The School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management at the University of Queensland is focused on discovering new knowledge and finding practical solutions to the big issues that will affect us all; such as climate change, urbanisation, population growth, conservation and natural resource management. School research staff and students are at the forefront of major international initiatives to better manage our natural and built environments.
 
We encourage prospective research students to propose original research topics in our areas of expertise.  We are more than happy to help you refine these as the application process progresses.  If you are having difficulties deciding on a topic or would like to be involved in research already underway we have a range of interesting topics available.  You can find out more details by clicking on the links below. 
 
See our Research (RHD) Scholarships for details on scholarships available to PhD students
Environment and Development Research Projects

Environment and Development Research Projects

See our Research (RHD) Scholarships for details on scholarships available to PhD students A review of community-based climate change adaptation projects...

See our Research (RHD) Scholarships for details on scholarships available to PhD students
A review of community-based climate change adaptation projects in the Pacific
This project is suitable for an Honours or Master’s thesis, or be part of a larger PhD degree research program.
 
A number of international donors have in recent years shown great interest in implementing community-based climate change adaptation projects in the Pacific. This interest has seen a flurry of activity in Pacific communities to develop and implement on-ground activities in the hope of enhancing adaptive capacity. The impetus for this research would be to better understand the types of projects that have been implemented, assess their levels of success in safeguarding communities in the face of climate change, and provide a series of lessons that would benefit donors, communities and practitioners alike.
 
Stipend: Candidates for a PhD must obtain an Australian Postgraduate Award (or equivalent) through The University of Queensland.
 
Urban & Regional Research Projects

Urban & Regional Research Projects

Urban regeneration in the Australian context Suitable as a PhD or Honours Project (can be adjusted to suit either)   The project investigates the latest trends in regenerating urban areas in the Australian co...

Urban regeneration in the Australian context
Suitable as a PhD or Honours Project (can be adjusted to suit either)
 
The project investigates the latest trends in regenerating urban areas in the Australian context. It considers planning models like the Transit Orientated model (TODs) and the integration of concepts like social sustainability and place-making in the regeneration process of inner-city suburbs in the four main capital cities (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth). Case studies in Brisbane include the Fortitude Valley Renewal Plan and New Farm urban renewal.

Dr Sébastien Darchen
E:  s.darchen@uq.edu.au

Creative industries and planning in the Asia-Pacific region
Suitable as a PhD or Honours Project (can be adjusted to suit either)
 
A number of cities in the Asia pacific region (e.g., Brisbane, Singapore, Shanghai) have developed creative city strategies to attract talents and specific economic activities. How do those policies translate into the planning practice? This project analyses the development process of different creative industry precincts (e.g., Kelvin Grove Village in Brisbane; One-North in Singapore) and identifies relevant criteria to evaluate their economic outcomes.

Dr Sébastien Darchen
E:  s.darchen@uq.edu.au

Global Cities and Urban Networks
Suitable as a PhD or Honours Project (can be adjusted to suit either)
 
Cities around the world are increasingly positioned to be ‘global’ through economic linkages. This project investigates these connections between cities, looking at how and why the linkages are formed and maintained. Particular attention is given to how these networks are fundamental to the formation of ‘Global Cities’.

Dr Thomas Sigler
E:  t.sigler@uq.edu.au

Rapid Urban Growth
Suitable as a PhD or Honours Project (can be adjusted to suit either)

This project investigates how the physical form of cities changes over time. Rapid urbanisation has brought with it a host of challenging issues to tackle: a scarcity of housing; lack of adequate employment opportunities; and overburdened infrastructure. On the other hand, these issues have led to opportunities for innovative urban solutions that are often overlooked in academic literatures. Applying a combination of descriptive and GIS-based approaches, this project focuses on investigating how particular cities have transitioned in response to contemporary globalisation.
 
Dr Thomas Sigler
E:  t.sigler@uq.edu.au

Urban Design as Politics

Suitable as a PhD or Honours Project (can be adjusted to suit either)

Urban design is mainly understood as the activity of producing public and private space. It is not necessarily considered as a political activity. However, the design of public space is also a political decision about how people should interact, communicate, relate, or behave. Furthermore, urban design, especially that of city centers or other highly visible spaces, can be used as a political tool in the form of national representation or social activism. Urban design can also serve as a medium for public participation. Proposed or implemented projects can lead to discussions and negotiations about identity and meaning, as well as possible futures. Given this premise, there is a large scope for exploring and defining the boundaries, overlaps, and tensions between politics and urban design.

