Applications for this PhD have now closed.
Location Western Sydney University, Graduate Research School
App. deadline 31/07/2018
  • Scholarship available
Project ID 2018-102
Eligibility Australian residents only

ARC Linkage PhD Scholarship - Engineering

About the project

The Centre for Infrastructure Engineering (CIE) is a research centre within Western Sydney University. CIE aims to develop innovative solutions that address modern civil infrastructure issues and challenges.

We are now offering a research scholarship to a highly motivated PhD candidate to work within a research group using novel construction materials to significantly increase the fire safety of structural columns. The project is funded through the Australian Research Council.

This project will use geopolymer concrete to eliminate the need for steel reinforcement within concrete-filled steel tubular (CFST) columns. CFST columns are commonly used as structural components of large constructions, such as tall buildings and multi-story car parks, and require a large amount of internal reinforcement to maintain their structural integrity under fire attack. Fly ash-based geopolymer concrete has excellent fire resistance. By using this material, construction time can be significantly reduced, and costs driven down by doing away with the need for internal steel reinforcement all together. This opens up new potential uses for the columns and is more environmentally sustainable too. Design rules will be developed to enable innovative and safe applications of these columns in the construction of resilient and sustainable infrastructure.

What does the scholarship provide?

  • Domestic students will receive a tax-free stipend of $26,682 per annum to support living costs. Tuition fees will be supported by an Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP) Fees Offset.
  • International students will receive a tax-free stipend of $26,682 per annum to support living costs. Those with a strong track record will be eligible for a tuition fee waiver.
  • All International students are required to hold an Overseas Student Health Care (OSHC) policy covering the duration of their studies in Australia.
    The scholarship includes funding for a single Overseas Student Health Cover policy. Please contact the Graduate Research School for more information about OSHC policies:

Support for conference attendance, fieldwork and additional costs as approved by School.

Eligibility criteria

We welcome applicants from a range of backgrounds, who are keen to apply their skills to key issues in structural engineering. In particular, the project is suitable for candidates with strong interests in geopolymer concrete, steel-concrete composite structures and structural fire engineering.

The successful applicant should:

  • hold qualifications and experience equal to one of the following (i) Australian Bachelor (Honours) degree in Engineering (H2A or H1), (ii) Research Masters degree, or (iii) equivalent overseas qualifications.
  • demonstrate strong academic performance in subjects relevant to construction materials, steel-concrete composite structures, and finite element analysis.
  • have a good understanding of numerical modelling and experimental techniques for material/structural testing.
  • have demonstrated excellent academic performance (including publications).
  • be enthusiastic and highly motivated to undertake further study at an advanced level.

International applicants must also meet English language proficiency.

How to apply

  1. Contact Prof. Zhong Tao ( to discuss your eligibility, the project requirements and your intention to apply.
  2. Complete the scholarship application form (PDF, 222.11 KB).
  3. Compile your CV, contact information for two referees and a one-page proposal stating how your research interests align with the project aims.
  4. Ensure all documentation is certified according to Western Sydney University requirements.
  5. All applications and supporting documentation must be submitted directly to the Graduate Research School as follows:
  • Use the email subject line: Application-2018-102-CIE
  • Submit to
  • All attached documents must be submitted as PDF.
  • In the body of your email, include your full name, your student ID (if you are a current or previous Western Sydney University student) and the full title of the scholarship.

Incomplete applications or applications that do not conform to the above requirements will not be considered.

Please contact the Graduate Research School via email at for more information.

Applications close 31 July 2018


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Further Information / Application Enquiries

Research Scholarships Officer Graduate Research School
+61 2 9678 7060