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Containment of Coal Fines: Long-Term Leaching Hazard to Water Resources?

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  • Full or part time
    Dr Wendy Timms
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Are you ready to help solve an energy & water challenge?

Unparalleled opportunities with a $40,000 scholarship per year tax free for 4 years + tuition fees + up to $10,000 each year to build your career and support your international research collaborations. Develop your chemical engineering/ mining engineering /hydrogeological expertise with world-class researchers at UNSW Australia. Your advisors will be a multi-disciplinary team in UNSW Engineering, led by Dr Wendy Timms, a leading hydrogeologist and engineer in the School of Mining Engineering. UNSW’s Mineral and Mining Engineering has leapt to 5th in the world (QS Subject Rankings).

The research project:
Fine rejects from coal washing have been trialled to commence regular backfilling of underground mine voids with the aim to reduce surface impacts within Sydney’s water catchments. These concentrated fines contain naturally-occurring contaminants which will, over time, leach into aquifers, creeks and rivers. Research with advanced UNSW analytical technologies (e.g. geotechnical centrifuge) would enable quantification of multi-decadal leaching and geochemical fundamentals under in-situ conditions for the first time. Improved leach tests for naturally occurring contaminants (eg. arsenic, zinc, selenium, uranium) will enable attenuation of these contaminants within iron and carbonate precipitates, ultimately leading to better protection of sensitive fresh waters.

The role:
You will be sampling field and mine sites, designing laboratory experiments including using a geotechnical centrifuge, and developing geochemical models to help solve real challenges in mining and water.

Expression of Interest by 21st July 2017.
Follow these steps:
1. Check your eligibility in the funding notes following.
2. If you meet the eligibility, complete a self-assessment online. https://research.unsw.edu.au/hdr-self-assessment-tool
3. If the self-assessment indicates that you are "likely to be eligible for a scholarship", proceed to email your EOI.
4. Include in your EOI (email to [Email Address Removed]) your self-assessment results, a CV, academic transcripts and evidence of research activity.
5. Advice will be provided on next steps in the application process only if likely to be eligible for a scholarship.

The UNSW Scientia PhD Scholarship Scheme is part of our dedication to harnessing our cutting-edge research to solve complex problems and improve the lives of people in local and global communities. Scientia scholars will have a strong commitment to making a difference in the world with demonstrated potential for contributing to the social engagement and/or global impact pillars of the UNSW 2025 Strategy.

Funding Notes

Applicants must:
- meet the minimum PhD entry requirements of UNSW Australia
- hold a 1st class Honours degree in Chemical Engineering, Mining Engineering, Civil or Geotechnical Engineering, Engineering Geolog, Hydrogeology or related discipline.
- have a final GPA score for their undergraduate studies of at least 85% in GPA
- demonstrate active research activity with evidence of engineering conference papers and/or scientific publications



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