Study As
Full Time

Principal Supervisor
Professor Jun Ma

Main Campus
Mawson Lakes

Applications Close
04 Jun 2023

Study Level
Master of Research

Applications Open To
Domestic Candidate or International Candidate

Tuition Fees:

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

Project Stipend:
$32,500 p.a. (2023 rates) available to domestic and international applicants

About this project

Elastomers – which are known as rubbers – consist of highly flexible, long-chain macromolecules. Elastomers can be stretched or compressed to large deformation and then elastically spring back to their original shape. According to Business Insights, a leading independent provider of business intelligence, the global elastomer processing industry was US$40.77 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach US$51.21 billion by 2027.

Since elastomers usually have high failure strain yet low modulus and strength, they are often compounded with various additives to obtain reinforcement and functionalities such as flame retardancy. The majority of elastomers are inherently highly flammable because their macromolecules are composed of carbon and hydrogen atoms. Hence, elastomers are compounded with flame-retarding additives, such as aluminium hydroxide, antimony oxide, ammonium polyphosphate, clay, and graphene. However, these additives are either limited by inefficient flame retardancy, disadvantaged by unsatisfactory mechanical resilience, or by causing harms to the environment.

What you’ll do

As the majority of elastomers are inherently highly flammable, various flame-retarding additives are compounded with elastomers in industry. However, the current technologies are ineffective in achieving efficient flame retardancy and mechanical reinforcement and some additives even pose a negative impact on the environment.

The project team will address these limitations by developing highly efficient flame-retarding nanoscale additives through assembling nanosheets, melamine polyphosphate nanoparticles, curing additives, and processing oil.

This project will also present opportunities to attend conferences to report and distribute research outcomes.

Where you’ll be based

You will be based in UniSA’s Future Industries Institute (FII). The Future Industries Institute partners with industry and the professions to deliver innovation and technological advances to solve real world challenges. With research strengths across 5 sectors that cross disciplines from biomaterials engineering to minerals processing, FII creates local and global impact. Our research degree students partner with industry and end-users to develop their skills and relevant career experience and our state-of-the-art facilities support research growth and expertise. We work with SMEs via the Institute’s Testlab and provide R&D services that support industry challenges which is part of our $80million of infrastructure that consists specialised laboratories and equipment.

Supervisory team

Derby Rubber Products Pty Ltd
Financial Support

This project is funded for reasonable research expenses. Additionally, a living allowance scholarship of $32,500 per annum is available to eligible applicants. Australian Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander applicants will be eligible to receive an increased stipend rate of $46,653 per annum (2023 rates). A fee-offset or waiver for the standard term of the program is also included. For full terms and benefits of the scholarship please refer to our scholarship information for domestic students or international students.

Eligibility and Selection

This project is open to applications from both domestic and international applicants. Applicants must meet the eligibility criteria for entrance into a Master of Research. 

Additionally, applicants must meet the project selection criteria:
  • Training in engineering materials or chemical engineering
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 Sunday 4 June 2023.  

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

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