HDR Scholarship - Natural Language Processing and Knowledge Engineering

Applications now open. A PhD scholarship is available to initiate and conduct research on the topic 'Natural Language Processing and Knowledge Engineering'.

Project Supervisor

Additional Supervision

Prof John Yearwood

A/Prof Vicky Mak-Hau

Dr Diego Molla-Oliod (Macquarie University)

Prof Bill Moran (University of Melbourne)


Melbourne Burwood Campus

Research topic

This PhD project will service an ARC Discovery Project, “An intelligent machine modelling assistant for combinatorial optimization problems”, commencing in 2022. Machine-assisted optimization modelling is pioneering interdisciplinary research at the border of computing, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and mathematics. The academic research team comprises Professor John Yearwood, Associate Professor Vicky Mak-Hau and Dr Bahador Ofoghi at Deakin University, Dr Diego Molla-Oliod at Macquarie University and Professor Bill Moran at the University of Melbourne. The aim of the project is to address the research challenges in the development of a machine modelling assistant (MMA) to provide a non-mathematical domain expert end-user with assistance in formulating and solving mathematical models for business optimisation problems. The project will utilize advances in multiple current AI technologies, in particular natural language processing (NLP) and novel ideas in combinatorial optimization to develop a framework for automating mixed-integer linear programming model formulation. The ultimate focus will be on the development of an interactive, query-based tool for the business community. The successful applicant will contribute skills and effort to accomplish a range of tasks under the overall vision .This research is partially funded by the Australian Government through the Australian Research Council.

Project aim

Based at Deakin University with primary supervisor Dr Bahadorrezza Ofoghi, the student will be discovering and testing new algorithms for synthesizing and extracting elements of a mathematical linear programming model from text with reference to the concepts and relations within an existing ontology using both natural language processing techniques and rule-based structures/grammars.

Important dates

Applications close 5pm, Thursday 30 June 2022


This scholarship is available over 3 years.

  • Stipend of $28,870 per annum tax exempt (2022 rate)
  • International students only:  Tuition fees offset for the duration of 4 years. Single Overseas Student Health Cover policy for the duration of the student visa.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible you must:

  • be either a domestic or international candidate. Domestic includes candidates with Australian Citizenship, Australian Permanent Residency or New Zealand Citizenship.
  • meet Deakin's PhD entry requirements
  • be enrolling full time and hold an honours degree (first class) or an equivalent standard master's degree with a substantial research component.

Please refer to the research degree entry pathways page for further information.

How to apply

Please apply by emailing the expression of interest form to School of Information and Technology


Contact us

For more information about this scholarship, please contact Dr Bahadorrezza Ofoghi or Prof John Yearwood

Dr Bahadorrezza Ofoghi
Email Dr Bahadorrezza Ofoghi
+61 3 9244 6198

Prof John Yearwood
Email Prof John Yearwood
+61 3 9246 8727