Student projects

Climate change in Australia: heatwaves and blackouts?

 Climate change is already increasing the frequency and severity of Australia’s heatwaves, with consequences for human health and infrastructure. Climate projections show that temperatures in Australia’s major populated cities could reach 50°C this century. How will our cities and our power systems cope as heatwaves become more severe?

This project will explore how hot extremes will change in coming decades and whether our energy forecasting systems are adequately planning for these extremes.

 The candidate

We are looking for an outstanding student with a strong academic record and interest in undertaking a PhD. Students with a background in climate, atmospheric or mathematical sciences, or similar quantitative sciences are welcome. The Honours program will provide an opportunity for the student to develop their skills in scientific programming.

A $2,500 scholarshipis provided for the project, commencing in Semester 2, 2018. Students may be eligible for additional funding through UNSW Canberra and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes.

 Inquiries and applications should be directed to Dr Sophie Lewis ( A CV, academic transcript and the names of up to two academic referees should be provided.

Closing date: Friday 1stJune 2018

About Honours 

Honours is a one-year addendum to a 3-year undergraduate degree. You do not need to undertake your honours year at the same university where you completed your 3-year degree. Honours is an opportunity to develop your capacity for critical thinking and independent research, and a pathway into a PhD program. The honours year will consist of a research project culminating in the writing of a thesis, and a coursework component.

UNSW Canberra and Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes

 The student will be located at UNSW Canberra in the School of Physical, Environmental and Mathematical Sciences, which focuses on cutting-edge multidisciplinary research in the physical and human sciences. The project will be supervised by Dr Sophie Lewis, an ARC DECRA Fellow and Senior Lecturer.

The successful candidate will also be affiliated with the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes, an international consortium of five Australian universities and a suite of outstanding national and international partners. The Centre provides excellent opportunities for travel and graduate student development.