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IPAS PhD Positions Available

The Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing (IPAS) at the University of Adelaide is seeking highly motivated science or engineering graduates to commence their PhD studies in 2016.

Information on Australian Postgraduate Awards (APA) and other scholarships for domestic students

Major Application Round: 1 September – 30 October

Information on Scholarships for International students

  • Distributed Optical Fibre Sensing of Radiation Cross-disciplinary PhD (or Honours) Project in Chemistry & Physics

    The development of very efficient nanocrystalline storage phosphors for ionizing radiation has attracted significant interest in recent years for medical imaging and dosimetry applications. The measurement of radiation plays an essential role in ensuring safe working conditions in many industries.

    This project will investigate the possibility of combining phosphor crystals with optical fibres to allow for distributed X-ray sensing. Fibre optic X-ray sensors have potential to be used for monitoring radiation levels in radiotherapy environments, nuclear and industrial applications and for personal dosimetry.

    The project will involve investigating different techniques for coating micro-structured optical fibres with phosphor crystals, homogenously embedding the crystals into polymer or glass billets for drawing down into fibres and various techniques for embedding the crystals onto the surface of optical fibres. The successful completion of this project is expected to result in ultra-sensitive X-ray detectors with the possibility for commercialization of the technology.

    Detailed information on the position and how to apply.

  • Photoluminescent Storage Phosphors: A pathway towards 3D MemorySeeking PhD/Honours students in Chemistry or Physics

    Three-dimensional optical data storage involves information being recorded and read-out from a three-dimensional structure as opposed to in two-dimensions as with DVDs. The concept has the potential to provide petabyte-level mass storage hence revolutionizing data storage. The writing and readout is achieved by focusing a laser into the 3D medium.

    Due to the volumetric nature of the data, the laser is required to pass other points before writing or reading the desired datum. This means that a nonlinearity is required such that only a local point is addressed at a given time. At present no commercial product based on 3D optical data storage exists, despite significant research efforts. This project offers the unique opportunity of working towards the goal of realizing a 3D memory by developing techniques for homogenous volume-embedding of a very efficient photoluminescent storage phosphor into glass or polymer blocks.

    As a first step towards reaching this goal, the task of implementing 2D memory on a single-layer glass slide will be investigated, followed by an experimental demonstration of the writing and readout processes. The task of embedding and dispersing the crystals uniformly into a glass block or the use of a stacked layer approach carry with them significant but rewarding challenges.

    The project offers the possibility of realizing a 3D memory using state-of-the-art glass processing facilities at the Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing (IPAS) and access to very efficient nanocrystalline storage phosphors. The successful completion of this project could involve an actual proof of concept demonstration of 2D and 3D memory using facilities available at the university.

    Detailed information on the position and how to apply

  • Whispering Gallery ModesInteraction of Whispering Gallery Mode resonances with surface plasmon polaritons

    The Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing (IPAS) at the University of Adelaide is seeking highly motivated science or engineering graduates to commence their PhD studies in 2016. The successful applicants will be part of Prof. Tanya Monro’s prestigious ARC Laureate fellowship, held across the University of Adelaide and the University of South Australia.

    The Laureate team, led by Prof. Tanya Monro, is acknowledged as a leader in the field of optical resonators (Whispering Gallery Modes) for applications ranging from biological sensing to nonlinear optics, with both a strong experimental and theoretical background. Furthermore, the Laureate team has access to state-of-the-art facilities, equipment and resources across both University of Adelaide and UniSA.

    The proposed project aims to investigate the interaction of Whispering Gallery Mode (WGM) type resonances with surface plasmon polaritons. WGMs with their unique optical properties have attracted a lot of attention over the past decade, featuring numerous articles in both Science and Nature. While most resonators are operated at optical wavelengths, there is strong interest in combining WGMs with plasmonic effects, which involves the use of metals such as silver or gold onto the resonator’s surface, for enhancing the optical properties of these resonators and exploiting other effects such as metal enhanced fluorescence, eventually leading to a plasmon laser, or Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy.

    Detailed information on the position and how to apply.

  • Optical Glass Harnessing nanocrystal properties in optical glass

    The project aims to create next-generation nanotechnology-based photonic devices by embedding functional nanoparticles into glass materials. This new approach opens up a route to tailor the nanotechnology to the real world. The project will also explore potential applications of the novel nanomaterials and fibres in fibre sensing, concentrated solar cells, fibre lasers and waveguides.