Dr Dorina Pojani
E: d.pojani@uq.edu.au

Planning Structures in Authoritarian and Post-Authoritarian States

Suitable as a PhD or Honours Project (can be adjusted to suit either)

Authoritarian regimes are characterized by limited political pluralism; constraints on civil society; social engineering; political apathy; and suppression of dissenting voices. Many countries around the world are emerging from an authoritarian past. Questions to explore in relation to urban planning include: (a) what is the legacy of a history of authoritarianism on planning institutions and practices, and the culture of public participation, (b) what is the level of public participation in authoritarian and post-authoritarian regimes and (c) what planning outcomes are produced by authoritarianism or a former history of authoritarianism, and how do they compare with outcomes produced through democratic processes?

Dr Dorina Pojani
E: d.pojani@uq.edu.au

Urban Planning for Climate Change

Suitable as a PhD or Honours Project (can be adjusted to suit either)

More than half the world’s population now lives in cities or urban areas, which are responsible for more than 70% of carbon emissions. It is increasingly understood that cities must lead in tackling these problems and adapt to changes in weather patterns. The earth’s and humans’ vulnerability to the impacts of climate change is tied up with cities' ability to cope. But how prepared are cities to global warming? How well prepared and implemented are urban plans for climate change?

Dr Dorina Pojani
E: d.pojani@uq.edu.au

Age-Friendly Built Environment

Suitable as a PhD or Honours Project (can be adjusted to suit either)

In OECD countries, the population share of those over 65 years old reached 18% in 2010, up from 7.7 percent in 1950, and is expected to climb to 25% in 2050. Home to 43% of this older population, cities need to prepare for an aging citizenry. Some of the challenges include a rising demand for social services, healthcare, and public housing, and accessible and socially appealing public spaces. Adapting cities will need to redesign infrastructure and development patterns.

Dr Dorina Pojani
E: d.pojani@uq.edu.au

Urban Psychology

Suitable as a PhD or Honours Project (can be adjusted to suit either)

How do parks affect human relationships and wellbeing? Are urban environments more stressful than rural environments? How do urban environments influence crime rates? Do people in suburban housing have more friends among their neighbors? What should be the maximum height for apartment buildings? Are people happier when they live near the water? Why are some cities cleaner than others? Why do some people prefer farmers’ markets and others shopping malls? How do people from different cultures use public spaces? These questions fall within the domain of urban psychology which studies the relationship between human behavior and the urban environment, from both directions - how cities affects behavior and attitudes, and how people's behaviors and attitudes affect city building.

Dr Dorina Pojani
E: d.pojani@uq.edu.au

Landscape Ecology and Conservation (LEC) - Research Opportunities

Landscape Ecology and Conservation (LEC) - Research Opportunities

The LEC group works across a range of temporal and spatial scales and utilizes a variety of methods to address the following areas of interest: Conservation in human-modified landscapes, Climate change, landscape change and biodiversity, Landscape systems

PhD Projects

Enhancing threatened species outcomes for Christmas Island

Two PhD top-up scholarship of $6,000 per annum are offered for projects involving cat eradication and flying fox management on Christmas Island.  Eligibile students must be in receipt of an Australian Postgraduate Award or other funded scholarship.
The two projects are:

  • Working on the cat eradication on Christmas Island, with a particular focus on decision analysis for monitoring and post eradication strategic management.
  • Working on a decision analysis for the management of the endemic Christmas Island Flying Fox in the face of considerable uncertainty and multiple threats.

More information is available here.

