Research Scholar in Engineering

St Lucia, Brisbane, Australia
28 Nov 2016
End of advertisement period
11 Dec 2016
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Sustainable Minerals Institute

The Julius Kruttschnitt Minerals Research Centre (JKMRC) is a world-renowned research and postgraduate education organisation, located at Indooroopilly in Brisbane, approximately 7 km from the main University of Queensland campus in St Lucia. JKMRC was established in 1970, and now forms part of the UQ Sustainable Minerals Institute (SMI).

The mission of the SMI-JKMRC is to deliver world-class, customer-focussed education, research and technical services to the world minerals industry and allied sectors. The SMI-JKMRC has an international reputation for applied research in the areas of mineral processing and geometallurgy. It specialises in ore characterisation, mineral processing unit operations such as comminution and flotation, applied mineralogy, and the interface between mining and processing. Its emphasis on systems analysis by mathematical modelling and process simulations has led to major new methodologies in the design and optimisation of mineral processing operations. It works closely with the international minerals industry and with other research providers in Australia and overseas. It has graduated in excess of 200 Masters and PhD students and won many awards for its research. It has a proven record of technology transfer through JKTech, which has significant experience in the commercial delivery of JKMRC research outcomes, particularly in simulation software and ore characterisation methodologies. Further information about JKMRC can be found at

The role

SMI-JKMRC and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) recently launched a collaborative project that seeks to support the work of a research higher degree student. Work is due to commence in July 2017 and the PhD project working title is Optimising coarse particle recovery through Aerosol Flotation.

There are several benefits in improving the flotation recovery of coarse target mineral-bearing particles, the most notable ones being the reduction in comminution energy that will be required to achieve a coarser product size, as well as the advantages coarse particles have for downstream water recovery and tailings facility management.  These technical and financial benefits can also be translated into environmental and social advantages as it reduces the footprint of the operation in the environment (lower carbon emissions and water release into the environment) while also having a positive impact on the local communities that rely on the land for food and shelter.

In this project a novel reagent addition method will be developed and tested whereby collectors are introduced as an aerosol with the aim of improving the distribution of collector molecules at the surfaces of coarse particles.  If successful this new technology can lead to the more economic extraction of target minerals.

The person

The successful applicant will be an outstanding and enthusiastic mineral science or engineering graduate in possession of a bachelor's degree with a minimum honours class IIA or equivalent.  Please view the minimum level of academic achievement for PhD admission on the UQ Graduate School Research Degree page (  Applicants must have an academic background in a field or discipline relevant to the area of mineral processing and ideally experience in mineral concentration through froth flotation, with a proven capability of carrying out practical research.  Applicants should have the ability to work autonomously and show initiative while also building a good rapport with site personnel from a range of disciplines.  Strong analytical skills and familiarity with mass balancing software, surface analysis techniques and Microsoft Excel are also highly desirable.

Applicants must note that applying to this PhD posting does not guarantee either admission to UQ in the PhD program or an offer of scholarship. The applicant who is selected to participate in the Project will be invited to apply to the UQ Graduate School for admission to UQ and consideration in the relevant scholarship rounds. Participation in the Project is conditional on the applicant receiving an offer of admission from UQ Graduate School and an offer of scholarship. The SMI Research Higher Degree Office will guide the successful application through the admission and scholarship application process.

Applicants who have been awarded a scholarship external to UQ are also most welcome to apply.

The selected applicant should be prepared to commence PhD candidature in Brisbane, Australia within the first two weeks of Research Quarter 3 (July) 2017.


If the applicant who is selected to participate in the Project is subsequently awarded a scholarship, the amount of scholarship will depend on whether they hold international or domestic status, and which scholarship is awarded. However, as a general guide, in 2016 the Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) base rate for a living allowance scholarship was AUD $26,288.00 per annum, indexed annually and tax-free, for three years with a possible extension of six months in approved circumstances.


Enquiries regarding the project should be directed to Dr Kym Runge or Mr Francois Vos, SMI-JKMRC at or The research profiles for the respective researchers can be viewed at:

Enquiries about the UQ PhD admission requirements and process should be directed to Jacqueline Ross-Hagebaum at

To submit an application for the research position, use the Apply button below. All applicants must provide the following documents: Cover Letter, Academic CV/Resume (suggested format is available at, all Academic Records (award certificates and official transcripts indicating GPA results/grades and credit point or unit value) and proof of Australian domestic student status (Australian or New Zealand passport, or Australian citizenship certificate, or Australian permanent residency visa).