Find a project or supervisor 

To enrol in a University of Canterbury PhD or Doctoral Degree, you first need to find a supervisor or join an existing (funded) project.  

Option 1: Join a project

Browse doctoral projects currently available at the University of Canterbury.

Search Projects

Spatial correlation of earthquake ground motions

Host Faculty: Engineering
General subject area: Earthquake Engineering
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Robin Lee

High-frequency Physics-based Earthquake Ground Motion Simulations

Host Faculty: Engineering
General subject area: Earthquake Engineering
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Robin Lee

Community structure and ecology of braided river terrestrial invertebrate biodiversity

Host Faculty: Science
General subject area: Ecology
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Angus McIntosh

Food-web dynamics of mixed introduced and native fish communities in Aotearoa New Zealand lakes

Host Faculty: Science
General subject area: Ecology
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Angus McIntosh

A Critical Approach to Animal Assisted Interventions

Host Faculty: Arts
General subject area: Human Services, Sociology
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Nicola Taylor

Food Sensing and Imaging Programme

Host Faculty: Engineering
General subject area: Electrical, Electronic, Computer, Mechatronic Eng
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Bill Heffernan

Chemical Process design of a new vertebrate toxic agent (VTA) for pest control

Host Faculty: Engineering
General subject area: Chemical Engineering
Project level: Master's
Supervisor: Daniel Holland

Novel mass spectroscopy for detection of insect biosecurity threats

Host Faculty: Engineering
General subject area: Science, Chemistry, Biology
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Steve Pawson

Fire Safety of Building Integrated Photovoltaic System

Host Faculty: Engineering
General subject area: Fire Engineering
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Dennis Pau

Career trajectories in the engineering profession

Host Faculty: Engineering
General subject area: Organisational psychology, engineering practice
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Enda Crossin

Molten oxide electrolysis processing for technology-critical, strategic metals

Host Faculty: Engineering
General subject area: Materials and Chemical Engineering
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Catherine Bishop

Interface phase transitions and degradation of Pb-free ferroelectric ceramics

Host Faculty: Engineering
General subject area: Materials Science and Engineering
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Catherine Bishop

Defect-free membranes

Host Faculty: Engineering
General subject area: Chemical and Process Engineering
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Matthew Cowan

Novel catalytic plastic waste-to-energy technology for New Zealand

Host Faculty: Engineering
General subject area: Chemical Engineering
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Alex Yip

Applications of NMR spectroscopy in Chemical Engineering

Host Faculty: Engineering
General subject area: Chemical Engineering
Project level: Masters
Supervisor: Daniel Holland

Design of hierarchical zeolites for important reactions in the oil and gas industry

Host Faculty: Engineering
General subject area: Chemical Enigneering
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Alex Yip

Granular flows

Host Faculty: Engineering
General subject area: Chemical Engineering
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Daniel Holland

Climate change and youth citizenship: activism and anxiety

Host Faculty: Arts
General subject area: Political Science and International Relations
Supervisor: Bronwyn Hayward

Language attitudes

Host Faculty: Arts
General subject area: Linguistics
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Kevin Watson

Accent variation and change in England

Host Faculty: Arts
General subject area: Linguistics
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Kevin Watson

Critical Analysis of Role of Alternative Media in Society

Host Faculty: Arts
General subject area: Alternative Media
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: LindaJean Kenix

Decay resistance of naturally durable eucalyptus timber

Host Faculty: Engineering
General subject area: Forestry
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Clemens Altaner

Harnessing photoheterotrophic metabolism to convert methane into biopolymers

Host Faculty: Engineering
General subject area: Bioprocess Engineering
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Carlo Carere

Metal-organic Framework Physisorbents for Carbon Dioxide Capture

Host Faculty: Science
General subject area: Chemistry
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Paul Kruger

Parenting a child on the autism spectrum

Host Faculty: Education, Health and Human Development
General subject area: Clinical Psychology; Child and Family Psychology
Project level: PhD

