ARC PhD scholarship - A Novel Technique for Drag Reduction

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Payment per year
$28,092 per annum (tax-exempt)
3 years
Postgraduate Research
Australian Citizens
Australian Permanent Residents
New Zealand Citizens
Permanent Humanitarian Visa Holders
International Students
Type of Scholarship
Available In
Faculty of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences
Available To

The Project

Skin friction drag in wall-bounded turbulent flows is the main source of drag in many natural and engineering applications, such as aircraft, ships, high speed vehicles and gas pipelines. It is estimated that 49% of the total drag on an aircraft is due to skin friction drag and a small reduction of 5% would potentially result in an annual saving of approximately $3.3 billion US dollars for the global fleet. Consequently, turbulent skin-friction drag reduction remains an active research area due to its tremendous potential impacts on the global economy and ecology. This project aims to develop a novel passive flow control method using microperforated surfaces to reduce skin friction drag. This is to be achieved through characterisation of the effect of micro-perforations on turbulence structures within the boundary layer. The successful applicants are expected to participate in several research activities including the design of perforated flat plates and airfoils, the measurement of the skin friction drag, and characterisation of the flow in wind tunnel experiments. This research will contribute to the development of specific design solutions for efficiency improvement in many real-life applications, such as drag reduction in the aerospace, maritime, gas pipelines and wind turbine industries.

This research project is funded by an Australian Research Council Discovery Project grant “Micro-perforation for passive drag reduction”. The successful applicants will work in the Boundary Layer research group at the School of Mechanical Engineering, in collaboration with international experts from California Institute of Technology in USA and University of Southampton in UK. Development of innovative methods for drag reduction has been an ongoing research activity at the Boundary Layer research group since 2011. The School of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Adelaide was ranked in the top 100 of Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) in 2019.

Eligibility Criteria


Eligible candidates must:

  • Have completed a Bachelor of degree with a 1st class Honours, or a Masters degree that contains a significant (and relevant) research component with equivalent academic performance
  • Applicants must be Australian citizens or permanent residents of Australia, or on-shore international students, who are acceptable as candidates for a PhD degree at the University of Adelaide.
  • Be assessed by the Adelaide Graduate Centre as meeting all conditions for admission to the Doctoral program. For more information about the entry requirements for Higher Degrees by Research at the University of Adelaide, please visit the Adelaide Graduate Centre’s website.
  • Be living in, or able to relocate to, South Australia for the duration of the scholarship
  • Not hold a qualification at the same or at a higher level than the research higher degree program you are undertaking
  • Not be receiving a living allowance award, scholarship or salary providing a benefit greater than 75% of the RTP Scholarship living allowance rate to undertake the research higher degree program
  • Students applying for this scholarship should plan for a start date of no later than January 2021


  • Applicants with strong experimental and analytical skills in fluid mechanics, particularly in wind tunnel experimentation and boundary layer analysis will be considered favourably.
  • Excellent students who hold a Bachelor of Mechanical or Aerospace engineering or a double degree with Mathematics or Physics would be especially suitable and encouraged to apply.
  • Applicants with well-developed written and verbal communication skills with be considered favourably.

Additional Benefits:

Access to authorised travel, tailored professional development training and research project funds will also be available for the successful recipient.

How to apply

Please address the eligibility criteria and email a copy of your academic transcripts, CV and a cover letter explaining why you are interested in applying for this scholarship to

For further information

For a confidential discussion regarding this position, contact:

Maziar Arjomandi

School of Mechanical Engineering

P: +61 (0) 831 38128



Azadeh Jafari

School of Mechanical Engineering

P: +61 (0) 831 3 3252