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PhD Opportunity: Newcastle Uni seeks Robo-Laser researcher for maritime sustainment

Newcastle Uni has called for applications to undertake a PhD in a critical maritime sustainment technology. Corrosion damage to naval platforms is a leading cost driver to the Royal Australian Navy and its allied forces such as the US Navy. The cost of corrosion damage has increased dramatically over the past decade and is currently about $5 billion per annum for the USN alone. While a range of new corrosion prevention methods are available for corrosion control, the options are far more limited as far as the remediation of damaged naval assets is concerned. There is a clear technology gap in this space and as recognised by the NSW Defence Innovation Network (DIN) stakeholders, there is a need for a laser-based approach to corrosion management.

Newcastle Uni, with support from the NSW Defence Innovation Network (DIN) is offering a PhD scholarship to explore laser-based detection and removal of corrosion from the internal parts of naval platforms and other marine vessels, particularly those parts with limited access and complex geometries (e.g. inside the ship hull, ballast tanks, engine rooms or the floodable space between the pressure hull and outer hull in submarines). The intended end-users of IP flowing from this research are the RAN and allied forces but also the Australian Customs, the commercial shipping sector and all other similar industries.

The project will examine five related areas:

  • Adaptation of the robotic platform
  • Laser ablation studies
  • Structural / morphological studies
  • Miniaturisation and integration
  • Performance evaluation – The work will involve proof-of-concept under controlled laboratory settings, field testing in an actual naval platform, detailed optimisation followed by modifications.

Interested applicants should send an email expressing their interest along with scanned copies of their academic transcripts, CV, a brief statement of their research interests and a proposal that specifically links them to the research project to by 5pm on 31 January 2021.

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