Fully funded PhD scholarships available - Physical Oceanography

Date: 

Thursday, 12th August 2021


Two fully-funded PhD scholarships are available at UNSW, in the areas of physical oceanography and mathematical methods. The deadline for both applications is 27 August 2021. 

The first project focuses on developing and testing techniques for measuring fine-scale ocean currents and waves in future high-resolution satellite observations of sea-surface height, while the second project aims to develop and validate fast, accurate mathematical methods for calculating the surface and interior wake “fingerprint” of submerged moving vessels, utilising new concepts in fluid dynamics and exponential asymptotics.

Please see below for all information on the two projects, including eligibility requirements and application process. 

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  • Australian Research Council PhD scholarship: Understanding lateral ocean transport at small scales

UNSW School of Mathematics and Statistics offers a fully funded PhD scholarship and top-up scholarship in the area of ocean dynamics. The scholarship is funded by an Australian Research Council Discovery Proposal DP210102745 “Understanding lateral ocean transport at small scales”, a collaboration between UNSW Sydney, the University of Western Australia, the Australian National University, and the French Institute for Exploitation of the Sea (Ifremer). The outcomes of this project will contribute to the future NASA-CNES Surface Water and Ocean Topography satellite mission, to be launched in 2022.

Value: $35,109/year for 3 years ($27,609 ARC stipend rate + $7,500 pa top-up).

Topic Area: This project aims to develop and test techniques for measuring fine-scale ocean currents and waves in future high-resolution satellite observations of sea-surface height. The student, who will be based at UNSW Sydney, will work under the supervision of Dr Shane Keating (UNSW Sydney) and Dr Callum Shakespeare (ANU) to rigorously decompose the flow into wave and non-wave components using an innovative Lagrangian filtering method, providing a “ground truth” for wave-current decomposition techniques. The techniques will be tested and validated in high-resolution numerical simulations of ocean dynamics in Australia’s Northwest Shelf. The outcomes of this research will help guide in situ field measurements carried out during the Surface Water and Ocean Topography satellite mission.

Eligibility: Applications are invited from domestic PhD candidates who are enrolling on a full-time basis. Applicants must have a Bachelor degree with first class honours, Master of Philosophy or Master of Research, or equivalent. The candidate must be eligible to enrol in an accredited Research Doctorate at UNSW. Applicants for this scholarship will not be considered if they do not meet the minimum UNSW requirements for doctoral candidature. Please first check the requirements for admission, at: https://research.unsw.edu.au/higher-degree-research-programs.

How to apply: Eligible candidates should first contact Dr Shane Keating to discuss their interest and suitability for this project by sending an email to s.keating@unsw.edu.au.


Closing date: August 27th 2021.

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  • NSW Defence Innovation Network PhD Scholarship: Kelvin wake fingerprinting for submerged vessels

UNSW School of Mathematics and Statistics and the NSW Defence Innovation Network (DIN) have partnered with Naval Group, a world leader in maritime defence, to offer a fully funded PhD scholarship and top-up scholarship to grow local Australian skills and support Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) career pathways in Defence. This project has been co-developed by Naval Group engineers and researchers at UNSW Sydney and Macquarie University and will be part of Naval Group’s long-term commitment to Australian defence research.

Value: $34,097/year for 3 years ($28,597 RTP stipend rate, indexed annually + $5,500 pa top-up).

Topic Area: This project aims to develop and validate fast, accurate mathematical methods for calculating the surface and interior wake “fingerprint” of submerged moving vessels. Utilising new concepts in fluid dynamics and exponential asymptotics to calculate wakes generated by submerged vessels, this project aims to address long-standing challenges to detection of submarine wakes. The expected outcomes of this project include rigorously tested algorithms for fast, accurate calculation of surface and interior wakes generated by submarines. The resulting benefits could be a game-changer for Australian remote surveillance and undersea warfare capability.

Eligibility: Applications are invited from domestic PhD candidates who are enrolling on a full-time basis. Applicants must have a Bachelor degree with first class honours, Master of Philosophy or Master of Research, or equivalent. The candidate must be eligible to enrol in an accredited Research Doctorate at UNSW. Applicants for this scholarship will not be considered if they do not meet the minimum UNSW requirements for doctoral candidature. Please first check the requirements for admission, at: https://research.unsw.edu.au/higher-degree-research-programs.

This scholarship is available to Australian citizens only. Successful applicants will be asked to provide a police clearance before commencing the project.

How to apply: Eligible candidates should first contact Dr Shane Keating to discuss their interest and suitability for this project by sending an email to s.keating@unsw.edu.au.


Closing date: August 27th 2021.