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Polymers for Medical Device Engineering: Physics and Chemistry


Exciting APA (Industry) scholarship on an ARC Linkage project involving hermetic bonding of polymers. Applicants must be Australian or New Zealand citizens or Australian permanent residents.


Professor David McKenzie.

Research location

School of Physics

Program type



The student will join a strategic research team which is developing bonding technologies for polymers and focussed on successful commercial outcomes for industry. This PhD position is part of a collaborative research program between the University of Sydney, Cochlear Ltd and Raymax Applications Pty Ltd.

Please note that an additional PhD opportunity exists in Laser and Plasma interactions with Polymers.

Cochlear is a world leading manufacturer of implantable devices for the restoration of hearing to the profoundly deaf. Raymax is a Sydney based company that develops and supplies industrial laser technologies to industry. The project aims to develop hermetic bonding of polymers initially for biomedical applications using laser and plasma physics methods. New technologies will benefit from the ability to produce strong hermetic bonds between polymers without the need for adhesives.

This project is concerned with demonstrating the performance of bonded polymer surfaces, and their suitability for application to implantable medical devices. The project will involve a number of analysis techniques such as stress-strain testing with analysis of failure modes to examine the properties of the bonded components. Accelerated testing of bonded prototype components will be conducted in simulated implant conditions. The resistance of the bonds to permeation by liquids and gases will be determined. Tests for hermeticity and biocompatibility will be developed and conducted with support from Cochlear.

Additional information

Students will work mainly at Cochlear Limited, Mars Road in Lane Cove under the supervision of Dr Natalie James. 
In addition to the academic requirements set out in the Science Postgraduate Handbook, you may be required to satisfy a number of inherent requirements to complete this degree. Example of inherent requirement may include:

  • Confidential disclosure and registration of a disability that may hinder your performance in your degree;
  • Confidential disclosure of a pre-existing or current medical condition that may hinder your performance in your degree (e.g. heart disease, pace-maker, significant immune suppression, diabetes, vertigo, etc.);
  • Ability to perform independently and/or with minimal supervision;
  • Ability to undertake certain physical tasks (e.g. heavy lifting);
  • Ability to undertake observatory, sensory and communication tasks;
  • Ability to spend time at remote sites (e.g. One Tree Island, Narrabri and Camden);
  • Ability to work in confined spaces or at heights;
  • Ability to operate heavy machinery (e.g. farming equipment);
  • Hold or acquire an Australian driver’s licence;
  • Hold a current scuba diving license;
  • Hold a current Working with Children Check;
  • Meet initial and ongoing immunisation requirements (e.g. Q-Fever, Vaccinia virus, Hepatitis, etc.) 
You must consult with your nominated supervisor regarding any identified inherent requirements before completing your application.

Want to find out more?

Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is 821

Other opportunities with Professor David McKenzie