Future Students

Opportunities for Research Students

A wide range of potential research topics are available for new PhD and Masters students at the SBRC.  Some example research areas and topics are listed below.

For scholarships within the SBRC please visit the scholarship page.

For details on scholarships and studying at the University of Wollongong visit information for new students.

Energy Efficiency and Decarbonization of Buildings

  • Theoretical modelling and field testing of retrofitting technologies for energy efficiency of residential buildings.
  • CFD analysis of thermal comfort in natural and mixed mode task-based HVAC systems in commercial buildings.
  • Thermal comfort in mixed mode buildings with occupant control systems.
  • Development of a virtual reality simulation of the thermal and ventilation performance of houses for increased occupant awareness and increased energy efficiency and thermal comfort.
  • Building Management Systems in residential buildings to control windows, and other building elements to to maximise thermal comfort and energy efficiency.
  • Development of a methodology to determine optimum levels of retrofitting and/or accelerating retirement of Australian residential and commercial buildings .
  • Use of technologies such as thermographic cameras to determine in-situ thermal performance of building elements.
  • A computational and experimental study of the influence of air-tightness of Australian buildings on energy efficiency, indoor air quality and thermal comfort.
  • Design and evaluation of a program of residential dwelling retrofitting for energy efficiency.
  • Retrofitting Australian dwellings to minimise heat stress and other medical impacts during heat waves.
  • Development of advanced PVT (Photovoltaic Thermal) roof systems for air heating/cooling and electricity production.
  • Assessment of current Australian building sustainability rating systems against other systems worldwide.
  • Development of high efficiency/low cost heat and mass transfer exchangers for tropical environments.
  • Natural ventilation studies of buildings. 

Electrical Demand Side Management and Renewable Energy 

  • Development of mobile energy and indoor environment quality monitoring equipment for residential and commercial building retrofit evaluation.
  • Optimising the economic and technical considerations for retrofit of embedded generation into commercial buildings and precincts.
  • Modelling, control and performance measurement of the commercial building renewable energy micro-grid (SBRC as test-bed).
  • Development and control of micro-grid and building energy management systems for net zero energy buildings (SBRC as a test-bed).
  • Green IT strategies for net zero energy buildings.
  • Authentic case study development for energy efficiency teaching.

Sustainable Construction and Maintenance

  • Building Information Modelling (BIM) to optimize retrofitting project management
  • Green facades and roofs – retrofitting options, plant selection, maintenance, etc
  • Lightweight retrofitting elements for commercial buildings (for manual installation, etc)
  • BIM systems for use in holistic Facilities Management and maintenance.
  • Retrofitting systems for reinforced concrete buildings to prevent potential pro-gressive collapse.
  • New materials and composites for sustainable building construction. 

Human-Technology Interface, Health and Cultural Issues

  • Consumer choice drivers and cultural perspectives in the purchase of household environmental products (air conditioning, appliances, etc).
  • Determination of how people use their buildings/appliances – educate to reduce emissions
  • Influence of day-to-day behaviour of occupants in the effectiveness of sustainability education programs for occupants of municipal housing.
  • Development of a decision support system to prioritise public housing retrofitting for sustainability (GIS data, etc).
  • Moving from reactive to proactive maintenance for sustainability of public housing
  • Commercial buildings occupant behaviours and attitudes before/after retrofit.
  • Residential retrofit outcomes in terms of attitudes and actual emission reductions.

Sustainable Water Systems in Buildings

  • Solar thermal membrane distillation systems.
  • Theoretical and experimental modelling of the implications of reduced water flow from water efficiency measures on increased sewer blockages.
  • Retrofitting grey and black water systems in residential and commercial buildings.
  • Optimisation of the water-energy nexus in the built environment. 

Potential research students who would like more information, such as supervisors in particular areas of research expertise, please contact us.

Last reviewed: 6 December, 2018