University of Melbourne| Two PhD positions

University of Melbourne: Two PhD positions

PhD Position
Posted 8 months ago
  • Organization: University of Melbourne
  • Location: Grattan Street, Parkville, Victoria, 3010, Australia

We are hiring two PhD positions funded through a grant from the Australian Research Council (LP210200837): ‘Paving the way to greener roads and healthier waterways.’

The selected candidates will join an interdisciplinary team of hydrologists and geotechnical engineers from University of Melbourne (Associate Prof Mahdi Disfani and Associate Prof Meenakshi Arora) to work closely with our industry partners; City of Yarra, Porous Lane and Tyre Stewardship Australia.


Urbanisation has significantly altered the natural hydrology in urban areas due to increased impervious surfaces leading to frequent flooding and detrimental effects on the environment from sediment erosion and elevated levels of contaminants flushing in the waterways. Permeable pavements have been used in many parts of the world including in Australia to mitigate these challenges with varied levels of success. Additionally, each year in Australia, more than 58 million kilograms of tyres reach their end of life with only 5% being recycled and rest of them ending up in the landfills. In this project we aim to develop and test an innovative solution to both these challenges by using recycled tyres in permeable pavements.

There are 2 PhD positions available within the project. We are seeking high-quality applicants with the following qualification and attributes, with further requirements listed in section ‘Details on individual PhD positions’:

  1. A MSc or a ME with 1st class Honours (or equivalent) in a relevant discipline such as environmental science, hydrology or engineering.
  2. Solid knowledge of hydrology and water quality for project 1 and geotechnical engineering and pavement geotechnics for project 2.
  3. Strong verbal and written communication skills.

Selected candidates must also fulfill the eligibility requirements for the Postgraduate Research programs at the university of Melbourne, including English language proficiency for international students. Further information on the Melbourne PhD program is available at  and-it/

Application and enquiry:

All interested candidates should email the supervisor of the corresponding project describing their background, research experience and interest relevant to the overall project and the

specific PhD position they are applying for (see the section below), along with transcripts, CV, English Language proficiency certificates, and any published papers.

Details of individual PhD positions:

PhD project 1:

Impact of using waste tyre permeable pavement on the stormwater infiltration performance and quality of infiltered stormwater.

Supervisor: A/Prof. Meenakshi Arora ([email protected]) Co-Supervisor: A/Prof. Mahdi Disfani ([email protected])

The project aims to investigate the rainfall infiltration performance of waste tyre permeable pavements (WTPP) and to understand the impact of using waste tyre permeable pavement on the quality of infiltered stormwater. In this project, the performance of WTPP will be investigated under a range of storm events and land-use scenarios in reducing the surface run-off as well as reducing pollutants load to waterways. The project aims to investigate whether the water passing through the permeable pavement structure can introduce any additional contaminants in the subsurface. Project will use innovative techniques to collect and analyse infiltered water samples under the permeable pavements as well as from downstream areas to understand the performance of waste tyre permeable pavement on the water quality and its fate in the subsurface and potential to mobilise the legacy contaminants.

PhD project 2:

Evaluating the suitability of permeable pavements for vehicle traffic loads Supervisor: A/Prof. Mahdi Disfani ([email protected])

Co-Supervisor: A/Prof. Meenakshi Arora ([email protected])

This project will test the suitability of the system for vehicle traffic loads to create new knowledge, design guidelines and confidence for further uptake of this product in parking allotments and low volume traffic roads. The student will work closely with project team to test range of designs in the lab, before progressing to field trial under live traffic and environmental loads. There will be numerical modelling to predict performance in different land and traffic use scenarios.


  1. Full fee waiver
    1. PhD stipend of at the $34,400 per year (2023 rate) for up to 3.5 years, free of tax.
    1. Health Insurance for the duration of the project.
    1. Relocation fee to Melbourne for eligible candidates.

Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion

The Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology (FEIT) is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment that welcomes and values all people. We recognise that diversity is essential in contributing to the success of the faculty. Women, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, the LGBTIQ+ community, people living with disability and those from a culturally and linguistically diverse background, are strongly encouraged to apply.


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Job CategoryEngineering, Environmental Science, Hydrology, IT

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