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Developing novel biopolymer composites that are fully biobased and biodegradable to transform the plastics industry

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The PhD award: “Developing novel biopolymer composites that are fully biobased and biodegradable to transform the plastics industry”.

We are seeking a full-time, highly motivated PhD candidate to perform cutting-edge materials engineering research in the field of biopolymers and biocomposites. The successful candidate will undertake their PhD as a member of the Translational Polymer Research Group, within the Centre for Advanced Materials Processing and Manufacturing. The candidate will join a multidisciplinary team of Australia’s leading scientists in the fields of biopolymers, biocomposites and advanced manufacturing with an international reputation for addressing complex plastic problems in partnership with renowned global industry partners.

The successful Candidate will work on the latest biopolymers to develop new blends of polymers and biocomposites to facilitate industry’s transition to a biobased and circular economy. During the course of the PhD, the candidate will gain a fundamental understanding on the interactions between biopolymers and natural fibres/fillers, and work with industry-relevant manufacturing processes. The PhD project will not only advance knowledge in a high-impact field, but also bring the potential to unlock new applications for biopolymers across multiple industries.

The project is co-funded through a collaboration between the Queensland Government, industry partners and end-users. The candidate will be working closely with our industry partners, present their work to company directors, and travel within Australia for yearly industry meetings. Throughout the course of their PhD the candidate will be exposed to a broad network of industries with an interest in biopolymers and biocomposites. The position will also offer a high level of reward, aimed at delivering real products being implemented into market. The candidate will also have the opportunity to attend international conference to present their research.

This position is located at our picturesque St Lucia campus, renowned as one of Australia’s most attractive university campuses, and located just 7km from Brisbane’s city centre. Bounded by the Brisbane River on three sides, and with outstanding public transport connections, our 114-hectare site provides a perfect work environment – you can enjoy the best of both worlds: a vibrant campus with the tradition of an established university.

Selection criteria

Our ideal candidate holds a BSC, MSc, or equivalent in a relevant discipline (e.g. Materials Science, Chemical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, etc.) with experience with polymers and/or composites. Any industry experience will be highly valued for this application. Excellent oral and written communication skills, motivation and the ability to work as part of a team is also required. Ideally, the applicant should possess:

·         Experience in materials science, polymers and/or composites

·         Excellent oral and written communication skills

·         Good interpersonal skills and strong work ethics

·         Independent and proactive attitude

      -        Ability to work as part of a team

We value diversity and inclusion, and actively encourage applications from those who bring diversity to the University. Our Diversity and Inclusion webpage contains further information if you require additional support.

Dr Luigi Vandi,