Designing functional molecules and materials with supercomputers

Using supercomputers to design new molecules and 2D materials

During the past decade, computational chemistry has had an enormous impact on our understanding of chemical structure and mechanisms at the molecular level. The increasing computational power provided by supercomputers and the emergence of highly accurate theoretical procedures make contemporary computational chemistry one of the most detailed microscopes currently available for examining the atomic and electronic details of molecular processes.

In my lab we use supercomputers in conjunction with accurate theoretical methods to computationally design better catalysts, drugs and functional 2D materials. We are looking for highly motivated students who are interested in theoretical chemistry. The successful PhD applicant will:

  • be involved with cutting-edge computational research
  • design new catalysts, drugs, and functional 2D materials

For more background information see the suggested readings below.

Suggested readings

Research team leader: Professor Amir Karton

I hold an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship and lead the computational chemistry group at UWA. My research interests are focused on the development of quantum chemical theory for the calculation of highly accurate chemical properties and the application of these procedures to problems of chemical structure, mechanism and design.

How to apply

Interested in becoming part of this project? Complete the following steps to submit your expression of interest:

Step 1 - Check criteria

General UWA PhD entrance requirements can be found on the Future Students website.

Requirements specific to this project:

  • A strong background in organic and/or biological chemistry
  • Background in programming and/or working in a UNIX environment is an advantage

Step 2 - Submit enquiry to research team leader

Step 3 - Lodge application

After you have discussed your project with the research team leader, you should be in a position to proceed to the next step of the UWA application process: Lodge an application. Different application procedures apply to domestic and international students.


Domestic students

All domestic students may apply for Research Training Program and University Postgraduate Awards (UPA) scholarships.

The Australian Government's Endeavour Awards and Scholarships are available to Australian applicants for study in participating countries and regions.

International students

A range of scholarships are available from international organisations and governments. The full list, organised by country, is available on the Future Students website.

In addition, all international students may apply for International Research Training Program scholarships.

The Australian Government's Endeavour Awards and Scholarships are available to international applicants from participating countries and regions.

Indigenous students
Indigenous students are encouraged to apply for Indigenous Postgraduate Research Supplementary Scholarships.
Forrest Foundation scholarships
All international and Australian students who wish to study towards the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) at The University of Western Australia may apply for Forrest Scholarships.


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