Higher Degree Research

Higher Degree Research

Engineering research student

Opportunities for MRes Students at Macquarie University

Broaden your network and experience by working with key industry people and potential employers, especially internationally.

  • Unique opportunity to be a member of an influential research team
  • Outstanding career development by earning a MPhil
  • Opportunities to collaborate with and meet international workers with schemes to fund travel
  • Excellent facilities that rival the best research laboratories around the world
  • Supportive research environment

Research Areas

Research conducted by the Department of Engineering at Macquarie University is based on a history of engagement with industry and international partnerships. Past ventures with Hewlett Packard and CSIRO seeded the expertise and research culture in telecommunications that has resulted in the growth of several highly regarded research groups namely: the Centre for Electromagnetic and Antenna Engineering (CELANE); the Collaborative Nonlinear Electronics Research Facility (CNERF); and the Integrated Wireless Communications Systems (iWCS) which together comprise the Centre for Microwave and Wireless Applications; as well as the Guided-Wave Optics & Photonics Research group (GWOPR); and the research work conducted in Queuing Theory and Performance Analysis.


The pioneering contribution to wireless computer networking developed in collaboration with the CSIRO is a significant highlight. This culminated in the creation of Radiata, Macquarie University’s most successful commercial start-up business venture in the communications and microelectronics sector. It was eventually acquired by Cisco Systems. Adjunct Professors David Skellern and Neil Weste who successfully commercialised their wireless LAN technology that resulted in the creation of Radiata are still active within the Macquarie University community. David is the Chair of Engineering’s Industry Advisory Committee, and Neil is still active in wireless research at the University.

The strategy implemented by the research groups in Engineering is to focus on problems of interest to partners in industry and other research institutions. This has successfully provided engagement with industry and international partnerships which includes industry linkage funding, and a level of support normally associated with larger groups. The Department has linkage programs and ventures with the CSIROAgilent Technologies CANHEW R&D, Mimix Broadband, and DSTO. There is also support from Cadence Inc, Applied Wave Research Inc, Intel, Peregrine, and Jazz Semiconductor. Collaborators include The University of Sydney, University of Waikato (NZ), University of Calgary, Torino University (Italy), Lund University (Sweden) and University of Delhi (India).

Our graduates have secured excellent industry positions or very competitive research fellowships, and their research excellence has been recognised by national and international awards.

How to apply for MRes Candidature and Scholarships

A combined application form is available at the Higher Degree Research Office. Before applying, please read the instructions at HDRO and discuss your interest with a potential supervisor/research group leader in the Department.

Very few scholarships are available for MRes students. (See the Australian Postgraduate Award (APA)Australian Postgraduate Award Industry (APAI)

NOTE: See the Higher Degree Research Prospectus for admission requirements. They are higher than those for typical Masters research programs in Australia.

Pathways into Engineering at Macquarie University

Engineering encourages applications for postgraduate research from engineers and applied scientists interested in supported areas of research.

Applications for postgraduate research should be lodged through the University after contacting potential supervisors and agreeing on a topic or area of research.

Generous scholarships are available to students with outstanding records, awarded on a competitive basis.

Please refer general enquiries about higher degree research to the Discipline Research Director.

Information for local students (i.e. permanent residents)

Information for international students

Further enquiries

MRes Advisor at Department of Engineering
Dr Forest Zhu
Email: forest.zhu@mq.edu.au

Engineering research student

Our postgraduate students have access to excellent research facilities including a modern, fully automated antenna-testing laboratory, a microwave laboratory equipped for 50GHz electronic device and antenna characterisation and development, measurement systems for distortion, nonlinear network analysis and pulse testing, and a fiber-optics and photonics laboratory equipped for the development and testing of broadband active and passive optical devices and fibre-based systems, with optical network analysis capability to 20GHz. Engineering @ Macquarie is one of very few in Australia providing access to industry-standard software for microelectronic design. Additionally, through Faculty of Science and Engineering, the Department has access to excellent workshop support facilities, a clean room for microelectronic and optical device fabrication and a high-power femtosecond laser facility.

At Macquarie University, the research programs in Engineering are underpinned by world-class expertise in the key technologies of microelectronics, microwave devices, linear and nonlinear guided-wave optics and photonics, electromagnetics and antennas, error-control coding, network performance analysis, speech processing and recognition, and large-scale electronic system design and communication system technologies. Further details of our research are available in the Research Section.

