Welcome to Netrider ... Connecting Riders!

Interested in talking motorbikes with a terrific community of riders?
Signup (it's quick and free) to join the discussions and access the full suite of tools and information that Netrider has to offer.

Motorcycling Australia PhD Scholarship

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by Strada Girl, Jan 20, 2010.

  1. Hi, I came across this in The Australian paper today. The full ad with more details is in the Higher Education section. Just FYI in case anyone was interested.


    CASR is pleased to announce the establishment of the Motorcycling Australia Postgraduate Scholarship. This scholarship is being generously funded by Motorcycling Australia and is for candidates interested in completing a PhD on the topic of motorcycling safety. Those with a background in psychology, public health or statistics and who are eligible to enrol for a PhD are welcome to apply.

    The scholarship will be for 3 years and has a tax-exempt stipend of $27,222 per annum.

    Application forms are available from the University of Adelaide web page: http://www.adelaide.edu.au/graduatecentre/scholarships/postgrad/pgforms.html

    The closing date for applications is 5 February 2010.

    For more information on studying at CASR and other scholarship options see the Postgraduate Studies section.
  2. Hm. That's somewhat interesting.
  3. what can one do with that qualification?
  4. Put "Dr" in front of your name, and recommend more speed cameras.

    I'd almost consider applying if I were willing to go back to school for something so specialized.
  5. Yes but I mean job wise?
  6. Probably not much job wise but you would be able to get more research gigs and work as an academic.
  7. I think the point is less what the qualification can do for you and more what the benefits to motorcycling might be of some original, rigorously peer reviewed research.
  8. a PhD merely shows a potential employer that you are self motivated, can work to a schedule , can justify a position through logic and reason and write a report in reasonable engrish.

    Name a job where that would be a hindrance?

    Much tertiary education gets people jobs outside the domain of the original study.
  9. One generally goes for a PhD to stay in academia (unless it's a professional doctorate like MD, JD, PharmD, etc).
  10. Some places have to pay you according to qualification. You get a PhD, you become more expensive, you are shown the door. Oh, they love you while you are studying, because they get all of those benefits without the price tag. But it can be hard to find work when you've got a PhD simple because you are overqualified for a lot of jobs. I know people who've simply dropped the PhD from their CV when applying for jobs that don't specifically ask for one.
  11. getting into a phd program is competative, and it isnt like, here is a scholarship up for grabs, aplications plz, its like this:

    under grad (usually 3 years, some courses more) --->

    honors, usually one year, most of the time you need a credit average to get into honors, some other courses you need honors to practice, and therefore an credit average isnt needed to enter, fields like psychology and engineering, honors is research where you write a thesis, sometimes its a team thesis or a team research project, (i.e psychology), after you hand in your thesis you can edit the thesis and choose to submit it on a journal of the relevant field. in honors most of the time you choose what to research and the methods that you conduct your research. honors isnt just all research you still have some classes first semester to learn how to write honor thesis and research methods

    phD most of the time when you are considered for a phD role you need to have first class honors to be offered a phD role, first class honors is not exactly easy, its like the cream of the crop of honor students, so you have to be good at writing a thesis. the difference between phD and honours is that the research for phD is that aim is given to you by the uni, and some methods as well are given to you, you are resposible to fill in the missing ends. along with phD research you are also expected to be given a teaching role in uni where you teach undergrad noobs
  12. Most of the departments I've been in expect PhD candidates to come up with their own research question. We considered those students who were handed a topic and a methodology were spoon fed. :)
  13. It is gradually going down the line of the change that undergrad degrees took in the late 1990's. Some Ph Ds get handed out because the candidate ticked the boxes, wrote the right things etc but the end result is at the very least questionable.... but it has been packaged up to look good. I have just failed to fulfill the requirements of reaching a Ph D. I haven't done the final package of work that would have been the "new stuff" that a Ph D produces. Why have I failed? Well, I have used real results from a real experiment and found that the finite element modelling program that others use to give an answer and get a Ph D at the end of it is a loooong way off the mark. So, in what I'm doing/did, if you use published data (i.e. IMO, either dodgy or selectively fitted data which others keep using which in no way is the cover all they claim it is) then throw it into a FEM package, produce a result then say that it is of your best belief that is a real answer then you get a Ph D. However, if you construct a real scenario, instrument it, measure the the real values and measure all inputs to feed into the FEM, you'll see that the particular FEM black box has limitations (and even the theory of the so-called world experts... one of whom could not explain why his whizz bang thoroughly referenced and used model doesn't even come close with the road base I used when I took real measurements) that are fatal to you coming up with the final product and hence new work. Therefore, I get a Master degree because I went from theory, to a real controlled experiment, measured all inputs and outputs went to the FEM and it's algorithm couldn't handle the gradients of a particular real material performance/characteristic curve so I couldn't produce a flashy-looking outcome. However, some others who went straight from theory to FEM to result get a Ph D. The postgrad world is getting to be the "bums on seats" throughput like undergrad. One particular Ph D candidate who got his doesn't know the fundamentals, background, basics or even had any experience whatsoever in the field he produced his dissertation. Why? His undergraduate degree was in a completely different field. Has he got intelligence? Yes. But f88k me, how can you go into specialised research into an area when you don't even know the basics and the basics aren't exactly something you pick up easily in this case. IMO, a graduate can't contribute properly because they have zero or little experience so can't get to know common issues and shortcomings in industry/work in that area. Despite that, plenty of graduates without any work experience go through the process. I've pointed out some shortcomings in the postgrad world. For the most part, the other research I've seen others doing was taking forward steps in their areas and will be beneficial in making construction more cost effective (or cheaper for the same result) and it has been a very good effort in the 'new' things they've come up with.

