The FBICRC supports selected Higher Degree by Research (HDR) students to conduct industry-focussed research projects from within our eight partner universities. The HDR students benefit from scholarships and top-ups, of up to $35,000 pa over 3.5 years for PhD students and 2 years for Master’s students. Here are some of our current HDR students.

Geethu Asokkumar Seena

PhD, The University of Western Australia, FBICRC Project 020: Microgrid Battery Deployment 

10Geethu Asokkumar Seena’s PhD focusses on the decentralised control of a cascaded H-bridge multilevel inverter for the integration of a Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) to a microgrid. 

She joined The University of Western Australia (UWA) as a Research Fellow in November 2020. Prior to joining UWA, she was an Electrical Engineer for the Electricity Board of India. 

Geethu received her Bachelor’s degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering in 2011 and Master’s degree in Power Electronics in 2014, both from India. Her research interests include Power electronics, BESS, power system stability and microgrids. 

https://www.linkedin.com/in/geethu-asokkumar-seena-2b306971/ 

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Saleh Forouhari

PhD, The University of Western Australia, FBICRC Project 020: Microgrid Battery Deployment

Saleh Forouhari obtained his Bachelor and Master’s degrees in electrical and electronics engineering from Yazd University, Iran, and Curtin University, respectively.

Before joining the FBICRC program to pursue his PhD degree at The University of Western Australia, he worked in power and energy consultancies as a power system engineer between 2017 and 2022.

His research interests are in power system operation, power electronics, control theory and microgrids. He is pursuing his study on the integration of battery energy storage systems with microgrids.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/saleh-forouhari-69162180/

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Maria George

PhD, Deakin University, FBICRC Project 024: Future Electrolyte Systems

Maria George completed her Master’s in Chemistry in 2016 from School of Chemical Sciences, Mahatma Gandhi University, India. She worked as a project assistant between 2016 and 2018 at the Department of Inorganic and Physical Chemistry, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore (IISc, Bangalore), on the fabrication of solar cells and electrochemical gas sensors. 

Maria’s PhD explores the structure, electrochemistry and interface formation of graphite-based anode materials for lithium-ion batteries, and their improvement by electrolyte design. 

https://www.linkedin.com/in/maria-george-9aa006b1/ 

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Zachary Hearne

Master’s, Murdoch University, FBICRC Project 023: Battery Materials for a Circular Economy: Advancing Certification and Improving Life-Cycle Impacts for Market Advantage

Zachary Hearne is currently the Processing Superintendent at IGO Nova. He has held previous roles at IGO, including as a Metallurgist at the Jaguar Copper-Zinc and Nova Nickel-Copper-Cobalt operations, a Project Metallurgist on the IGO Nickel Sulfate PFS, and as the Lead Technical Services Metallurgist providing technical assistance to the Business Development team.

Zac graduated in 2014 from Curtin University with a Bachelor’s double degree in Chemical Engineering and Extractive Metallurgy. He is now completing a postgraduate research degree on nickel and cobalt processing at Murdoch University in Perth.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/zachary-hearne-1371a185/

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Shiva Jamshidi 

PhD, Deakin University, FBICRC Project 024: Future Electrolyte Systems

Before starting her studies at Deakin University, Shiva studied a Master’s of Science in Chemical Engineering (focussing on Thermokinetics and Catalysis) at Amirkabir University of Technology, Iran. Her thesis was an experimental study of aqueous two-phase systems based on hyperbranched polymers. 

Shiva also has experience from Iran supplying active pharmaceutical ingredients to pharmaceutical companies. 

Her PhD studies investigate the ionic liquid electrolyte electrode interface in lithium ion batteries via molecular dynamics simulation. 

https://www.linkedin.com/in/shiva-jamshidi-6478a7178/

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Fubing Jin 

PhD, The University of Western Australia, FBICRC Project 006: National Battery Testing Centre 

In 2021 Fubing Jin completed a Master of Professional Engineering with distinction, specialising in Electrical and Electronics Engineering, at the University of Western Australia (UWA). Prior to that, he graduated with Bachelor’s degree in Automation Engineering from Southwest University, Chongqing, China, in 2019. 

Currently, Fubing is pursuing his interests in power electronics, control algorithm and artificial intelligence through a PhD at UWA. His research project explores novel power converter design and control to improve the reliability of battery systems. 

https://pace.ee.uwa.edu.au/people/students/ 

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Shayan Khakmardan

PhD, University of Melbourne, FBICRC Project 023: Battery Materials for a Circular Economy: Advancing Certification and Improving Life-Cycle Impacts for Market Advantage

Shayan Khakmardan’s tertiary education journey began with a Bachelor’s degree in Mining Engineering.

