PhD (Aerospace Engineering and Aviation)

PhD (Aerospace Engineering and Aviation)

RESEARCH

Use your advanced research skills to further the growth of aerospace engineering.

Student type:
Mode of study:
On campus and blended learning
Entry score:

Not applicable

Duration:
Full-time 3-4 years
Part-time 6-8 years
Next intake:
Continuous (scholarship application closing dates apply)
Location:
Bundoora
Melbourne City
Mode of study:
On campus and blended learning
Entry score:

IELTS 6.5

Duration:
Full-time 3-4 years
Fees:

AU$38,400 (2023 annual)

Next intake:
Continuous (scholarship application closing dates apply)
Location:
Bundoora
Melbourne City

Overview

Use your advanced research skills to further the growth of aerospace engineering.

You will join an active research community and work with academics, peers and partner organisations who have demonstrated research success in a range of specialities, including:

  • advanced materials
  • aerodynamics
  • aerospace vehicle design
  • air traffic management systems
  • airframe systems
  • airworthiness
  • aviation human factors engineering 
  • aviation logistics
  • aviation technology
  • avionic systems
  • ergonomics aviation logistics
  • maintenance and operations
  • multi-modal transportation engineering
  • propulsion
  • stability and control
  • structures
  • sustainable aviation technologies
  • systems engineering
  • unmanned aerial vehicles.

RMIT University is ranked in the top 10 universities in Australia and top 150 universities globally for mechanical, aeronautical and manufacturing engineering. [QS rankings by subject 2022]

Research centres and collaborations

RMIT researchers contribute to RMIT’s flagship aerospace research centre, the Sir Lawrence Wackett Aerospace Centre.

Additionally, there are active collaborations with other national and international institutes, centres, groups and partners, including:

  • Advanced Manufacturing CRC
  • Centre for Additive Manufacturing
  • Centre for Innovative Structures and Materials (CISM)
  • CRC for Advanced Automotive Technologies
  • CRC for Advanced Composite Structures
  • Defence Materials Technology Centre

Research facilities and infrastructure

Research is supported by excellent facilities and infrastructure, including:

  • A fleet of fully operational aircrafts
  • Advanced Manufacturing Precinct
  • Composites and advanced materials testing laboratories
  • Computer laboratories with relevant and updated software
  • Engine testing facilities
  • Flight simulators
  • Green Engines Research Laboratory
  • Industrial research wind tunnels
  • Simulated aircraft maintenance laboratory

School of Graduate Research support

Throughout your candidature, you will be supported through:

  • An expert supervisor who will help you develop the required leadership, analytical and problem-solving qualities required to work at a world-leading level.
  • participation in high-quality professional development programs delivered by RMIT's School of Graduate Research
  • access to RMIT's extensive facilities, laboratories and equipment and those of our partners.

Scholarships

As an aerospace engineering research candidate, you have the flexibility to pursue an individual topic, or contribute to one of our existing projects.

Aerospace engineering candidates may be eligible for a range of scholarships including:

  • the Australian government
  • RMIT
  • industry sponsors

Kariza Martin: Engineering PhD

When you undertake a PhD or Masters by Research in Engineering at RMIT University, you get to take a look into the future through research.
"I created a patented way to strengthen the composite. My research is sponsored by Boeing. Their aim is to reduce carbon fibre delamination."

Details

Research at RMIT

Time spent on research

Full-time candidates are expected to commit at least four days per week (or at least two days per week for part-time candidates) to their research. The academic year is 48 weeks.

Regular contact with your supervisor

A schedule of meetings with your supervisor/s must be established to assess progress against milestones and timely completion.

Resources, facilities and support

You will have access to the Learning Hub and other online and digital resources through the myRMIT student portal.

You will be part of an active research community and have access to resources and workshops to help you succeed.

School of Graduate Research

The School of Graduate Research works with Schools to further support candidates during their postgraduate research degree.

RMIT University is committed to providing you with an education that strongly links formal learning with professional or vocational practice.

RMIT projects are heavily based on industry needs and we are currently working with leading organisations including Boeing, Airbus, the Federal Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO), the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) and the Royal Australian Air Force.

The knowledge and skills you will acquire throughout this degree and how they can be applied in your career are described in the learning outcomes.

