive capacity to measure the impacts at potential sites. If you are an applied mathematician or an ecosystem/physical modeller with highly developed quantitative skills, then this PhD would be suitable for your consideration.

The project leader and primary supervisor is Dr Scott Hadley, at the University of Tasmania. In addition to the PhD Scholarship to be awarded to the successful applicant, the project includes a $5,000 per annum top-up scholarship provided by the joint University of Tasmania and CSIRO Quantitative Marine Science PhD Program. This PhD will be hosted by the University of Tasmania and the link below will take you to the relevant area of the University’s website.

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The engineering simulation and analysis of offshore aquaculture structures has a unique set of challenges. Analysis is required that facilitates an optimal cage and mooring system design. The project will employ several existing and new analytical methods to simulate the structural components of offshore aquaculture systems, as well as their mechanical interaction with the confining environment, while considering the effects of field conditions in both low- and high-energy areas.

The project leader and primary supervisor will be Dr. Ali Tolooiyan, of the University of Tasmania. The commercial partner for this project will be BMT Commercial Australia Pty Ltd.

The essential skills and experience for PhDs to undertake this Scholarship are:

  • The candidate needs to have completed one of the following degrees in Civil, Mechanical, or Maritime Engineering:
    • Australian Honours degree with a First Class or 2A Honours or internationally equivalent degree
    • Masters by research degree
    • Masters by coursework degree, with at least 25% research component
  • The candidate must meet the minimum English language requirements

The desirable skills and experience for PhDs to undertake this Scholarship are:

  • Solid knowledge of soil-structure and fluid-structure interaction
  • Solid knowledge of numerical modelling methods (e.g. Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics, Finite Element and Computational Fluid Dynamics)
  • Solid knowledge of marine hydrodynamics
  • Knowledge of a programming language (e.g. Python and MATLAB).
  • Strong academic background in engineering and capability to work independently
  • Motivated to learn and have a scientific mindset and team spirit

Please apply for this scholarship by lodging an application directly to the Blue Economy CRC, via the link below.

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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.

The project leader and primary supervisor will be Dr. Loulin Huang, of the Auckland University of Technology and co-supervised by Prof Shuhong Chai from Australian Maritime College (AMC), UTAS. The commercial partner for this project will be New Zealand King Salmon Co Ltd.

The essential skills and experience for PhDs to undertake this Scholarship are:

  • System modelling of mobile robotic platforms and hydrodynamic environment
  • Multiple-input-multiple output (MIMO) nonlinear control theory
  • Embedded control system
  • Computer programming skills

The desirable skills and experience for PhDs to undertake this Scholarship are:

  • Working experience in aquaculture or offshore engineering
  • Power electronics

Please apply for this scholarship by lodging an application directly to the Blue Economy CRC, via the link below.

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The overarching challenge for the BE CRC is to develop tools that will permit the realisation of ecologically, socially and economically sustainable activities in offshore waters. Increasingly, areas of Australia’s coastal estate will be recognised as being rightfully under native title. This project will engage with the Quandimooka – Yoolooburrabee peoples to investigate options for embedding traditional owner rights and customs in the holistic management of off-shore infrastructure.

The project leader and primary supervisor will be Professor Chris Frid, of Griffith University. The research advisor and partner for this project will be the Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation (QYAC).

The essential skills and experience for PhDs to undertake this Scholarship are:

  • First or Upper Second class Honours degree in a relevant discipline
  • Highly committed
  • Knowledge of sea country and concepts of native title and heritage value

The desirable skills and experience for PhDs to undertake this Scholarship are:

  • Working with community groups
  • Communication skills using diverse methods to reach diverse audiences. Indigenous background

Please apply for this scholarship by lodging an application directly to the Blue Economy CRC, via the link below.

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To develop successful offshore aquaculture management strategies, it is essential to better understand the risk posed by biofouling in these new situations, in particular the species present and the timing of fouling. This project will provide the critical baseline data with which to understand how environmental conditions and farm management, influence the nature of biofouling in salmon aquaculture around Tasmania.

The project leader and primary supervisor will be Dr. Camille White, of the University of Tasmania. The commercial partner for this project will be Tassal Group Pty Ltd.

The essential skills and experience for PhDs to undertake this Scholarship are:

  • First Class Honours or equivalent in biology, ecology or a related field of research
  • Demonstrated proficiency in written and verbal English language

The desirable skills and experience for PhDs to undertake this Scholarship are:

  • Knowledge of hard substrate or biofouling assemblages
  • Experience in working with aquaculture industry
  • Coxswains certificate, or the ability to obtain one

Please apply for this scholarship by lodging an application directly to the Blue Economy CRC, via the link below.

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This project will explore the use of filter feeding organisms (most likely oysters or other bivalves in the first instance) as sampling devices for genomic analysis for environmental monitoring. As bivalves are near-constant collectors of planktonic biomass, genomic analysis of faeces and pseudofaeces from resident species could reveal useful information about environmental conditions and changes in the water column. The use of such organisms as time-integrated accumulators of biological indicator organisms, may be a powerful and low-cost alternative to more costly sensor systems for certain types of analysis.

The project leader and primary supervisor will be Dr. Carmel MacDougall, of Griffith University, and the successful applicant will be enrolled at Griffith. However, the PhD will undertake their research at the CSIRO, in Hobart, and so will be based there. The commercial partner for this project is Tasmanian-based company Petuna Aquaculture Pty Ltd.