Contact:  Dr Eve McDonald-Madden Email: e.mcdonaldmadden@uq.edu.au

Improving the potential of biodiversity offsetting to reconcile development and conservation

Biodiversity offsetting involves attempting to compensate for environmental damage at one location by generating ecologically equivalent gains at another location. Usually the stated goal is ‘no net loss’ of biodiversity. This policy approach is increasingly being used in an attempt to reduce conflict between development (e.g. for mining and urbanisation) and conservation. However, despite rapid worldwide growth in offsetting, biodiversity offset decisions are often ad-hoc, nonstrategic, and made within a policy framework whose long-term implications are poorly understood.  The program of research on biodiversity offsetting in the Landscape Ecology and Conservation Group aims to better understand these long-term implications, and develop approaches that reduce the risk of poor outcomes for biodiversity from offset trading. Several potential PhD project opportunities exist. Stipend: candidate must obtain an Australian Postgraduate Award (or equivalent) through The University of Queensland. Additional Funding: TBA.

Contact: Assoc Prof Martine Maron Email: m.maron@uq.edu.au

 

Does internal forest fragmentation from linear infrastructure affect core habitat for woodland birds?
The Brigalow Belt of inland Queensland has suffered extensive forest loss over the past four decades. The transformed landscape that has emerged is dominated by agriculture interspersed with large patches of forest habitat, particularly on the more elevated, poorer soils. Although the broad-scale clearing of forest has slowed considerably, a novel form of landscape transformation has recently been introduced: internal fragmentation of forest remnants by linear clearings associated with coal seam gas infrastructure. The effect of this new type of landscape pattern on wildlife is not known. However, by introducing new edge habitats throughout the forests, there is a risk of increasing the area of forest that is dominated by the native noisy miner, a hyper-aggressive bird that excludes almost all smaller birds from its territories. Interspecific aggression by the noisy miner has recently been listed as a Key Threatening Process under the EPBC Act. Following the construction stage, the linear clearings are partly regenerated primarily through allowing regrowth vegetation to recover. The extent to which this shift from wide to narrow infrastructure corridors will reverse any changes to the bird assemblage is also unknown.
The project will:
1) quantify the change in patterns of forest habitat in the Brigalow Belt South as a function of infrastructure development;
2) establish the relationship between woodland birds, noisy miners and internal and external edges of forest patches;
3) explore the potential for passive regrowth to restore bird assemblages and reduce internal edge effects.

Prospective PhD candidates interested in the project should contact Assoc Prof Martine Maron Email: m.maron@uq.edu.au. Funding is available to cover the field costs of this project. Applicants will need to apply for and obtain an Australian Postgraduate Award or equivalent scholarship (information available at http://www.uq.edu.au/grad-school/scholarships-and-fees).

 

Arresting woodland bird declines through Noisy Miner control: a large-scale removal experiment

Aggressive exclusion of birds from woodland and forest habitat by native Noisy Miners is a Key Threatening Process under the EPBC Act. It has severe impacts on an extensive range of threatened woodland bird species, and flow-on effects for threatened eucalypt-dominated grassy-woodland communities. Removal of Noisy Miners from selected woodland patches has enormous potential to immediately boost conservation outcomes by opening up previously alienated habitat to threatened birds, and increasing the available resources for these birds much faster than other restoration activities alone. Preliminary work in other states suggests removal can be achieved at low-cost and, at least in some circumstances, has enduring benefits. With growing interest in using direct control of noisy miners as a management tool, broader-scale research is needed urgently to examine the circumstances under which it is appropriate and effective. This project will quantify the cost-effectiveness of direct control of Noisy Miners, and establish factors that influence success of the approach in restoring assemblages of threatened woodland birds.

This project offers a rare opportunity to be involved in a landscape-scale field experiment. Fieldwork will be done across three regions of inland New South Wales. The PhD student can enrol at either The University of Queensland or University of New England. The supervisory team includes Dr Richard Major (Australian Museum), Dr Paul McDonald (UNE) and Assoc Prof Martine Maron (UQ).

Prospective students must be eligible to obtain an Australian Postgraduate Award scholarship or international equivalent. Project running costs with the potential for a scholarship top-up are available. If you are interested in this opportunity, please contact either Assoc Prof Martine Maron or Dr Paul McDonald, and send a CV and transcript of undergraduate results.

 

Climate and Paleoclimate/Paleoenvironmental projects

Climate and Paleoclimate/Paleoenvironmental projects

A glacial transition and Holocene record of environmental change from Arthur's Pass National Park, New Zealand This project is suitable for a Master of Philosophy project   The warming trend in the time between...

