Study As
Full Time

Principal Supervisor
Dr Kamil Zuber

Main Campus
Mawson Lakes

Applications Close
16 Oct 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:
$40,000 p.a. (Domestic Only)

About This Project

Make a real difference in space capabilities in this PhD research project.

As part of defence and space programs, Australia is developing new space capabilities. Small satellite platforms will play a major role in supporting Defence needs due to their lower cost, compressed launch schedule and lower perceived risk as compared to traditional high cost multi-redundant satellite platforms. With the trend towards small satellite platforms expected to rise, so is the push towards increasing the technology limits of the nanosatellite platforms whilst conforming to the prescribed geometric size and mass constraints.  Using new materials and new manufacturing methods can address these challenges enabling new applications.

This PhD project will allow to expand the fundamental knowledge and applications of new materials for space applications in small satellites, such as satellite payload components, and satellite sub-assemblies. It will look into new materials including metal alloys, composites and high end engineering plastics that could potentially be used in space exploring their properties related to these applications.

The outcomes of this PhD will be translated into applications by the complimentary research commercialisation project. Additive Manufacture of novel materials for optical components, satellite sub-assemblies, being part of the Trailblazer Universities program. This is a collaborative effort between the University of South Australia, industry and government partners. 

The Trailblazer project has a strong technological focus and the proposed PhD project will allow for concept exploration and fundamental understanding of material science aspects. They will allow to design better space telescopes and better satellite payloads. With such unique Research and Development nexus it creates an opportunity for a PhD candidate to make a real difference to the space capabilities.

Where you’ll be based

The project will be conducted within the Materials Engineering Group at the Future Industries Institute (FII) , STEM . The group has a record of producing highly performing awards winning PhDs, with prizes claimed in the 3MT competitions, conference posters and oral presentation awards. 

Supervisory Team

Dr Kamil Zuber – Principal Supervisor
Associate Professor Colin Hall – Co-Supervisor
Dr Marta Llusca Jane – Co-Supervisor
Professor Nikki Stanford – Co-Supervisor
Associate Professor Ady James – Co-Supervisor

Financial Support

This project is funded for reasonable research expenses.  Additionally, a living allowance scholarship of $40,000 per annum is available to Australian and New Zealand citizens, and permanent residents of Australia, including permanent humanitarian visa holders.  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 full terms and benefits of the scholarship please refer to our scholarship information . International applicants are not invited to apply at this time.

Eligibility and Selection

This project is open to applications from Australian or New Zealand citizens, and Australian permanent residents or permanent humanitarian visa holders. International applicants are not invited to apply at this time.

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 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 16 October 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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