Deakin University

Deakin University's international-recognised research is concentrated on the most important global challenges. With a bevy of top minds, world-class facilities and international networks, we test, refine and develop sought-after innovations that improve the lives of individuals, business and communities.

Research Priorities

Research at Deakin is divided into four themes that together advance knowledge, better humanity and preserve our planet.

  • Innovation
    Be it robotics, big data or composite materials, Deakin researchers are solving 21st century problems with the aid of cutting-edge, smart technologies.
    Find out about innovation
  • Health
    Covering the broad spectrum of health, Deakin research is helping to improve the health and wellbeing of people all around the world.
    Find out about health
  • Society
    Deakin’s strong research focus on contemporary histories, heritage, society and international development is achieving global outcomes.
    Find out about society
  • Environment
    Through every project and program, our research is driving outcomes that provide solutions to global environmental and sustainability issues.
    Find out about environment

Available Funding Options

The GOstralia! Research Centre in cooperation with Deakin University award exclusive PhD full tution fee scholarships open to students interested in Machine Learning.
Click here for more details about all our scholarships and how to apply.

More Information about the Applied Artificial Intelligence Institute (A²I²)

Additional Research Projects

Environmental Engineering: research Efficiency gains in the dairy industry – putting mineral scale under the microscope / Deakin University


 
University:Deakin University Melbourne
Faculty:School of Engineering
Project Start Date:Negotiable
Application Deadline:All year
Supervisor Name:Dr. Ellen Moon
Location (City/Campus):Waurn Ponds Campus, Geelong

Project Description:

Calcium phosphate scale deposit formation is common in dairy processing, especially where elevated temperatures are involved. Mineral scaling in dairy processing equipment is undesirable because:
1) Scale acts as a surface for bacterial growth, increasing the likelihood of contaminating the product; and
2) Scale reduces the heat transfer efficiency of the surface upon which it forms, which increases energy use and reduces plant life. Mineral scale is managed using an industry standard cleaning solution that contains sodium hydroxide, nitric acid, phosphoric acid and surfactants. The cost of managing mineral scaling is through the purchase of water softening & cleaning fluids, but importantly, also in the equipment downtime. Research into cleaning efficiency has taken a process-scale approach – optimising both chemical and physical cleaning parameters (NaOH concentration, temperature of fluid, residence time, flow rate) based on the ability to return a ‘clean’ surface (as determined by macro-scale properties).
The candidate will utilise a number of advanced analytical techniques, including small angle scattering and electron microscopy, combined with lab-and field-based chemistry, to provide our industry partner with a nano-scale assessment of current cleaning processes. This will provide new insights into scale formation and dissolution processes, and will allow for the optimisation of cleaning processes to minimise equipment down time, resulting in more cost-effective cleaning processes.
Project Outline 1. Liaise with our industry partners to understand and document: a. The key processes & equipment that experience mineral scaling in their operations b. The current cleaning processes that are employed
2. Explore the current literature on mineral scaling in the dairy industry, with a focus on the molecular-scale mechanisms of nucleation & deposition and fragmentation & dissolution.
3. Design & implement methodologies to: a. collect, sample and characterise mineral scale from dairy processing b. measure the efficacy of current cleaning processes c. identify any relationship between the amount of residual scaling post-clean and the rate at which new scale builds up d. determine, using industry-available technologies, when a surface is clean at the nano-scale e. test the efficacy of alternative cleaning processes (including making use of the advanced characterisation facilities available at Deakin University, the Australian Synchrotron & the Australian Centre for Neutron Scattering).
4. Make recommendations for adaptation of cleaning processes to improve cost-effectiveness.

