PhD Scholarships in the School of Science, RMIT University

Melbourne, Australia
21 Nov 2016
End of advertisement period
09 Dec 2016
Contract Type

Applications are invited for a cutting edge PhD research project at RMIT University. RMIT is a global university of technology, focused on creating solutions that transform the future for the benefit of people and their environments.

Value and duration: The scholarship is valued between A$26,288-$29,288 per annum for up to 3.5 years.

Eligibility: To be considered for scholarship you must:

  1. Hold (or be currently completing) a research-inclusive Masters degree, OR hold (or be currently completing) a first class honours degree in a relevant discipline.
  2. Meet RMIT's entry requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy.
  3. Be an Australian/New Zealand citizen or Australian permanent resident,

How to apply and further information. Please send a 1 page letter of motivation with a copy of your CV to the contact for the project.

Closing date: 9 December 2016

A. ARC project with Dr Ravichandar Babarao. An exciting opportunity is available for an outstanding PhD candidate to work on an ARC funded project on computational design of next generation hybrid porous materials for detecting and capturing harmful pollutants that are carcinogenic and degrade environmental quality. The past decade has seen the emergence of metal organic frameworks (MOFs) or porous coordination polymers (PCPs) as potential candidate materials across a plethora of applications. MOFs are crystalline materials built from metal ions or clusters bridged by organic linkers to form one-, two- or three-dimensional structures. MOFs are porous materials that hold the world record for specific surface area and storage of gases. MOF research has become one of the fastest growing fields in materials science. More than 20,000 different MOFs have been reported and studied within the past decade and nearly 130,000 hypothetical MOFs have been designed based on different metal clusters and ligands. However, their uptake by industry is hamstrung by a lack of knowledge of their in situ performance under realistic conditions and the stability of MOFs in different thermal, chemical and mechanical environments. Understanding these issues is critical for MOF manufacturing, processing and performance. This project will focus on fundamental understanding of what makes MOFs stable in realistic conditions using state of the art computational techniques and to exploit this new understanding to guide development of robust porous materials for capturing harmful pollutants. We seek chemistry/physics/engineering graduates who are interested in any of the following: atomistic modelling, in silico design of materials, high-throughput screening, Monte Carlo methods and first principles calculations.

Project: Designing next generation robust hybrid porous materials for detecting and capturing harmful pollutants. The project involves close collaboration with experimentalists in the field of nanomaterials and device fabrication. Specifically, the project involves: (i) Develop an in silico screening tool for pre-screening thousands of materials for capturing harmful pollutants. (ii) Develop new descriptors based on the structure-property relationship to identify materials that merit experimental characterisation. (iii) Use a combinatorial approach integrating modelling and chemical experiments to speed up the design cycle from laboratory testing to industrial use. (iv) Develop understanding of the stability of MOF materials in realistic conditions to find the best, robust materials for large-scale synthesis.

Applications and further information: Ravichandar Babarao,