Engineering research student

Michael Boers, PhD student in Electronics

Michael Boers, PhD student in Electronics

“As a PhD student and member of the iWCS research group at Macquarie University, I am conducting research on the design of next generation wireless networks.  Applications for this technology include wirelessHD video streaming, last meter giga-bit LAN for desktops and other close range, high-speed wireless systems. The research environment at Macquarie is very motivating. The research staff and academics provide excellent advice and guidance. I find undertaking a PhD at Macquarie much more exciting and rewarding than a normal 9-5 job. This is because it provides excellent opportunities such as being a part of a great research group, the opportunity to attend international conferences, and to network with people and organisations with similar interests.”

James Howarth, PhD student in Electronic Engineering

James Howarth , PhD student, Electronic Engineering

“I chose Engineering as a career because I’ve always loved Electronic gadgets. I really love the fact that as engineers we are always problem solving and always learning.  New designs which are invariably specified to be either faster, smaller or lower power (or all three) are constantly pushing the materials and engineers of the day to the limit.

“Macquarie University was where I decided to do my PhD as it has always been really strong in Wireless Engineering. The people there also drew me to Macquarie.  There’s also the bonus of having a huge number of high-tech companies so close by. I have been really impressed with the enthusiasm of staff here at the University, particularly the Head of the Electronic Engineering Department and the Dean.  They are really focussing a lot of energy and always improving the new degrees here and taking advantage of the surrounding high-tech industry.

“I am currently writing up my PhD in Electronics Engineering where I design microchips for low-cost high data-rate consumer wireless network.  Our project is looking to improve wireless data rates by 10 times to enable the streaming of uncompressed high definition from a high definition source such as the new Blu-ray player to the flat panel TV on the wall.  These chips would also be suitable to be put into mobile phones, digital cameras, iPods and computers to allow the transfer of data between these devices as speeds 10 times faster than current wired USB connections.

“In the near future I’m looking to head over to the US to get some experience designing microchips for wireless consumer products, somewhere in California like SIlicon Valley would be ideal.  Later on when I return to Australia I want to start my own company designing circuits for high-speed wireless networks.”

Peter Blockley, Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Peter Blockley, Postdoctoral Research Fellow

“I have completed both my undergraduate and PhD studies at Macquarie University. For my PhD I worked on advanced measurement systems for next generation wireless communications systems in collaboration with Agilent Technologies. Completing my PhD at Macquarie provided me with the opportunity to excel through connections with leading companies, resources, and skilled supervision. This experience enabled me to publish 7 papers, win a best paper award at an international conference and also a Macquarie University Innovation Award. Now that I have completed my PhD, I have become a postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University, researching a new generation of high power transistor suitable for mobile phone base stations. Macquarie is recognised for its expertise in high-frequency transistors and the research group is rapidly expanding. These reasons attracted me to continue my research at Macquarie.”

Matthias Stecher, PhD student in Photonics

Matthias Stecher, Germany, PhD student in Photonics

“Back in school I loved maths and physics. I have always wanted to understand things that surround us in our daily life, like television, mobile phones and computers. Before  commencing my PhD studies in the field of photonics at Macquarie, I finished my degree as an electrical engineer at the Technical University of Munich. After meeting my supervisor in person during a conference in Europe, my decision to go to Australia was certain. The biggest advantages of doing this degree overseas are the diversity of our research group and the experience of living in a foreign country.”

Razibul Islam, PhD student in Photonics

Razibul Islam, Bangladesh, PhD student in Photonics

“Since my childhood I have loved physics and maths and found myself comfortable with them. Later the attraction turned me onto Engineering. The two main reasons I decided to study my PhD at the Department of Electronic Engineering were firstly because Macquarie University has particular strength in optical communications and photonics research which is in line with my area of work, and secondly I received the Macquarie University Research Excellence Scholarship (MQRES). I think Macquarie University has good laboratories and research facilities with industrial linkages in photonic research. These things are important to conduct sound research activities. My advice for new students would be to come and be a part of the research activities at Macquarie University. The University offers its uniqueness and innovative nature.”

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