PhD Scholarship in Robotic Intelligence for Construction Waste Sorting

Multidisciplinary research project funded by The ARC ITRH for Transformation of Reclaimed Waste Resources to Engineered Materials and Solutions for a Circular Economy (TREMS).

$31,885 per annum for three years with the possibility of a six-month extension.

One (1).

To be eligible for this scholarship you must: have a Master by Research degree or a Master by Coursework degree with a significant research component graded as high distinction or equivalent or an Honours degree achieving first-class Honours in civil/mechanical/manufacturing engineering or another suitable field. Preferred applicants: Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents or on-shore international applicants.

To apply, please submit the following documents to Professor Sujeeva Setunge at and Professor Kevin Zhang at

Expressions of interest should contain the following information:

  • A one-page cover letter briefly outlining your interest in the project
  • Evidence of research ability: a digital copy of a Masters or Honours thesis; and a digital copy of academic transcripts
  • A CV including any publications, awards, and relevant professional experience.

Applications now open.

Applications will close when the PhD candidate is selected.

This project will implement DRL technique for construction waste grasping, and further design flexible and adaptable robotic grippers for waste handling. The existing commercial robotic hand and grippers might not be able to handle irregular and heavy construction wastes in an unstructured environment. The gripper has to adapt to wastes with different shape and size and tolerate collisions due to material moving during the picking. The touch and force sensors can assist with controlling the gripper and the grasp execution in actual settings.

For further inquiries, please contact Professor Sujeeva Setunge at or Dr. Chamila Gunasekara at

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Acknowledgement of Country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.