Monash PhD: Mobility Design Lab / Smart Pavements ARC Hub

Faculty / Portfolio Faculty of Art, Design & Architecture
Location Caulfield campus, Monash University
Lead SupervisorDr Selby Coxon, Department of Design
Second Supervisor To be confirmed
Research LabMobility Design Lab


The successful applicant will receive a Living Allowance and Tuition Fee Remission Scholarship, Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) Single policy (overseas applicants only). Living Allowance current value: $27,872 p.a. 2019 full-time rate (tax-free stipend); (annually indexed plus allowances as per RTP/MGRO stipend conditions.

The Opportunity

The Monash University Mobility Design Lab in partnership with the Smart Pavements ARC Transformation Hub invites applications for a fully funded, 3-year PhD scholarship. The scholarship provides a stipend of $27,872 per annum tax exempt for three years along with additional travel support.

The Mobility Design Lab, directed by Associate Professor Selby Coxon, undertakes critical interdisciplinary and international research into the design of mobility in a variety of forms. The Lab investigates the implications and intersection between design and Autonomous driving, implications of new power sources, user experiences, accessible mobility, network capacity and emerging forms of mobility. PhD students will participate in the work of the Lab by undertaking their own projects, supervised by Associate Professor Coxon and an appropriate second supervisor. They will also have opportunities to collaborate in team projects and to connect with the Lab’s international research community.

Background to the project

This scholarship is focused upon research addressing one of the key aims of the smart pavements transformation hub, i.e. that of investigating and speculating upon the future direction of roads and pavements in the light of emerging transport and societal technologies.

The safe and efficient interaction between paved thoroughfares and human beings is predicated upon the mediation of a vast panoply of road markings, sign posts and illuminated signalling. This system carries with it the vagaries of human perceptions and the legal underpinning of expected behaviours amongst drivers, pedestrians and cyclists. Road infrastructure is an essential enabler of mobility but at the same time carries a variety of risks.

Advances in technology, especially the predicted increase in robotics, artificial intelligence and information technology suggest that the road ways of the future are likely to be very different places to navigate.

Progressive societies seek to protect their citizens. Road safety has through engineering, design, and legislation created an evolving culture of improved wellbeing and accident reduction. Future roads and pavements will naturally be expected to demonstrably continue this progress with renewed vigour.

This project seeks a candidate who will explore the emerging landscape of how we communicate with roads and how roads communicate to their users? Examining both technological and societal advances, how might these manifest themselves in terms of how roads and pavements appear and function to make safer and more useable public spaces and thoroughfares.

The project will run in three distinct phases:

Year 1. An examination of the current ‘landscape’ in terms of both roadways and paving and emerging technology. By the end of one year (approximately July 2020) a defined problem / opportunity will have been identified.

Year 2. This year of research will focus upon translating the findings and in particular the research question derived from year one into a design concept(s).

Year 3. The final year of the PhD research will examine ways in which the design concept(s) of the previous year can be modelled or simulated to demonstrate core principles or efficacy. This will culminate in an exhibition of the body of work in the PhD and supported by an exegesis.

It is required that the candidate, along with their supervisors, will publish during the projects progress to demonstrate new learnings and take a leading position in the field.

Key skills and qualities of the candidate will be an ability to visualise design concepts to a very high level. They will be conversant with and confident in design methodologies that marry evidence based research with speculative creativity and research rigour.

Candidate Requirements

This scholarship opportunity is open to domestic and international applicants.

Applicants should have an excellent academic track record, including a Masters’ degree or equivalent, in design or a cognate discipline or interdisciplinary area. They will have training in and experience of conducting research, and an interest in innovative design futures approaches.

As part of their proposal, applicants should outline how their research will contribute to the aims of the Smart Pavement Transformation Hub as outlined above.

Candidates are welcome to make contact, to discuss their proposals and areas of interest before submitting their applications. Enquiries should be addressed to

Applicants will be considered provided that they fulfil the criteria for PhD admission at Monash University. Details of eligibility requirements to undertake a PhD at Monash are available here for MADA.

Candidates will be required to meet Monash entry requirements, which include English-language skills. Scholarship holders must be enrolled full-time and on campus.

Successful applicants will be expected to enrol before March 2020.


Enquiries concerning this opportunity should be directed to Associate Professor Selby Coxon, Mobility Design Lab, Monash University,

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