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PhD – Radar applications for ground deformation

Description (PhD):

We are seeking an outstanding candidate for a PhD scholarship for a CSIRO-funded Project entitled: Radar applications for ground deformation and land erosion mapping in Australia. The PhD project aims at exploring the value-added of satellite-based Earth observation data for understanding ground level changes due to land erosion, coastal erosion, landslides, and groundwater extraction. The project focuses on deformation data produced via the Interferometric Aperture Radar technique but might take advantage of a wide range of field, airborne and spaceborne auxiliary data to validate the measurements obtained by radar imagery processing.

Production and interpretation of ground level change data is crucial to observe land erosion processes, assess stability of surficial soil layers, map soil properties, map compaction in clayey aquifers etc. In Australia, such data help protect key environmental assets such as the Great Barrier Reef or to assure the sustainability of essential water resources. It is also important for the protection of coastal settlements and large development projects (e.g., transport infrastructure, nuclear waste disposal facilities). Currently, in Australia, techniques used for ground level change monitoring mostly rely on multi-temporal LiDAR-data, which are cost-intensive to obtain over large areas and are unable to monitor ground level changes at fine temporal scales (e.g., for one specific rain event). While interferometric radar ground level change mapping (InSAR) has been used throughout the World, its uptake in Australia is still limited to this date. This project proposes to test the method over several areas where interest has been identified in past and current CSIRO projects and where ground level changes can be measured via auxiliary methods. The project will use existing data from these projects to assess the value-added and the limits of methods based on radar imagery.


The scholarship includes:


To be eligible for the award of this scholarship a student must: –

ADMISSION to Higher Degree by Research

Those who apply for the scholarship opportunity that have not already applied for admission to a relevant Higher Degree by Research must also apply.  Instructions on how to apply for admission can be found here:

By lodging this separate application, applicants acknowledge:

Selection Criteria

Selection will be undertaken by the Project Lead.

Application Information

Prior to submitting an application for the scholarship, prospective applicants are advised to contact the Project lead, Prof. Okke Batelaan via email ( to discuss your interest and eligibility in the opportunity.  The Project lead invite applicants to send a copy of their CV together with a cover letter outlining your relevant qualifications, experience, research experience and reasons for applying for the scholarship by the closing date.

Applicants will be shortlisted, and interviews will be held the week commencing 16th January 2023. Outcomes will be released by 30th January 2023. 

The successful candidate will ideally begin by March 2023, subject to negotiation (and not later than July 2023)


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