New Surfactants from Australian Canola Oil

Project information

This project seeks to utilise Australian-produced canola oil and other carbohydrate renewable feedstock for the synthesis of new surfactants with a range of key applications as detergents, quaternary esters, and emulsifiers. The over-arching aim is to provide a viable and sustainable alternative to imported, widely used surfactants currently derived from non-sustainable, petrochemical or palm oil-based sources. The successful candidate will be responsible for the molecular design, synthesis, and formulation of new sugar surfactant molecules from renewable, botanical resources. This will contribute to an understanding of how molecular structure dictates adsorption and aggregation properties to inform end-user applications and potential markets.

We are looking for a highly motivated PhD student interested in working as part of an interdisciplinary research team on an industry-focussed project that aims to develop new sugar surfactants from renewable, botanical sources. The successful applicant should have an interest and relevant background in organic synthesis, carbohydrate chemistry, and colloid science. This three-year position will support an ARC-funded project and is part of a larger collaboration between The University of New England (UNE), Monash University (Melbourne), and Axieo, Australia. The PhD project will be hosted by UNE, which is situated in picturesque Armidale, Australia. The student will also have opportunities present at international and domestic conferences. The candidate will be required to liaise with the academic and industry-based team members to help deliver high-quality research outcomes, which will include communicating key research findings in peer-reviewed, high-impact journals, patents, and at conferences. The applicant must be proficient in spoken and written English. Additional in-house training and opportunities for competitive funding will be provided to the successful applicant.

Scholarship Information

The scholarship value is AU$27,596 p.a. The level of the stipend will not be reduced over the period of the Scholarship. The scholarship is tax exempt and paid in fortnightly instalments.

This scholarship is available to domestic and international students. The successful international PhD candidate will also receive a tuition fee waiver in the form of a UNE international HDR fee stipend for a period of three years.  Please see the scholarship terms and conditions for more information.

How To Apply

Applicants must meet UNE’s admission requirements for a PhD program. Please see the entry requirements. Applicants must submit a candidature application if they wish to apply for a scholarship. For more information on submitting a candidature application please see our how to apply/enrol webpage.

To apply for the scholarship please review the relevant application guidelines and complete the application form:

Scholarship and candidature applications can be submitted through AskUNE.

About Armidale

Armidale, a vibrant university city recognised as a centre of culture, is well served with art, music, theatre, sport and public and private education. To explore our region, visit: and

Additional information

Please include a copy of your Curriculum Vitae, listing publications and relevant laboratory technical skills.

Enquiries may be emailed to Dr Brendan Wilkinson

Closing Date: 31 December 2019