Study As
Full Time

Principal Supervisor
Professor Markus Stumptner

Main Campus
Mawson Lakes

Applications Close
14 Feb 2023

Study Level

Applications Open To
Domestic Candidate or International Candidate

Tuition Fees:
All domestic students are eligible for a fee waiver. International students who receive a stipend are eligible for a fee waiver. Find out more about fees and conditions.

Project Stipend:
$29,863 p.a. available to domestic and international applicants

About the project

Develop ontologically enriched data standards for digital twin management

If you’re motivated to build a career in computer science/artificial intelligence, the University of South Australia – Australia’s University of Enterprise – is offering a pioneering project-based PhD in our Industrial AI Research Centre, in partnership with MIMOSA.

The project seeks to develop ontological means of expression to provide semantic descriptions of the information relevant for the administration of industrial plants, such as equipment, software, and processes. These methods will help us to develop interoperable software solutions in industrial plants. 

You will develop, validate and demonstrate ontological models and examine the ways in which they interact and enhance existing data models for plant management. The results will translate directly into new interoperability techniques and innovative industrial practice.

You will be based in the Industrial AI Research Centre, which is a vibrant multidisciplinary environment with over 90 researchers. Our researchers have extensive track records in applied AI areas such as knowledge representation and reasoning, autonomous agents, and machine learning, and we collaborate with industrial partners in a variety of domains (Health, Defence, Manufacturing, Energy).

This work is embedded within a set of projects funded by the Future Energy Exports CRC so you will have the opportunity to work with more than a dozen researchers and other PhD students in this area, helping you to build a strong collegial and professional network. 

What you’ll do

In this project-based research degree, you will investigate and evaluate methods for developing ontologies and data models for industrial interoperability. Tasks include undertaking a literature review, identifying suitable data modelling approaches, developing appropriate models to describe complex information processes in an industrial setting, and demonstrating the usefulness of real-world datasets to evaluate the developed approach. 

You will draft and submit research papers, and we will support and encourage you to attend and present your research at domestic and international conferences. Conference attendance can help you establish connections with industry partners or other academic institutions, which will enhance your career opportunities post-graduation.

In this project, you will have access to highly experienced researchers and gain skills in understanding AI and data management techniques in industrial ecosystems, including both industrial plant and business settings, using modern techniques for digital transformation of Industry 4.0 environments. You will graduate with in-demand skills and abilities that will position you well in the job market. 

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 $29,863 per annum is available to eligible applicants. Australian Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander applicants will be eligible to receive an increased stipend rate of $46,653 per annum (2023 rates). A fee-offset or waiver for the standard term of the program is also included. For full terms and benefits of the scholarship please refer to our scholarship information for domestic students or international students.

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. Additionally applicants must meet the projects selection criteria: 
  • Experience in object-oriented software development methods
Applicant who can also demonstrate the following will be highly regarded:
  • Knowledge of logic programming, knowledge representation techniques, ontologies
  • Experience with software modeling techniques and object oriented design techniques
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 Tuesday, 14th February 2023.

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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