Since then, he has progressed through four Master’s programs, including in Geo-Metallurgy (Liege University, Belgium), in Earth Science Engineering (Lorraine University, France), in Mineral Processing Engineering (Amirkabir University of Technology, Iran), and in Mechanical and Process Engineering (The Technische Universität Bergakademie Freiberg, Germany).

In addition to his extensive university studies, Shayan also has more than six years of industry experience as a mining technologist engineer, and a research and development specialist.

The emphasis of his doctoral work is on battery minerals’ life cycle assessments.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/shayan-khakmardan/

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Arron Lee 

Master's, Queensland University of Technology, FBICRC Project 006: National Battery Testing Centre

Arron Lee has a Bachelor of Engineering degree from Queensland University of Technology and joined the National Battery Testing Centre as a Master’s research student in November 2021. He is a power electronics design and research engineer with more than a decade of industry experience. 

Working at companies like Tritium – where he was the Power Electronics and Magnetics technical lead for several years – Arron has taken many products from concept through to commercialisation. 

Arron possesses a wide range of skills and experience focused on Power Electronics, and has developed project, interpersonal and leadership skills by working within, as well as by leading, teams. 

https://www.linkedin.com/in/arron-lee/ 

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Ran Li 

PhD, The University of Western Australia, FBICRC Project 039: Stationary Mine Electrification

Ran Li graduated with high distinction from his Master’s of Professional Engineering (Electrical and Electronics) program at The University of Western Australia (UWA)  in December 2021. 

Ran started his PhD at UWA in March 2022, focussing on highly reliable converter designs and controls for mine site microgrids. 

Ran’s expertise includes the design of permanent magnet synchronous motors and reluctance synchronous motors, the design of power DC-DC converters, and artificial intelligence-based control engineering. 

https://www.linkedin.com/in/ran-li-3b8a831b4/ 

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Zifan Lin 

PhD, The University of Western Australia, FBICRC Project 020: Microgrid Battery Deployment 

Zifan Lin received a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering Science from The University of Western Australia (UWA) in 2017 and a Master’s degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from UWA in 2019. Both degrees were awarded with Distinction. 

Zifan is currently pursuing a PhD related to multi-terminal DC/DC power converters for DC microgrids. His ongoing research interests include power electronics, memristive systems, and microgrids. 

https://www.linkedin.com/in/zifan-lin-bb1203103/ 

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Yulin Liu 

PhD, The University of Western Australia, FBICRC Project 039: Stationary Mine Electrification 

Yulin Liu completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering from Southwest University, Chongqing, China, in 2018. He completed his Master’s Degree in Professional Engineering from The University of Western Australia in 2020. 

Yulin’s PhD studies explore artificial intelligence-based monitoring, control and health diagnoses for mine site energy storage. 

He has ongoing research interests in advanced model-based control and artificial intelligence control in energy storage systems. 

https://www.linkedin.com/in/yulin-liu-b68b68192/ 

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Bernardo Mendonça

PhD, University of Technology, Sydney, FBICRC Project 023: Battery Materials for a Circular Economy: Advancing Certification and Improving Life-Cycle Impacts for Market Advantage

Originally from Recife in Brazil, Bernardo Mendonça has a mixed background in civil engineering and urban development. He has worked primarily with the development of water and waste management systems for social housing in Brazil, Netherlands, and Kenya.

For the past three years Bernardo worked as a solutions engineer for a start-up in Melbourne before moving to Sydney to start his PhD. Bernardo’s research explores the intricacies of lifecycle analysis in certifying responsible minerals for a transition towards a low-carbon society.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/mendonca-bernardo/

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Kade Parascos 

PhD, Queensland University of Technology, FBICRC Project 006: National Battery Testing Centre

Kade Parascos is a PhD student within Queensland University of Technology’s School of Chemistry and Physics. His research explores the synthesis, characterisation and application of advanced solid-state electrolytes for lithium-ion batteries. 

The outcomes from his project are targeted at the construction of prototype high energy and power density solid-state batteries. 

Kade’s research, and his recent collaborations with Oak Ridge National Laboratory, have helped him gain experience in materials synthesis, physical characterisation, and in-situ neutron diffraction techniques. 

https://www.linkedin.com/in/kade-parascos-566891174/ 

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Donghyuck Park

PhD, University of Melbourne, FBICRC Project 022: Electrochemical Testing of Li-Ion Battery Materials in Standard Cell Formats

Donghyuck Park received a Bachelor’s of Science in Manufacturing Systems and Design Engineering (MSDE) from Seoul National University of Science and Technology (Seoultech), South Korea. He also has a Master’s of Science from Seoultech, with his research focussing on nanoparticle and polymer composites.