Mindful Parenting and Autism

Host Faculty: Education, Health and Human Development
General subject area: Clinical Psychology; Child Psychology; Autism
Project level: PhD

Development of a smart material designed to attenuate oblique and direct impacts

Host Faculty: Engineering
General subject area: Mechanical / Materials Engineering
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Natalia Kabaliuk

Development of a novel "three-way" catalyst for hydrogen generation from water-gas-shift reaction

Host Faculty: Engineering
General subject area: Chemical Engineering, Catalysis
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Alex Yip

Socio-ecological co-benefits of urban blue-green infrastructure and community resilience (applications have now closed)

Host Faculty: Science
General subject area: Urban resilience; blue-green infrastructure
Project level: PhD
Supervisors: Ed Challies, Rita Dionisio

Enabling 'go-hard, go-early' for novel pathogen incursion using electrical and molecular detection tools

Host Faculty: Science
General subject area: Bioengineering
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Ian Dickie

Investigation of Jack-in-the-box Systems

Host Faculty: Science
General subject area: Chemistry
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Sarah Masters

Hydrogen storage materials

Host Faculty: Science
General subject area: Chemistry
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Sarah Masters

Towards in vitro brain model

Host Faculty: Engineering
General subject area: Tissue engineering
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Yilei Zhang

A computer chip that thinks like the brain

Host Faculty: Science
General subject area: Nanotechnology, Neuromorphic computing
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Simon Brown

Artery Inflammation

Host Faculty: Science
General subject area: Biochemistry, Immunology, Cell biology
Project level: Masters
Supervisor: Steven Gieseg

Imaging and Detecting Vascular disease

Host Faculty: Science
General subject area: Biochemistry
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Steven Gieseg

Local-global principles for divisibility in algebraic groups

Host Faculty: Engineering
General subject area: Pure Mathematics
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Brendan Creutz

Descent algorithms for finding rational points on curves

Host Faculty: Engineering
General subject area: Pure Mathematics
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Brendan Creutz

Rational points and zero-cycles on bielliptic surfaces

Host Faculty: Engineering
General subject area: Pure Mathematics
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Brendan Creutz

Reproducing Kernel Hilbert Space methods in dynamical systems

Host Faculty: Engineering
General subject area: Pure Mathematics
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Rua Murray

Dynamical systems and ergodic theory

Host Faculty: Engineering
General subject area: Pure Mathematics
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Rua Murray

Matroid theory

Host Faculty: Engineering
General subject area: Pure Mathematics
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Charles Semple

Topological and finite circle geometries and their automorphism groups

Host Faculty: Engineering
General subject area: Pure Mathematics
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Gunter Steinke

Post-quantum Cryptosystems from Diophantine equations

Host Faculty: Engineering
General subject area: Pure Mathematics
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Felipe Voloch

Sudoku and geometry over the integers modulo 3

Host Faculty: Engineering
General subject area: Pure Mathematics
Project level: Masters
Supervisor: Geertrui Van de Voorde

Axiomatic planes

Host Faculty: Engineering
General subject area: Pure Mathematics
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Geertrui Van de Voorde

Generalised quadrangles/polygons

Host Faculty: Engineering
General subject area: Pure Mathematics
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Geertrui Van de Voorde

Designs and their codes

Host Faculty: Engineering
General subject area: Pure Mathematics
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Geertrui Van de Voorde

Crisis and Change

Host Faculty: Engineering
General subject area: Mathematics
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Clemency Montelle

Ethnomathematics

Host Faculty: Engineering
General subject area: Mathematics Education
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Clemency Montelle

Mathematical themes from ancient mathematics

Host Faculty: Engineering
General subject area: History and Philosophy of Mathematics Education
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Clemency Montelle

Mathematical themes from ancient mathematics

Host Faculty: Engineering
General subject area: Mathematics
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Clemency Montelle

No flow limit for Bingham fluid flow

Host Faculty: Engineering
General subject area: Applied Mathematics
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Miguel Moyers Gonzalez