A glacial transition and Holocene record of environmental change from Arthur's Pass National Park, New Zealand
This project is suitable for a Master of Philosophy project
 

The warming trend in the time between the end of the last “Ice Age” and the current interstadial (ca. 18,000 – 10,000 years ago) was interrupted by a rapid cooling event. The nature and timing of this event is fairly well understood in the Northern Hemisphere and it is known as the Younger Dryas. More information is required to understand climate variability in the Southern Hemisphere during this time period. The Misery Moraine sequence in the central South Island, New Zealand was initially used as evidence that the Younger Dryas was a globally synchronous event. Initial cosmogenic dates on boulders within the Misery Moraines indicated a glacial advance around 11,700 years ago. Understanding rapid climate change events such as the Younger Dryas is critical for the prediction of such events in the future.

This project provides an opportunity for a student to work as part of a team on a multi-disciplinary project involving the University of Queensland and Australian Nuclear Science & Technology Organisation (ANSTO) that will improve our understanding of the timing and triggers of glacial advances in the vicinity of the Misery Moraines. This work will also expand our knowledge of paleoenvironmental change in this area over at least the last 14,000 years.

The student will examine a 4m deep sediment core from a bog immediately behind one of the moraines (Fig. 1) using a variety of paleoenvironmental techniques (e.g. pollen, sedimentology, diatoms). Preliminary radiocarbon dates and core lithology hint at an interesting story including a record of climate change and possible local, catchment-scale disturbance events. There is evidence for the formation of a lake ca. 7000 years ago, and this may have been caused by a rock fall blocking the outflow from the bog (Fig. 1). Because a major aim of this work is to verify cosmogenic ages on the moraine sequence, the core will be comprehensively dated using the ANSTO AMS radiocarbon dating facilities.

 

 
For more information please contact either:
or

 

GIS and Spatial Analysis Projects

GIS and Spatial Analysis Projects

We aim to connect students to large scale geographic problems through amalgamation of spatial technology and geographical discovery. The group does primary research on GIS often working with others in geography, environmental management and science to get the most out of their research using GIS and spatial analysis.

GIS and Spatial Analysis Projects

We aim to connect students to large scale geographic problems through amalgamation of spatial technology and geographical discovery. The group does primary research on GIS often working with others in geography, environmental management and science to get the most out of their research using GIS and spatial analysis.

Spatial analysis provides an analytical ‘birds eye’ view of a problem by applying modeling and prediction, analysis, and interpretation.  For research projects we advise following a topic of interest to you and getting a better understanding of the problem by taking a geographical perspective. See National Geographic Guide.

Please contact one of these academics to discuss potential topics;

Dr. David Pullar

Dr. Yan Liu

 

 

Queensland Centre for Population Research (QCPR) Projects

Queensland Centre for Population Research (QCPR) Projects

QCPR research interests focus particularly on population mobility, internal migration and the development of demographic forecasting models.

If you have an alternative topic that you would like to propose QCPR staff are happy to hear from you.
Attraction and retention: the role of mobility in educational pathways and human capital development
As a component of larger 3 year Australian Research Council funded project this PhD project will draw on new, longitudinal datasets to examine the spatial mobility of school leavers and tertiary graduates in cities, towns and rural areas of Victoria. It will apply statistical and spatial analytical techniques to enhance our understanding of how spatial mobility intersects with educational and occupational pathways in the transition to adulthood; it will identify the factors that attract and retain young people in non-metropolitan areas; it will also provide practical insights to guide policy on regional development and the retention of human capital.
Changing Trends Within the Journey to Work in Australia
The journey to work forms an essential activity for much of the populous consuming notable proportions of individual and household incomes. This project will explore the application of geographical methods that are capable of identifying spatial patterns in the journey to work and their change over time. There is considerable scope to explore differences of commuting patterns by mode, gender and industry sector within Australia.
Patterns of Graduate Migration Within Australia
Most researchers and policy-makers nowadays agree that human capital is essential for growth and development. As such, highly educated and skilled people are a very sought-after good as they are widely regarded as an essential element of economic success. This program of research will examine how personal and human capital characteristics of individual university graduates affect the type of location into which they enter for employment purposes in Australia.  There is also scope to explore changes to federal visa programs and State policies and their impact on the spatial distribution of human capital across Australia’s regions.
The Geographical Dimensions of Social Networks

Social networks connect people in distant places through flows of information and knowledge. This project explores how people around the world are connected through networks, and how those networks play out through geographical, social, economic, linguistic, and class-based ties. By using volunteered geographic information (VGI) from popular social networking and information sharing websites, students will be working to analyse how people around the world interact with one another. Using a suite of new tools from both spatial analysis (e.g. geographic information systems) and social network analysis, students will investigate how migratory and economic pathways take shape.

