BioPathways Masters by Research Scholarships

Federation University and Australian Paper are pleased to offer the following Masters by Research scholarships in the areas of microbiology, chemistry and engineering.

Successful applicants will spend up to approximately 40% of their candidature at the Maryvale Paper Mill in an immersive work-integrated research environment.

Applications close: Friday 20 September

Projects

1. Bioproduction of Platform Chemicals from Waste Streams
2. Alternative Materials for Advanced Bioproducts in Gippsland
3. Polymer and Composite Products from Biochemicals

Scholarship details

Stipend: $27,596 per annum
Top-up: $3,500
Project support: $7000
RTP Fee-offset Scholarship: $28,200 per annum
Funding length: 1.5 years (only, no extensions permitted)
Location: Gippsland

Eligibility

Scholarship applicants must be eligible to undertake a Masters by Research. Verify you can meet eligibility requirements outlined on the Graduate Research School website. If you are applying for ‘Honours equivalence,’ please ensure that you provide detailed information to support your case.

Applicants must be an Australian resident or permanent resident.

Applications must be received by Friday 20 September 2019. All applications must include both a scholarship application form (link below) and a HDR Application for Admission form. Applications must be supported by referee report forms from two academic referees.

For questions related to the research project, please contact Professor Steve Wilcox on 03 5122 6176 or steve.wilcox@federation.edu.au. For information on applying for candidature or other requirements, please contact the Graduate Research School on 03 5327 9508 or research.degrees@federation.edu.au.

Project details

Bioproduction of platform chemicals from waste streams

Fossil fuel derived platform chemicals are building blocks of the chemicals and plastics industry. As the world transitions away from fossil fuels biological production of platform chemicals is becoming an important technology. Today’s technological advancements have allowed us to synthesise many of these via microorganisms. In this context, the current Masters by research project will utilise the lab scale preparation and analytical capabilities to develop a fermentation or chemical process for biochemical/s production. This scholarship is industrially supported by Australian Paper and the successful candidate is expected to spend up to 40% of the candidature at their Maryvale site.

Further information and application form (pdf, 184 kb)

Alternative materials for advanced bioproducts in Gippsland

There is a growing focus on diversifying the non-food biomass feedstock as it is expected to play a critical role in our transition to a circular economy. In this context, the current Masters by research project will mechanically and chemically characterise suitable materials, such as hemp, to replace feedstock in existing paper mill and ensure a continued sustainable supply for future advanced biomanufacturing. This scholarship is industrially supported by Australian Paper and the successful candidate is expected to spend up to 40% of the candidature at their Maryvale site.

Further information and application form (pdf, 165kb)

Polymer and composite products from biochemicals

Current generation of petro-polymers and composites cause pollution and health issues. Next generation carbon neutral/negative biopolymers are being researched as sustainable alternatives. In this context, the current Masters by research project will investigate synthesis of biopolymer/s from C2 and C4 platform chemicals and their upgradation into composite products. This scholarship is industrially supported by Australian Paper and the successful candidate is expected to spend up to 40% of the candidature at their Maryvale site.

Further information and application form (pdf, 164kb)

Supervisors

Professor Steve Wilcox

Steve completed his PhD at Heriot-Watt University in 1992 on an EU-funded Brite Euram project investigating machine tool wear. His major research interests centre around condition monitoring and the application of advanced signal processing and AI techniques to help solve engineering problems. His work has developed novel systems able to monitor and control coal fired and gas fired burners in the utility and steel sectors and in collaboration with colleagues has developed a technique to make significant reductions in the emissions emanating from glass melting furnaces.

View staff profile page for Prof Steve Wilcox

Associate Professor Vince Verheyen

Vince completed his PhD at University of Melbourne in 1982. He started his research working on marine lipids and became interested in the analytical chemistry of more complex organic systems such as coal and its products and waste streams. He worked for ten years each in both the public service and private industry as a research chemist/ specialist consultant before returning to various university roles. His research focus is very applied in assisting local industries in improving their products and reducing their environmental impact.

View staff profile page for Assoc Prof Vince Verheyen

Dr David Vercoe, Australian Paper

David is the Technical Manager at Australian Paper, Maryvale Mill in Morwell Victoria. He has a background in chemistry, completing his PhD in colloidal chemistry at the University of Tasmania in 2004.

For scholarship terms and conditions, applicants should refer to the following documents:

RTP Fee-offset Scholarship: Research Training Program (RTP) Scholarship Policy
Stipend, top-up and project support: HDR Scholarship Policy