Donghyuck’s PhD is being conducted within the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Melbourne and investigates the cathode and electrochemical testing of novel lithium-ion batteries.

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Kiet Pham 

PhD, University of Melbourne, FBICRC Project 019: Super Anode

Kiet Pham’s PhD project investigates the fabrication and characterisation of silicon/graphite composite anodes. 

He has a Master’s degree from the Department of Energy Systems Engineering, Soonchunhyang University, South Korea. His Master’s research investigated the development of silicon-graphite composite materials for lithium-ion rechargeable batteries. 

Kiet has extensive expertise in electrode fabrication and analysis. He also has advanced industry skills relevant to the upscale of graphite/silicon anodes. 

https://www.linkedin.com/in/kiet-pham-5b0957110/ 

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John Pulgarin

Master’s, Curtin University, FBICRC Project 029: Hydrometallurgical Processing for Nickel and Cobalt Ores, Concentrates, Tailings, Wastes

John Pulgarin is a graduate chemical engineer from the National University of Colombia. There he also did a university internship with Multimensionales SAS working in materials development.

Upon moving to Australia, John worked in Kalgoorlie as a laboratory technician for Bureau Veritas Minerals. There he used AAS methods to determine gold and copper concentrations in soil and solution samples.

John’s Master’s research focusses on the extraction from laterite ores of nickel and cobalt. A bioleach method is being used as it presents an environmentally friendly and highly selective alternative to conventional hydrometallurgical methods to make battery grade cathode precursors.

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Tianhao (Steward) Qie 

PhD, The University of Western Australia, FBICRC Project 020: Microgrid Battery Deployment 

Tianhao (Steward) Qie received his Bachelor’s Degree in Automation Engineering from Southwest University, Chongqing, China, in 2020 and his Master’s with Distinction in Professional Engineering (Electrical and Electronics) from The University of Western Australia in 2021. 

He is currently pursuing his PhD degree on artificial intelligence-based control and monitoring of batteries in microgrids and his ongoing research interests are in advanced control algorithms, power electronics and microgrids. 

https://www.linkedin.com/in/steward-qie-0b45b0195/ 

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Ramon Skåne 

PhD, Curtin University, FBICRC Project 033: Process Legacy

In December 2020 Ramon Skåne completed a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) with High Distinction at Murdoch University. 

He has extensive practical experience in the water and waste industries and has worked in numerous projects including the development of an Eco-Concrete product and facility design in Western Australia’s Southwest region, hydraulic and transient pressure analyses of water distribution networks throughout Australia, hydrological soil assessments in WA’s Wheatbelt and on PVRO water purification operations in Southern India. 

Extremely passionate about green circular economy frameworks, Ramon’s PhD explores the development of geopolymer products using synergistically-located resources. 

https://www.linkedin.com/in/ramon-sk%C3%A5ne-84228a37/ 

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Hao Wang 

PhD, The University of Adelaide, FBICRC Project 020: Microgrid Battery Deployment 

Hao Wang is passionate about storage systems and clean energy development. He desires to develop long-term renewable energy applications by connecting the research outputs with industrial applications. 

His PhD project addresses battery energy storage systems and energy management systems. There he is working on the Redox Flow Battery management system development, including Vanadium Redox Flow Battery modelling and future exploration of the battery management system. 

Hao’s ongoing research interests focus on battery modelling optimal control for redox flow batteries. 

https://www.linkedin.com/in/hao-wang-a658471b4/ 

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Muhammad Waqas

PhD, Murdoch University, FBICRC Project 020: Microgrid Battery Deployment

Muhammad Waqas has four years’ hands-on international experience in the fields of electrical power and renewable energy.

In March 2022 Muhammad started his PhD in Micro/Smart Grid with Murdoch University. He is working to develop the intelligent control of interconnected microgrids, which will enable a local business to develop a modular and parallel operation of multiple energy system units within a microgrid.

Muhammad’s major research interests are in Smart grids, grid integration and stability, and energy management systems.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/muhammad-waqas-2926b578

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He Zhou 

PhD, The University of Western Australia, FBICRC Project 023: Battery Materials for a Circular Economy: Advancing Certification and Improving Life-Cycle Impacts for Market Advantage

He Zhou achieved Master’s degrees both with The University of Western Australia (UWA) and with the China University of Mining and Technology. He also participated in several coal mine shaft wall deformation testing projects, where he worked as a project assistant, and on a research study related to the adverse effects of water infiltration in pavements. 

He commenced his PhD at UWA in October 2021 where he is focusing on the sustainability assessment of recycled by-products recovered during the processing of lithium-ion battery minerals. 

https://www.linkedin.com/in/he-zhou-5019151a5/ 

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