Funding Information:3-year PhD scholarship of ~AU$27,000 p.a. tax free plus AU$7,000 p.a. top-up available)

Data Analytics For Pore Water Pressure - New Tools For Sustainable Groundwater and Engineering Projects / Deakin University


 
University:Deakin University Melbourne
Faculty:School of Engineering
Project Start Date:Negotiable
Application Deadline:All year
Supervisor Name:Prof. Wendy Timms
Location (City/Campus):Waurn Ponds Campus, Geelong

Project Description:

This new PhD scholarship will develop advanced pore pressure analysis for groundwater systems with engineering applications in civil construction, mining operations and water supply systems. Groundwater levels, or pore pressures, go up and down in response to factors such as pumping or injection of groundwater, loads on the surface including storage of water and waste materials, and responses to small stresses in the earth from earth and atmospheric tides. The patterns of pore water pressure responses can reveal how aquifers and aquitards operate, how much water is stored and if there is hydraulic separation or connectivity. This requires pore pressure data logged accurately at least 8 times a day in bores within strata at different depths, and associated geo-information. Advanced analysis of this pore pressure data can then enable real-time indicators of changing ground conditions, value adding to common groundwater monitoring: - Evaluating changes in hydraulic loading – important for construction, dams and excavation - Monitoring changes in soil moisture storage – important for agriculture There are opportunities to better utilise groundwater data that is commonly collected to benefit engineering projects and sustainable water resource management. This research will develop advanced analytical tools to process water data in both time series and frequency domain. The research outcomes would be new data analytical tools that are technically robust and user friendly, to determine hydro-geomechanical parameters at strata and site scale. These tools are to compliment and extend tools developed in collaboration with a group of researchers at UNSW Australia (Tim McMillan), University of Melbourne (Dr Tim Peterson) and internationally including Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) in Germany (Dr Gabriel Rau). Such tools will enable new opportunities to determine in situ properties of the ground for geomechanical and hydrogeological applications. In situ and strata specific estimates on hydraulic and poro-elastic properties of the ground will be used to predict and manage loading and soil moisture. Research project sites in SE Australia and beyond will include one or more of the following types: groundwater supply systems for town water and agriculture, underground and open pit mine sites including pumped hydro energy storage, civil construction and tunnelling projects, underground injection sites for recycled water or carbon sequestration, and the possibility of shallow geothermal energy projects. The PhD scholar will benefit from international research collaborations and local industry partnerships, for example with government, and engineering companies.

Funding Information:To be eligible forthe scholarship you must:
- Meet Deakin's PhD entry requirements. Evidence of meeting English requirement (eg. 7 in IELTS test).
- Be enrolling full time and hold an honours degree (First class) or an equivalent.
- Applications must have a Degree qualification in Civil Engineering, Engineering Geology, Hydrogeology, Environmental Engineering, Geotechnical Engineering, Water Engineering, Computer Science, Physics, Maths, or related technical discipline.
-Applicants must provide details of capability in data analysis, coding capability.
-Applicants must provide evidence of their reporting/publications track record.

Rail Innovators PhD Scholarship / Deakin University


 
University:Deakin University Melbourne
Faculty:Institute for Intelligent Systems Research and Innovation (IISRI)
Project Start Date:Ongoing
Application Deadline:Ongoing - open
Supervisor Name:Prof. Douglas Creighton
Location (City/Campus):Waurn Ponds Campus, Geelong

Project Description:

The Institute of Intelligent Systems Research and Innovation (IISRI) currently offers an industry-funded PhD scholarship to a student who is ready to enrol on a full-time basis for conducting cutting-edge research in the transport/rail sector at Deakin University, together with our industry partner, Downer EDI Rail. About Deakin University and IISRI Deakin University is ranked in the top 2% of universities worldwide, and consistently ranks number one on student satisfaction and employment. Deakin offers a personalised experience, enhanced by innovative digital engagement. We lead by creating opportunities to live and work in a connected, evolving world. IISRI’s research covers state-of-the-art technologies in modelling and simulation, machine learning, big data, visualisation and optimisation of complex systems. The institute delivers industry research, development and commercial ready outcomes to support innovation across a variety of models including Industry 4.0 and Virtual Factory. Further information on IISRI research can be obtained via www.deakin.edu.au/iisri. Research Topic Investigate state of the art machine learning technologies for condition-based maintenance, diagnostics and prognostics for future industry 4.0 transport control centres. The student will have opportunities to work closely with our industry collaborators at Downer EDI Rail in undertaking challenging real-world problems in the rolling stock sector.

