Epitaxial Stacking of Nanoporous Nanosheets for Next-generation Membranes

Project opportunity

This Earmarked Scholarship project is aligned with a recently awarded Category 1 research grant. It offers you the opportunity to work with leading researchers and contribute to large projects of national significance.

The project aims to develop high-precision selective membranes which are urgently needed in Australian key industries for solute-solute separation by constructing vertically-aligned and chemically-tailorable nanochannels using two-dimensional porous nanosheets as building blocks. The project expects to generate advanced knowledge in the areas of nanosheet synthesis and functionalisation, membrane design and fabrication, selective transport of solutes and applications. The membranes developed in the project should make existing separation processes more effective and sustainable and advance emerging applications in pharmaceutical, dairy and mining industries, providing significant economic and environmental benefits to Australia.

This Future Fellowship project is a relatively large project focusing on the design, construction and evaluation of a series of membranes for three typical solute-solute separations, APIs purification (molecule-molecule separation), Whey demineralisation (molecule-ion separation) and Potassium extraction (ion-ion separation).

This is a great opportunity for a PhD student to work on the membranes for APIs purification, including identifying and synthesising Group A nanosheets with desirable pore size (e.g. COF-1 and TPA-COF) for separating APIs from GTIs, identifying the specific functional groups (e.g. weak acid functional groups) and grafting them on the selected nanosheets for improved selectivity of APIs to GTIs, constructing and evaluating of the resultant APIs-GITs separation membranes.

Scholarship value

As a scholarship recipient, you'll receive: 

  • living stipend of $32,192 per annum tax free (2023 rate), indexed annually
  • tuition fees covered
  • single Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)


Professor Xiwang Zhang

School of Chemical Engineering

Email: xiwang.zhang@uq.edu.au

Preferred educational background

Your application will be assessed on a competitive basis.

We take into account your

  • previous academic record
  • publication record
  • honours and awards
  • employment history.

A working knowledge of functional materials and membranes would be of benefit to someone working on this project.

The applicant will demonstrate academic achievement in the field(s) of materials synthesis and membrane fabrication and the potential for scholastic success.

A background or knowledge of materials, chemistry or chemical engineering is highly desirable.

Latest commencement date

If you are the successful candidate, you must commence by Research Quarter 2, 2024. You should apply at least 3 months prior to the research quarter commencement date.

If you are an international applicant, you may need to apply much earlier for visa requirements.

How to apply

You apply for this project as part of your PhD program application.

View application process