HDR Scholarship - Using Recycled Materials in Sustainable Infrastructure

Applications now open. A PhD scholarship is available as part of the REACH Trailblazer Program to initiate and conduct research on the topic 'Using Recycled Materials in Sustainable Infrastructure'.

Project Supervisor

Additional Supervisor


Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus

Successful applicants must spend a minimum 3 -month industry placement as part of the program

Research topic

The construction sector is essential for modern society, delivering the buildings we live and work in, the roads and bridges that connect us, and the industrial facilities that produce and distribute our energy and goods. The construction sector accounts for 37% of global CO₂ emissions, of which 16% represent embodied carbon – CO₂ emissions from material sourcing and manufacturing, logistics, and construction activities. It is one of the most significant single sectors contributing to global warming.

Decarbonising construction is essential. New energy carriers, processes, materials, and ways of building are vital aspects. Decarbonisation and technological advancements can catalyse change and help embed efficiencies in construction activities across the value chain. Decarbonisation solutions and initiatives are emerging across the construction value chain, but more needs to be done and quicker to achieve net zero. In partnership with Mainstream Recycling Pty Ltd., a lead waste management company, Deakin University's School of Engineering researchers aim to repurpose various waste materials into innovative, greener construction materials with enhanced characteristics.

The successful applicant must spend 3 months as part of an industry internship as part of this program.

Project aim

This project investigates novel applications of recovered materials based on identified industry gaps. Waste glass, clay, sand, plastic, aggregate, and other materials will be examined and evaluated for their potential role in the construction industry.

Specific objectives are to:

  1. Classify and assess the mechanical properties and composition of the recovered waste in the Mainstream Recycling facility.
  2. Investigate the potential use of recovered waste in a sustainable built environment and improve the properties when necessary. Recovered waste may include sand, clay, glass, plastic, and aggregate.
  3. Establish guidelines for using recovered waste in sustainable construction.

Important dates

Applications will remain open until a candidate has been appointed.

Given the need for an expeditious project start, priority may be given to domestic students or international students who can begin their studies promptly.


This scholarship is available over 3 years.

  • Stipend of $34,400 per annum tax exempt (2024 rate)
  • Top-up stipend of $10,000 per annum tax exempt
  • Relocation allowance of $500-1500 (for single to family) for students moving from interstate
  • 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.

How to apply

Please email you CV, evidence of qualifications and a statement of purpose to Dr Riyadh Al-Ameri. The CV should highlight your skills, education, publications and relevant work experience.
If you are successful you will then be invited to submit a formal application.

Contact us

For more information about this scholarship, please contact:

Dr Riyadh Al-Ameri
Email Dr Riyadh Al-Ameri
+61 3 5227 2397

Dr Bidur Kafle
Email Dr Bidur Kafle
+61 3 5227 8327