Materials for high temperature solar thermal systems


Supervisory Chair


Research areas


PhD opportunity available:
The efficiency of high temperature solar thermal power generation and thermochemical systems can be significantly increased by moving to higher temperature heat transfer fluid in the receiver, compared to the current nitrate based molten salts. Liquid sodium can operate at temperatures up to 1100 K and can enable higher efficiency power cycles such as supercritical-CO2 cycle. However, apart from its high reactivity, liquid sodium can bring additional challenges in terms of its interaction with the storage media, containment material and other metallic components in the system. Through the Australian Solar Thermal Research Initiative (ASTRI) program, we are working on developing  advanced materials for high-temperature solar thermal technologies, with primary focus on liquid Na/molten salt compatibility and high temperature corrosion in liquid sodium.

If you are interested in pursuing doctoral studies in this area, please contact Dr. Mahesh Venkataraman via email. Your expression of interest should include a CV (with a list of publications and details of 3 referees), a cover letter with a brief statement of research interests and motivation, and your undergraduate/masters transcripts.



  • Experience in undertaking project work in the research areas of the qualification degree.
  • A Bachelor (Honours) or Master degree or equivalent with major study in materials, mechanical, chemical, process engineering or related physical & engineering science.
  • Knowledge about heat and mass transfer, electrochemistry, corrosion, phase-equilibrium and phase transformations, and basic familiarity with any programming language such as Matlab, Python, C/C++ or FORTRAN.

Updated:  1 June 2019/Responsible Officer:  Dean, CECS/Page Contact:  CECS Marketing