Monash University

Monash University

PhD Opportunity: Machine learning-based kinetic modelling on the thermal decomposition of plastic waste via pyrolysis


Closing in 12 days

PhD Opportunity: Machine learning-based kinetic modelling on the thermal

decomposition of plastic waste via pyrolysis

Job No.: 661850

Location: Clayton / Advanced Fuel Innovation premises in Melbourne VIC

Employment Type: Full-time

Duration: 4-year fixed-term appointment

Remuneration: Scholarship package of $46,000 annually (2024 rate)

Project Description

The project is under the CSIRO's Industry PhD (iPhD) Program that brings together an industry partner, a university (Monash University for this project) and CSIRO to co-develop a four-year industry-focussed PhD project. You will receive a four-year scholarship package of $46,000 annually (2024 rate) if successful. To be eligible, you must be an Australian or New Zealand citizen or Australian permanent resident. Please see other eligibility requirements and other details at the following link.

www. programs-and-Scholarships/Industry-PhD/iPhD-Student

This project aims to develop a machine learning-based kinetic model for an accurate prediction of the product yield and quality from the pyrolysis of plastic waste. The primary outcome of the project is the development of a robust model that is effective in simulating the entire pyrolysis process at a relatively low computing cost, whereas its results will be sufficiently accurate to predict the composition and yields of the products. As a heterogeneous material with different types and compositions, waste plastic has a varying product distribution upon its thermal decomposition, which is further complicated by the process operating parameters such as heating rate, reactor type and the addition of catalyst within the reactor. This PhD project is significant in addressing this scientific knowledge gap, thereby delivering an accurate model that is beneficial in large-scale reactor sizing and product quality control. Ultimately, the project will have an impact on the development of a circular economy within Australia and even globally, promoting the recycling and reuse of waste plastic in a value-added manner.

Desired Student Skillset

Essential Skills: An H1 or H2A bachelor's degree in the relevant discipline area or equivalent accreditation and standing, with a primary study area in Computer Science and/or Chemical Engineering or equivalent; Excellent mathematical and programming skills, in particular in the areas of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning including deep learning and network- based optimisation; and coding programs including Python, T and Matlab; and excellent written and verbal communication skills.

(Optional) Desirable skills: Degree and/or knowledge of core chemical engineering disciplines such as reaction engineering, kinetic and process simulation and knowledge of chemistry and polymer science.

To Apply

Please visit: www. research/how-to-apply


Further enquiries about the scholarship or application process should be directed to the Graduate Research Office, [email protected] or visit the website, www.

Dr Jackie Rong (Monash University), [email protected] Prof Lian Zhang (Monash University), [email protected] Dr Zongli Xie (CSIRO), [email protected] Dr Michael Batten (CSIRO), [email protected] Dr Lei Zhang (Advanced Fuel Innovation Ptd Ltd), [email protected]

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Job details


PhD Opportunity: Machine learning-based kinetic modelling on the thermal decomposition of plastic waste via pyrolysis


Monash University




February 05, 2024

Application deadline

March 06, 2024

Job type



Chemistry,Computer Science,Engineering,Physics

About the employer

Monash University 

Monash University Is the largest university in Australia, ranked in the world's top 100 and a member of the prestigious Group of Eight.  We're named after Sir John Monash, and fuelled by his desire for our students to leave here with a greater sense of purpose, and the skills and confidence to create positive change. 

In under 60 years, we've grown from a single campus into an education and research powerhouse with a presence on four continents, committed to the challenges of the age.

Our work is making an impact all over the world, from bringing clean water to villages in Africa to creating new life-saving medicines.

An international experience

With four Australian campuses, one in Malaysia and over 100 international partners, we're making a difference on a global scale.  You'll have access to more research collaborations, more global partnerships, and a greater choice of overseas opportunities.  

All Monash courses have an international focus, whether you take subjects on global issues, participate in study abroad programs, or learn alongside students from diverse cultures.  Monash prepares you for the global workforce - you can start your degree in Australia, and continue your studies in Italy, Malaysia, India, China, or any of our 100 partner institutions worldwide.

A recognised world leader in research

We're active in over 150 fields of research across our 10 faculties, in areas as diverse as additive manufacturing, drug development, domestic violence and sustainable design. Many ideas developed at Monash - such as a new Malaria vaccine and 3D-printed engines - have been commercialised and are making a difference to the world we live in.

Partnerships in industry and government

Home to various precincts of innovation, we foster collaboration across traditional and unexpected disciplines.  We build teams and form links, we bring together diverse minds - researchers, companies, businesses and technology - creating knowledge hubs of the future.

Plenty of options

Our large range of courses allows you to match your studies with your ambitions.  Monash University offers one of the largest range of degrees in Australia, including over 140 innovative double degree options, bachelor, master and PhD degrees.


We believe everyone should have the opportunity to make their mark on the world, which is why we offer over 200 different types of scholarships  for new and current students. They take care of everything from course fees to travel and accommodation. Our scholarships aren’t just reserved for those with the best academic track record – we provide support for disadvantaged students as well.

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