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Hypersonic Testing, Optical Diagnostics, Vehicle Design and Optimisation Scholarships

The University of Southern Queensland (UniSQ) is a dynamic regional University committed to developing research solutions that deliver a global impact. With a vision to be a leading discovery partner in priority research areas, UniSQ aligns its research with regional and global agendas in agriculture and natural resource management, regional development, regional health and wellbeing, engineering, education and digital literacy. 

The Hypersonics Group is a rapidly growing research group which has Australia’s only long duration hypersonic test facility. The ‘TUSQ’ Ludwieg tube is the core around which the group has been developed. The group is based at the UniSQ Toowoomba campus. Major activities include facility development, optical diagnostics, hypersonic inlet investigations, supersonic combustion, hypersonic fluid-structure interaction, and field measurements of rockets and hypersonic craft re-entering the atmosphere. Complementary to this we are developing simulation and design tools to enhance how flight vehicles are designed. Our innovative approaches to experimentation in hypersonics are world-leading and have attracted international sponsored research projects. We are the only civilian group outside of NASA who has a demonstrated track record of undertaking airborne observation missions to measure hypervelocity phenomena, having recently observed the Hayabusa2 capsule re-entry (Dec. 2020) and the Tau Herculids meteor shower (May 2021).

The Hypersonics Group is an integral part of Innovative Launch, Automation, Novel Materials, Communications and Hypersonics (iLAuNCH) Hub which was awarded under the Australian Universities Trailblazer program.

The Hypersonics and Rocketry Group has multiple large projects which have recently been awarded including hypersonic wind tunnel testing; remote diagnostics including airborne observations; rocket payload design and test; hypersonic flight vehicle design and performance analysis; advanced modelling methods; vehicle control; and trajectory optimisation.

We currently have funded positions available in:

  1. 2 x Optical diagnostics for remote observations. Concentrating on spectroscopic instrument design and data analysis.
  2. Hypersonic boundary layer investigations. Focusing on ground test models and translation to a flight test.
  3. Hot model testing and analysis. Undertaking ground testing to develop analytical techniques for surface temperature reconstruction from point measurements.
  4. Rocket angle-of-attack and bending load investigation. Starting with tunnel testing, moving towards design for flight testing.
  5. High altitude drone design and optical tracking systems for hypersonic flight observations.
  6. Rocket and hypersonic vehicle design. Develop and apply co-design methods to simultaneously optimise vehicle design, controller, and trajectory to maximise performance of multi-stage systems.

PhD projects will be done under the supervision of Prof. David Buttsworth, A/Prof. Ingo Jahn, Dr. Fabian Zander, Dr. Craig Lobsey, Dr. Byrenn Birch, and Dr. Tamara Sopek.

As a research group that includes Dr. Tamara Sopek, our Vice-Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Research Fellow for Women in STEMM, we are committed to increasing the number of women in the field of aerospace. Applications from women are therefore especially encouraged.

  • Stipend of AUD$32,000 per annum
  • Maximum period of tenure of award is three years. Periods of study already undertaken towards the degree will be deducted from the period of tenure