Study As
Full Time

Principal Supervisor
Dr Ki Kim

Main Campus
Mawson Lakes

Applications Close
09 Oct 2023

Study Level

Applications Open To
Domestic Candidate or International Candidate

Tuition Fees:

All domestic students are eligible for a fee waiver. Find out more about fees and conditions.

Project Stipend:
32,500 p.a. available to domestic applicants only

Develop pioneering methods of using waste materials in 3D printing for construction  

About this project 

If you are motivated to excel in the engineering and construction industry and concerned about sustainability, the University of South Australia – Australia’s University of Enterprise – is offering a hands-on project-based PhD within Sustainable Infrastructure and Resource Management (SIRM) research concentration. 

Our project will investigate the challenges and opportunities associated with sustainable building construction using waste materials and 3D printing technology. It aims to provide a framework for using construction waste materials in 3D printing technology and building information modelling (BIM) during the construction stage of buildings.  

With improvements in material science and 3D printing systems, it is becoming increasingly realistic and promising to apply waste materials in 3D printing construction. However, the 3D printing technique generally supports a limited range of materials and the waste materials’ suitability and processing requirements may vary, depending on the specific 3D printing technology used.  

We want to explore the challenges and opportunities of using 3D printing construction and reusing construction waste materials in this technology in Australia. We also want to devise ways in which we can sustainably and efficiently reuse construction waste materials in 3D printing construction during the construction phase.  

We will identify the waste materials suitable for 3D printing in construction and develop an innovative process to incorporate waste materials into 3D printing technology. We will evaluate the structural integrity, durability, and sustainability of 3D printed structures using waste materials, as well as the economic viability and cost-effectiveness of waste-based 3D printing in construction.  

Our project will identify the environmental benefits and reduced carbon footprint associated with using waste materials and 3D printing in construction. We also aim to establish a guideline for implementing waste-based 3D printing in the construction industry. We want to help reduce construction waste and landfill burden and promote sustainable building practices and circular economy principles.  

You will be based in SIRM but benefit from access to both UniSA STEM and UniSA Creative facilities, equipment and expertise. You’ll be mentored and trained by world-class leaders in their fields and be immersed in a dynamic and collegial environment, designed to help you thrive in your studies.  

What you’ll do

In this project-based research degree, you will undertake prototype development using a 3D printing system and then 3D simulation using a BIM system.  

You will carry out both quantitative and qualitative research to investigate the challenges and opportunities of reusing construction waste materials in 3D printing construction technology in Australia. 

You will gain in-depth knowledge about developing construction waste materials, understand sustainable practices, understand how to work with materials and build advanced knowledge of materials for structures that are resilient to multiple hazards. 

You will be supported to present your research to both academia and industry, helping you build a sound professional reputation and network. You may have the opportunity to co-produce papers for academic and industry journals to disseminate findings and there may be opportunities for you to attend and present at conferences. 

Upon completion of the project, you will have a greater understanding of the how technology can assist in sustainable building construction. You will be uniquely positioned to advance your unstoppable career with skills and knowledge in automation and technology in building and construction. 

Where you’ll be based

You will be based in the Sustainable Infrastructure and Resource Management (SIRM) research concentration. Our future depends on the increased application of sustainable infrastructure and responsible use of our natural resources. SIRM facilitates this goal by conducting research in three main streams: Natural Resources and Environmental Resilience, Innovative Infrastructure and Asset Management, and Smart Communities. 

The construction industry is an essential part of our lives, but it is one of the highest contributors to climate emissions.  SIRM is committed to meaningful research that can help re-shape this industry into a leader in sustainable practices.  SIRM also works directly with the resource sector, particularly water and forestry, to inspire innovative management.  

SIRM brings together diverse research expertise to address significant challenges for industries and the society at the interface of the natural and the built environments at both the macro and micro level. 

Supervisory team

Financial Support 

This project is funded for reasonable research expenses. Additionally, a living allowance scholarship of $32,500 per annum is available to Australian and New Zealand citizens, permanent residents of Australia. Australian Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander applicants will be eligible to receive an increased stipend rate of $45,076 per annum. A fee-offset or waiver for the standard term of the program is also included for this group.  For full terms and benefits of the scholarship please refer to our scholarship information.  International applicants will not be eligible to receive the scholarship.

Eligibility and Selection 

This project is open to application from both domestic and international applicants.

Applicants must meet the eligibility criteria for entrance into a PhD.  All applications that meet the eligibility and selection criteria will be considered for this project. A merit selection process will be used to determine the successful candidate.

The successful applicant is expected to study full-time and to be based at our Mawson Lakes Campus in the north of Adelaide. Note that international students on a student visa will need to study full-time.

Essential Dates 

Applicants are expected to start in a timely fashion upon receipt of an offer.  Extended deferral periods are not available. Applications close on Monday, 9th October.

How to apply:

Applications must be lodged online, please note UniSA does not accept applications via email.

For further support see our step-by-step guide on how to apply , or contact the Graduate Research team on +61 8 8302 5880, option 1 or email us at You will receive a response within one working day.

IMPORTANT: This site is optimised for the latest versions of Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox and Chrome. Note that earlier versions of any browsers mentioned are supported, but likely to demonstrate slower response times.

By choosing to continue, you agree to the privacy policy. Show Privacy Policy

Research and industry

Other projects you may be interested in

Latest news


If you wish to develop your own project please review our guidelines and contact the Graduate Research Admissions team if you have any questions. 

Contact us