PhD scholarship: Hydrogen Embrittlement of Gas Pipeline Steels


Enrolment status New students
Student type Domestic students, International students
Level of study Higher Degree by Research
Study area Engineering and Computing, Science and Mathematics
HDR funding type Living stipend scholarship
Scholarship value $30,000 per annum (indexed annually)
Scholarship duration Three years with the possibility of two 6-month extensions in approved circumstances
Number awarded 2
Opening date 23 October 2020
Closing date 30 November 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.


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

Applications are closed.

Before you get started

If this scholarship has rules, download and read them.

How to apply

To apply for admission and scholarship, follow this link. There is no separate application for scholarship because you will have the opportunity to request scholarship consideration on the application for admission.

Before submitting an application you should:

When you apply, please ensure that under the scholarships and collaborative study section you:

  1. Select ‘My higher degree is not collaborative’
  2. Select 'I am applying for, or have been awarded a scholarship or sponsorship'.
  3. Select ‘Other’, then ‘Research Project Scholarship’ and type in ‘HYDROGEN’ in the 'Name of scholarship' field.

See an example of what you have to do

Learn more about applying for a higher degree by research at UQ

Selection criteria

Applications will be judged on a competitive basis taking into account the applicant’s previous academic record, publication record, honours and awards, and employment history.

A working knowledge of Materials Engineering, Fracture Mechanics, Hydrogen Embrittlement, Corrosion and Steels would be of benefit to someone working on this project.

Applications are closed.


Professor Andrejs Atrens
+61 7 3365 3748
Applications are closed.

Terms and conditions

Read the policy on UQ Research Scholarships.

A domestic part-time student with carer’s responsibilities, a medical condition or a disability, which prevents them from studying full time may be eligible for scholarship consideration, on a case by case basis.

Applications are closed.