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University of Sydney Offers Postgraduate Scholarship 2011 in Environmental Fluid Mechanicsr, Australia

The School of Civil Engineering at The University of Sydney offers a scholarship for a highly qualified student to undertake full-time research leading to a Ph.D. degree in Environmental Fluid Mechanics. This research project is aimed to investigate the dynamics of biomineral suspended particle matter (SPM) in turbulently-stirred waters, with a particular focus on the interaction between microparticles made of cohesive mineral and micro-organisms in nutrient-controlled conditions. The objective of this research project is to assess the effect of micro-organisms on the floc fractal properties, aggregation and breakup efficiencies, and the time evolution of the SPM floc size and settling velocity distributions in nutrient controlled conditions.

The project foresees a comprehensive experimental investigation in a newly designed facility which makes use of advanced techniques including optical recordings with micro-PIV devices. The project is also aimed at describing biomineral SPM dynamics with mathematical models that will be used in conjunction with the experimental data. The outputs and outcomes of this project have direct application to hydraulics and hydrology, water quality and management, and belong to the wider effort of our Environmental Fluids team to assess the repercussions of human activities and global water and soil changes on the ecosystem.

The PhD candidate will be supervised by Dr. F. Maggi and Prof. J. Patterson. Applicants must hold a MSc degree or equivalent. The PhD candidate is expected to have a strong background in fluid mechanics, physics or mathematics, and be interested in multidisciplinary approaches involving hydrology, biogeochemistry, and nutrient cycling. Furthermore, the candidate has to be willing in developing and operating experimental equipment such as micro-PIV systems, and be skilled in mathematical/numerical modeling.

Both local and international students are welcome to apply. Applicants must also apply for University-wide scholarships where eligible. The scholarship stipend starts from $22,860 per annum (tax-exempt) for up to three years, with a possible 1 year extension depending on availability of funds.

Scholarship Application Deadline: 18 February 2011

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