Swinburne CSIRO PhD Scholarship x 4

Updated: about 2 months ago
Location: Melbourne, VICTORIA
Deadline: 28 Jun 2024

  • Mechanical and Product Design Engineering
  • Research will be carried out at Swinburne University of Technology (Hawthorn, Melbourne, Australia) and CSIRO (Clayton, Melbourne, Australia).
  • Stipend of $35,000 p.a. for 3 years with a possible 6-month scholarship extension


About the Scholarship
In partnership with CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Australia), Swinburne University is offering four scholarships for suitable candidates to undertake PhD research. The successful applicants will collaborate closely with Swinburne researchers, CSIRO, and relevant industry partners throughout their PhD studies. 

The four scholarships offered are outlined below:

1. Swinburne CSIRO PhD Scholarship – The Behaviour of Gangue Minerals in Australian ores in DRI Production
This PhD project aims to investigate the thermodynamics and kinetics of direct reduced iron (DRI) production using high-phosphorus, silica, and alumina-rich iron ores from the Pilbara region in Australia. The research will explore the complex interactions of gangue minerals during the reduction process, focusing on the formation of fayalites and low melting point aluminosilicates, which can affect metallisation and the reduction kinetics of iron.

This proposed PhD project will establish phases evolution, reaction mechanism and kinetic model to support the development of industrial application of DRI processing of Australian ores. The project will involve both experimental and modelling studies. In particular, the project will:

1)    Carry out systematic critical literature review of the previous and state of the art processes 

2)    Conduct a thermodynamic modelling of processing of Australian ores to understand the possible phases formation

3)    Carry out experimental study to track the kinetics and reaction mechanism of the process. This will be supported by state of the art materials characterisation techniques. 

4)    Establishment of the reaction mechanism and the optimum process conditions. 

5)    Write papers/reports and completion of PhD thesis


2. Swinburne CSIRO PhD Scholarship – Fundamentals of Electric Smelting of Australian Ores

This project aims to investigate the behaviour of high-gangue Australian iron ores in Hydrogen DRI processing and subsequent Electric Smelting Furnace (ESF) treatment. It will focus on three key aspects: analysing the chemistry and properties of the produced slag, examining the effects of flux additions on slag properties for potential cement industry use, and understanding how the high gangue content in DRI influences its melting behaviour in ESFs. Through thermodynamic modelling, slag property software, and high-temperature experimentation using both idealized and industrial DRI samples, the project seeks to provide insights into optimizing these processes.

This proposed PhD project will establish phases evolution, reaction mechanism and fundamentals of electric smelting of Australian ores. The project will involve both experimental and modelling studies. In particular, the project will:

1)    Carry out systematic critical literature review of the previous and state of the art processes 

2)    Conduct a thermodynamic modelling of processing of Australian ores to understand the possible phases formation

3)    Carry out experimental study to establish the reaction mechanism of the process. This will be supported by state of the art materials characterisation techniques. 

4)    Establishment of the reaction mechanism and the optimum process conditions. 

5)    Write papers/reports and completion of PhD thesis


3. Swinburne CSIRO PhD Scholarship 2024 – Smelting of Blackmass for Recovery of Critical Metals

The project aims to investigate the smelting behaviour of blackmass, a complex material formed during the recycling of various battery types (LCO, LMO, NMC, LFP, NCA) that contains valuable elements like lithium, cobalt, nickel, manganese, iron, aluminium, and phosphorus. The research will focus on developing a high-temperature recycling process to recover these elements, using reduction methods involving hydrogen, metals (aluminium and magnesium), and the carbon present in blackmass. Key parameters such as temperature, oxygen partial pressure, agglomeration, and reaction time will be studied. The project will track microstructure evolution and process kinetics to understand the reduction mechanism, combining thermodynamic modelling with high-temperature experimentation and advanced materials characterization. This systematic study will start with individual battery types and progress to more complex mixed metal batteries.

This proposed PhD project will establish phases evolution, reaction mechanism and kinetic model to support the development of comprehensive high temperature recycling process of batteries. The project will involve both experimental and modelling studies. In particular, the project will:

1)    Carry out systematic critical literature review of the previous and state of the art battery recycling processes 

2)    Conduct a thermodynamic modelling of smelting of battery materials to understand the possible phases formation

3)    Carry out experimental study to track the kinetics and reaction mechanism of the process. This will be supported by state of the art materials characterisation techniques. 

