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 Department of Environmental Science, Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand, seeks self-motivated and independently working applicants for a 3.5-year PhD position contributing to a Blue Economy CRC initiative that develops tools for the measurement of the depositional foot print of offshore aquaculture (Environment and Ecosystems Program: Project 4.20.004).

Project background: A fundamental assumption used to argue for the expansion of fish farms into offshore waters is that operating in deeper and more dynamic waters will increase the horizontal dispersion of organic farm wastes and so reduce the impacts on seafloor ecosystem functions. The social license for such expansion, however, will rely on our ability to quantify this advantage. It is anticipated that farm waste released in deep offshore waters will create a larger, more persistent but less intense footprint in the ecosystem than in shallow coastal waters. Depending on the properties of the receiving seafloor ecosystem, the deposition of fish waste may alter the structure and function of the benthic faunal communities, in particular, their influence on the sediment–seawater solute exchange—a process that couples benthic with pelagic ecosystem functions.

The PhD student will conduct a series of laboratory experiments to study the influence of the benthic invertebrate community on the sediment–seawater exchange of dissolved nitrogen and phosphorus as a function of organic enrichment. You will have a university degree (Master/Diploma) in Marine Ecology, Biological Oceanography, Aquatic Microbiology or related fields. We welcome experience in the taxonomic identification of benthic invertebrates and knowledge in sediment biogeochemistry. The ideal candidate features excellent communication skills, proficiency in scientific writing, and a high degree of independence. The successful candidate will join an international project team, led by Associate Professor Kay C. Vopel, including researchers from CSIRO, University of Tasmania, and Griffith University.

Please include the following information and documents with your application

  • Curriculum vitae, including the contact details of two referees.
  • Degree certificates and grades confirming that the applicant meets the entry requirements into the Ph.D. program.
  • One scientific text in English written by the candidate (e.g., Master thesis, a paper currently in draft, or a publication in a scientific journal).

If selected, applicants will be invited to write a 2-page research proposal and a remote interview.

For further information, please contact Associate Professor Kay C. Vopel (

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.

PhD Scholarships