The University of Newcastle, Australia

Chemometrics based spectroscopy for emerging contaminants (eg. Pharmaceuticals in environment)

Closing Date: 31 December 2018

PhD Scholarship

Speciation and analysis of environmental organic contaminants at trace levels always poses challenge due to interferences from matrix and other substances.

Analytical scheme for environmental samples incorporates rigorous pre-treatment process which comprises of sample digestion, extraction and cleaning requiring varying amounts of toxic solvents. With inappropriate pre-treatment process the acquired signal will lead to ambiguous data. Thus the feasibility of direct measurement and a faster data acquisition of individual components are always of significant interest. To achieve this spectroscopic analytical techniques such as FT-IR and FT-Raman can be engaged.

For specific quantitative analysis and an enhanced speciation analysis for multiple-analyte environmental matrices chemometrics is used. The information gained through the developed chemometrics model can be extended to investigate on future toxicological and remediation studies. Moreover, the use of such technique will help to develop a smarter strategy for environmental and economic benefits towards establishing reliable and sustainable analytical procedures.

Objectives: Development of analytical methodology for organic contaminants sampled out from specified contaminated sites from various matrices. Obtain mixed analytical data through FT-IR and FT-Raman spectroscopic techniques. Speciation of the individual contaminants from the combined analytical signals through in-house developed chemometrics with appropriate algorithms and Performance of quantitative estimations and method validations.

PhD Scholarship details

Funding: This scholarship is jointly funded by Agilent Technologies Pty Ltd (Australia) and the University of Newcastle. Stipend Value: $27,082 p.a. (2018 rate) indexed annually. The living allowance stipend is for 3.5 years and the tuition fee scholarship is for 4 years.

Supervisor: Dr Raja Dharmarajan

Available to: Domestic students


Eligibility Criteria

Applicants must comply with the relevant entry requirements for PhD admission at The University of Newcastle and demonstrate excellent capacity and potential for research. Demonstrated publications in international peer-reviewed journals in relevant subject is desirable. Domestic applicants only.

Application Procedure

Interested applicants should send an email expressing their interest along with scanned copies of their academic transcripts, CV, a brief statement of their research interests and a proposal that specifically links them to the research project.

Please send the email expressing interest to by 5pm on 31 December 2018.

Applications Close 31 December 2018

Contact Dr Raja Dharmarajan
Phone +61 2 4913 8753

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