Study As
Full Time

Principal Supervisor
Dr Debabrata Karmokar

Main Campus
Mawson Lakes

Applications Close
29 Sep 2023

Study Level

Applications Open To
Domestic Candidate or International Candidate

Tuition Fees:

All domestic students are eligible for a fee waiver. Find out more about fees and conditions.

Project Stipend:
$32,500 p.a. (domestic applicants only)

About the project

Develop new technology to support wireless systems demands

If you are excited about advancing your career in the radio frequency engineering and concerned about enhancing Australia’s defence capabilities the University of South Australia – Australia’s University of Enterprise – is offering a hands-on project-based PhD within Industrial AI Research Centre. 

Most traditional antennas are omnidirectional (i.e., radiate power in all horizontal directions, mainly due to simplicity and low cost). However, with today’s high data rate demand and security issues, modern wireless systems need antennas with narrow beams and steering (or scanning) functionality. 

Beam steering can be achieved either mechanically or electronically. However, in most cases, mechanical beam steering is slow and may not be feasible for various applications, such as high-speed applications. Electronic beam steering is fast, but most of the available solutions are very expensive. Finding a reliable alternative solution for antenna beam scanning is becoming an active and rapidly growing research area.  

This project aims to design a low-cost electronic beam-steering antenna system to support forthcoming wireless communication. We want to develop an antenna that can potentially integrate into the existing systems to support the immediate demand, as well as future networks to improve signal quality and coverage, reduce network congestion, and efficiently use the spectrum.  

We aim to contribute to the development and evolution of telecommunication infrastructure and hence play a role in meeting the growing demand for wireless connectivity in Australia. 

You will be based in the Industrial AI Research Centre. You will have access to state-of-the-art facilities and equipment, including a Vector Network Analyzer that can measure RF components and system operating up to 40 GHz. You will also benefit from access to commercial-grade software and and mentorship from a supervisory team of leading experts from academia and industry.  

This group has an excellent track record in antennas and propagation, signal processing, target detection, beamforming, control systems and complex RF system, giving you access to unparalleled knowledge and expertise. You will also have access to world-class prototype fabrication capabilities for experimental prototype fabrication. 

What you’ll do 

In this project-based research degree, you will find research gaps through an extensive literature review and consultation with the supervisory team and then develop appropriate research questions. You will come up with a concept and methodology and investigate appropriate design considerations. 

Under supervision, you will develop an initial design through theoretical analysis and then model the design using commercial software. If the model works, you will have the opportunity to prototype the design and test some RF characteristics using the new Vector Network Analyzer. There is also scope to undertake prototype testing at other universities or industries through collaboration, giving you enviable hands-on experience 

There will be several opportunities for you to develop communication skills and a strong professional network via regular presentations to the supervisory team, publishing in high-quality journals, and attending and presenting at reputable conferences. 

Where you’ll be based

You will be based in the Industrial AI Research Centre. The Centre brings together experts from across computer sciences to develop solutions for autonomous and augmented intelligence systems. We are a part of the global revolution in artificial intelligence, machine learning, Industry 4.0 and Internet-of-Things (IoT) technologies.  

Our researchers work with organisations around the world to develop solutions that cater to their specific needs. We have worked with Siemens, BP Australia, Yokogawa Electric and more, growing these partnerships over time to continually design sophisticated AI-driven solutions.

Supervisory team

Financial Support

This project is funded for reasonable research expenses. Additionally, a living allowance scholarship of $32,500 per annum is available to Australian and New Zealand citizens, permanent residents of Australia. Australian Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander applicants will be eligible to receive an increased stipend rate of $45,076 per annum. A fee-offset or waiver for the standard term of the program is also included for this group.  For full terms and benefits of the scholarship please refer to our scholarship information.  International applicants will not be eligible to receive the scholarship.

Eligibility and Selection 

This project is open to application from both domestic and international applicants.

Applicants must meet the eligibility criteria for entrance into a PhD.  All applications that meet the eligibility and selection criteria will be considered for this project. A merit selection process will be used to determine the successful candidate.

The successful applicant is expected to study full-time and to be based at our Mawson Lakes Campus in the north of Adelaide. Note that international students on a student visa will need to study full-time.

Essential Dates 

Applicants are expected to start in a timely fashion upon receipt of an offer.  Extended deferral periods are not available. Applications close on Friday, 29th September.

How to apply:

Applications must be lodged online, please note UniSA does not accept applications via email.

For further support see our step-by-step guide on how to apply , or contact the Graduate Research team on +61 8 8302 5880, option 1 or email us at You will receive a response within one working day.

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