Funding Information:The PhD scholarship will cover 3 years full-time studies. The stipend is offered on a competitive basis with extra allowance and subsistence for outstation data collection, field work, and/or meetings with industry collaborators.
Special Requirements:This scholarship is available to a domestic or an international student who is able to start their candidature immediately. The applicant is expected to have a Master degree with a research component, or a first-class or second-upper honours Bachelor degree, from a recognised university. Prior to lodging an application, the applicant is strongly encouraged to contact the following IISRI staff to discuss the specified research topic and related matters.

Intelligent Systems PhD Scholarship / Deakin University


 
University:Deakin University Melbourne
Faculty:Institute for Intelligent Systems Research and Innovation (IISRI)
Project Start Date:Ongoing
Application Deadline:Ongoing - open
Supervisor Name:Alfred Deakin Professor Saeid Nahavandi (IEEE Fellow)
Location (City/Campus):Waurn Ponds Campus, Geelong

Project Description:

The Institute of Intelligent Systems Research and Innovation (IISRI) currently offers PhD scholarship to a student who is ready to enrol on a full-time basis for conducting cutting-edge research into Intelligent Systems at Deakin University. About Deakin University and IISRI Deakin University is ranked in the top 2% of universities worldwide, and consistently ranks number one on student satisfaction and employment. Deakin offers a personalised experience, enhanced by innovative digital engagement. We lead by creating opportunities to live and work in a connected, evolving world. The Institute for Intelligent Systems Research and Innovation (IISRI) contributes to the research and development (R&D) of robotics, haptics, and human machine interfaces. IISRI has more than 80 researchers who use their R&D to provide practical solutions to real world problems and develop commercial-ready products and services. As a result, IISRI has been successful in the delivery of numerous industry-based research projects with major national and international organisations. IISRI has the largest number of haptic devices in the Southern Hemiphere for research and development. Complimented by the worlds most advanced fleet of haptically enabled robots (Kuku, ABB based, UR5, UR10) and autonomous mobile platforms. In addition, IISRI has delivered several major haptically enabled teleoperatve system and autonomous robots to major automotive companies, and Department of Defence. Our research collaboration reaches world class Universities, Harvard, MIT, Standford, Imperial College, Trinity, IIT (India) and Cambridge University For further information on IISRI research, please contact Alfred Deakin Professor Saeid Nahavandi (IEEE Fellow) email Research Topic Autonomous systems, robotics and haptics, human-machine interface, system modelling and analytics The student will have opportunities to work closely with our industry collaborators in undertaking challenging real-world problems.

Funding Information:The PhD scholarship will cover 3 years full-time studies. The stipend is offered on a competitive basis with extra allowance and subsistence for outstation data collection, field work, and/or meetings.
Special Requirements:This scholarship is available to a domestic or an international student who is able to start his/her candidature immediately. The applicant is expected to have a Master degree with a research component, or a first-class or second-upper honours Bachelor degree, from a recognised university.

Cybersafe Connected Vehicles: Secured and Robust Cooperative Automotive Systems / Deakin University


 
University:Deakin University Melbourne
Faculty:Institute for Intelligent Systems Research and Innovation (IISRI)
Project Start Date:Ongoing
Application Deadline:Ongoing - open
Supervisor Name:Prof. Robin Doss
Location (City/Campus):Waurn Ponds Campus, Geelong

Project Description:

Deakin University seeks to hire four outstanding PhD candidates within the School of Information Technology. The successful candidates will participate in the activities of the Centre for Cyber Security Research and Innovation (CSRI) and work within the Security and Privacy Research in IoT (SPYRIT) lab. The SPYRIT lab focuses on theoretical advances for cyberspace, network and systems security for the Internet of Things (IoT). This includes research topics such as the design and development of secure protocols, IoT security, cyber physical systems security, Blockchain security, privacy-preserving techniques, and others. The 4 PhD positions will contribute to a project on "CyberSafe Connected Vehicles: Secured and Robust Cooperative Automotive Systems". The project will develop underlying technologies, techniques and tools for the realisation of secure, trusted, and robust cooperative automotive systems. The proposed program of research will develop a framework comprising associated technologies and a methodology for secure automotive computer systems, based on a securely connected automotive software platform, that enables the connected vehicle to cooperate with external services and other vehicles in a secure, trusted and safe way. Successful candidates should have the ability to: - Conduct world-class research and write a doctoral dissertation in one of the following topics: 1. Communication security in connected and autonomous vehicles 2. End-to-end secure firmware and software updates 3. Decentralised authentication schemes and intrusion detection mechanisms 4. Security and privacy aspects for the next generation of connected and autonomous vehicles - Disseminate results through scientific publications and presentations The offer - The University offers a 3-year PhD scholarship of AU$27,596 per annum (tax exempt). Top-up scholarships for an amount of $10K to $23K per annum will be available for exceptional applicants. - You will work in an exciting international environment and will have the opportunity to participate in the development of a dynamic and growing centre. Student Eligibility - A First Class Honours degree (or equivalent) or Master degree (with research component) in computer science or mathematics - A proven interest in computer security and/or related topics - Excellent written and oral English skills - Commitment, team worker, self-motivated and a critical mind - Strong academic performance, programming and mathematical skills Applications should be written in English and include the following documents:
1. Cover letter indicating the research area of interest and your motivation
2. Curriculum Vitae (including your contact address, work experience, list of publications (if any)) 3. A research statement addressing the topic of the position (max 1 page). Note that, you must choose one of the four topics given above.
4. A short description of your Master work or Honours thesis (max 1 page)
5. Transcript of grades from all university-level courses taken
6. Contact information for 3 referees For further inquiries please contact: Prof Robin Doss (robin.doss@deakin.edu.au)

Funding Information:The University offers a 3-year PhD scholarship of AU$27,596 per annum (tax exempt). Top-up scholarships for an amount of $10K to $23K per annum will be available for exceptional applicants.
Special Requirements:Student Eligibility - A First Class Honours degree (or equivalent) or Master degree (with research component) in computer science or mathematics - A proven interest in computer security and/or related topics - Excellent written and oral English skills - Commitment, team worker, self-motivated and a critical mind - Strong academic performance, programming and mathematical skills

Low temperature plasma processing of CO2 conversion / Deakin University


 
University:Deakin University Melbourne
Faculty:Institute of Frontier Materials
Project Start Date:July 2020, Nov 2020
Application Deadline:Ongoing
Supervisor Name:Dr Weiwei Lei
Location (City/Campus):Waurn Ponds Campus, Geelong

Project Description:

CO2 gas has been widely accepted as a major greenhouse gas, leading to global warming and the current adverse climate changes. Therefore, the conversion of CO2 into value-added chemicals and fuels is considered as one of the main challenges of the 21st century. To achieve the transformation of CO2 into value-added chemicals or fuels, many approaches have been investigated. The basic mechanism of these approaches is either to split pure CO2 into CO and O2 or to involve the conversion of CO2 with a co-reactant to form new chemical compounds such as methanol. The existing traditional approaches are mainly thermo-catalytic methods, where pure CO2 splitting or conversion of CO2 with a co-reactant requires elevated temperature and rare earth metals as catalysts. Due to these limitations of the traditional thermal approaches, novel energy-efficient technologies are still sought. One promising approach in this field, which has received little attention to date, is plasma technology. Plasma as an ionized gas can not only dissociate CO2 but also enable thermodynamically difficult reactions to occur at ambient conditions of temperature and pressure with reasonable energy cost. The significance of this project is to exploit a new and exciting area in plasma technology for energy storage.

Funding Information:Stipend of $27,596 per annum tax exempt
Relocation allowance of $500-1500 (for single to family) for students moving from interstate or overseas