University of Queensland

University of Queensland

Postdoctoral Research Fellow/Research Officer - School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering


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  • ­School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering

  • Join a university ranked in the world's top 50

  • Computational fluid-rock mechanics

  • Full-time, Fixed term for 2 years (potential extension subject to funding)

  • Visa sponsorship not available for this position

  • Based at St Lucia Campus

  • About UQ

    As part of the UQ community, you'll have the opportunity to work alongside the brightest minds, who have joined us from all over the world, and within an environment where interdisciplinary collaborations are encouraged.

    As part of our commitment to research excellence, we are proud to provide our staff with access to world-class facilities and equipment, grant writing support, greater research funding opportunities, and post-fellowship contracts via our UQ Amplify initiative.

    At the core of our teaching remains our students, and their experience with us sets a foundation for success far beyond graduation. Not only do we have one of the largest PhD enrolments in Australia, but we have also made a commitment to making education opportunities available for all Queenslanders, regardless of personal, financial, or geographical barriers.

    About This Opportunity

    The Postdoctoral Research Fellow / Research Officer will manage and undertake research in support of the broader program being run by A/Prof Onederra and A/Prof Christopher Leonardi. At a high level, this will involve the development and testing of computational models for coupled fluid-rock systems, and then applying them in the areas of hard rock preconditioning using hydraulic fracturing and confined blasting. It is expected that complementary laboratory work will be managed to validate and direct the modelling. This work will be undertaken in parallel with the activities of other research staff.

    Key responsibilities will include:


  • Undertake fundamental and applied research in the areas of computational fluid-rock mechanics with focus on hard rock preconditioning with hydraulic fracturing and explosive induced fracturing.

  • Data-driven interrogation of model outputs to facilitate the coupling of different computational codes and the physical interpretation of results.

  • Assist with the management of laboratory experiments and computational hardware associated with the project.

  • Document research findings and publish scholarly papers in high-quality refereed international journals, books, and conference proceedings.

  • Attend technical meetings with research sponsors, and present regular research seminars within the group, the School, the Faculty, and to other external stakeholders.

  • Work with colleagues and postgraduates to develop new research avenues and build collaborative projects within the School, the University, and if relevant to the area of research, other national and international centres and institutes.

  • Actively seek and gain research funding from internal and external sources including the Commonwealth research granting agencies, the state government and industry.

  • Teaching and Learning

  • Contribute to the effective supervision of higher degree by research (HDR) students, as well as undergraduate and postgraduate thesis students.

  • Assist in the delivery of lectures, tutorials, and practical classes, where appropriate, as well as the marking of assessment.

  • Citizenship and Service

  • Perform a range of administrative functions in the School, including the regular preparation of reports for the School, industry, and other key stakeholders.

  • Contribute to the processes that enable the academic team to manage the work of the School, as directed by the supervisor.

  • Foster the School's relations with industry, government departments, professional bodies and the wider community.

  • Contribute to the development of a positive safety culture in the School.

  • Any other duties as reasonably directed by your supervisor.

  • This is a research focused academic position. Further information can be found by viewing UQ's Criteria for Academic Performance.

    This is a full-time (100%), fixed-term position for up to 2 years with potential extension subject to funding at an Academic level A.

    The full-time equivalent base salary will be in the range $74,308.68 - $99,426.59, plus a generous super allowance of up to 17%. The total FTE package will be up to $86,941.16 - $116,329.11 annually.

    The greater benefits of joining the UQ community are broad: from being part of a Group of Eight university, to recognition of prior service with other Australian universities, up to 26 weeks of paid parental leave, 17.5% annual leave loading, flexible working arrangements including hybrid on site/WFH options and flexible start/finish times, and genuine career progression opportunities via the academic promotions process.

    About You
  • PhD, (or significant progress towards a PhD) in mechanical engineering, civil/Geotechincal engineering, mining/petroleum engineering, or a related field such as earth sciences, and or equivalent qualifications and experience.

  • Demonstrated knowledge of the resources sector, particularly underground mining geomechanics.

  • Demonstrated knowledge in the application of preconditioning techniques including hard rock hydraulic fracturing and confined blasting.

  • Demonstrated knowledge in the application of finite element methods for solid mechanics and the ability to develop scientific and data analysis codes and apply computational models in fluid and rock mechanics.

  • An understanding of explosive technology and blast-induced fracturing, or the ability to rapidly gain this knowledge.

