We are looking for two PhD students to contribute to the Green Engineering Working Group of the World Harbour Project. Our purpose is to develop ecologically sustainable solutions for urbanized coastlines, using the concepts of green design. The working group includes 25 partners globally, with scope for the PhD students to work across sites.
The PhD students would be expected to apply for an Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) scholarship by 31 October 2016 or have equivalent stipend funding.
Scaling up green engineering for ecologically sustainable seawalls
Seawalls are a common feature of ports, marinas, and highly urbanised areas and in some estuaries and along some coastlines cover in excess of 50% of the shoreline. As the world’s coastal population continues to grow and sea-levels continue to rise, the demand for seawalls that protect coastal property from inundation and erosion is set to increase. Protection of coastal properties and infrastructure with seawalls comes at the cost of substantial collateral damage to coastal and estuarine ecosystems.
The deleterious impacts of seawalls can be substantially reduced though green designs that incorporate important micro-habitats into structures or that use materials that provide a suitable chemical substrate and microtypography to support a broad spectrum of marine and estuarine organisms. Ideally these modifications are incorporated at the time of structure design, but for existing seawalls retrofitting with habitat-enhancing structures is also feasible.
Most attempts to retrofit seawalls with structures that enhance their ecological value have been done at small-scale, and at individual sites. This project will: (1) investigate how the benefits of green seawall designs vary according to environmental context (i.e. tidal elevation, wave-exposure, salinity) and (2) evaluate for the first time benefits to biodiversity and key ecosystem functions of whole-wall retrofits of seawalls with habitat-enhancing tiles.
This project will be supervised by A/Prof Melanie Bishop (Macquarie University) and Dr Beth Strain (Sydney Institute of Marine Sciences).
Bespoke design of artificial reef structures for the enhancement of key habitat-forming species
This is an interdisciplinary PhD project that combines marine ecology and computation design. Prospective candidates should have expertise in at least one of these areas, and interest in both.
The increasing urbanisation of our coastlines is resulting in loss of key habitats and species that are essential for maintaining healthy and productive coastal waters. Artificial reef structures help to address this problem but they often lacking design and fabrication features that make them a suitable substitute for ‘natural’ reef. Computational Design is an approach used in architecture that enables data-driven design. This project will use computational design, based on biological and environmental input variables, to design site and organism specific artificial reefs that can be produced via 3D printing and other forms of digital fabrication. The performance of bespoke vs generic designs in facilitating biodiversity and its ecosystem functions will be validated in field trials.
This project will be supervised by A/Prof Melanie Bishop (Department of Biological Sciences, Macquarie University), Dr. Beth Strain (Sydney Institute of Marine Sciences) and A/Prof M. Hank Haeusler (School of Architecture and Design, UNSW)
Other Important Information
For more information on the projects or positions please email A/Prof Melanie Bishop directly.
A/Prof Melanie: Bishop firstname.lastname@example.org, 02 9850 4075
The 2016 APA full-time stipend rate is $26,288 pa (2016 rate) tax exempt for 3 years.
Prospective PhD applicants should have completed the equivalent of Macquarie University’s Master of Research (MRes) degree, MPhil or other 2 year Masters degree with a major research component with excellent results. Students with Honours will need to complete the second year of the MRes degree. Refer to the HDR Entry Criteria for more information about this.
To be eligible for a PhD scholarship applicants would be expected to have a record of excellent academic performance, especially in the research Masters degree, and additional relevant research experience and/or peer-reviewed research activity, awards and/or prizes in line with the University’s scholarship rating guidelines. Refer to the HDR Scholarship Requirements for more information about these guidelines.
Applicants will need to complete a candidature/scholarship application form and arrange for two academic referee reports to be submitted to the Higher Degree Research Office. Refer to:http://www.hdr.mq.edu.au/information_about/applications for further application instructions. Macquarie University will advise the successful applicant of entitlements at the time of scholarship offer.