    I made up my own topic and chose something that has been put in the too-hard basket all over the world for the last 50 years and once someone can develop the complex FEM package that can give an answer that is in the ballpark of reality then I'll be able to progress my work and there'll be the option of using my work as a guide to an answer to reduce the risk of pavement failure or do as is done right now which is bury your head in the sand and hope you don't have an issue.
  14. I didn't know there was an award scheme specifically for higher degrees. I certainly wasn't asked to leave when I got mine. And most of the engineering companies I have worked for have about 5% of the professional engineers with doctorates and another 10% or more with a masters in something that isn't business administration or economics.

    I think a lot of the bullshit that surrounds PhD's is people won't employ you not because of what you think you should be paid, but because they believe (and is probably often backed up with past examples of employees) that the candidate will find the job boring and leave in a short time.

    This has nothing to do with the qualification and everything to do with how you sell yourself for the job.
  15. very curious - and explains the huge divide between those who can drive a piece of software, and those who have the knowledge and experience to work out what software output is really telling you. You are saying that validation and verification of an analytical method is worthless if you want a PhD - I would contend that you had other problems in being knocked back to a masters degree.

    While mathematical in nature, all finite element modelling (structural, thermal, fluid etc) requires a realistic appraisal of how the element types work plus a correct appraisal of boundary conditions and loads. It tends to be the boundary conditions in which most models divert from the real world which is why we do experiments to validate the model. We know this to be true because industry regulators (eg the civil aviation safety authority or the australian building council) generally refuse to accept FEM without experimental or production history backing them up. FEM is always internally correct, just as the real world is - you never see a mysterious load or displacement in a model or the real world - every load has an appropriate reaction and displacement associated with it. You get problems when you haven't got the right analysis of the interactions, the materials or something else.

    Your examiners sound dead right though - experimentally verifying anothers work isn't new material. Taking your results, analysing anothers work in the context of that work and postulating new concepts that relate them is what would get you a doctorate.
  16. It happens in some parts of the education sector. And certainly in some labs. I've even had a grant proposal come back with comments like:

    "This is an important study, but you can cut $XXXX from the budget by giving it to a PhD candidate instead of a postdoc."

    I've also seen the "but you'll get bored with the job" thing from both sides of the fence. That one is definitely real.
  17. I have no idea how you came up with You are saying that validation and verification of an analytical method is worthless if you want a PhD. Where did I say that? I effectively said that it doesn't have to happen to get a Ph D. You talk shit. Since you seem to know, what other problems did I have? Did I say I got knocked back? That's your assumption. What do they say about assumptions?

    For 9 months I sought the help of the software developers and others whose jobs were finite element modelling. They were stuck. The software developers couldn't sort it out and gave up. The ones whose jobs are/were FEM were stuck because of the black box in the FEM package. They usually wrote their own software so could access the data files to see where theirs would crash and work out why when things went wrong. You rated me as a poor practitioner. How do you rate those whose help I sought?

    The computational algorithm of the program I was using is not capable of dealing with high gradients on the curve of one of the material inputs. That's a fact (which I found out too late). The software developers eventually owned up to that shortfall and suggested flattening the curve (which then wouldn't be what I measured). It then becomes an academic exercise in which I don't put a real input and would fudge the input to get close to a real output ofr only that scenario. That's fine for some but a waste of time, effort and paper to me. It'd work for that one particular scenario. It couldn't then be applied to a parametric analysis using different materials in different climates (which is what I needed to do) because calibration would be needed for each one of those material and climate combinations.

    It can be driven to get a result and plenty of people have done that (including me). However, they went from measuring the inputs (just as I did), fudging the input curves so that the computation didn't crash then running their simulations and producing a result. They missed the middle step (setting up a real life experiment and measuring the inputs and outputs) and got doctorates. There was no verification. That was my point.

