MARCS: Event Based Imaging for Space Situation Awareness

MARCS Institute for Brain, Behaviour and Development

Scholarship code: 2019-048

About the project

The International Centre for Neuromorphic Systems (ICNS)(opens in new window)Opens in a new window invites applications from highly motivated graduates seeking to undertake a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree to research the use of neuromorphic event-based vision sensors for tracking objects in space, such as satellites, space junk, and asteroids. Your research will focus on developing novel algorithms to process that data from these cameras in an efficient manner and in such a way that the processing can be implemented in low-power hardware to be used in space. With this project you will be part of the team that launches one of these sensors into space for the first time. We expect that the tracking algorithms developed will have many potential application areas outside of space monitoring.

The International Centre for Neuromorphic Systems is a new centre within the MARCS Institute for Brain, Behaviour and Development.(opens in new window)Opens in a new window The Centre is explicitly interdisciplinary, by combining electrical engineering, computer science, signal processing, and neuroscience. ICNS’s focus is on developing Neuromorphic Engineering solutions to existing problems. The Centre has strong international partnerships within the Neuromorphic engineering community.

What does the scholarship provide?

  • Domestic candidates will receive a tax-free stipend of $30,000 per annum for up to 3 years to support living costs, supported by the Research Training Program (RTP) Fee Offset.
  • International candidates will receive a tax-free stipend of $30,000 per annum for up to 3 years to support living costs. Those with a strong track record will be eligible for a tuition fee waiver.
  • All international candidates are required to hold an Overseas Student Health Care (OSHC) policy covering the duration of their studies in Australia, and MARCS will cover the cost of this insurance (single policy only).
  • Support for conference attendance, fieldwork and additional costs as approved by MARCS.
  • Access to the extensive range of MARCS specialised equipment and laboratory facilities.
  • Additional funding to support training and equipment purchases.
  • A rich environment of support and academic expertise via supervisory panels, seminars, colloquia, international and industry collaborations.

Eligibility criteria

We welcome applicants from a range of backgrounds, who are keen to apply their skills to the area of event based imaging. In particular, the project is suitable for candidates with strong interests in event-based sensors applied to the fields of space situational awareness (SSA) and related aerospace applications.

The successful applicant should:

  • hold qualifications and experience equal to one of the following (i) an Australian First Class Bachelor (Honours) degree, (ii) coursework Masters with at least 25% research component, (iii) Research Masters degree, or (iv) equivalent overseas qualifications.
  • have demonstrated research experience in neuromorphic engineering or related fields.
  • have a background in signal processing with strong programming skills in Matlab, Python, and C++, and an interest in signal processing in biology. Demonstrated expertise using Verilog or VHDL for FPGA programming is beneficial.
  • be enthusiastic and highly motivated to undertake further study at an advanced level.

How to apply

1. Contact Associate Professor Greg Cohen ( to discuss your eligibility, the project requirements and your intention to apply.

2. Review the research scholarships frequently asked questions.(opens in new window)Opens in a new window

3. Submit an online application for admission.(opens in new window)Opens in a new window

4. Complete the project scholarship application form (PDF, 89.74 KB).(opens in new window)Opens in a new window

5. Compile your CV, contact information for two referees and a one-page proposal stating how your research interests align with the project aims.

6. Submit your scholarship application form and any supporting documentation to the Graduate Research School as follows:

  • Use the email subject line: Application_2019_048_MARCS
  • Submit to
  • All attached documents must be submitted as PDF.
  • In the body of your email, include your full name, your student ID (if you are a current or previous Western Sydney University student) and the full title of the scholarship.

Applicants who do not submit an online application for admission will not be considered.

Incomplete applications or applications that do not conform to the above requirements will not be considered.

Please contact the Graduate Research School via email at for more information.

Applications close 31 March 2020

*Applications close at 11.59pm Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT).