International UQ PhD Positionsin Hydrogen Embrittlement of Gas Pipeline Steels

  • Phd
  • $30,000 p.a.
  • 1 October 2020

This research will have a serious impact on climate mitigation by enabling the use of existing gas transmission pipelines for the transport of hydrogen produced by Solar and Wind at remote locations to population centres, where the hydrogen can be used, converted to electricity, or exported to countries like Japan. This research will define the critical conditions that enable hydrogen storage and transport without hydrogen embrittlement of the steels that make up critical Australian gas transmission pipelines. The research is inspired in part by the Australian Hydrogen Strategy, as advocated by Australia’s Chief Scientist and Australia’s National Hydrogen Strategy priorities and delivery.

This research is occurring within the Future Fuels Cooperative Research Centre and will collaborate with parallel research at the University of Wollongong (UoW) and Deakin University.

The research will evaluate the hydrogen embrittlement (HE) of gas pipeline steels currently used in Australia based on our prior research at UQ based on cathodic hydrogen charging & together with UoW, to lead to the following outputs:

  • an evaluation of the possibility of sub-critical crack growth in the tested pipeline steels,
  • an evaluation of the relationship between hydrogen fugactity and hydrogen charging conditions, using hydrogen permeation experiments and thermal desorption spectroscopy
  • the dependence of the yield strength, ultimate tensile strength, and the fracture toughness of the steels on the hydrogen concentration and steel microstructure, including base material, weld and heat affected zone, and
  • permissible safe operating pressure for each gas transmission pipeline, and tolerable defect sizes.

There are two scholarships available. Each of the two scholars will be working on his/her own project, however there will be considerable scope for collaboration. There will also be considerable scope for collaboration with parallel research at The University of Wollongong, Deakin University and the University of Science and Technology Beijing.

The University of Queensland
This is a scholarship by

The University of Queensland

The University of Queensland is a public research university located primarily in Brisbane, the capital city of the Australian state of Queensland.

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To be eligible, you must meet the entry requirements for a higher degree by research.


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$30,000 per annum (indexed annually)


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