HDR Scholarship - Non-Destructive Pipeline Condition Assessment

Applications now open. A PhD scholarship is available to initiate and conduct research on the topic 'Non-Destructive Pipeline Condition Assessment'.

Project Supervisor

Additional Supervision

Prof Martin Lambert (University of Adelaide)


Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus

Research topic

The continuing economic success and social well-being of water-scarce countries such as Australia relies on a
sustainable supply of potable water transmitted through efficient and well-planned pipeline systems. Australia has ~$160b worth of urban water assets consisting of pipelines that are corroding and deteriorating. About half of this infrastructure needs to be replaced over the coming three decades according to current asset management practice. However, pipes buried underground are not easily observable. Thus, they have become one of the most complex, costly and difficult areas of civil infrastructure to maintain. Highly targeted and cost-effective pipe condition assessment is needed for strategic pipe maintenance, replacement and rehabilitation.

The PhD candidate will be hosted by the School of Engineering at Deakin University (Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus). Geelong is conveniently located between Melbourne and the Surf Coast, providing an excellent environment for living and studying. The project is funded by the Australian Research Council and in collaboration with the University of Adelaide and industry partner Detection Services. This is an exciting opportunity to be working together with a world-leading research team in addressing the challenges in pipeline condition assessment for sustainable water asset management.

Project aim

This project will develop new techniques for cost-effective and non-destructive condition assessment of water pipelines. Applications include, but not limited to, leak detection, blockage detection, and detection of pipe sections with extended deterioration (e.g., corrosion). The new development will be built on a hydraulic transient based pipeline condition assessment technology that was originally developed by the research group and has been successfully commercialised. The new techniques are expected to have higher spatial resolutions and broader applicable ranges than the current generation of technology. The research will involve analytical analysis and numerical simulations, and may also include laboratory/field experiments.

Important dates

Applications will remain open until a candidate has been appointed


This scholarship is available over 3 years.

  • Stipend of $34,400 per annum tax exempt (2024 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 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.

Additional desirable criteria include:

  • evidence of ability to publish and disseminate academic research
  • strong academic background in mathematics and analytical analysis
  • demonstratable technical ability in programming and numerical analysis
  • skills and experience in data collection and signal processing
  • ability to work independently and also effectively in a team

How to apply

Please email your expression of interest (EOI) to Dr James Gong. The EOI should include official academic transcripts (including grading scale and evidence of completion), CV (including names and contact details of at least two referees), record of publications, and a cover letter addressing the eligibility criteria (no more than two pages). If you are successful in the EOI, you will then be invited to sit in an interview for further consideration.


Contact us

For more information about this scholarship, please contact Dr James Gong

Dr James Gong
Email Dr James Gong
+61 3 5227 3723