First listed on: 18 January 2023

CSIRO Industry PhD Scholarship: Hydrogen as a fuel for agricultural drying equipment


Acknowledgement of Country 
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The Opportunity

  • Gain experience working with industry to solve real-world problems while you earn your PhD 
  • Develop transferable professional skills 
  • Get access to specialised expertise, equipment and training 

The CSIRO Industry PhD Scholarship (iPhD) Program is an industry-focused, applied research scholarship and training program that brings together an industry partner, the university and CSIRO. 

You will undertake a co-designed research project that will develop your ability to translate research into commercial outcomes.  

You will get real-world experience and access to specialised expertise, equipment and training.

Our graduates develop transferable professional skills and are well positioned to work at the cutting edge of industry focussed research.  

Scholarship details 

The Program includes:

  • admission to the university PhD program  
  • a four-year scholarship package of approx. $45,000 per annum  
  • a four-year Project Expense and Development package of up to $13,000 per annum  
  • an in-business component with an industry partner of at least 3 months 
  • professional development training to enhance your applied research skills  
  • supervision by CSIRO, the industry partner, and the university  

Project Title:  Evaluation of hydrogen as a fuel for bulk agricultural drying equipment 

Project Description:   Drying is a coupled mass and heat transfer unit operation process in chemical engineering discipline. There are over 400 different types of dryers reported in the literature and over 100 distinct types are commonly available for drying of various products. There is no single procedure for dryer development, rather designers employ mathematical models, experimental results and some art or know-how experience in developing new dryer and their operating strategies. Thermal drying is also an energy intensive process. Generally, these energy sources are obtained from fossil based natural gas or coal for heat. Green hydrogen can potentially be a clean fuel either as a blend or in pure form. The fuel value based on mass basis is higher for hydrogen compared with natural gas. However, because hydrogen has low volumetric energy density, a heat plant may need larger combustion chamber compared with natural gas. There are research and developments happening to design better equipment that can provide the need for full utilisation of hydrogen in the heat plant for industrial applications.   

This project will explore the state-of-the art review of the hydrogen utilisation as a heating fuel source, heat plants, specifically for potential application in grain drying for Agridryer products. A mathematical model will be developed and validated for a number of selected products drying for schedule development (e.g. drying conditions) and equipment design and optimisation using hydrogen as a fuel source. The techno-economic and environmental benefits of such application will be quantified using chemical and process engineering methodologies and life cycle assessment software, tools and CSIRO in-house databases. The results are expected to provide insights and potentially will aid engineering decision making to develop new equipment design and how to operate those equipment using appropriate conditions (e.g. temperature, humidity and air-flow combination for a product with keeping the properties in consideration). 

Project supervisors:   

    CSIRO supervisor: Nawshad Haque
    Business Unit: Energy
    Research program: Energy Technologies 
    Email address:

    University supervisor: Emilie Sauret 
    Queensland University of Technology (QUT) 
    Email address: 
    Faculty: Engineering
    School: Mech, Medical & Process Engineering

    Company name: Agridry Dryers PTY LTD


  •     Primary location of the student:  Queensland University of Technology (QUT)
  •     In-business component with Industry partner:  Agridry Dryers Facilities

Overview of who we are looking for 

The ideal student will have:

  •     an Engineering Degree, preferably Chemical Engineering with flow sheeting experience 
  •     Interest in Renewable Energy and/or Hydrogen 
  •     Interest in computational modelling  
  •     Some computing/programming skills 
  •     Some knowledge in fluid dynamics


To be eligible to apply you must:

  •     be an Australian citizen or permanent resident, or a New Zealand citizen 
  •     meet host university PhD admission requirements 
  •     meet university English language requirements 
  •     not have previously completed a PhD 
  •     be able to commence the program in the year of the offer 
  •     enrol as a full-time PhD student 

Applications will be assessed on:

  1. Experience relevant to the field of research, including any research experience
  2. Suitability for the project
  3. Academic excellence
  4. Motivation for undertaking an Industry PhD project

At CSIRO Australia's national science agency, we solve the greatest challenges through innovative science and technology. We put the safety and wellbeing of our people above all else and earn trust everywhere because we only deal in facts. We collaborate widely and generously and deliver solutions with real impact. 

Further information about the CSIRO Industry PhD Program can be found at:  

How to Apply:

Applicants should apply for this scholarship at the same time they apply for admission to QUT's Doctor of Philosophy.

For details on how to apply, please see the QUT website at QUT - Evaluation of hydrogen as a fuel for bulk agricultural drying equipment (PhD scholarship) 

This advertisement will remain open until filled. Early applications are strongly encouraged.

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