The essential skills and experience for PhDs to undertake this Scholarship are:

  • Bachelor degree with Honours in Marine or environmental sciences
  • Knowledge of aquatic animal physiology, notably bivalves
  • Knowledge and experience in aquatic animal husbandry
  • Sound knowledge of molecular biology, and particular environmental DNA analysis
  • Sound computer and statistical skills

The desirable skills and experience for PhDs to undertake this Scholarship are:

  • Experience culturing bivalves
  • Experience in microbiology and in particular the culture of bacteria, protozoans or microalgae

Please apply for this scholarship by lodging an application directly to the Blue Economy CRC, via the link below.

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The purpose of this project is to use behavioural economics approaches to explore and analyse the perceptions and trade-offs people are willing to make in order to expand the Blue Economy. In particular, the project will explore what shapes up ideas of risk and what can be done to manage risk. This work will provide a deep understanding of the factors underpinning decision-making and perceptions of what is an acceptable management of risk. These insights will contribute to understanding appropriate policy and institutional arrangements to manage these risks and ensure societal objectives are met by future Blue Economy relevant policies.

The project leader and primary supervisor will be Professor Darla Hatton MacDonald, of the University of Tasmania. The industry partner for this project will be the Australian Ocean Energy Group.

The essential skills and experience for PhDs to undertake this Scholarship are:

  • BA Honours or Masters degree in Resource and Environmental Economics

The desirable skills and experience for PhDs to undertake this Scholarship are:

  • Excellent communication skills in order to undertake qualitative interviews.
  • Experience in existing blue economy industries – such as fisheries, energy and/or offshore development

Please apply for this scholarship by lodging an application directly to the Blue Economy CRC, via the link below.

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Digital-Twins (DT) is an emerging area of research in the offshore industry, with different applications in system optimisation, predictive maintenance and life-cycle simulations. This project will assess the application of DT for reliability assessment of Multi-purpose offshore platforms, including a study on risk associated with uncertain and/or incomplete physical models and other parameters used within the DT framework. This will assist the offshore aquaculture and renewable energy industries to safely co-locate their systems and benefit from all the advantages of such a co-operation.

The project leader and primary supervisor will be Dr. Vikram Garaniya, of the University of Tasmania. The industry partner for this project will be BMT Singapore Pte Ltd.

The essential skills and experience for PhDs to undertake this Scholarship are:

  • To qualify for entry to this PhD project at the University of Tasmania, applicants need to have completed one of the following degrees in Mechanical, Civil, or Maritime Engineering:
    • Australian Honours degree with a First Class or 2A Honours or internationally equivalent degree
    • Masters by research degree
    • Masters by coursework degree, with at least 25% research
  • Candidates must have an excellent academic background in engineering and have a strong capability to work independently

The desirable skills and experience for PhDs to undertake this Scholarship are:

  • In-depth understanding of Hydrodynamics and Maritime Engineering
  • Solid knowledge of materials science
  • Proficient in a programming language (e.g. MATLAB)
  • Experience in statistical/probabilistic modelling

Please apply for this scholarship by lodging an application directly to the Blue Economy CRC, via the link below.

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Advancements in aerial and satellite multispectral imaging as well as embedded processing systems, provide an opportunity for their novel application to aquaculture operations. The opportunity to monitor a range of critical environmental parameters over appropriate spatial and temporal scales represents a paradigm shift in environmental monitoring of offshore aquaculture operations. Drawing on freely available satellite imagery, together with high resolution drone platforms, this project will develop a cost-effective monitoring strategy for offshore aquaculture.

The project leader and primary supervisor will be Dr. Simon Albert, of the University of Queensland. The commercial partner for this project will be Oysters Tasmania.

The essential skills and experience for PhDs to undertake this Scholarship are:

  • Experience in imagery analysis and machine learning

The desirable skills and experience for PhDs to undertake this Scholarship are:

  • Ability to rapidly learn new skills and apply existing skills to new applications
  • Interest or experience with field work in marine settings

Please apply for this scholarship by lodging an application directly to the Blue Economy CRC, via the link below.

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Swimming at relatively high velocity affects salmon in a variety of ways that may impact on management practices, including feeds and feeding, as well as on product quality. This project aims to determine relationships between swimming and long-term changes to physical and chemical characteristics of King (Chinook) salmon. The project is located at the Cawthron Institute, Nelson, New Zealand and is linked to an industry / research selective breeding program. It presents a pre-emptive opportunity to investigate swimming, identified as a key aspect of offshore, and start to address commercial questions including nutrient requirements, feed and feeding management and product quality.

The project leader and primary supervisor will be Professor Chris Carter, of the University of Tasmania. The other (in addition to Cawthron) industry research advisor and partner for this project is Skretting Australia.

The essential skills and experience for PhDs to undertake this Scholarship are:

  • Laboratory-based research requiring high level of precision and attention to detail and an ability to critically assess the quality of results.
  • Ability to critically review literature and integrate with other information to develop relevant experimental hypotheses.
  • Ability to communicate to different groups and using different media.

The desirable skills and experience for PhDs to undertake this Scholarship are:

  • Experience of routine maintenance of aquatic animals, including maintaining water quality and systems.
  • Employment or demonstrated interest in the seafood, aquaculture or related sectors.

Please apply for this scholarship by lodging an application directly to the Blue Economy CRC, via the link below.

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PhD Scholarships