Study As
Full Time

Principal Supervisor
Dr Solmaz Kahourzade

Main Campus
Mawson Lakes

Applications Close
04 Jun 2024

Study Level
PhD or Master of Research

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:
No stipend available

About this project

Develop a more sustainable motor for the future

If you are motivated to launch your career in electrical engineering and keen to develop a more sustainable alternative to permanent magnets, the University of South Australia – Australia’s University of Enterprise – is offering a hands-on project-based PhD with environmental impact within Future Industries Institute (FII).

Permanent magnet (PM) motors have become popular in the last two decades in applications like air conditioners, compressors, blowers, fans, and pumps. They’re also used in high-end applications like hybrid and electric vehicles (HEVs and EVs). 

But these PMs contain rare-earth materials such as Neodymium and Dysprosium. The high cost, limited supply, and environmental pollution associated with extracting and processing rare-earth materials are alarming for the international clean energy community, manufacturers and end users.

We need to eliminate or reduce rare-earth PMs in high-efficiency applications like EVs and HEVs. Not only will this reduce the cost of a motor, but it will also reduce or remove the dependence on this critical material. The challenge is how to maintain the same output in the limited space of these applications without rare-earth PMs.

Our project will design and develop a PM-free motor for HEV application while maintaining compactness, high torque, high efficiency, and a wide range of operating speeds.

You will join the collegial and supportive FII and be supervised by a highly experienced and specialised group of researchers. Access to an extensive array of world-class facilities and resources will provide you with everything you need to excel in your studies. You will become part of a vibrant, multidisciplinary cohort and have access to a several networking, collaboration and learning activities. 

What you’ll do

In this project-based research degree, you will undertake analytical modelling, finite element analysis, and experimental measurement of the prototyped motor. We will support and guide your through the academic publishing process. 

You will also have the opportunity to present your research findings at top international conferences, such as the IEEE Energy Conversion Congress & Exposition. Presenting a paper at an IEEE Industry Applications Society-sponsored conference is essential for journal publication in the IEEE Transactions on Industry Applications, which is one of the most prestigious journals in the field. 

Where you’ll be based

You will be based in the Future Industries Institute (FII) which was established with a new research culture in mind – one deeply engaged with industry, with the end goal of building economic growth through relevant innovation and industry partnership.

The Institute reflects the University’s strategic ambition to be Australia’s University of Enterprise which engages fully with the professions and industry globally, whose research is informed, leading edge and relevant. FII continues to forge national and international research partnerships in new industries and technologies that address real world issues. Our goal is to support a creative and engaged culture and to help develop a sustainable ecosystem in which innovation, complex, growth-focused industries thrive.

FII's research supports state and national research priorities and comprises top research teams able to collaborate across disciplines and to work with industry partners to deliver innovative solutions.

With a vibrant research environment, a strong industry orientation, and active international and national links, both academic and industry based, the Institute is among the very best in Australia and attracts and retains leading researchers.

Supervisory team

Financial Support

This project is funded for reasonable research expenses. A fee offset for the standard term of the program is available to Australian and New Zealand citizens, and permanent residents of Australia, including permanent humanitarian visa holders.  Additionally, any Australian Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander applicant who holds an offer of admission without a living allowance will be eligible for the Aboriginal Enterprise Research Scholarship. This scholarship is to the value of $50,291 per annum (2024 rates). Any Aboriginal Enterprise Research Scholarship recipient will also receive a fee waiver. Where an international applicant holds an external scholarship or sponsorship a full or partial fee waiver may apply in some circumstances for exceptional applicants.  Other international applicants will be required to pay full tuition fees of approximately AUD$41,700 per annum (2024 rates). 

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 Masters by Research or a PhD. Additionally, applicants must meet the projects selection criteria:  
  • An undergraduate degree and master in electrical engineering with research experience in the field of electrical machines. 
  • Demonstrated experience in analytical methods for analysing electrical machines and predicting their performance over a range of speeds. 
  • Publication record in the field of electric machines in high-quality journals. 
  • Demonstrated experience in the use of electromagnetic finite-element tools for simulating electrical machines. 
  • Demonstrated experience in the experimental testing of electrical machines including parameter and performance measurement. 
  • Evidence of highly-developed interpersonal skills and excellent communication skills, written and verbal. 
  • Ability to work collegially as part of a team.

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. 

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 Tuesday, 4 June, 2024

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.

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