Bubble dynamics in an elastoviscoplastic medium

Host Faculty: Engineering
General subject area: Applied Mathematics
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Miguel Moyers Gonzalez

Data driven analysis of dynamical systems

Host Faculty: Engineering
General subject area: Applied Mathematics
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Rua Murray

Optimisation methods in transient dynamics

Host Faculty: Engineering
General subject area: Applied Mathematics
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Rua Murray

Pulses in heterogeneous media

Host Faculty: Engineering
General subject area: Applied Mathematics
Project level: Masters
Supervisor: Rua Murray

Mathematics of medicine

Host Faculty: Engineering
General subject area: Applied Mathematics
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Rua Murray

Modelling spread of COVID-19

Host Faculty: Engineering
General subject area: Applied Mathematics
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Michael Plank

Spatial moment dynamics for invasive populations

Host Faculty: Engineering
General subject area: Applied Mathematics
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Michael Plank

Marine ecosystems and fishing

Host Faculty: Engineering
General subject area: Applied Mathematics
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Michael Plank

Combinatorics of reticulate evolution

Host Faculty: Engineering
General subject area: Applied Mathematics
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Charles Semple

Fluid-particle interactions for granular flows

Host Faculty: Engineering
General subject area: Applied Mathematics
Project level: Masters
Supervisor: Phillip Wilson

Pseudo-wake structure in colliding turbulent boundary layers

Host Faculty: Engineering
General subject area: Applied Mathematics
Project level: Masters
Supervisor: Phillip Wilson

Turbulence in the Deep Ocean

Host Faculty: Engineering
General subject area: applied Mathematics
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Phillip Wilson

Efficient survey designs

Host Faculty: Engineering
General subject area: Statistics and Data Science
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Jennifer Brown

Spatial patterns in ecological models

Host Faculty: Engineering
General subject area: Statistics and Data Science
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Jennifer Brown

Dose-Response Analysis

Host Faculty: Engineering
General subject area: Statistics and Data Science
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Daniel Gerhard

Spatio-temporal modelling of environmental and crop management effects on sensory scores and chemistry profiles using hi

Host Faculty: Engineering
General subject area: Statistics and Data Science
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Daniel Gerhard

Integrated multi-modal sensing, and machine learning application

Host Faculty: Engineering
General subject area: Statistics and Data Science
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Thomas Li

3D volumetric and point-cloud data machine learning algorithms

Host Faculty: Engineering
General subject area: Statistics and Data Science
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Thomas Li

Crime and punishment in England

Host Faculty: Engineering
General subject area: Statistics and Data Science
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Elena Moltchanova

Heights of army and navy recruits

Host Faculty: Engineering
General subject area: Statistics and Data Science
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Elena Moltchanova

Dynamic economic control charts for monitoring epidemics

Host Faculty: Engineering
General subject area: Statistics and Data Science
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Elena Moltchanova

Analysis of spatio-temporal trends in NZ traffic & implications for benchmarking and implementation of self-driving cars

Host Faculty: Engineering
General subject area: Statistics and Data Science
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Elena Moltchanova

Parsimonious models for multivariate time series

Host Faculty: Engineering
General subject area: Statistics and Data Science
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Marco Reale

Spatially Balanced Sampling of Natural Resources

Host Faculty: Engineering
General subject area: Statistics and Data Science
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Blair Robertson

Decision Trees for Statistical Learning

Host Faculty: Engineering
General subject area: Statistics and Data Science
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Blair Robertson

Stochastic properties of speciation and extinction models

Host Faculty: Engineering
General subject area: Statistics and Data Science
Project level: Masters
Supervisor: Mike Steel

Discrete random models in evolutionary biology

Host Faculty: Engineering
General subject area: Statistics and Data Science
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Mike Steel

Teen anxiety and parenting

Host Faculty: Education, Health and Human Development
General subject area: Psychology
Project level: PhD

Cryogenic Power Electronics for Superconducting Electric Motors in Aviation

Host Faculty: Engineering
General subject area: Power Electronics
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Bill Heffernan

