Restoration Engineering PhD


Amount: $35,000 per annum tax-free scholarship
Location: UWA, Perth, Western Australia
Eligibility: Domestic and International students with a First Class Honours or Masters Degree or equivalent

About the Group

This PhD project is part of a 4-year, federally-funded Global Innovation Linkage (GIL) project “Eco-engineering solutions to improve mine-site rehabilitation outcomes”. The GIL project is a research partnership between the Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority (Kings Park), UWA, three domestic industry partners and three partners in the United States of America.

Project Overview

The rehabilitation of degraded landscapes requires the efficient use of seeds of diverse wild plants. The GIL project has been developed to unite seed science with innovative, ecologically - guided engineering. Solutions to the precision delivery of seeds at scale for mine-site rehabilitation lie in the invention and modification of direct seeding equipment matched to seed enhancement technologies. Outcomes of this project will be applicable to degraded lands requiring rehabilitation across Australian and beyond, particularly mined areas. Future “licenses to mine” will require demonstrated effective plant rehabilitation technologies across these disturbed lands.

Specific Project Aims

  1. Advance the application of our  Australian “flash-flaming” invention that removes seed appendages that prevent automated seeding of many wild plant species.
  2. Develop seed enhancement technologies (priming, pelleting, and coating) in concert with flash-flaming.
  3. Critically evaluate the limitations of current mechanised seed processing and direct seeding techniques used in rehabilitation (e.g. mining operations) and large-scale cropping to engineer modifications or new designs to improve precision-delivery of native seeds in adverse rocky, uneven and sloped landforms.
  4. Design, construct and test a prototype seeding machine(s) to efficiently deliver a wide range of seeds that differ in shape, size, and weight, at the scale required.
  5. Quantify seed processing and seedling recruitment performance using the engineered direct seeding machine(s) across different growth media types (e.g. mine wastes with variable rock fractions and geological origin).

This engineering - focussed PhD project would tackle one or more of these project aims.

The GIL project is supported through the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science (project grant number GIL 53873).

For information related to this project please contact:

Dr Andrew Guzzomi (
Dr Todd Erickson (
Dr David Merritt (

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Closing Date: 
Friday, 01 December, 2017


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