P47 – Development of Bio-inspired Polymers for Sustainable Mineral Beneficiation

Closing Date: 31 December 2022Apply Now

PhD Scholarship

Supervisor: Associate Professor Grant Webber - The ARC Centre of Excellence for Enabling Eco-Efficient Beneficiation of Minerals is seeking creative and innovative PhD applicants to join our national collaborative Centre, to develop transformational technologies to reduce energy and water consumption and increase metals recovery. In collaboration with researchers at the Universities of Queensland and Melbourne this project will design, synthesise and deploy novel bio-inspired polymers for processing clay-based suspensions to reduce water usage in mineral beneficiation.

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The Centre’s inclusive and equitable culture is supported by specific equity and diversity initiatives, which will support all members to achieve their career goals.

Handling suspensions of hydrophilic clays is one of the great challenges for reducing water usage in mineral beneficiation. These suspensions are difficult to dewater and reduce the opportunity for water reuse. The PhD candidate undertaking this project will develop novel polypeptides inspired by nature, tests their efficacy using a suite of state-of-the-art experimental techniques, and close the feedback loop to design the next-generation of flocculants.

The candidate will be based at the University of Newcastle and will focus on the deployment of the polypeptides. The interactions between polypeptides and clays will be investigated using particle settling tests, depletion adsorption isotherms, turbidity measurements, atomic force microscopy, zeta-potential, dynamic light scattering and scanning electron microscopy. The performance of the polypeptide-flocculate clay suspensions in processing applications will be assessed by rheological measurements, flotation tests and high-pressure dewatering.

For more information on our Centre please visit www.coeminerals.org.au

PhD Scholarship details

Funding: $33,092 per annum (2020 rate). For a PhD candidate, the living allowance scholarship is for 3.5 years and the tuition fee scholarship is for four years. Scholarships also include up to $1,500 relocation allowance and Overseas Student Health Cover at single rate, for an international candidate.

Supervisor: Associate Professor Grant Webber

Available to: Domestic and International students


Eligibility Criteria

The applicant will need to meet the minimum eligibility criteria for admission.

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 Grant.Webber@newcastle.edu.au by 5pm on 31 December 2022.

Applications Close 31 December 2022 Apply Now

Contact Associate Professor Grant Webber
Phone +61 2 4033 9067
Email Grant.Webber@newcastle.edu.au

PhD and Research MastersFind out more

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.