Dr Thomas Sigler
E: t.sigler@uq.edu.au

International Migration in an Urban Setting: Testing the ‘Stepping Stone’ Theory

Urban ethnic enclaves are often theorised as ‘stepping stones’ for new migrants, providing support networks comprised of members of similar diasporic origin. These networks provide multiple types of support, including access to employment and education, as well as community amenities with particular linguistic, religious, or cultural affiliations. This project tests the ‘stepping stone’ theory in contemporary Australian cities.  With net overseas migration approaching the highest rate since the post-WWII boom, students will explore the latest trends in migration and ethnic clustering. Using census data alongside information derived from web-based and field sources, students will understand the changing dynamics of immigrant communities in Australia.

Assoc Prof Jonathan Corcoran and Dr Thomas Sigler
E: jj.corcoran@uq.du.au or t.sigler@uq.edu.au

Temporary population mobiity

Temporary population mobility is an important facet of human spatial behaviour impacting on individual lives, the structure of space-economies, and national settlement systems.  With continued time-space convergence and rapid expansion of social networks, temporary movement is becoming increasingly common. There is scope for students to examine the intensity, pattern and characteristics of temporary spatial mobility as well as the links to permant migration.

 Dr Elin Charles-Edwards

 
Linking internal and international migration

Migration research is typically split into studies of international migration and studies of internal migration, each with its own disctinct data sets, methodologies and theories. There are growing calls for a more integrated approach to migration scholarship. This project will explore the links between internal and international migration at both micro- (i.e. individaul) and macro-level drawing on both conventional and emerging data sets.

 Dr Elin Charles-Edwards

 

 

 

Research Projects in Industrial Ecology and Circular/Green Economy

Research Projects in Industrial Ecology and Circular/Green Economy

A number of projects available are listed here

Dynamic System Modelling of Relationships between Environmental Sustainability, Food and Health Issues 
(Please note:  Dr Halog is unable to accept applications from new Master of Philosophy and PhD students until late 2017)
This projects aims to develop a prototype computational-based system model for understanding the interrelationship between sustainability, particularly climate change, food systems, dietary choices and human health. Preferably, the applicant has previous training or background in system dynamics and/ or agent based modelling (ABM) including their software packages (e.g. STELLA, Powersim, AnyLogic, Open ABM, REPAST, NetLogo, StarLogo) or has high drive and initiative to learn these computational and quantitative methods for dynamic system modelling and analysis. Applicants will develop skills in modelling, analysis, data management, scenario and policy formulation and the development of sustainable solutions. 

Dynamic System Modelling and Analysis for Pursuing Sustainable Bioeconomy in Australia 
(Please note:  Dr Halog is unable to accept applications from new Master of Philosophy and PhD students until late 2017)

Bioenergy is expected to be an important part of the low-carbon energy supply in the future.  Besides techno-economic analysis, rigorous assessment of environmental and social impacts of large-scale deployment of bioenergy is needed to ensure its sustainability. This project will focus on developing a spatially and temporally explicit systems model for producing aviation fuels in Australia from possible feedstocks - microalgae, pongamia pinnata, and sugarcane. This will cover a wide range of bioenergy pathways both for transport use and electricity/heat production, with particular emphasis on carbon and water footprints, impact on human health and ecosystems, and economic costs. Uncertainties from various sources will also be dealt with explicitly. Applicants should have a background in Engineering, Mathematics, Physical and Environmental Studies. Experience in numerical modelling using tools such as Matlab, spatial analysis using GIS software or life cycle analysis is highly desirable though not essential.

