AGSE Research degrees

Two female engineers discussing a project in an industrial office while looking at documents pinned on a glass wall

The UNSW Australian Graduate School of Engineering (AGSE) is now offering an industry-linked research degree for those who seek to expand their skills in their chosen field, and to connect directly and collaborate with future employers while undertaking a flexible, tailored four-year study plan. 


The AGSE Industry PhD Program builds on UNSW’s global reputation for innovation in its engineering programs, and its place as Australia’s number one engineering university. Through this PhD Program, the AGSE welcomes prospective students who are looking to focus their work on addressing a pressing, real-world problem in an industrial setting, while working with a pioneering team at the university.

A PhD degree is fundamentally different to other degrees. Pursuing an industry PhD will additionally equip graduates with an attractive suite of professional and knowledge skills that will give you an enormous edge in the job market, and set you off on one of the most rewarding careers imaginable. Whether that is in fields of industry, or in dedicating a career to academic excellence, this program will set you apart.

Obtaining a higher degree by research teaches you to think critically, to be self-starting and self-directing, to show commitment to a multi-year project, and to understand the creative processes behind research – the discovery of new forms of knowledge. To be awarded a PhD you must demonstrate that you have contributed something original and significant. You will be a world expert in your field. You will then be ideally positioned to apply that knowledge in academic or industrial projects across the country, and around the world.

A UNSW AGSE Industry PhD sets you up to be a world-class technology and innovation leader of the future.

Employers in engineering’s many fields are searching for graduates with a diverse range of applicable skills. Combining your research with industry experience gives you a direct pipeline to those employers well before you graduate, ensuring hands-on, real-time, real-world experience. 

The Industry PhD Program can be tailored to suit your needs and your background, as well as where you’d like to take your career next. Whether that is choosing an industry partnership in the start-up space, working with government agencies, building high performance teams, IP strategy and management, product design or sustainability principles, the options are only limited by the goals you set for yourself. 

For our industry partners, the program will connect you with Australia’s most ambitious and talented new research graduates, allow you to build long-term partnerships with UNSW and its award-winning academic research community, and broaden your access to a talent pool of potential employees and collaborators. 

If you’re ready to unleash your professional experience and embrace world-class research in order to solve ambitious new challenges and have a tangible impact on the world at scale, we invite you to contact us. 

Contact us about the AGSE Industry PhD today or call +61 2 9385 5000.

Case studies

  • The AGSE Industry PhD Program has been specially designed to be a practical and accessible way to your PhD. With a combined focus of both academic and industry expertise, you can look forward to graduating with job-ready skills and a network to help you find your next career stage.

    Completing a PhD within the AGSE Industry PhD program includes:

    ·      Meeting all the requirements for the PhD degree in Engineering in a minimum of 3 years

    ·      Full time study complemented by an internship in industry, a tailored professional development program as well as industry and peer networking

    Whether you are a recent university graduate or an experienced industry professional, the flexible program models will suit your needs:

     

    Industry Engaged

    Industry Sponsored

    Industry Embedded

     

    Complete a PhD while doing elements of the research in industry funded by a university scholarship.

     

     

    Complete a PhD with an industry funded scholarship and perform elements of the research in industry.

     

     

    Salary paid by employer to complete a PhD while working.

     

    Program

     

    PhD program requirements plus:

    ·      UNSW and industry supervisors

    ·      Minimum of 60 days working in industry related to the project

    ·      Tailored Professional development program

    ·      Industry, academic and peer networking and mentoring program

     

    Industry support

     

    ·     Supervision

    ·     Infrastructure access

    ·     Research support

     

     

    Optional:

    ·     Top-up scholarship

    ·     Employment during the industry internship

     

     

    ·    Scholarship and UNSW support package

     

    ·   Employee salary

    Scholarship 

     

    Competitively awarded scholarship starting at the UNSW RTP rate for a maximum of 3.5 years full-time: Domestic or International

     

     

    Competitively awarded scholarship starting at $50,000 per annum for a maximum of 4 years full-time.

