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Scholarship details

2024 RTP round - Designing Massive Phased Antenna Arrays for Future Wireless Communication Systems

Status: Closed

Applications open: 7/07/2023
Applications close: 25/08/2023

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About this scholarship

The demands of the modern interconnected world call for complex wireless systems with arrays consisting of increasing numbers of antennas. One of the most important features of 5G is the use of massive antenna arrays, with array sizes of 64, 128 or 256 elements [2]. Such a large number of antenna elements provide an unprecedented variety of possibilities in their functions. In 5G systems, massive antenna arrays can significantly increase network capacity, communication range and data rates and reduce interference from unwanted sources. 5G covers only users on the ground, but the ambitious aim of 6G is to extend mobile coverage to air, connecting airborne vehicles with terrestrial networks. It is envisaged that 6G systems will eventually integrate space networks (geostationary, medium and low Earth orbit satellites), airborne networks (incl. aircrafts and unmanned aerial vehicles) and terrestrial networks (incl. mobile base stations and Earth stations). Innovations in antenna engineering are vital to achieving the challenging vision of 6G, and the most promising solutions to integrated networks are based on beamforming and beam steering of antenna arrays. 

The aim of the project is to explore the potential of deep neural networks for accelerating the computational simulation of complex antenna systems and massive antenna arrays. This project will apply recent advances in deep neural network research to electromagnetic modelling of massive antenna arrays for use in future wireless communication systems. 

Objective 1: to generate a trained deep neural network for antenna design based on provided specifications.
Objective 2: to design massive phased antenna arrays for integrated space networks using the generated deep neural network. 

Artificial intelligence continues to shape our world, and one of its major impacts lies in altering traditional engineering approaches. Industries have been investing colossal resources in artificial intelligence due to its potential to improve the ability and function of nearly all systems and operations that drive our economic and national security activities daily, such as medicine, geoscience, mining and wireless communications. In 2021, Australian Government published the Action Plan for Critical Technologies, where “AI, computing and communications” is one of seven prioritised technologies. Moreover, in February 2022, the Department of Defence of the United States announced the National Defence Science and Technology strategy, Trusted AI and Autonomy was one of twelve adoption areas characterised by “existing vibrant commercial sector activity”. This project addresses current top priorities of technology and engineering research in Australia and overseas.

The project will have significant immediate impact on electromagnetic modelling of phased arrays for future generation wireless networks. Deep neural networks can drastically reduce computational resources by shortening the overall simulation time while increasing the accuracy and decreasing the cost of electromagnetic modelling of antennas. In turn, AI-generated antenna designs will be perfectly optimised for their application, which will lead to numerous improvements, such as higher-quality sky imaging in radio astronomy, higher data transfer rates in mobile communication and hybrid antenna arrays for integrated space networks envisaged for 6G. 

This project may provide an internship opportunity. 

To test the designed antenna arrays, internship will be arranged with one of the leading Australian radio frequency companies. The student will be able to test their prototypes in the field and conduct reflection coefficient and radiation pattern measurements. 

  • Future Students
  • Faculty of Science & Engineering
    • Science courses
    • Engineering courses
  • Higher Degree by Research
  • International Student
  • 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 at the 2023 RTP rate valued at $32,250 p.a. for up to a maximum of 3 years, with a possible 6-month completion scholarship. Applicants are determined via a competitive selection process and will be notified of the scholarship outcome in November 2023. 

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

Scholarship Details


All applicable HDR courses

This project requires background knowledge in electromagnetics and antennas and propagation and/or previous experience with electromagnetic simulation packages. The applicant should have excellent communication skills, good time management and ability to work in a diverse engineering team. 

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. ahead of the closing date. Please note you should apply as soon as possible, as once a suitable candidate has been identified this opportunity will no longer be available to receive an EOI.

Enrolment Requirements

Eligible to enrol in a Higher Degree by Research Course at Curtin University by March 2024.

Recipients must complete their milestone 1 within 6 month of enrolment and remain enrolled on a full-time basis for the duration of the scholarship.


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

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