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Drag-reducing Anti-fouling Coatings for Maritime Applications


A PhD project is available immediately (July 2021) in the group of Prof Chiara Neto in the School of Chemistry on the study of drag reduction by lubricant-infused surfaces. The project is in collaboration with MicroTau Pty Ltd.

This project will take place within the Nano-Interfaces Group with a strong collaborative atmosphere between students and postdoctoral fellows. As part of the PhD program, you will interact strongly with the Sydney-based industrial partner MicroTau, thereby gaining valuable transferrable skills. For more details visit and

The project is restricted to Australian and New Zealand citizens.


Professor Chiara Neto.

Research location

School of Chemistry

Program type



Surface coatings have the potential to substantially reduce the energy required to drive fluid flow. This project will investigate a family of surfaces called riblets, for the scalable production of highly drag-reducing and anti-fouling coatings through a microprinting technology developed by MicroTau. In the project, the riblets will be designed, fine-tuned based on microfluidic testing and produced to combine drag-reducing and marine anti-fouling properties. The focus will be on connecting material properties to performance in drag reduction and fouling reduction. This PhD project will benefit the larger Future Fellowship project funded by the Australian Research Council and awarded to Prof Chiara Neto.

The ideal candidate is a graduate in mechanical or chemical engineering, physics or physical chemistry, with a strong background in fluid dynamics or interfacial flow, microfluidics, and/or anti-fouling properties of surfaces. For further information on the project, please contact Prof Chiara Neto.

The project is restricted to Australian and New Zealand citizens.

Additional information

There will be a $5000/year top-up scholarship by the Defence innovation Network associated with this project.

HDR Inherent Requirements

In addition to the academic requirements set out in the Science Postgraduate Handbook, you may be required to satisfy a number of inherent requirements to complete this degree. Example of inherent requirement may include:

  • Confidential disclosure and registration of a disability that may hinder your performance in your degree;
  • Confidential disclosure of a pre-existing or current medical condition that may hinder your performance in your degree (e.g. heart disease, pace-maker, significant immune suppression, diabetes, vertigo, etc.)
  • Ability to perform independently and/or with minimal supervision;
  • Ability to undertake certain physical tasks (e.g. heavy lifting);
  • Ability to undertake observatory, sensory and communication tasks;
  • Ability to spend time at remote sites (e.g. One Tree Island, Narrabri and Camden);
  • Ability to work in confined spaces or at heights;
  • Ability to operate heavy machinery (e.g. farming equipment);
  • Hold or acquire an Australian driver’s licence;
  • Hold a current scuba diving licence;
  • Hold a current Working with Children Check;
  • Meet initial and ongoing immunisation requirements (e.g. Q-Fever, Vaccinia virus, Hepatitis, etc.)

You must consult with your nominated supervisor regarding any identified inherent requirements before completing your application.

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Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is 2956

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