HDR Scholarship - Analysing microfibres shedding from textiles

Updated: 3 months ago
Location: Melbourne, VICTORIA

Project Supervisor

A/Prof. Alessandra Sutti

Additional Supervision

Dr Surya Subianto ,

Dr Amol Patil

Dr Nathan Thompson


Institute for Frontier Materials


Geelong Technology Precinct (GTP), Waurn Ponds Campus

Microfibres and microplastics (coming from textile coatings) shedded by textiles are a recognised pollutant of increasing concern from the perspective of food chain interactions. Early work by the team has identified that there are several contributors to the loss of microfibres from textiles during use and laundry (including drying), with parameters such as laundry setup and detergent, as well as fabric composition and structure playing a key role. Many studies are available in literature, but a comprehensive approach to understanding these mechanisms (to prevent microfibre loss) and to developing broadly applicable and rapid measurement techniques is urgently needed.

Project aim

This project will investigate the effect of these parameters, while at the same time developing an analytical comparison framework for evaluation of methods to measure microfibre loss. Analytical techniques deployed include Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy and microscopy, Raman microscopy, in-flow analysis of moving particles (Camsizer) with reduced volume and mass sampling techniques common in oceanic monitoring environments. This project will also involve studying the effect of fibre and particle characteristics on their stratification in simulated standing or agitated water bodies. This project will provide ample opportunity for collaboration with The Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) Program (GLOBE Italy, Europe-Eurasia, GLOBE Asia & Pacific) and European research partners through an established network of collaboration with scientists and schools.

Applications will remain open until a candidate has been appointed

This scholarship is available over 3 years.

  • Stipend of $28,900 per annum tax exempt (2022 rate)
  • Relocation allowance of $500-1500 (for single to family) for students moving from interstate
  • International students only:  Tuition fees offset for the duration of 4 years. Single Overseas Student Health Cover policy for the duration of the student visa.

To be eligible you must:

  • be either a domestic or international candidate currently residing in Australia. Domestic includes candidates with Australian Citizenship, Australian Permanent Residency or New Zealand Citizenship.
  • meet Deakin's PhD entry requirements
  • be enrolling full time and hold an honours degree (first class) or an equivalent standard master's degree with a substantial research component.

Please refer to the research degree entry pathways page for further information.

Additional desirable criteria include:

  • Materials science/engineering, environmental engineering or textile engineering background
  • Microscopy and laboratory skills, including optical and electron microscopy

For more information about this scholarship, please contact A/Prof. Alessandra Sutti

A/Prof. Alessandra Sutti
Email A/Prof. Alessandra Sutti
+61 3 522 71156

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