Research Associate in Remediation of Contaminated Soils

University of New South Wales School of Engineering and Information Technology


Research Associate in the Remediation of PFAS-Contaminated Soils

Job no: 499654

Work type: Fixed term / Full time

Location: Canberra, ACT

Categories: Post doctoral research fellow

UNSW Canberra is a campus of the University of New South Wales located at the Australian Defence Force Academy in Canberra. UNSW Canberra endeavours to offer staff a rewarding experience and offers many opportunities and attractive benefits, including:

  •      One of Australia’s leading research and teaching universities
  •      Australian bushland setting with free parking
  •      Strong commitment to staff development and learning
  •      Generous superannuation and salary packaging opportunities

At UNSW, we pride ourselves on being a workplace where the best people come to do their best work.

This position is based in the School of Engineering and Information Technology (SEIT), at the Canberra campus of UNSW. The School delivers high quality, accredited, globally recognised degrees in four branches of engineering, aviation and cyber security, to produce graduates who become Australia’s future technology innovators and decision-makers.  We are one of the largest schools in UNSW, with research interests extending across four strategic research themes: Aerospace Technologies, Cyber Secure Technologies, Engineering for Resilience, and Technology Decision Making. We are proud of our contributions to research and innovation across many fields, including in advanced electromagnetics, advanced materials and impact dynamics, control, hypersonics, imaging, optimisation and design, and trusted autonomy. SEIT also hosts the Capability Systems Centre, the Australian Centre for Cyber Security, UNSW Canberra Space, and one node of the Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology.

About the Role:

  • Salary: Level A, $ 96,404 p.a. plus superannuation
  • Fixed Term: 2 years with a possibility of 1 year extension subject to satisfactory performance and availability of funding.
  • Full Time position
  • Based in Canberra, Australia

The Research Associate will undertake research in the ARC-funded project: “PFAS Source Zone Remediation by Foam Fractionation and In Situ Fluidisation”, led by UNSW in collaboration with Macquarie University and industry partner OPEC Systems Pty Ltd. This project concerns per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs), which have been widely used in aqueous film-forming foams since the 1950s, leading to extensive soil and groundwater contamination worldwide. The successful candidate will develop a new method for the remediation of PFAS-contaminated soils, involving experimentation on soils at small and large scales, and the scale-up of the method for field applications.

This position will need to start as soon as practicable, and definitely by August 2020.

About the Successful Applicant

To be successful in this role you will:

  • Hold a PhD (already awarded) in a field relevant to PFASs and other subsurface contaminants, such as environmental engineering, civil engineering, chemical engineering, mineral processing or chemistry.
  • Be experienced in chemical or process engineering systems, and in conducting experiments involving environmental contaminants. Experience in soil and groundwater investigations, froth flotation systems, fluidised beds or surfactant chemistry will provide a distinct advantage.
  • Have a strong track record in innovative and independent research at a university level.
  • Have excellent interpersonal, oral and written communication skills, and ability to work as part of a multidisciplinary, multi-institutional team.
  • Desirable: have the ability and willingness to conduct fieldwork on Australian Defence bases.

Please apply online - applications will NOT be accepted by email. In your application you must systematically address the selection criteria outlined in the Position Description. To view the Position Description, please ensure that you allow pop-ups for the Jobs@UNSW Portal.

An applicant will be required to undergo pre-employment checks prior to appointment to this role.

Download File Position Description - Research Associate - PFAS.pdf

For further information about UNSW Canberra, please visit our website: UNSW Canberra


Assoc. Prof. Robert Niven


T: Can arrange phone, Skype, Zoom or Teams call by appointment.

Applications Close: 3 July 2020, or until this position is filled. 

Find out more about working at UNSW Canberra

            UNSW is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity

       Any questions about the application process - please email

Advertised: 11 Jun 2020 AUS Eastern Standard Time

Applications close: 03 Jul 2020 AUS Eastern Standard Time


In your application, please refer to