Impacts of Australian bushfires on New Zealand glacial environments

Host Faculty: Science
General subject area: Glacier-climate
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Heather Purdie

Multi-Physics Power Transformer Model for Digital Twin

Host Faculty: Engineering
General subject area: Electrical Engineering
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Andrew Lapthorn

Using ecological community data to optimise the sensitivity and specificity of biosecurity surveillance networks

Host Faculty: Engineering
General subject area: Applied Mathematics and biosecurity
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Steve Pawson

Superhuman Sports to Foster Engagement in Playful Physical Activities

Host Faculty: Engineering
General subject area: Computer science; applied games; mixed reality
Project level: PhD

Biomimetic sensors and neurocomputing algorithms

Host Faculty: Engineering
General subject area: neurocomputing, machine learning, artificial intel
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Yilei Zhang

Knowledge generation for smart design and manufacturing

Host Faculty: Engineering
General subject area: Mechanical engineering
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Yilei Zhang

Development of engineered wood products utilizing small-diameter softwood and hardwood trees

Host Faculty: Engineering
General subject area: Timber engineering
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Hyungsuk (Thomas) Lim

Swimming Lane Distribution Simulation

Host Faculty: Engineering
General subject area: computer science, sociology, statistics
Project level: Master's
Supervisor: Christoph Bartneck

Ethical Asymmetry Perception in HRI

Host Faculty: Science
General subject area: psychology, human-robot interaction, ethics
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Christoph Bartneck

Valence Free Racialization In HRI

Host Faculty: Science
General subject area: Psychology
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Christoph Bartneck

Swimming Markup Language

Host Faculty: Engineering
General subject area: computer science, sport, health, design
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Christoph Bartneck

Mathematical & computation techniques to enable hybrid network transient and fault analysis

Host Faculty: Engineering
General subject area: Electrical and Electronic Engineering
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Neville Watson

Mathematical & computation techniques to enable hybrid network dynamic analysis

Host Faculty: Engineering
General subject area: Electrical and Electronic Engineering
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Neville Watson

Social-ecological dimensions of freshwater fish management

Host Faculty: Science
General subject area: Human geography, social-ecological systems, enviro
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Ed Challies

Using ecological community data to optimise the sensitivity and specificity of biosecurity surveillance networks

Host Faculty: Engineering
General subject area: biosecurity, ecology, mathematics, invertebrates
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Steve Pawson

Spatial moment dynamics for invasive populations

Host Faculty: Science
General subject area: Mathematics and Statistics
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Michael Plank

Combining Technology and Behavioural Science to Improve Citizen Science Monitoring of Biosecurity Risks

Host Faculty: Education
General subject area: Biosecurity, Psychology, Social Media
Project level: PhD
Supervisors: Don Hine, Chris North

Additive Manufacture of Metal, Ceramic and Polymer Components Using Screen Additive Manufacturing

Host Faculty: Engineering
General subject area: Additive Manufacture (3D Printing)
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Don Clucas

Biodegradable implant system for bone fracture fixation based on magnesium alloys

Host Faculty: Engineering
General subject area: Mechanial Engineering
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Mark Staiger

Adaptation Options for Rural Coastal Lowlands

Host Faculty: Engineering
General subject area: Civil Systems Engineering
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Tom Logan

Communicating risk with communities for local climate change adaptation

Host Faculty: Arts
General subject area: Risk Science and Communication
Project level: PhD
Supervisors: Zita Joyce, Tom Logan

Fire Safety of Building Greenery System

Host Faculty: Engineering
General subject area: Fire Engineering
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Dennis Pau

Application of Construction 4.0

Host Faculty: Engineering
General subject area: Structural Engineering
Project level: PhD
Supervisor: Gregory MacRae

Option 2: Find a supervisor

Explore UC research profiles to identify academics who are conducting research in your topic area and who may be interested in becoming a supervisor of your research. 

Find a supervisor