PhD Scholarship in Lunar Based Casting Technologies [UAI419]

PhD Scholarship in Lunar Based Casting Technologies [UAI419]

22 Nov
Swinburne University Of Technology

22 Nov

Swinburne University Of Technology


- School of Engineering

- Full time, 3 year scholarship (with possible 6 month extension) at our Hawthorn Campus

- $28,597 (indexed) (2021 rate) for three years

Fantastic opportunity to take part in a PhD Scholarship working with a leading US based Space Industrial company developing new technologies for post-processing extracted materials on the surface of the moon.

About the Scholarship

We are looking for an outstanding PhD Scholarship candidate with a background in Materials, Chemical and/or Mechanical Engineering, interested in developing new technologies for post-processing extracted materials on the surface of the moon,

working with a leading US based Space Industrial company and an international class research team at Swinburne University of Technology.

In this exciting project, there are well advanced plans to develop a human settlement on the moon, as means to further space exploration. One of the key challenges to maintain a sustainable human presence on the moon is the development of In-situ Resources Utilisation (ISRU) technologies to produce useful materials on the moon. The lunar surface offers special challenges in making materials, as the low gravity, high vacuum and extreme variations in surface temperature which effect many aspects of materials processing that requires both fundamental research and technological innovation. Swinburne University of Technology has been developing improved scientific understanding of these processes through research in the Extraterrestial Resource Processing program of the Space Technology and Industry Institute (see

This program is led by Professor Geoffrey Brooks and brings together expertise in Materials Science, Pyrometallurgy, Electrochemistry and Physics to address key issues associated with the processing of materials on the surface of the moon. The group at Swinburne has access to excellent research facilities ( and currently in partnership with CSIRO, IIT Madras, Shandong University and Lunar Resources. The team at Swinburne has won many major international awards for its research into Materials Processing (

Lunar Resources, Inc. (see is a leading US based space industrial company pioneering space manufacturing, off earth resources extraction and in situ production. A corporate spin-off from various NASA and NASA sponsored technology development programs, Lunar Resources is led by the by the world leading experts in the field of space industrialisation and partnered with NASA, US Department of Defense, National Science Foundation, and US prime aerospace companies.

This PhD Scholarship is jointly funded by the Swinburne University of Technology and Luna Resources, Inc. and is focused on developing technologies for casting molten metals on the moon. Lunar Resources is recognized as the industry leader in Molten Regolith Electrolysis (MRE) for extraction of oxygen and metals from lunar regolith. MRE does not require reagents or fluxes that must be transported from Earth. The first product expected from the MRE process is Fe-Si which is brittle but has some potential as a construction material. With further refining Fe, Si, Al, Ti and Mg may be produced. The challenge of casting on the Moon is due to a lesser extent of the 1/6 gravity, but more because we are limited in mass, power and constraint to operate in a vacuum. A solution is to exclusively utilize in situ environment and materials, and to avoid exogenous consumables to minimize transport costs from Earth to the Moon. To enable in situ manufacturing we must learn to cast molten feedstock into structural members, including wire, rods, or other shapes directly from molten metal produced by an extraction apparatus. This research will focus on methods for in situ production of wires and rods with good dimensional and materials properties control that are required for in-situ manufacturing of structures, and as feed for additive manufacturing. Little work has been done on how to adapt continuous casting of metal rods on the Moon, or how wires might be formed in-situ.

The scholarship is part of the SUPRA Growth Scholarship scheme at Swinburne and includes a stipend of $28,597 (indexed) (2021 rate) for three years (with possible 6 month extension), tuition fees for up to four years and a Thesis allowance. The details of SUPRA Scholarships can be found at

About Swinburne University of Technology

Swinburne is a young university with a long history. As a dual-sector university of technology, born of a technical college, we are proud of Swinburne’s technology DNA, and of our national and global standing. Our contribution to Technology, Entrepreneurship, Innovation and the STEM disciplines, and our track record of meaningful industry and community engagement, are natural manifestations of the legacy initiated by the vision of our founders George and Ethel Swinburne in 1902. We offer postgraduate, undergraduate, vocational education and online education to provide students with a variety of work-relevant pathways.

About you

To be successful in the role, you will have:

- Bachelor’s degree in Materials, Mechanical and/or Chemical Engineering (or equivalent)

- Experience in laboratory-based materials research

- Experience in casting of metals (preferable)

- Master of research in a relevant field (preferable)

A full list of selection criteria is available within the position description.

How to apply and further information

To view the position description or to start an application please click on apply or ‘begin’ and submit a resume, cover letter and a response to the Key Selection Criteria, as listed in the position description.

For further information about the position, please contact Professor Geoffrey Brooks at [email protected]

If you are experiencing technical difficulties with your application, please contact the Recruitment team on [email protected]

Diversity and Inclusion

Equity and diversity are integral to achieving our 2025 vision of bringing people and technology together to build a better world. Swinburne is a large and culturally diverse organisation and we are proud of our commitment to equity and inclusion through key initiatives such as:

- Reconciliation Action Plan

- Charter of Cultural Diversity

- Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) Action Plan

- Swinburne LGBTIQA+ Pride, Gender Equality, Accessibility and Intergenerational inclusion strategies

For further information on all our initiatives visit our equity and diversity website. We welcome and encourage applicants from diverse backgrounds to apply.

Assistance and Support

We are committed to making the recruitment process fair and equitable for all our candidates. If you have specific accessibility or support requirements please contact Maree Norden, Diversity & Inclusion Manager at [email protected] For support or queries related to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment, please contact Timothy Werner at [email protected]

Swinburne offers flexible working options, leave and parenting/carer policies to support work life balance.

Directions from Victoria’s Chief Health Officer require all Swinburne workers to have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by 22 October 2021 and to be fully vaccinated by 26 November 2021, unless they are an Excepted Person as defined by the COVID-19 Mandatory Vaccination (Workers) Directions. All applicants must therefore be able to comply with this requirement.

Applications close at 5pm Sunday 5th December 2021

(Agency enquiries will not be accepted for this position)

The original job offer can be found in Kit Job:

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