Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Australia: Postgraduate Scholarship in Sciences & Engineering


Postgraduate Scholarship on Adhesion Study of Polymer and Cement Based Coatings on Cement Pipe Substrates

This scholarship is funded by an ARC Linkage-Project grant and will provide support for 3 years on a full-time basis for a research project leading to a PhD. This is part of a national research project designed to carry out comprehensive on the premature failure of coatings by delamination and cracking in sewer systems.


Domestic wastewater is transported to treatment plants in concrete pipes. In many instances hydrogen sulphide is generated in the wastewater. The low solubility hydrogen sulphide is released to the headspace of the pipes where it is oxidized to sulphuric acid by sulphide oxidizing bacteria. In addition, the sewer wall on the headspace also has fungi that generate strong carboxylic acids that can chelate metals from the concrete structure. The combination of these factors leads to concrete corrosion. This is a serious problem for the water industry. Thus, the cement piping infra-structure used by the Water Industry is valued at $60 billion and 1% of this sum is used in maintenance each year.


To protect the infrastructure, polymer and cement based permanent coatings, such as epoxies, polyurethanes, etc are used as environmental barriers for concrete pipes exposed to corrosive environments in sewer systems. Currently the understanding of coating delamination within these sour systems is largely empirical. Optimisation of the performance of coatings operating in sour environments require fundamental research to understand the critical physical and chemical properties of the materials and the effect of sour environments on these properties. The project will create advanced knowledge and innovative technologies to support the Australian water industry in achieving efficient and cost-effective  water and waste water utility management.

These projects will be conducted in collaboration with University of Queensland and Newcastle University, CH2Mhill, Department of Chemical Engineering and with the following water companies: Brisbane City Council, Gold Coast Water, SA Water, South East Water Limited, Sydney Water Corporation, United Water and Water Corporation.


Applicants should have an Honours 1 or 2A degree in Materials Science, Chemistry, Biochemistry or Chemical Engineering or a suitable equivalent research experience in area of material science and engineering. International students may apply for this scholarship. Please note that this scholarship does not include tuition fees payable by international students.

Amount awarded:

The scholarship stipend is $ 25,000 pa (tax exempt). Alternatively, holders of an APA or an equivalent primary scholarship may receive a top-up scholarship to give a  total of  up to $ $39,300 pa scholarship. This will apply to high achieving and motivated students.

Application guide:

Applications, including a curriculum vitae, copy of an academic transcript, the names and contact details of at least two referees should be sent to:
Associate Professor Marjorie Valix
Director, Mineral and Material Processing Research Unit
School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
The University of Sydney, NSW 2006
Telephone: +61 2 9351 4995
Facsimile: +61 2 9351 2854

Closing date:

10 February 2012

Please quote on your application when applying for this scholarship

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