Research Scholar in Mining Engineering

Brisbane, Australia
10 Jul 2017
End of advertisement period
28 Jul 2017
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Masters Research Scholarships in Materials Engineering

School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering

The University of Queensland's School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering maintains a world-class reputation and is at the cutting-edge of engineering education, research and expert consultation across the fields of mechanical, materials, mining, aerospace and mechatronic engineering.  The School’s reputation for research excellence attracts academia from around the world.  Our diverse research programs address the evolving needs of industry and society, and contribute to economic and social development.  The School’s established research strengths in hypersonics, light metals, geothermal energy and mining technology, are complemented by continued growth in areas such as solar thermal, composites, metals manufacturing, and rock mechanics.

Within the School, Dr Jeff Gates ( leads a research group focused on understanding of the mechanisms of abrasive wear in mining industry environments and on development of improved wear-resistant materials for these environments.  The group is seeking two applicants with an Honours or equivalent qualification in Materials Engineering or related discipline, with or without relevant postgraduate experience, to commence a Master of Philosophy in the above areas.  

The role

The two MPhil projects will be conducted within the framework of the ARC Industrial Transformation Training Centre in Alloy Innovation for Mining Efficiency (mineAlloy,, which is a collaboration between Deakin University, The University of Queensland and Monash University.  The topics of the two MPhil projects are: 

  1. Selection of Ceramics for High-Tonnage Ore Chutes — Understanding Structure-Property-Performance Relationships 
  2. Development of a New Generation of ‘NiHard’ Alloys for Ore Chute Liners. 

The successful candidates will receive training in the science of abrasive wear and in the required laboratory measurement techniques, and will gain exposure to both supplier (manufacturing) and end-user (mining) industries.  Topic (1) may have the capacity to be extended from MPhil to PhD scholarship, depending both on the student’s prior qualifications and on performance in the first year of the project. 


Ensure you are aware of and comply with legislation and University policy relevant to the duties undertaken, including:

The person

Domestic candidates should have an Honours degree or equivalent in Materials Engineering (or related disciplines) and must meet the requirements of admission into the MPhil program (

International candidates will be considered if they have attained a coursework Master’s degree and have published at least one journal paper. International applicants must meet the University of Queensland's English Language Proficiency (ELP) requirements ( 

Depending on which of the two projects is being applied for, the student will be required to have and/or develop the following knowledge, skills and attributes: 

  • (Topic 1) Familiarity with the science and technology of engineering ceramics; 
  • (Topic 2) Capacity to participate in production of experimental iron castings in the University’s experimental foundry, taking part in quality assurance and traceability monitoring. 
  • Well-developed laboratory and practical skills, including safe operation of rotating equipment, accurate measurements and data recording. 
  • Capacity to participate in field trials at remote mine sites, liaising with site personnel and taking detailed on-site measurements of worn multi-specimen test plates. 
  • Ability to operate SEM and EDS instruments. 
  • Demonstrable commitment to good practice in data management. 
  • Ability to communicate technical concepts and the logical “story” of the project in clear written English. 

Previous research and/or industry experience in fields such as foundry technology or minerals industry maintenance would be viewed favourably. 


The base stipend will be at the rate of AUD $26,682 per annum (2017 rate) tax-free for a maximum of two years.


For specific questions about the role please email Dr Jeff Gates, .


To submit an application for this role, please complete an application to the MPhil program online here: Please list Dr Jeff Gates as the supervisor, Alloy Innovation for Mining Efficiency as the Scholarship being applied for, and your preferred topic as the research project title. All applicants will be required to supply the following documents:

  • A cover letter that addresses how you meet the requirements for the MPhil program and addressing the desired skills and attributes;
  • A curriculum vitae detailing education, professional experience, research experience, publications, and relevant competencies;
  • Academic transcript for all post-secondary study undertaken, complete or incomplete, including GPA scores/grades and the institution grading scale;
  • Award certificates for all completed post-secondary study
  • Evidence for meeting UQ’s English language proficiency requirements; and
  • The name and contact details of three referees who can best comment on your prior research experience. UQ will contact your referees directly, but you will need to enter their details into the application form.

Application closing date
Friday, 28 July 2017 (11:55pm Eastern Australia Standard Time)

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