PhD Projects SEIT

Scholarships of $35,000 (AUD) are available for PhD students  who have achieved Honours 1/High Distinction in their UG program and/or have completed a Masters by Research.

Bioinspired Perching and Crawling Drones

Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) are the fastest growing sector of aviation with wide-ranging applications. Apart from flight there exists an urgent necessity for multi-role aerial robots. In spite of the rapid advancement in drone technology, there exist significant limitations including their inability to perform multiple roles.

Numerical and experimental Investigation of the biomechanics of nerve damage

Nerve function can be impaired by localised compression of the nerve fibres due to injury or proximal tumour growth. This project will continue our work to develop and implement numerical and experimental techniques to predict the causes and extent of this damage. In particular it will use nonlinear, multi-scale, finite element models to investigate a range of nerve dysfunctions including bitemporal hemianopia and investigate experimental in-vitro techniques to validate these simulations.

Mechanical Analysis and Design Optimisation of Composite Structures

The project is concerned with the development of mechanical analysis and design optimisation procedures formulated for composite materials, thin-walled and sandwich structures, hybrid metal-composite structural components with applications in aerospace, marine, offshore, shipbuilding and other industries.

Artificial Intelligence to Uncover Fish Responses to Disturbed Flows

The mechanisms of aquatic animal swimming become a central issue for researchers and engineers who wish to develop underwater robotics with superior locomotion capability. Aquatic animals suspended in water are subject to the complex nature of three-dimensional flows, which have the potential to perturb the swimming motions of the animals.

Improving forecasts of space weather has been identified as a major goal for the space community. Space weather has substantial effects on space and ground operations, yet accurate forecast lead times are typically only a few hours to days at most. The goal of this PhD is to improve our understanding and forecasting capability of space weather through physics-based models and/or machine learning.


The exponential growth of space objects in near-Earth orbit is placing new demands on space traffic management systems. Instead of hundreds to thousands of objects, future space traffic management systems will be required to maintain and provide a space catalogue of thousands to tens of thousands of objects. Essential to enabling this capability is the simultaneous improvement in current force modelling techniques and a reduction in their computational cost. 


Vibrational nonequilibrium in nozzle flow

Gasdynamic lasers create optical gain from the rapid expansion of gas through a nozzle.  This can produce very high peak laser powers, and makes such lasers potentially useful in a range of applications.  The efficiency of the laser is determined by the ability to create and maintain a nonequilibrium distribution of vibrational energy within such a nozzle.  One effective way of driving the expanding flow is by providing elevated energy with combustion, however, some product species such as water vapour can impair the effectiveness of the rapid flow expansion in creating a population inversi

This project experimentally investigates flame holding mechanisms under supersonic flight conditions, including wall conditions. Experiments will be conducted in UNSW Canberra facilities with numerical reproduction.

Satellites provide data and services that are essential to modern society. Our civilian, commercial, and defence capability rely on continued and assured access to space-based infrastructure. The space environment, however, is harsh and represents a significant threat to the operation of such satellites. Collision with space debris, damage to spacecraft components through electrostatic discharge, and communication disruption from atmospheric anomalies are daily threats facing satellite systems and their operators.