    Given the above, I would contend that you know little about what you're saying with the "other problems" I apparently had. Also, given that you're ready to make assumptions of my capabilities without any background knowledge I contend that you're talking shit and with whatever you know about FEM, I'm 100% certain you wouldn't be able to get to my final outcome with the package I had. Without spending years writing and verifying a new software package, nobody could.

    Before you make more assumptions and give an answer, I wasn't knocked back. I sumbitted as a Master dissertation and did way more than what is required to get awarded a Master.

    The FEM software I used is designed to give moisture and heat flow through soils. This isn't an F=kx type of thing like you have with finding a displacement on some sort of structure. There are partial differential equations for moisture flow in liquid and gaseous form, partial differential equations for heat flow. Climate is the driver and it varies. This variation affects the moisture and heat flow characteristics of the soil. It is a complex non-linear system. The black box in the program couples the moisture and heat flow and climate. It is nothing like finding the displacement of a node on a structure where you have a stiffness matrix which is not made up of partial differential equations (and wasn't the last time I did structural mechanics), the driver (the load) does not change the properties of the material (i.e. whether a load is 10 kN or 500 kN, the Young's Modulus isn't going to change for aluminium or steel) and is simple in comparison.

    I'd like someone to explain to me how any sort of climate model could predict the temperature rise on the planet when a commercial package like what I was using can't work out the temperature in a comparatively simple system.

    FEM packages only do what the linear or non-linear equations behind them allow them to do. If there's a black box hidden away between the inputs and outputs then you're stuffed if your real inputs and correct boundary conditions result in a different output to what was measured. The FEM (rightfully) takes the materials to be homogeneous. In reality, they never can be so there'll always be some difference.

    I know what a doctorate is about. I presume you highlighted in italics for the benefit of others rather than myself. You don't know what my examiners said. I don't even know yet.
  18. you said it above, and you say it again here"

    pretty good actually. They recognised that what they wrote isn't capable of reflecting the gradients you wanted to achieve. The point of research is to solve a problem - if you can't do that using a certain tool, you find another tool or keep working with that tool and write up the detail and background (with derived output or algorithms from the designer as proof) to show why it is unsuitable for the job.

    Research isn't about complaining that you picked the wrong tool for the job and didn't test it before hand. You look like you did the correct leg work in trying to match a model to an experimental result. Complaining that doing that resulted in you not getting a doctorate when others just submitted a model and received one just sounds like a wicked copout and also doesn't match the requirements for a doctorate that are set out in the university guides for the degree.

    this is the really funny bit. My job involves proving that the model I create is not as worthless as the door stop beside my desk. All models are crap until proven otherwise. Look at weather forecasting - the current models are pretty rubbish!

    The task isn't to massage a tool to get an output you require. THe job is to solve the problem using whatever tools are available to you, or using the tool you have to find an answer within a narrow domain by approximation if you have to.

    The moon landing program didn't stop because someone found a flaw in the 'divide' operator on their calculator after all.

    I'll stop here because none of it is relevant to the thread except for what you tell your potential employer about your research. Even if you fail to achieve the outcome you set out to, you should still be able to describe what happened and how you dealt with the problems along the way. That is what research (and industry) is about, not complaining that no-one would give you a degree for validating a model against an experiment.
  19. I used a Class 2 road base. That's pretty common around the world. Before I purchased the software, I asked whether it'd have the exact problems I ended up having due to the material I had. They assured me it would work. Preliminary work with the trial software which cut out a lot of features suggested I'd have a better than even chance of it working. I found out later on that it couldn't handle it and then they eventually admitted to it not being able to handle it once it was too late for me.

    I purchased another commercial package (so I had the only two off-the-shelf packages available at the time) which had adaptive meshing. In my case, it required a lot more computing power than I had available so I gave up on it and pursued the first package and eventually pinpointed why it would never give me a near enough solution. Close enough would have been good enough.

    I have no issue in not getting a doctorate. I'm glad to get something rather than nothing (if/when it gets awarded). I fell short and didn't achieve the final goal I set for myself, didn't come up with something new as a result so could never expect a doctorate for that.

    At the start of the project, given what information I had from my research into what I'd need, I should have been able to get there. I learnt a lot along the way, developed lab testing skills, constructed a small trial sprayed seal pavement mostly by hand, developed pavement instrumentation calibration and installation skills, learnt the limitations of the equipment, added to the body of knowledge with some of my different packages of experimentation work, explained what I did, what is required to get to the final goal I couldn't achieve right now, and those who funded it accepted it. There's a lot of pluses for myself in that. Hopefully one day I'll be able to complete what I set out to do (it was only a matter of months, 3 at least and 6 at the most, to do the last package of work, interpret and put together the output and come up with what hasn't been put forward / published before) when the software is further advanced.