Current opportunities


We are seeking dynamic, self-motivated and well-qualified candidates with high-quality research experience in the fields of expertise applicable to the relevant opportunity. You must have a passion for applied, industry-focused research, and high quality communication skills to support successful industry collaborations. You will require strong time and project management skills to ensure project deliverables are met, and you must be prepared to spend significant time in industry partner’s facilities in order to understand and work collaboratively to address the issues faced by the industry.

 You will be supported through additional mentoring, training and personal development designed to help prepare you for a career in both academia or industry. You will be working closely with some of Australia’s best researchers and industry technologists and will form a vital part of a nationally significant research centre.

Current Post-Doctoral Research Fellow and PhD opportunities are shown below, and further opportunities will be added regularly in the coming months. To stay up to date, please register for the Steel Research Hub newsletter. All applications will need to go through the relevant recruitment processes within the host institution, or as detailed on the opportunity advertisement.

Full time, fixed term PhD position at Hawthorn Campus, Swinburne University of Technology and BlueScope Steel in Port Kembla

Stipend of AUD33,413 per annum will be offered for the three years duration of the PhD

Join the University of Wollongong-led ARC Research Hub for Australian Steel Innovation, a $28m, 5-year program uniting 9 universities and 8 industry partners. Apply now for an opportunity to contribute to innovative research in steel sustainability, recycling, energy efficiency, and circular economy. 

In Program 4 (Steel Supply Chain Transformation), a PhD scholarship is available for a suitable candidate to be involved in Project4.1.6 - Development of Heat Flow Monitoring System for the BOF.  

This project aims to develop innovative sensors and models for the steelmaking process, with the goal of reducing its environmental impact, particularly in lowering carbon emissions. Led by Professor Geoffrey Brooks and Dr Michelle Dunne from Swinburne University of Technology, in collaboration with research engineers from BlueScope (Port Kembla), the project builds upon previous successful work in developing multi-zone kinetic and heat transfer models for Oxygen Steelmaking. BlueScope Steel seeks to enhance control of their Basic Oxygen Furnace (BOF) process through sensor development for advanced control systems, aligning with their adoption of Industry 4.0 principles. Additionally, efforts are directed towards reducing carbon footprint by optimizing post-combustion of CO in the vessel, utilizing heat for scrap preheating, and minimising heat losses from the vessels.

This study aims to integrate mathematical heat flow models with existing and potential new sensors on steelmaking vessels to monitor heat flows and losses from the Basic Oxygen Furnace (BOF). By combining models with sensors, the system will provide operators and engineers with real-time estimates of heat loss as a function of time and operating parameters, enabling optimisation of heat utilisation in the steelmaking process.

Key Responsibility Areas

The following proposed research program is proposed in Development of Heat Flow Monitoring System for the BOF, namely:

  • Studying how the current control system works and review and assess the hardware in use, the mounting and installation design, and any inherent limitations to installing new sensors.
  • Studying and advising on what are the best sensors available and propose equipment and location of sensors for further work.
  • Produce a literature review on the current understanding of the heat flow monitoring systems for the BOF, including a critical review of the existing system.
  • Develop a mathematical model of the BOF that would link existing and proposed sensors for the BOF to heat transfer models of the Port Kembla BOF, allowing for estimation of dynamic heat flow from plant measurements. 
  • Develop a Heat Flow Monitoring system (hardware, software) that would initially be tested on a laboratory scale furnace at Swinburne.
  • Undertake plant trials with BlueScope staff at Port Kembla steel plant using the system developed (hardware and software) at Swinburne for calculating dynamic heat flows and losses for the BOF. 

Selection Criteria

To be successful in the role, you will have:

  • Bachelor (or Masters) of Engineering or Bachelor (or Masters) of Applied Science
  • Training in Mathematical Modelling
  • Training in Basic Control Engineering
  • Background in Process Metallurgy, Chemical Engineering Materials Engineering or Mechanical Engineering
  • Industrial experience in a process industry

A full list of selection criteria is available within the position description

Closing date

Applications Close: Wednesday, 1 May, 2024, at 11pm. 

For further information about this position, contact Geoffrey Brooks - 

A UOW collaboration with the University of New South Wales and BlueScope Steel

Scholarship for 3.5 years of full-time study

AUD33,143 per annum

The ARC Research Hub for Australian Steel Innovation (Steel Research Hub), led by the University of Wollongong, is a 5 year, $28m research program bringing together 9 Universities and 8 industry partners, to deliver innovative research designed to enable a necessary technological shift across the entire Australian steel supply chain. This includes projects covering steel sustainability, recycling, energy efficiency and circular economy.

This project will be undertaken at the School of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of New South Wales.

Working within Program 4 (Steel supply chain transformation) of the Steel Research Hub, the PhD Candidate will be involved in Project 4.1.4 - Machine Learning. This is a collaboration with BlueScope Steel, the candidate will work closely with staff at the Port Kembla Steel Works. The project proposes to use machine learning and knowledge acquisition techniques to capture the knowledge of expert metallurgists in different aspects of steel manufacturing. The prototype is being developed for the plate mill.

Working within a large-scale, multi-disciplinary research entity (30+ PhDs, 20+ Post-Docs), the appointee will have contact with BlueScope Steel on aspects of applied, industry-focussed research. As well as collaborating with the wider Steel Research Hub research team, the successful appointee will be supported through additional mentoring, training and personal development.

Selection criteria

Essential academic qualification

Applicants should: 

  • hold a Masters by Research, or
  • an Honours 1st class (or equivalent) undergraduate degree in either
    • Materials Science
    • Chemical
    • Mechanical Engineering
    • or a relevant discipline
  • or the equivalent combination of professional experience and academic qualifications
  • have written and oral communication skills
  • have skills in presenting research work and outcomes to different audiences.

Highly desirable

  • Knowledge and ability in programming with Python or C/C++
  • Knowledge and ability in machine learning or other topics in artificial intelligence

Conditions for application

  • Capacity to work for extended periods with officers from BlueScope Port Kembla Steelworks.
  • Applicants should submit a cover letter detailing relevant experience and research interest; CV with names and addresses of two referees; and Academic transcripts.
  • Both domestic and international prospective candidates are encouraged to apply.
  • Contact for the position is Claude Sammut (

Closing date

The position will close once the appropriate candidate has been recruited.

Image credit: Marcos Trinidad from My Sky Views