You will complete this program under academic supervision.

The PhD program is structured to enable you to:

  • complete a compulsory research methods course
  • receive training in research integrity and ethics
  • select studies in qualitative and quantitative research techniques
  • complete a thesis/project which demonstrates your original contribution to the field and your ability to communicate complex or original research for peers and the community to an international standard

You are required to complete:

Research Integrity modules

You are required to complete the online modules:

  • Research integrity
  • Copyright and intellectual property

Research methods for engineering and related disciplines

Research methods courses step you through the literature review and preparing your research proposal for confirmation of candidature. They are taught in large discipline groups.

You may need to complete an ethics module to ensure your research is ethical and responsible.

Research Techniques

You may elect to take (where relevant) electives in qualitative or quantitative research techniques once data collection has begun. You can use your own data to explore different research analysis techniques. Your supervisor will help you decide when you should take these electives.

Co-curricular activities

You are encouraged to participate in activities offered with the university, college and school according to your needs and interests.

This PhD may be undertaken in a project, thesis by publication or thesis mode. Prospective candidates should discuss these modes of submission with their potential supervisor/s.

Course structure

Choose a plan below to find out more about the subjects you will study and the course structure.

PhD (Aerospace Engineering and Aviation)
Program code: DR215

Title
Location
Duration
Plan code
CRICOS
Doctor of Philosophy
Bundoora Campus
3-4 years full-time, 6-8 years part-time
DR215
079831G
Location
Bundoora Campus
Duration
3-4 years full-time, 6-8 years part-time
Plan code
DR215
CRICOS
079831G
Doctor of Philosophy
Bundoora Campus
3-4 years full-time
DR215
079831G
Location
Bundoora Campus
Duration
3-4 years full-time
Plan code
DR215
CRICOS
079831G
Doctor of Philosophy
Bundoora Campus
3-4 years full-time, 6-8 years part-time
DR215P23
079831G
Location
Bundoora Campus
Duration
3-4 years full-time, 6-8 years part-time
Plan code
DR215P23
CRICOS
079831G
Doctor of Philosophy
Bundoora Campus
3-4 years full-time
DR215P23
079831G
Location
Bundoora Campus
Duration
3-4 years full-time
Plan code
DR215P23
CRICOS
079831G

*The maximum duration of the PhD program is 4 years full-time and 8 years part-time. However, candidates are expected to complete their program within 3-4 years full-time equivalent and 6-8 years part-time equivalent.

*The maximum duration of the PhD program is 4 years full-time. However, candidates are expected to complete their program within 3-4 years full-time equivalent.

Note: International student visa holders can only study full-time.

Career

You will be able to pursue an academic career in a university or be employed in senior leadership and management positions in government, scientific and industrial research laboratories.

Admissions

The minimum requirements for admission to a PhD program are:

  • a bachelor degree requiring at least four years of full-time study in a relevant discipline awarded with honours. The degree should include a research component comprised of a thesis, other research projects or research methodology courses that constitute at least 25% of a full-time academic year (or part-time equivalent). The applicant must have achieved at least a distinction average in the final year; or
  • a master degree that includes a research component comprised of at least 25% of a full-time academic year (or part-time equivalent) with an overall distinction average or a master degree without a research component with at least a high distinction average; or
  • evidence of appropriate academic qualifications and/or experience that satisfies the Associate Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research Training and Development or nominee that the applicant has developed knowledge of the field of study or cognate field and the potential for research sufficient to undertake the proposed program.

At RMIT a grade of distinction represents academic achievement of 70% or higher and a high distinction is 80% or higher.

If you are a current master by research candidate, you are able to apply for a transfer to a doctor of philosophy program through the process prescribed in the RMIT Higher Degree by Research policy.

These entrance requirements are the minimum academic standard you must meet in order to be eligible to apply for the program. You will need to complete a selection task as part of your application.

A selection process will be conducted in conjunction with the School and supervisors you nominate.

For further information on the steps you need to take to apply for a research program see How to apply – Research programs.