    Detailed information on the position and how to apply.

  • Precision Measurement Group

    PMG is enthusiastic to receive highly motivated and research-focussed students to join the group. Further details are available by contacting Professor Andre Luiten


  • Ovarian Cancercross-disciplinary project on ovarian cancer and Imaging Mass Spectrometry (IMS) at the Adelaide Proteomics Centre

    Epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) has the highest mortality rate of all gynaecological malignancies and was responsible for 13 850 fatalities in 2010. There is no universal model for ovarian oncogenesis and disagreement still exists concerning the correct grading system. As such it is vital to gain a deeper understanding of EOC, in particular, there is an urgent need for the development of grading systems which can unambiguously distinguish tumors based on molecular composition and predict patient responses to treatment.

    The proposed project will involve theory, design and application of MALDI imaging mass spectrometry (IMS) to molecular grading of ovarian epithelial tumours. The Adelaide Proteomics Centre is the national NCRIS facility for MALDI IMS and the only group in Australia with a publication record using this technology.

    Apply now for Ovarian Cancer project

  • Colorectalcancer and Mass Spectrometry
    ($3k top-up)PhD student for cross-disciplinary project on colorectalcancer (CRC) and Imaging Mass Spectrometry (IMS)

    CRC affects 1 out of every 20 Australians, and although it is treatable if detected early, remains the second greatest cause of cancer-related death. Even with colonoscopic examination, patients diagnosed as negative can still develop CRC. As a result, greater understanding of the differing types of pre-cursor lesion is required, particularly at the molecular level.

    The project will involve theory, design and application of classical proteomics like Liquid Chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) as well as imaging mass spectrometry (IMS) for the investigation of CRC, the Adelaide Proteomics Centre is the national NCRIS facility for Imaging Mass Spectrometry and the only group in Australia with a publication record on this technology. The Centre is equipped with the latest mass spectrometry instrumentation and has close collaboration with Bruker Daltonics (one of the Mass Spectrometry instrument vendors) to push the boundaries of this technology. The project will use this new technology and apply it to tissue samples from CRC patients.
    The main three aims of the project are:

    • Determination of disease specific molecular changes at the protein and peptide level by imaging mass spectrometry.
    • Identification of mass spectrometry detectable markers and/or marker profiles by IMS and LC-MS/MS.
    • Increasing current understanding of atypical CRC precursor lesions in the "serrated" pathway.

    We are looking for a self motivated student with a degree in Biochemistry or Chemistry and depending on quality of applicants we would be able to pay a $3,000/year top up on PhD scholarships.

    Apply now for Colorectalcancer and Mass Spectrometry position

  • Acute Myeloid LeukaemiaPhD Student for Proteomic analysis of chemotherapy response in Acute Myeloid Leukaemia

    In AML, several factors have been identified that confer a good or poor prognosis. These include age, white blood cell count, the presence or absence of a preceding haematologic disorder, response to induction chemotherapy and the cytogenetic profile. Cytogenetics is the most important prognostic marker, but there remains heterogeneity within specific cytogenetic subtypes.

    No cytogenetic abnormality, or a normal karyotype, at diagnosis accounts for 40 - 50% of AML cases at diagnosis but within this group specific molecular mutations such as FLT3, NPM1 or CEBP-A mutations confer unfavourable or favourable outcomes. Response to induction chemotherapy has been found to be a negative prognostic indicator. Gene expression signatures predictive of in vivo drug resistance have been identified.

    However, changes in gene expression do not necessarily correlate with protein levels within the cell. Therefore it is of interest to determine if there is a change in protein expression levels in patients depending on their response to chemotherapy. Proteomics offers the ability to identify changes in expression level and post-translational modification of a vast number of proteins in patient samples.

    We predict different protein expression profiles will be observed in patients that respond to chemotherapy compared to patients that do not respond to chemotherapy. Protein profiles of patients that respond or did not respond to induction chemotherapy will be compared and proteins that are differentially expressed or modified between groups will be identified. Identification of specific changes in protein expression may lead to the development of specific therapies targeting these abnormal proteins.

    Apply now for Acute Myeloid Leukaemia position

Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing

North Terrace Campus
The Braggs Building
The University of Adelaide
SA 5005


T: +61 8 8313 0589 
F: +61 8 8313 4380

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