Study As
Full Time or Part Time

Principal Supervisor
Dr Sekhar Somenahalli

Main Campus
Mawson Lakes

Applications Close
13 Dec 2022

Study Level

Applications Open To
Domestic 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:
$29,863 p.a. available to domestic applicants only

About this project

Develop new models for greenhouse gas inventory

Are you interested in addressing transport sustainability issues? The University of South Australia – Australia’s University of Enterprise – is offering a project-based PhD with environmental impact in partnership with the Department for Infrastructure and Transport (DIT).

Transport is Australia’s third-largest source of greenhouse gas emissions (17 per cent of total emissions). The vehicle composition is an important input into the greenhouse gas emissions produced from road transport. 

Software tools such as COPERT (Computer Program to calculate Emissions from Road Transport) use outputs of strategic transport models (e.g., Metropolitan Adelaide Strategic Transport Evaluation Model) as well as fleet compositions as determined by models such as the Australian Fleet Model (AFM). 

However, advances in technology and the introduction of Electric Vehicles (EV), and increased interest in using pool vehicle systems when Autonomous Vehicles (AV) become available on a large scale, have raised questions about the validity of outputs from existing fleet models. 

In this study, readily available public domain data will be used to develop estimates of the future fleet composition by specific vehicle categories, vehicle kilometres travelled by the vehicle category, and fuel consumption by the vehicle category. 

These models will take into consideration the emerging classes of hybrid and alternative fuel vehicles. This data will then be used to develop a greenhouse gas inventory. 

The main output of this study will be models to estimate the passenger vehicle fleet, the corresponding Vehicle kilometres Travelled (VKT) and fuel consumption by vehicle category.

Apart from your supervisory team, you will have the opportunity to interact with other UniSA STEM colleagues who offer a wealth of world-class expertise and knowledge, and industry professionals within the Department for Infrastructure and Transport (DIT).

What you’ll do

In this project-based research degree, you will develop models using GIS and statistical packages. You will be encouraged to present your findings at the appropriate forums, including conferences.

Upon completion, you will be equipped with analytical and communication skills, and have a firm grasp of GIS, and mathematical/statistical modelling techniques.

There may be an opportunity for you to undertake an industry placement with the DIT, giving you valuable employment-ready experience in the workplace. 

Where you’ll be based

You will be based in UniSA STEM. We link engineering, mathematics, science, defence, cybersecurity, construction management, environmental science, aviation, information management, information technology, and project management, harnessing the connections across disciplines to bring big ideas to fruition. 

Our researchers deliver technical expertise and advice to industry, government and community groups to make commercially viable and sustainable impacts. The Future Industries Institute, Innovation and Collaboration Centre and Australian Research Centre for Interactive and Virtual Environments all provide consultancy and access to advanced technology. 

In an information-rich world, our people think big, combatting problems, testing solutions and making data-driven decisions. Our graduates are entrepreneurs and trailblazers, who design and build the world they want to live in.  

Supervisory Team

Financial Support

This project is funded for reasonable research expenses. Additionally, a living allowance scholarship of $29,863 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. Note: International applicants will not be eligible to receive the scholarship.

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 PhD. 

The successful applicant is expected to study full-time or part-time and be based at our Mawson Lakes campus in the north of Adelaide. Note: part-time candidates must not be undertaking full-time employment.

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 13 December 2022. 

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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