Two PhD projects at the University of Sydney on the development of stress sensors for geotechnology and soft robotics  

We are looking to recruit two outstanding PhD candidates on the development of novel stress sensors for a wide range of applications. Each of these projects is expected to last 3.5 years and will be fully funded.

The first project will develop and characterise the sensors for geotechnical engineering purposes, to measure stresses underground. The student will first design a family of sensors that are able to withstand harsh underground conditions, then characterise their response under calibrated stress-controlled tests, and finally verify the ability of the developed sensors to provide in situ, accurate dynamic information, and warning signs on the development of geotechnical failures. Prospective candidates for this PhD position are expected to possess a robust background in electronics and experimental mechanics, coupled with a keen interest in geomechanics. This project represents a thrilling opportunity to contribute significantly to industry capabilities.

The second project will advance those pressure sensors for soft underground robotics. In the first year the student will develop several prototypes at the University of Sydney (USyd) for different shapes of robotic heads and functionalities. Over the second year they will visit Dr Barbara Mazzolai’s group at the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT) to implement those sensors on robots inspired by worms and roots. Back at USyd on the third year, they will bring together the sensing and locomotion of the robots to explore burrowing dynamics in USyd’s fast x-ray facility. The recruited PhD student will be expected to have strong background in electronics and/or robotics and/or geomechanics. This is an exciting opportunity to actively contribute to international, multi-disciplinary collaboration.

For applications, please email your curriculum vitae, as well as the transcripts of your bachelor’s and master’s degrees. We aim to review applications by mid-February 2024.

Contact details:

Professor Itai Einav,
Director of SciGEM,
School of Civil Engineering,
The University of Sydney

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