CSIRO Postdoctoral Fellowship in Analytical and Computational Modelling


  • Are you a highly motivated recent (or near) PhD graduate with expertise in computational modelling?
  • Prestigious Postdoctoral Fellowship on offer - kick-start your research career
  • Join CSIRO Mineral Resources - help grow Australia's resource base

The Position

Postdoctoral Fellowships at CSIRO provide opportunities to scientists and engineers, who have completed their doctorate and have less than three years relevant postdoctoral work experience. These fellowships will help launch their careers, provide experience that will enhance their career prospects, and facilitate the recruitment and development of potential leaders for CSIRO.

Postdoctoral Fellows are appointed for up to three years and will work closely with a leading Research Scientist or Engineer in their respective field. They carry out innovative, impactful research of strategic importance to CSIRO with the possibility of novel and important scientific outcomes. They present the findings in appropriate publications and at conferences.

The successful candidate will work with the UWA-CSIRO Chair in Complex Engineering Systems, Professor Michael Small and a team made up of researchers (modellers and experimentalists) from CSIRO Mineral Resources, Data 61 and UWA. The successful candidate will be capable of, and experienced in, applying their work to real systems to produce innovative solutions to challenging problems. In this case the primary focus will be on understanding and advancing processes that influence polymer-induced dewatering of particle systems.

Long-chain polymers in aqueous solutions exhibit viscous and elastic non-linear characteristics (viscoelasticity) under stress that adversely influence their ability to aggregate fine particle slurries. Advancing the mathematical modelling of viscoelasticity will enhance solid-liquid separation in many industrial applications, and in particular help towards reducing environmental impacts from mineral tailings.

While low/medium solids flocculation is extensively studied, fundamental research focuses on adsorption mechanisms and aggregate structures. There is limited consideration of the constantly changing solution state of polymer flocculants, and beyond CSIRO’s existing effort, no attempts to relate to performance. Mathematical modelling in this area offers new fundamental insights, scope for a step-change in predictive capability and strategies to harness the potential aggregation activity of polymers.

In high solids concentration tailings dewatering, there is little fundamental understanding of how flocculant mixing and particle aggregation proceeds. Research is mainly macro scale, considering novel polymers and large-scale dosing trials. Viscoelastic impacts are known to be large, but are only dealt with operationally by extreme polymer overdosing. Building on CSIRO’s unique measurement and validation tools to understand, model and then optimise the process will create on unmatched capability, opening up many avenues for research collaboration and applications towards more sustainable tailings treatment with reduced environmental footprints.

This project will achieve these results with a unique expertise in computational modelling of particle-scale mixing, fluid dynamics modelling, experimental observation, and meso-scale approaches from complex systems theory. It combines world-leading measurement capability (CSIRO Mineral Resources), computational particle modelling (CSIRO Data61 and UWA), and the Complex Systems team (UWA).

Locations: Waterford, WA
Salary: AU $80K - AU $91K plus up to 15.4% superannuation
Tenure: Specified Term of 3 years
Ref No.: 48781

To be successful you will need:

  • A doctorate (or will shortly satisfy the requirements of a PhD) in a relevant discipline area, such as Mathematics, Physics, Computing or Engineering. Please note: To be eligible for this role you must have no more than 3 years of relevant postdoctoral experience.
  • Demonstrated research expertise in analytical and computational modelling techniques.
  • Demonstrated outstanding research track record in a relevant field, such as Complex Systems, Nonlinear Dynamics, or Continuum Mechanics.
  • Demonstrated outstanding publication track record in academic peer-reviewed publications and international journals.
  • The ability to work effectively as part of a multi-disciplinary, regionally dispersed research team, plus the motivation and discipline to carry out autonomous research.
  • A record of science innovation and creativity, plus the ability & willingness to incorporate novel ideas and approaches into scientific investigations.

Before applying, we encourage you to read the full position description for this role. This document can be viewed at: Position details document

Who we are: The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)

At CSIRO, we do the extraordinary every day. We innovate for tomorrow and help improve today - for our customers, all Australians and the world. We imagine. We collaborate. We innovate.

We work flexibly at CSIRO, offering a range of options for how, when and where you work. Talk to us about how this role could be flexible for you. Find out more! CSIRO Balance

How to Apply: To apply, please provide a CV as well as a cover letter addressing the selection criteria in brief, and upload these as one document. If your application proceeds to the next stage you may be asked to provide additional information.

Applications Close: 10:59pm AEST Sunday 12th November 2017

posted: 15 October 2017     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.