Study As
Full Time or Part Time

Principal Supervisor
Professor Markus Stumptner

Main Campus
Mawson Lakes

Applications Close
08 Oct 2023

Study Level

Applications Open To
Domestic 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 innovative modelling techniques

If you are seeking to advance your career in the computer science and artificial intelligence field and keen to revolutionise how we harness industry open standards, the University of South Australia – Australia’s University of Enterprise – is offering a hands-on project-based PhD within Industrial AI Research Centre (IAI), in partnership with MIMOSA. 

This project seeks to develop advanced information modelling and metamodeling techniques for standards interoperability. Most organisations seek to leverage the emerging Industry 4.0 technologies to vastly improve their business performance. These organisations have realised the critical role that open and interoperable architectures play in achieving this goal.
The widespread adoption of open standards in industry is a good indicator of this development. But multiple (open) standards have emerged that have each been developed with a different focus, and this puts great strain on modelling and design methods that were generally created with standalone systems in mind. This hinders standards adoption and evolution, creates inconsistencies in combining standards, and results in a lack of agreement between user communities. 

We aim to develop modelling and metamodeling techniques for design and interoperation of control automation and plant lifecycle management methods. We also want to use open standards of process control and automation in interoperable digital ecosystems (through Open Industrial Interoperability Ecosystem (OIIE) Architecture) to allow the effective data exchange and communication in industrial plants throughout the product lifecycle to aid the development and management of Digital Twins.  

We want to enable information dissemination from trusted control automation systems to the outer higher-level business systems in industrial plants and enrich industrial standard data models such as MIMOSA CCOM to develop interoperability methods within the worldwide OIIE Open Industrial Interoperability Ecosystem initiative.  

You will be embedded in the IAI, a vibrant multidisciplinary environment of over 100 researchers with an extensive track record in research in applied AI areas such as knowledge representation and reasoning, autonomous agents, and machine learning.

What you’ll do

In this project-based research degree, you will investigate, develop, and evaluate methods for using open standards, specifications and data models for industrial interoperability. This includes performing a literature review, identifying overlaps and gaps within the existing open standards, and identifying suitable data modelling approaches.  

You will also develop modelling and metamodeling techniques for design and interoperation of control automation and plant lifecycle management methods and demonstrate the usefulness on real world datasets to evaluate the developed approach.  

There are opportunities to attend domestic and international conferences to garner feedback and build your communication skills and abilities. You will also undertake an industry placement, primarily on a remote basis because our industry partner, MIMOSA, is based in the US. There may be an opportunity to spend time with MIMOSA in person for a limited period.

Where you’ll be based

You will be based in the Industrial AI Research Centre (IAI). The Centre brings together experts from across computer sciences to develop solutions for autonomous and augmented intelligence systems. We are a part of the global revolution in artificial intelligence, machine learning, Industry 4.0 and Internet-of-Things (IoT) technologies.  

Our researchers work with organisations around the world to develop solutions that cater to their specific needs. We have worked with Siemens, BP Australia, Yokogawa Electric and more, growing these partnerships over time to continually design sophisticated AI-driven solutions. 

Researchers in the Centre collaborate with industry partners in a variety of domains (health, defence, manufacturing, energy). You will work closely with academics and other PhD candidates and will have access to mentoring by senior academics.  

The Australian OIIE Interoperability Lab, hosted at Industrial AI research centre, provides opportunities for research, development, and testing of OIIE specifications. The University of Western Australia’s Industry 4.0 Testlab for Energy & Resources Digital Interoperability (UWA I4.0 ERDi Testlab) provides support for OPAS implementations.

Supervisory team

Financial Support

This project is funded for reasonable research expenses but no stipend is available. 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 $46,653 per annum (2023 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$39,700 per annum (2023 rates).  

Eligibility and Selection

This project is open to application from both domestic and international applicants but no stipend is available.

Applicants must meet the eligibility criteria for entrance into a PhD. Additionally applicants must meet the projects selection criteria:
  • Experience in software modelling and development methods
All applications that meet the eligibility and selection criteria will be considered for this project.

The successful applicant is expected to study full-time (part-time considered in special circumstances) 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 Sunday 8 October 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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