Job Position: 
Graduate Opportunities
Closing Date: 
Saturday, December 16, 2017

Scalable algal bioreactor research - two exciting new PhD research opportunities, join the C3 team in 2017 to be at the forefront of a sustainable algal industry 

The Climate Change Cluster (C3) at UTS is a world class integrated research institute delivering research excellence in the area of food and energy security, sustainability, ecological resilience, and global health. As a result of Australian Research Council funding we are looking for two exceptional PhD candidates to work with our industry partner GE Healthcare on algal photobioreactor projects that have the potential to revolutionise the sustainable production of high value bio-products.

Project Background: Algae are the most promising long-term sustainable and cost-effective sources of biomass, oil for fuels, food, feed and active bio-products. Working with industry partner GE Healthcare (Tim O’Meara), UTS researchers Peter Ralph, Milan Szabo, Leen Labeeuw and David Suggett aim to deliver a new, scalable photobioreactor for the large scale axenic culture of microalgae. Photobioreactors have the advantage of better environmental control and higher yields compared to current open pond systems, but the development of scalable bioreactors is still in its infancy. Working with GE Healthcare we aim to develop and adapt existing technologies to meet these new demands. To demonstrate the potential and capability of this bioreactor, and as an additional benefit, the bioreactor is being developed to produce sufficient biomass of the dinoflagellate Symbiodinium to advance our knowledge of coral bleaching. 

Overseas applications are welcomed (with current IELTS assessments), but Australian and New Zealand permanent residents will be preferred and successful applicant must commence their studies no later than 10 April 2017 (visa pending).

Funding: Successful applicants will receive an annually indexed postgraduate stipend of AUD $26,288 p.a. (2016 rate) for three years.

Expressions of interest including a CV should be sent to project leaders by COB 16 December 2017

PhD Project (1): Characterisation of a novel scalable photobioreactor

The main responsibility of the successful candidate will be to:
1) assess the effectiveness of the light distribution, gas (O2 and CO2) and heat exchange within a scalable photobioreactor,

2) design/improve the optode chemical sensors for use within the bioreactor, and

3) conduct sensitivity analysis to determine the range of conditions under which the photobioreactor can be operated.

Desirable skills and qualifications of applicants: In addition to meeting the general PhD entry requirements of UTS, the ideal candidate should have a first class Honours or Master’s degree and/or published work or research experience. A strong background in engineering is desirable, experience with light distribution/optics, heat and gas exchange, sensors or bioreactor design preferred.

For more details please contact Dr Leen Labeeuw (Leen.Labeeuw@uts.edu.au) or Professor Peter Ralph (Peter.Ralph@uts.edu.au) by 16 December 2017

PhD Project (2): Characterisation of photosynthetic apparatus of Symbiodinium exposed to bleaching conditions

The main responsibility of the successful candidate will be to:

1) examine the photosynthetic properties  of Symbiodinium sp.  under various environmental conditions relevant to free living and in hospite Symbiodinium, by using chlorophyll fluorescence and spectroscopic methods 

2) characterise photosynthetic light harvesting  proteins, and

3) understand phenotypic signatures of bleaching cells.

Desirable skills and qualifications of applicants: In addition to meeting the general PhD entry requirements of UTS, the ideal candidate should have a first class Honours or Master’s degree and/or published work or research experience. Experience in photosynthesis, algal physiology, bio-optics, as well as a background in biochemical isolations preferred.

For more details please contact Dr Milan Szabo (Milan.Szabo@uts.edu.au) or Professor Peter Ralph (Peter.Ralph@uts.edu.au) by 16th December 2017

Job Location: 
Sydney