4)    Establishment of the reaction mechanism and the optimum process conditions. 

5)    Write papers/reports and completion of PhD thesis


4. Swinburne CSIRO PhD Scholarship 2024 – Thermodynamics/Kinetics of Critical Elements in Slag/Metal Reaction

Project will investigate the distribution and kinetics of critical elements, such as rare earths, during secondary copper smelting. With limited understanding in this area, the study will systematically examine how these elements behave across copper, slag, and gaseous phases under relevant conditions. Parameters like temperature, oxygen partial pressure, and slag composition will be explored, focusing on elements like Hafnium. Using thermodynamic modelling, high-temperature experimentation, and advanced characterization techniques, correlations between element distribution coefficients and slag chemistry/structure will be developed.

This proposed PhD project will establish phases evolution, reaction mechanism and kinetic model to support the development of comprehensive high temperature recycling of relevant critical elements. The project will involve both experimental and modelling studies. In particular, the project will:

1)    Carry out systematic critical literature review of the previous and state of the art processes 

2)    Conduct a thermodynamic modelling of smelting of battery materials to understand the possible phases formation

3)    Carry out experimental study to track the kinetics and reaction mechanism of the process. This will be supported by state of the art materials characterisation techniques. 

4)    Establishment of the reaction mechanism and the optimum process conditions. 


5)    Write papers/reports and completion of PhD thesis


About you 

To be successful in the role, you will have:

  • Bachelor of Engineering (4 years); Bachelor of Applied Science (4 years); or Masters degree
  • Background in Process/Extractive Metallurgy, Chemical/Environmental Engineering, Materials Engineering or Mechanical Engineering
  • English Language Requirement (e.g. IELTS: Overall 6.5, No individual band below 6.0) (Australian Universities English Requirement)
  • Proficient interpersonal and communication skills, including the ability to work within a diverse team

A full list of selection criteria is available within the position description.

About Swinburne University of Technology

Swinburne Horizon 2025 draws upon our understanding of future challenges. With this new strategic plan, we choose to build Swinburne as the prototype of a new and different university – one that is truly of Technology, of Innovation and of Entrepreneurship, and proud of it. We are committed to a differentiated university proposition in education and research, so that:

  • Every Swinburne learner gets a work experience
  • Every Swinburne graduate gets a job
  • Every Swinburne partner gets a tech solution
  • Swinburne is the prototype of global best practice

The achievement of our 2025 moon shots depends on our capacity to work collectively, always, as One Swinburne.

How to apply and further information
Please submit expression of interest (EOI) for this PhD scholarship position to Professor Geoffrey Brooks ([email protected]) by using email subject “EOI-Swinburne PhD Scholarship-Behaviour of Gangue in Iron Ores”. Please include a copy of your CV, academic degrees, academic transcripts, English test results (IELTS or TOEFL) and copies of journal publications (if applicable).  

For further information about this position, contact Professor Geoffrey Brooks at [email protected]. 

Please Note: Appointment to this position is subject to passing a Working with Children Check.

If you are experiencing technical difficulties with your application, please contact the Swinburne Talent Acquisition Team on [email protected]  

Applications close: Friday 28th June 2024 at 11pm.

Swinburne offers flexible working options, leave and parenting/carer policies to support work life balance.

Equity and Diversity 
Swinburne is a large and culturally diverse organisation and we are proud of our commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion through key initiatives.  For further information on all our initiatives visit our Equity & Diversity website.

We welcome and encourage applicants from diverse backgrounds to apply.

We are committed to making the recruitment process fair and equitable for all our candidates. If you have specific accessibility or support requirements please contact [email protected]

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Applicants
We welcome and strongly encourage applications from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.  

For any support please contact [email protected] or for more information on our Indigenous strategies please follow the link to our RAP Reconciliation Action Plan
As a signatory to Victoria’s Commitment to Action, Swinburne seeks to remove barriers to international graduate employment. We welcome and encourage applications from international graduates.  

(Agency enquiries will not be accepted for this position)

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