The minimum requirements for admission to a PhD program are:

  • a bachelor degree requiring at least four years of full-time study in a relevant discipline awarded with honours. The degree should include a research component comprised of a thesis, other research projects or research methodology courses that constitute at least 25% of a full-time academic year (or part-time equivalent). The applicant must have achieved at least a distinction average in the final year; or
  • a master degree that includes a research component comprised of at least 25% of a full-time academic year (or part-time equivalent) with an overall distinction average or a master degree without a research component with at least a high distinction average; or
  • evidence of appropriate academic qualifications and/or experience that satisfies the Associate Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research Training and Development or nominee that the applicant has developed knowledge of the field of study or cognate field and the potential for research sufficient to undertake the proposed program.

At RMIT a grade of distinction represents academic achievement of 70% or higher and a high distinction is 80% or higher.

If you are a current master by research candidate, you are able to apply for a transfer to a doctor of philosophy program through the process prescribed in the RMIT Higher Degree by Research policy.

Research proposal and supervisor

Proposal

You must attach a substantive research proposal that is 2 to 5 pages in length which articulates the intent, significance and originality of the proposed topic using the following headings:

a) title / topic
b) research questions to be investigated in the context of existing research/literature in the area
c) significance and impact of the research
d) methodology / research tasks required to undertake the research
e) particular needs (e.g. resources, facilities, fieldwork or equipment that are necessary for your proposed research program, if applicable).

Supervisor

Your application will not be considered if you have not discussed your research topic with a proposed senior and associate supervisor or joint senior supervisors. You must provide the names of the academic staff in the school you have applied to and with whom you have discussed your proposed research.

For further information on the steps you need to take to apply for a research program see How to apply – Research programs.

To study this course you will need to complete one of the following English proficiency tests:

  • IELTS (Academic): minimum overall band of 6.5 (with no individual band below 6.0)
  • TOEFL (Internet Based Test - IBT): minimum overall score of 79 (with minimum of 13 in Reading, 12 in Listening, 18 in Speaking and 21 in Writing)
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic) (PTE (A)): minimum score of 58 (with no communication band less than 50)
  • Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE): minimum of 176 with no less than 169 in any component.

For detailed information on English language requirements and other proficiency tests recognised by RMIT, visit English language requirements and equivalency information.

Don't meet the English language test scores? Complete an English for Academic Purposes (EAP) Advanced Plus Certificate at RMIT English Worldwide.

Pathways

You can gain entry to this program from a range of RMIT four year Bachelor and Honours degrees or Postgraduate or Masters by Research programs.

Fees

Fee information for masters by research and doctorate (PhD) programs.

If you are an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or New Zealand citizen you may be eligible for a Research Training Scheme (RTS) place where your tuition costs are funded by the Commonwealth Government under the RTS and you have full exemption from tuition fees.

Acceptance in an RTS place is very competitive and places are granted on the condition that you meet annual progress requirements and complete within the allotted time for your program and your status as a part-time or full-time candidate.

This means a maximum of 2 years for a full-time Masters by Research or 4 years for a PhD (or the equivalent part-time).

Contact the School of Graduate Research for more information.

The student services and amenities fee (SSAF) is used to maintain and enhance services and amenities that improve your experience as an RMIT student.

In addition to the SSAF there may be other expenses associated with your program.

Candidates may be eligible to apply for income tax deductions for education expenses linked to their employment. See the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) website for more information.

RMIT awards more than 2000 scholarships every year to recognise academic achievement and assist students from a variety of backgrounds.

The annual tuition fee for 2023 is AU$38,400.

The total indicative tuition fee for 2023 commencement is AU$153,600.

The student services and amenities fee (SSAF) is used to maintain and enhance services and amenities that improve your experience as an RMIT student.

In addition to the SSAF there may be other expenses associated with your program.

Find out more details about how fees are calculated and the expected annual increase.

Applying for refunds

Find information on how to apply for a refund as a continuing international student.

RMIT awards more than 2000 scholarships every year to recognise academic achievement and assist students from a variety of backgrounds.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Looking for answers or more general information?

Use our Frequently Asked Questions to learn about the application process and its equity access schemes, find out how to accept or defer your offer or request a leave of absence, discover information about your fees, refunds and scholarships, and explore the various student support and advocacy services, as well as how to find out more about your preferred program, and more.

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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.

aboriginal flag
torres strait flag

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.