Prestigious PhD scholarships available

WRL researchers are currently looking for exceptional PhD scholars to work on two PhD projects on the topics of optimising fishway design and remediating contaminated water.

These two WRL led projects form part of a total of six Scientia PhD Scholarships currently on offer from the UNSW Water Research Centre; providing the opportunity to work on cutting-edge research to solve complex problems and improve the lives of people in local and global communities.

These prestigious scholarships offer unique benefits, individualised support and guaranteed funding to research your personal development goals. Scholarship stipends are $40,000 per year for 4 years with up to an additional $10,000 available each year for career development.

Applications close 20 July 2018:

A previous fishway design being tested at WRLAn innovative fishway to restore migration for freshwater fish

Supervisors: Stefan Felder, Richard Kingsford, William Peirson

Fish are the most threatened of freshwater vertebrates. Internationally, fish populations have declined 76% over the past 40 years. A primary contributor to this loss are dams obstructing migrations critical to many fish life-cycles. UNSW scientists and engineers have developed an innovative fishway (not pictured) to restore migrations over high dams.

The project builds on successful fish attraction trials as well as numerical and physical modelling. The study will move to larger scale, optimising fishway design by large-scale experiments with live fish. The objective is a final design to restore fish passage to previously obstructed river systems internationally. Due to its interdisciplinarity, the project is open for HDR candidates from a range of disciplines within Science and Engineering.

For further information contact:

Dr Stefan Felder |

Development of advanced reduction processes to remediate contaminated water including PFAS

Supervisors: Denis O’Carroll, Martin Andersen & Michael Manefield

An advanced reduction process will be developed and optimised to treat a range of emerging water contaminants. Per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) will be a significant focus of this study as they are rapidly becoming the most significant contaminant of concern at many contaminated sites. Given the strong industry engagement by the project team it is expected that this project will have direct industry relevance as well as being highly novel and impactful.

For further information contact:

A/Prof Denis O'Carroll |

Other scholarships currently on offer include the following:

Climate change and flood mitigation through water sensitive urban design

To assess the ability of Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) infrastructure in mitigating floods it is essential to model both the flood producing rainfall and the pre-event rainfall. Find out more…

How intense will design storms become with rising temperatures?

Our research shows storms will intensify as temperature rise. This PhD will assess the extent of increase using climate modelling experiments. Such experiments have traditionally suffered from the considerable biases present in GCM simulations of the lower and lateral boundary conditions that define a high resolution climate model experiment. Find out more…

Hybrid green wall systems for wastewater treatment in urban landscapes

Urbanisation and population growth have amplified the strain on potable water supply, increasing the need for wastewater reuse. Hybrid green wall systems are novel on-site technologies for stormwater/greywater treatment and reuse that can offer multiple benefits to the environment (cooling, noise isolation, amenity, etc.), while providing reliable alternative water resource. Find out more…

Improving hydrologic predictions under uncertainty

Water is a fundamental resource, and a foremost challenge is to make predictions in changing and dynamic environments. This project will develop a novel computational framework for simulating, quantifying, and constraining uncertainty in hydrologic models for dynamic catchments. Find out more…

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