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Scholarship details

2023 RTP round - Metasurfaces for radio telescopes

Status: Closed

Applications open: 8/07/2022
Applications close: 18/08/2022

View printable version [.pdf]

About this scholarship

Current and planned low-frequency radio telescopes, such as the Square Kilometre Array-Low, consist of arrays of wideband dipole antennas, packed in quite close proximity to one another. This results in strong mutual coupling (interaction) between elements, which complicates analysis and design and potentially degrades telescope performance. 

Metamaterials are artificially engineered materials which provide novel electromagnetic characteristics which cannot be found in naturally occurring materials. Metasurfaces are two-dimensional implementations of metamaterials; a frequency selective surface is an example of one. The aim of this project is to investigate the use of metasurfaces to form effective screens between antennas in an array, with the aim of reducing this inter-antenna coupling and thus enhancing the performance of low-frequency radio telescopes. Smooth instrumental responses are important for some science cases of SKA-Low, such as early universe science, and reduced mutual coupling will improve this. The project will leverage computational electromagnetic simulation tools and optimisation methods to design screens which optimise certain performance metrics. 

An Internship opportunity may also be available with this project.

  • Future Students
  • Faculty of Science & Engineering
    • Science courses
    • Engineering courses
    • Western Australian School of Mines (WASM)
  • Higher Degree by Research
  • Australian Citizen
  • Australian Permanent Resident
  • New Zealand Citizen
  • Permanent Humanitarian Visa
  • Merit Based

The annual scholarship package (stipend and tuition fees) is approx. $60,000 - $70,000 p.a.


Successful HDR applicants for admission will receive a 100% fee offset for up to 4 years, stipend scholarships, valued at $28,854 p.a. for up to a maximum of 3.5 years, are determined via a competitive selection process. Applicants will be notified of the scholarship outcome in November 2022. 


For detailed information, visit: Research Training Program (RTP) Scholarships | Curtin University, Perth, Australia.

Scholarship Details


All applicable HDR courses

The project is best suited to applicants with a background in electrical/electronic engineering, and an interest in antenna theory. Beyond radio astronomy, arrays are widely used in telecommunications, 5G and 6G, and defence and space applications, and the candidate will master a wide variety of industry-related skills. 

Application process

If this project excites you, and your research skills and experience are a good fit for this specific project, you should contact the Project Lead (listed below in the enquires section) via the Expression of Interest (EOI) form.

Enrolment Requirements

Eligible to enrol in a Higher Degree by Research Course at Curtin University by March 2023


To enquire about this project opportunity that includes a scholarship application, contact the Project lead, Professor David Davidson via the EOI form above.

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