Our Higher Degree by Research (HDR) projects are divided by SMI's Research Centres. Please select a Centre to explore all available projects in that category.

Many of our projects are cross-disciplinary, with advisors from different centres, giving you the benefit of a wider range of expertise.

We update this page as new projects become available. Check back to find new projects.

WH Bryan Mining Geology Research Centre (BRC)

Project – EU Horizon Europe-funded m4mining project

As part of the m4mining international consortium, SMI has multiple PhD opportunities in the fields of geological sciences, mineral resources, environmental monitoring, drones, and application of AI and ML to hyperspectral sensing. Europe’s key funding programme for research and innovation (Horizon Europe) will support research costs, field work around Australia and opportunities to travel to Europe.

For further information, contact Associate Professor Steven Micklethwaite (s.micklethwaite@uq.edu.au)

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Centre for Water in the Minerals Industry (CWiMI)

Project – Developing critical design criteria for soil cover systems on minerals waste

The purpose of cover systems is to ensure the long-term chemical and physical stability of minerals waste storage facilities (including waste rock piles, heap leach residues, and tailings storage facilities) and to provide a suitable substrate for vegetation.

Covers are site- and material-specific and largely influenced by spatial and temporal climate variations. It means that a ‘one-size-fit-all’ approach is not suitable for cover systems. Site-specific cover designs need to be trialled and monitored for sufficient lengths of time in the context of each site. However, large-scale field trials are logistically challenging and often do not concur with mining schedules during the life of an operation.

In this project we will test a range of design criteria under controlled conditions including the depth of storage layer, the depth of vegetative layer, degree of compaction, the location and type of capillary break layer(s), cover material biochemical weathering and degradation, by subjecting the covers to a series of simulated rainfall and evaporation events. The data generated will help the industry to benchmark site specific cover designs against validated examples of typical covers before attempting field trials, rather than a means to replace field trials.

For further information, contact Associate Professor Mansour Edraki (m.edraki@cmlr.uq.edu.au) and Dr Mandana Shaygan (m.shaygan@uq.edu.au)

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Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining (CSRM)

Projects - Justice and fairness, energy transitions, and transition planning

CSRM is accepting expressions of interest from bright and passionate candidates interested in research in the fields of justice and fairness, energy transitions, and transition planning. Specifically, the Centre is searching for PhD students to work in the following areas of study:

  • Socio-economic transitions in post-mining regions in Australia
  • Impacts of coal-fired power station closures in Australia
  • Indigenous participation in energy transitions

Prospective candidates should meet the following criteria:

  • Applicants must be eligible for acceptance by the University of Queensland into a PhD program (Domestic Applicants)
  • Academic excellence in a social science field such as human geography, sociology, and political science
  • Knowledge of qualitative research methodology and GIS is highly desirable.

To express interest, applicants should submit the following:

  • Cover letter explaining their interest in an identified topic of research relevant to the research areas set out above
  • Full CV, including publications
  • All prior undergraduate and graduate transcripts.

Candidates with CALD (Culturally and Linguistically Diverse) backgrounds and those with work experience in industry are encouraged to apply. Shortlisted candidates will be supported to develop a full research proposal and apply for a UQ PhD scholarship.

For questions and to express interest, contact Dr Julia Loginova (j.loginova@uq.edu.au).

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