Location University of Technology Sydney, Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology
App. deadline Applications accepted year round/until filled
  • Scholarship available
Eligibility Open to international applicants

Developing Optical Manipulation and Imaging Tools for Extreme Engineering Environments

PhD Opportunities in Optical Manipulation, Aerosol Science and Optical Fibre Based Imaging

The following PhD project is available for both domestic and international students starting in early 2019 to work with Prof. David McGloin in a newly established laboratory at the University of Technology Sydney. The goals of the lab are to develop new optical instrumentation with applications in light-matter interactions, aerosol science, biophotonics and imaging.


Scholarships are tax-free and valued at $27,082 pa (indexed annually) for 3 years.

Top-up scholarships, up to a maximum value of $12,000pa (for 3 years), may also be allocated to exceptional domestic candidates awarded competitive scholarships. Additionally, fee-waiver scholarships are available for highly qualified international candidates.


The ideal candidate will have a strong honours degree or equivalent in an area such as physics, photonics, physical chemistry, environmental engineering, electronic engineering or other related backgrounds.

Contact Details

For information about any of the projects and details on how to apply please contact David McGloin david.mcgloin@uts.edu.au

Closing dates:

Australian Domestic students: 30th April

International Candidates: 15th January (contact me if looking for an earlier start date)


Developing Optical Manipulation and Imaging Tools for Extreme Engineering Environments

Current optical manipulation techniques work in highly controlled environments on well-defined particles. For applications in environments where these conditions are not readily met, there is still the need for examining particle properties and dynamics. One example would be to trap and analyse particles in an engine, where contaminants, pressure and lack of optical access work against single particle, optically based, analysis tools.

In this project the goal will be to develop fibre based optical manipulation and imaging tools that can work in extreme environments such as engines and field-based monitoring systems. It will also explore how such tools could be used to study cloud seeding. The work will involve solving problems around carrying out imaging through thin optical fibres, extracting useful data about particle properties from the same fibre, and how to build robust optical systems in places where optics don’t normally need to go. On the application side, the work will explore trapped particle behaviour in these environments and look at particle changes over time.

The project will involve the development of the optical manipulation and imaging instrumentation and their integration into the engineering environments under study. The project will be collaborative between Prof. McGloin’s group and other Engineering groups, in particular, Dr Nic Surawski’s.

Other Opportunities
Other projects may be possible in the general area of optical manipulation, optical beam shaping, THz beamshaping, aerosol microfluidics, optical microscopy, cellular mechanobiology, Raman spectroscopy, computational microscopy. Contact Prof. McGloin for more info.

About the Faculty

The Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology at UTS is a world-class faculty with a growing reputation for its quality and impact. Our research is highly advanced, industry-focused and part of the lively and rigorous research culture at UTS.  

Focused on 'practical innovation', our researchers are pioneering research solutions with real-world impact. They're recognised leaders in their fields, responsible for delivering new, better and more cost-effective innovative solutions to current national and international challenges.

Over the last five years, the Faculty has received more than 60 Australian Research Council projects and attracted a total research funding well in excess of $30 million.

About the University

UTS is a dynamic and innovative university in central Sydney. One of Australia’s leading universities of technology, UTS has a distinct model of learning, strong research performance and a leading reputation for engagement with industry and the professions.

UTS has a culturally diverse campus life and vibrant international exchange study and research programs that prepare graduates for the workplaces of today and the future.

Our world leading research centres span a range of disciplines, including physical, biological and engineering sciences, and contemporary fields such as design, nanotechnology and sustainability. Our researchers provide practical and relevant solutions to issues of national and international importance and equip graduates with the latest discipline specific skills and practices.

We also maintain strong relationships with the local community, industry, business and the professions through a wide range of partnerships, projects and events.




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Further Information / Application Enquiries

Prof David McGloin