PhD Scholarship in Gas Transport During High-Frequency Ventilation

Boroondara, Australia
05 Feb 2018
End of advertisement period
05 Mar 2018
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time
  • Mechanical and Product Design Engineering
  • High-frequency ventilation focus
  • 3 years, based at Hawthorn and Parkville

About the scholarship

The Ph.D. will investigate high-frequency ventilation (HFV), a ventilation technique used in intensive care units or patients with delicate or damaged lungs. It uses very fast yet shallow inflations resulting in small peak pressures, protecting lungs from pressure-related injury. HFV is widely applied in neonatal ICU (NICU), particularly for premature babies. However, it has had mixed success in adult ICU where its lung protective properties could be beneficial.

Optimizing HFV is a complicated process and it is often poorly applied due to the complexity of the gas flow. A number of subtle processes transport oxygen and other gases up and down the airway as the fast shallow inflations do not empty and refill the lungs.

This project will provide a fundamental understanding of the gas transport mechanisms involved, which is the key to optimizing HFV. The mechanisms, and their interactions with each other and the complex geometry of the airway, need to be understood and quantified.

These mechanisms will be investigated by performing simulations of high-speed reciprocating flows in pipes and 1:2 bifurcations. These fundamental geometries will be studied in depth to develop quantitative and predictive models of the gas transport that can then be used to analyze the flow in the more complicated geometry of the true airway.

The project will be jointly supervised by Dr. David Tingay, head of neonatal research at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute at the Royal Children’s Hospital. The project will bridge fundamental fluid mechanics and clinical application of HFV, leading to academic and societal impact.

Skills and experience

To be successful in this role you will need to demonstrate the following:

  • An honours or masters degree equivalent to an Australian H1 in engineering, physics, maths, or a related discipline
  • Basic fluid mechanics
  • NB. For international applicants: obtain a minimum IELTS overall band of 6.5 (Academic Module) with no individual band below 6.0

For further details of entry requirements, please see 

How to apply

To start an application click on 'begin' at the bottom of this page and submit a resume, cover letter and response to the Key Selection Criteria, as listed in the Position Description below.

Please do not email or send paper applications, all applications must be submitted online.

For further information about the position, please contact Justin Leontini (Associate Professor in Mechanical Engineering) on +613 9214 4708. 

If you are experiencing technical difficulties with your application, please contact the Recruitment team on +61 3 9214 8600 (option 2).

Should you require further support for an interview due to special needs or consideration, please contact our Diversity Consultant, Dr. Walter Robles, on, or our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment Officer, Sherrin Trautmann on 

Applications close at 5 pm on Monday 5th March 2018