Scholarship details

Student type

Future students

Study area


What you'll receive

  • The successful applicant will receive a living allowance of AU$28,597 (2021 rate, indexed annually) for three years.
  • The scholarship is for full-time study and can be used to support living costs.
  • A six-month extension to the scholarship is also possible, subject to approval by QUT.
  • Successful international students will be considered for a HDR tuition fee sponsorship, if successful in receiving the scholarship.


Applicants will be assessed against the faculty admission requirements - Doctor of Philosophy eligibility criteria.

The provision of a scholarship is conditional on successful application and admission to the IF49 Doctor of Philosophy course. Eligibility for admission to a research degree is determined by the Graduate Research Centre.

How to apply

Email Senior Lecturer, School of Mechanical Medical & Process Engineering, Dr Michael Cholette.

Make sure you include:

  • your CV
  • an academic transcript
  • a letter outlining your fit with the eligibility criteria.

What happens next?

If your application matches the project's needs, you will be invited to apply for a PhD at QUT.

How to apply for a research degree

You must submit your expression of interest (EOI). Indicate your interest in this scholarship by nominating Dr Michael Cholette as principal supervisor and include the name of this scholarship in the financial details section.

If your EOI is accepted you will be invited to submit a full application including a research proposal to finalise your application.

Applications will remain open until a suitable candidate is found.


The conditions for retaining the scholarship are set out in the rules of the QUT Postgraduate Research Award (Domestic) or QUT Postgraduate Research Award (International).

About the scholarship

Project Title

Condition-Based Maintenance Optimisation for Queensland’s Railways

Project Summary

Rail maintainers currently use time-based (scheduled) approaches to balance the costs and benefits of inspections and maintenance. Changing to condition-based maintenance has the potential to reduce costs and improve track condition. As a part of the broader project, new sensing capabilities will be developed to provide low-cost, frequent — but low-accuracy — measurements. This PhD project will seek to leverage these new sensing capabilities and new track degradation models to optimally plan more detailed inspections and track maintenance.

The PhD project will be supervised by Dr. Michael Cholette as a part of an Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage project with Queensland Rail (QR) and the Asset Institute (AI).

The PhD student will work with an international team of multidisciplinary researchers dedicated to solving real-world challenges in the areas of reliability, maintenance optimisation, train dynamics, and signal processing.  The project will be based in Queensland and will be conducted in close collaboration with experts at Queensland Rail.

Over three years, the successful application will have the opportunity to:

  1. Develop a broad range of skills in reliability engineering, stochastic modelling, optimization, and apply them to solve real-world challenges.
  2. Work in an inclusive and supportive team of experts located in Australia and Europe.
  3. Develop ties within the rail industry and academia.


The successful applicant will work closely with the ARC project team, which includes experts from QR, QUT, UNSW Sydney, and Politecnico di Milano. On a day-to-day basis, the student will work under Dr Cholette’s supervision and other key members of the reliability and maintenance optimization team at QUT.


The PhD student is expected to dedicate themselves to their project — actively participating in group meetings, presenting their findings, meeting with industry partners (e.g. to collect data), and preparing publications to disseminate their research. Their work may also include some teaching duties, depending on their desire and availability.


The student will be based in the Faculty of Engineering at the Queensland University of Technology, Gardens Point, Brisbane.

Start Date

As soon as possible (preferably by June 2021).

For further information, please contact: Dr. Michael Cholette

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