PhD Opportunity - Clean energy solutions on the Great Barrier Reef


Research Topic

We are looking for a PhD scholar to work as part of a multi-party project on cooling - and thereby saving - the Great Barrier Reef. The PhD project will contribute to the development of clean energy systems that power the equipment that increases the thickness of marine clouds above the reef. These systems may feature solar photovoltaics, wind power, bio fuels, wave power, batteries and other technologies. The project will assess the technical, economic, and social feasibility of these technologies and design systems to meet the needs of the reef cooling applications. The student will work closely with the Battery Storage and Grid Integration Program at ANU (, as well as researchers at Southern Cross University and the broader Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program (see


Applicants will need to have expertise in a relevant field, such as electrical, mechatronic, or mechanical engineering, physics, techno-economic analysis, or systems modelling. Experience with modelling energy systems, coding in Python, and/or prior experience in renewable energy systems analysis is an advantage, as is experience in working in diverse teams.


Our Research School

The Australian National University (ANU), is one of the top universities in Australia and was ranked amoungst the top 50 in the QS World University Rankings in terms of research quality. The School of Engineering (SoEN) in the College of Engineering and Computer Science at the ANU has an extremely strong research culture with outstanding performance in a wide range of fields including renewable energy, energy storage and systems engineering. This project will be supervised by Dr Bjorn Sturmberg and an expert panel.


Applications are open to domestic and international students, however due to the covid situation only students currently living in Australia will be considered. Applicants must hold a first class Honours degree or Master's degree in Engineering, Physics or related field, and/or has relevant research experience. Women and Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are particularly encouraged to apply and encouraged to reach out to Dr Sturmberg with any queries or concerns. Applicants are advised to undertake a self assessment before applying.

To apply, please send a 1 page cover letter and CV (including results for relavant degrees) to Dr Bjorn Sturmberg before mid October to allow time for a full application.


Application closing date

17 October 2021
Applications open for this opportunity: 
30 Sep 2021

Updated:  10 August 2021/Responsible Officer:  Dean, CECS/Page Contact:  CECS Marketing