Dr Anthony Halog
E:  a.halog@uq.edu.au  

Material Flow Accounting and Input-output Analysis for Reducing Australia’s Energy Demand
(Please note:  Dr Halog is unable to accept applications from new Master of Philosophy and PhD students until late 2017)

This research project aims to reduce Australia’s energy demand through changing our demand of materials and products across the whole supply chain. Firstly, the objective of the project is to understand the key historical drivers of material and product consumption in Australia for the past 20 years. This will involve extending a monetary-based input-output model with physical and energy data to an integrated hybrid model of the Australian economy and its trading partners. Preferably, student has experience in managing and manipulating large datasets, and is familiar with methods such as lifecycle, material flow and input-output analysis. A background in applied and policy relevant research in the field of sustainable consumption and production modelling and climate policy is preferred. You should have relevant background and/or experience in a relevant discipline (e.g. Sustainable consumption and production, input-output modelling, data envelopment analysis, material flow analysis).

Dr Anthony Halog
E:  a.halog@uq.edu.au  

Modelling Urban Metabolism of Cities
(Please note:  Dr Halog is unable to accept applications from new Master of Philosophy and PhD students until late 2017)

Challenges facing urban planners and governments continue to mount as populations in urban areas increase, pressure on the world’s resources reaches critical levels and degradation of ecosystems around the world becomes increasingly apparent. The movement towards sustainable development has been met with enthusiasm by decision-makers, although exactly how to achieve this target, or even measure progress towards it, is not entirely evident. This project aims to explore how complex urban systems (e.g. Brisbane) can be modelled holistically using multi-agent based framework, and their sustainability assessed using a systems approach. This project will help produce a roadmap towards sustainable development of cities. The research will entail review of literature, development of a survey, statistical analysis, and potentially use of an urban systems model.

Dr Anthony Halog
E:  a.halog@uq.edu.au

Consequential Life Cycle Assessment of Liquefied Natural Gas from Coal Seam Gas 
(Please note:  Dr Halog is unable to accept applications from new Master of Philosophy and PhD students until late 2017)

In conjunction with green economy and cleaner production, this project aims to advance sustainability science and engineering methods, particularly the use of life cycle and systems thinking methods to evaluate emerging technologies and products. For this specific project, we are interested to evaluate the environmental life cycle impacts of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from coal seam gas as well as its socio-economic consequences. In consequential LCA, the system boundaries are typically defined to include the activities contributing to the environmental consequence of the change – regardless of whether or not these changes are within or outside of the cradle-to-grave system being investigated. Preferably, the applicant has background or training in environmental life cycle assessment and/or system dynamic methods including their appropriate software packages (CMLCA, SimaPro, Gabi, OpenLCA, Stella, Powersim). Applicants will develop skills in modelling, analysis, data management, scenario and policy formulation and the development of sustainable solutions.

Dr Anthony Halog
E:  a.halog@uq.edu.au

Integration of Multi Agent Systems (MAS) and LCA for Analysing Australian Agri-food Sector 
(Please note:  Dr Halog is unable to accept applications from new Master of Philosophy and PhD students until late 2017)
This project aims to develop a practical and comprehensive methodology for the integration of Multi Agent Systems (MAS) and life cycle assessment (LCA). In order to identify and characterize the Australian agro-system, this project will develop a prototype computational model to simulate Australian agricultural sector.  Preferably, applicant has background in computer science or applied mathematics with experience in agent-based systems as well as strong interest in computation, applied mathematics, optimization and scientific programming.  Successful applicant will develop skills in modelling, analysis, data management, scenario and policy formulation and the development of sustainable solutions.

Dr Anthony Halog
E:  a.halog@uq.edu.au  

Stocks and Flows of Metals and Mineral Resources: Quantifying Environmental Impacts and Risks
(Please note:  Dr Halog is unable to accept applications from new Master of Philosophy and PhD students until late 2017)
This project has a number of objectives.  They are:

  • To understand the metal and mineral resource requirements of Japanese and Chinese industries, particularly in quantifying the demand of rare earth metals in Japanese industries and demand of mineral and other resources in Chinese industries. The metals and resources are supplied by Australian mining and mineral resource industry.
  • To propose viable models of circular economy in Queensland’s mining and mineral resource industries while respecting ecological limits and meeting long-term requirements of other countries.
  • To develop a database of available metals and other minerals in Australia and quantify their usages.