     

    Not applicable

  • Whether you are a recent university graduate or an experienced industry professional, this research degree with a coursework component develops skills in research including original investigation, design or engineering development.

    Completing a Master of Industrial Research (MIR) within the AGSE includes:

    ·       Meeting all the requirements for the degree in a minimum of 1-year, full time

    ·       Study will be complemented by industry and peer networking

    Graduate with job-ready skills and a network to help you find your next career step.

     

    Industry Engaged

    Industry Sponsored

    Industry Embedded

     

    Complete an MIR while doing elements of the research in industry.

     

     

    Complete an MIR with an industry funded scholarship and perform elements of the research in industry.

     

     

    Salary paid by employer to complete an MIR while working.

     

    Program

     

    Program requirements plus:

    ·      UNSW and industry supervisors

    ·      Industry, academic and peer networking and mentoring program

     

    Industry support

     

    ·     Supervision

    ·     Infrastructure access

    ·     Research support

     

     

    Optional:

    ·     Top-up scholarship

     

    ·    Scholarship and UNSW support package

    ·   Employee salary

    Scholarship

     

    Optional:

    Competitively awarded scholarship starting at the UNSW RTP rate for a maximum of 2 years, full time: Domestic or International

     

     

    Competitively awarded scholarship starting at $40,000 per annum for a maximum of 2 years, full time.

     

    Not applicable

  • The School of Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering (SPREE) worked across UNSW with the Centre for Low Carbon Living on this innovative data project with industry partner, Solar Analytics. Understanding household electricity demand and consumption habits is critical for the development of smart solar technologies that can both reduce carbon emissions (household electricity use generating a quarter of all energy produced) and the cost of electricity, with Australians paying some of the highest electricity bills in the world.

    Smart home energy management systems are slowly finding their place in our homes and offices, where they can optimize the operation of appliances and help utilise solar power and batteries effectively, ultimately transforming them into energy-smart dwellings. In order to achieve this, it is important to improve our understanding of household consumption behavior by using smart algorithms and methods.

    The project developed a novel hybrid statistical-machine learning model to process real-world data from thousands of Australian households as provided by Solar Analytics in order to accurately forecast the habitual usage behaviors of home energy consumers, focusing on the heating of electric hot water systems via utilizing excess solar generation. The results have shown that the information gained through the developed modelling can expand the capabilities of home energy management systems and help to improve the potential savings and reduce the associated emissions.

    Baran Yildiz, PhD candidate on the project said of the experience: “It was highly valuable to collaborate with an industry partner during my PhD,” he explained. “Receiving regular feedback and having ongoing discussions with industry experts outside academia helped me apply the theoretical academic knowledge to pragmatic real-world problems."

  • This largescale project between the School of Chemical Engineering, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering and a cohort of industry partners including SA Water, Melbourne Water, NSW Office of Water, Seqwater, WaterNSW and Water Research Australia was the recipient of an ARC Linkage Grant, and undertook vital research into the technology deployed to minimize the impacts of harmful algae and cyanobacteria blooms in water supplies.

    Fluorometers have been developed to monitor blooms to provide early warning to water treatment plant operators. Over 18 months, the project investigated their effectiveness across 13 water treatment plant sites and the systematic evaluation of 6 fluorometers across 4 different cyanobacterial species.

    This enabled the development of correction factors, recommendations for site implementation and for the most appropriate fluorometers depending on site-specific circumstances. These findings will directly impact the deployment and implementation of future fluorometer installations for cleaner water supplies.

    “An industry PhD is different to a normal PhD as the research being conducted can have a direct and visible impact in the industry,” said Florence Choo, of her industry PhD experience. She has since been hired by SA Water, where she continues her work. “It can also help shape the direction of research so that industry implementation can have the most impact.”