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. 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.

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. The commercial partner for this project will be New Zealand King Salmon Co Ltd.

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).

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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