This project can be implemented using any of the life cycle, holistic and system thinking based approaches (particularly, materials flow analysis (MFA), substance flow analysis (SFA), environmental life cycle assessment (LCA), system dynamics, agent based modelling (ABM), multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) and data envelopment analysis (DEA).

Dr Anthony Halog
E:  a.halog@uq.edu.au  

Pursuing Circular Economy in Australia for Sustainable Industrial Development
(Please note:  Dr Halog is unable to accept applications from new Master of Philosophy and PhD students until late 2017)
This This project has a number of objectives.  They are;

  • To support the transformation of Australian Food Systems from linear production system to circular economy, the objectives of this project are:
  • To develop a database and apply life cycle and systems-based methods to analyse Australian food-production and consumption patterns;
  • To evaluate impacts on biodiversity, land use, water use, phosphorous consumption on selected food sub-sectors;
  • To propose circular economy models for the industrial transformation of Australian Food System in pursuit of sustainable consumption and production.

This project can be implemented using any of the life cycle, holistic and system thinking based approaches (particularly, materials flow analysis (MFA), substance flow analysis (SFA), environmental life cycle assessment (LCA), system dynamics, agent based modelling (ABM), multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) and data envelopment analysis (DEA). Preferably, applicants have training or exposure in any of the above methods as well as its appropriate software packages.
solutions.

Dr Anthony Halog
E:  a.halog@uq.edu.au

Life Cycle Sustainability Analysis of Deployment of Renewable Energy technologies
(Please note:  Dr Halog is unable to accept applications from new Master of Philosophy and PhD students until late 2017)

There is an increasing interest around the world to promote the widespread and increased adoption and “sustainable use” of all forms of renewable energy. This includes all forms of energy produced from renewable sources in a sustainable manner including hydro, wind, bioenergy and solar. The main objectives of this project are:

  • Obtaining a comprehensive overview of what environmental and related impact and trade-offs exist in relation to large-scale deployment of each renewable energy technology at all the stages of its lifecycle (e.g. extraction of materials, manufacturing, project implementation, end-of-life treatment), including the identification of diverse – both scientific and perceptive – parameters which affect the understanding and evaluation of impact;
  • Identifying “hot spots” among diverse potential impact areas where we need to pay a particular attention in order to consider their strategies for large-scale renewable energy deployment;
  • The applicant preferably should focus on hydro and bioenergy.

This project can be implemented using any of the life cycle, holistic and system thinking based approaches (particularly, materials flow analysis (MFA), substance flow analysis (SFA), environmental life cycle assessment (LCA), system dynamics, agent based modelling (ABM), multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) and data envelopment analysis (DEA). Preferably, applicants have training or exposure in any of the above methods as well as its appropriate software packages.

Dr Anthony Halog
E:  a.halog@uq.edu.au

Transportation and Mobility Research Projects

Transportation and Mobility Research Projects

Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Suitable as a PhD or Honours Project (can be adjusted to suit either)   Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) is generally considered to be mixed-use development near, and/or o...

Transit-Oriented Development (TOD)
Suitable as a PhD or Honours Project (can be adjusted to suit either)
 
Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) is generally considered to be mixed-use development near, and/or oriented to, mass transit facilities. Common TOD traits include urban compactness, pedestrian and cycle-friendly environs, public and civic spaces near stations, and stations as community hubs. TOD has been rediscovered in many parts of the world due to a combination of factors including technological innovations in transit and logistics, privatization reforms in rail transit, the quest for sustainable development patterns, and the shifting spatial dynamics of contemporary society. In some countries, the TOD approach reaches further than single locations towards a network approach, which aims at realigning entire urban regions around rail transport and away from the car. New TOD projects are often seen as important contributors to good urban design to coordinate transportation modes, mix land uses, and create an appealing public space within a limited area. However, studies to date indicate that TOD projects have been mixed in terms of delivering a genuine transit-oriented experience.
 
Contact: Dr Dorina Pojani 
Gender Issues in Urban Transport.
Suitable as a PhD or Honours Project (can be adjusted to suit either)
 
Gender issues, including gender equality, gender equity, and gender mainstreaming or gender integration, have become important in transport, as well as other policy areas. Among women, there are highly important individual distinctions that depend upon location, income, age, household, elder- and child-care responsibilities, ethnicity, employment status, degree of disability, class, and education. Notwithstanding such variety, there are significant differences between the transport needs, travel behaviors and patterns, and levels of physical access to work, services, and recreation of women compared to men. Gender-based transport differences tend to be more accentuated in developing countries. A gender analysis of transport systems seeks to reveal these differences in particular contexts. It also seeks to uncover potentially detrimental effects proposed transport programs or projects might have on women and men.
 