  • Demonstrated:

  • Ability to publish in high quality outlets and prepare effective reports that document research findings for both internal and external audiences;

  • Ability to work collaboratively with colleagues from a range of technical and non-technical backgrounds;

  • High-level interpersonal, written and verbal communication skills, with strong experience in writing and reviewing risk assessments for the relevant experimental work, and effective scheduling of the experimental procedures;

  • Ability to prioritise own workload, work independently and meet deadlines.

  • An ability and willingness to:

  • Develop a coherent research program and to work effectively with the research group;

  • Participate in applications for external research funding support;

  • Supervise honours and Higher Degree by Research (HDR) students;

  • Contribute to positive safety practices and culture.

  • In addition, the following mandatory requirements apply:

  • Work Rights: You must have unrestricted work rights in Australia for the duration of this appointment to apply. Visa sponsorship is not available for this appointment.

  • Background Checks: All final applicants for this position may be asked to consent to a criminal record check. Please note that people with criminal records are not automatically barred from applying for this position. Each application will be considered on its merits.

  • Questions?

    For more information about this opportunity, please contact Associate Professor Italo Onederra. For application queries, please contact [email protected] stating the job reference number (below) in the subject line.

    Want to Apply?

    All applicants must upload the following documents in order for your application to be considered:

  • Resume

  • Cover letter

  • Responses to the ‘About You' section

  • Other Information

    At UQ we know that our greatest strengths come from our diverse mix of colleagues, this is reflected in our ongoing commitment to creating an environment focused on equity, diversity and inclusion. We ensure that we are always attracting, retaining and promoting colleagues who are representative of the diversity in the broader community, whether that be gender identity, LGBTQIA+, cultural and/or linguistic, Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples, or people with a disability. Accessibility requirements and/or adjustments can be directed to [email protected]

    If you are a current employee (including casual staff and HDR scholars) or hold an unpaid/affiliate appointment, please login to your staff Workday account and visit the internal careers board to apply for this opportunity. Please do NOT apply via the external job board.

    Applications close on Thursday, 14th December 2023 at 11.00pm AEST (R-32730). Please note that interviews have been tentatively scheduled after mid-January 2024.

    Job details


    Postdoctoral Research Fellow/Research Officer - School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering


    University of Queensland




    November 16, 2023

    Application deadline

    December 14, 2023

    Job type



    Agricultural Science,Engineering,Physics,Space Science

    About the employer

    The University of Queensland (UQ) is one of Australia’s leading research and teaching institutions. UQ strive for excellence through the creation, preservation, transfer and application of knowledge. For more than a century, this university has educated and worked with outstanding people to deliver knowledge leadership for a better world.

    Since it was founded in Brisbane in 1909, UQ has provided exceptional study experiences, research excellence and collaborative partnerships, coupled with an unforgettable lifestyle and stunning climate, to deliver knowledge leadership for a better world. With 3 campuses and more than 40 teaching and research sites, UQ is the perfect place to teach, research and study. Take advantage of the extensive UQ features including the largest research library in Queensland, hundreds of quality study spaces, several museums, a theatre, 11 college residences, and magnificent sporting facilities, such as swimming pools, tennis, basketball and volleyball courts, sports fields, Olympic-standard running tracks, and gymnasiums.

    Our high-quality range of around 390 undergraduate and postgraduate programs is one of the most comprehensive in Australia, providing students with the latest and most advanced disciplinary knowledge and industry placements informed by UQ’s world-leading research. UQ’s 6 faculties, 8 globally recognised research institutes and 100+ research centres attract an interdisciplinary community of more than 2,000 scientists, social scientists and engineers, who continue UQ’s tradition of research leadership.

    As you enjoy Queensland’s stunning campuses and climate, you can also make the most of the University’s proximity to many natural wonders – including beautiful beaches, lush rainforests, outback deserts, the Great Barrier Reef, as well as the largest sand island in the world – and visit stunning tourist attractions within an hour’s drive, such as the Gold and Sunshine Coasts, Byron Bay, Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, and the world-famous ‘Australia Zoo’. Within Australia, Brisbane is renowned as a friendly and affordable city, with plenty of dining and entertainment attractions, and was ranked by The Economist Intelligence Unit’s 2019 Global Liveability Index as the world’s 18th most liveable city, achieving a perfect score for education and healthcare.

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