Contact: Dr Dorina Pojani 
Bus Rapid Transit (BRT).
Suitable as a PhD or Honours Project (can be adjusted to suit either)
 
Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is a recently developed low-cost bus-based alternative to metro and tram systems. A BRT system emulates the performance and amenities of modern rail-based transit systems, including segregated rights of way, closed stations, and pre-board ticketing. However, it has major advantages over rail-based transit, including much lower construction costs, short implementation periods (one to three years after conception), accommodation of many route permutations, and flexibility to adapt to a range of urban conditions. In the last few decades, BRT has become widely used for urban mass transit, especially in developing cities. More than 40 cities on six continents have implemented BRT systems, and at least as many systems are either in the planning or construction stages.
 
Contact: Dr Dorina Pojani 
Transition to Self-Driving Cars
Suitable as a PhD or Honours Project (can be adjusted to suit either)
 
Substantial tracts of urban space have traditionally been dedicated to roads and parking. The transitions to new technologies such as automated vehicles and new business models including collective vehicle-sharing arrangements are already having profound implications across the built environment. The inevitable uptake of automated vehicles will result in far fewer motor vehicles servicing urban mobility needs, particularly if they are operated as a shared service. In addition, car-sharing services employing conventional vehicles, such as Uber, are already a reality. Considering these transitions and trends, important questions arise concerning the design and use of urban space. Policy-makers now need to determine how best to manage and promote these shifting mobility patterns to take advantage of this opportunity to redesign the built environment. How best to repurpose the space that currently accommodates private motor vehicles (moving and parked) to make cities more attractive and liveable places?
 

Contact: Dr Dorina Pojani

Parking impact in cities
Suitable as a PhD or Honours Project (can be adjusted to suit either)
 
Parking is a persistent problem in most cities worldwide. Cars are parked 95% of the time but the majority of mobility studies examine cars while in motion. In orthodox transportation planning, parking is deemed an essential part of the transportation system and is assumed to produce enormous benefits for its users. In reality, generous parking allocations adversely affect both transportation and land use (more so than road space requirements) and yet their effects are often overlooked or misunderstood. Most people are aware of urban problems like congestion and sprawl, but they often fail to connect these with parking policies and practices. Australian cities have sprawled on a scale fit for automobiles rather than humans because, in designing urban transport policies, planners have long assumed that most trips would be by car and that cars should be able to park easily in most areas. Limited progress has been made on the understanding and governance of parking space. Projects proposals, which investigate the impact of parking on revenue; mobility; community; and land use are welcome.
 

Contact: Dr Dorina Pojani

 

Remote Sensing Research Centre (RSRC) Projects

Remote Sensing Research Centre (RSRC) Projects

The Remote Sensing Research Centre has a number of general research areas suitable for Honours level research projects. For all our projects students will work as part of a larger group of research students and staff collecting, processing and analy...

The Remote Sensing Research Centre has a number of general research areas suitable for Honours level research projects. For all our projects students will work as part of a larger group of research students and staff collecting, processing and analysing data for their own, but related topics. This enables access to a wide range of data sets, equipment and advice/support. In most cases these projects  will be linked to delivery results to a government agency or partner.

The scope of our work is outlined here, along with our people and capabilities http://www.gpem.uq.edu.au/rsrc
 
Overall project areas include topics below – all of which can be addressed in south-east Queensland or other areas. Our group is involved in local, state and continental scale projects in these areas, as well as being tied to new projects enabling access to long-term environmental data sets (www.tern.org.au) .
 
Overall Topics:
  1. Mapping and monitoring the composition (cf. biodiversity) biomass, Carbon-fluxes and other energy exchanges in urban, forest and coastal (wetland, seagrass and reef) environments. Projects focus on ONE of these topics. 
  2. Development and validation of algorithms for mapping  and monitoring  current and historical state and changes in urban, coastal and forested environments. Projects focus on ONE of these topics.
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