The University of Newcastle, Australia

Australian Research Council Funding Success

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

The University of Newcastle (UON) has been successfully awarded over $5.7 million in 2016 Australian Research Council (ARC) funding for Discovery Projects, Future Fellowships and Discovery Early Career Researcher Awards.

With this funding, UON can deliver outcomes for Australia by providing cultural, social, economic and environmental benefits for our society.

UON has been awarded funding for 15 projects under this highly competitive process, with a diverse range of projects exploring steel corrosion in marine environments, physical wellbeing and other projects with industry relevance receiving funding.

Working with national and international teams, our research leaders will continue to explore projects that will benefit the Australian public and our economy.

We would like to congratulate the following researchers on their success.

ARC Future Fellowship
Associate Professor Sarah Wright has been awarded a Future Fellowship of $930 000. These four-year Fellowships are awarded to outstanding mid-career researchers.

A Senior Lecturer in geography and development studies at UON, Associate Professor Wright works closely with community groups, NGOs and social movements in Australia, the Philippines and Kenya.

Looking to understand the relationship between weather, people and place, Associate Professor Wright will research the context of environmental changes to our weather and how people respond to this change. Working with Indigenous and non-Indigenous cultures affected by a range of unusual weather events, Associate Professor Wright will explore how people adapt to changing climates in culturally-appropriate manners.

Discovery Early Career Researcher Awards

Dr Guy Hawkins $365 000
This project will provide insights into consumer preferences and explore why people choose the products and services they do. It will inform organisations and will help improve customer service and ultimately stimulate the economy.

Dr Mariano Heyden $379 000
How can we improve gender diversity quotas (GDQs) on corporate boards? This project aims to explore successful gender diversity on boards to provide an evidence-base for policy makers and corporations to make GDQs work effectively, sustainably and strategically.

Dr Amir Salehipour $360 000
This project aims to develop algorithms for superior guaranteed performance to solve problems in transportation and healthcare delivery. The project aims to address several of the Australian Government’s Science and Research Priorities, focussing on food supply chains, effective operation and resource allocation in transport and better models of health-care delivery and services.

Dr Kalpit Shah $375 000
A project to develop Mineral Looping Plastic Reforming to make Australia a world-leader in waste-use and resolve sustainability, energy and environmental issues in Australia.

Dr Malcolm Starkey $372 000
This project aims to identify the basic biological processes involved in lung development which may lead to strategies to prevent chronic lung disease.

Dr Sze Lin Yoong $330 000
Improving children’s nutrition and health is the aim of this project which will develop an evidence-base to increase childcare services implementation of nutrition guidelines.

Discovery Projects

Associate Professor Frini Karayanidis $492 500
Leading an international team, Associate Professor Karayanadidis will develop and test an innovative framework to model behaviour, brain function and brain structure to characterise developmental trajectories in young people. Poor cognitive control is linked to negative psychosocial outcomes (eg: substance abuse, and high risk behaviours) and this work is expected to inform evidence-based programmes that identify young people at risk and to develop targeted training strategies to improve psychosocial outcomes.

Professor Robert Melchers $423 000
Under this project, Professor Melchers will lead a national team that will develop mathematical models to understand the short-term and long-term corrosion process in structural steel in marine environments. This will benefit industry who needs such models to manage major infrastructure not protected against corrosion including offshore energy systems, coastal structures and buried pipelines. This also has potential for large foreign exchange earnings.

Professor Paul Dastoor $379 500
This project will use the newly-invented scanning helium atom microscope to determine new fundamental physics to turn the microscope into a tool that materials and biological scientists can use worldwide.

Professor Graeme Murch $309 000
This international team, led by Professor Graeme Murch, aims to understand mass transport in high entropy alloys. The outcome of this research will be an in-depth understanding of mass transport that is expected to fast-track these alloys to commercial uptake.

Associate Professor Rosalind Smith $116 000
An international team, led by Associate Professor Rosalind Smith, will explore the use of women’s voices in protest in the English Renaissance. The project will explore how the voices of the disempowered shaped the literary and political cultures of modern England and will improve Australia’s standing as a leader in research in early modern studies.

Professor Erica Wanless $235 000
Leading an international team, Professor Wanless will aim to design complex liquid marbles by electrostasis. These particle-liquid aggregates have a large variety of applications, including pollution and gas sensors, actuators, microreactors and drug-delivery vehicles. A diverse range of industries, including pharmaceutical and personal-care industries will benefit from low-energy, high-efficiency production of next-generation complex liquid marbles.

Associate Professor Christopher Wensrich $381 000
An international team led by Associate Professor Christopher Wensrich aims to improve solid mechanics research and advanced manufacturing techniques. The investigators have developed a tensor reconstruction algorithm, similar to enhanced CT or MRI scan, which can determine the finely-grained three-dimensional triaxial stress distribution inside solid objects by measuring neutron transmission.

Dr Yuen Yong $296 000
This project aims to design a microcantilever with high-performing sensors with greater sensitivity and better noise performance than the typical optical system used in commercial Atomic Force Microscopes (AFMs). The AFM, a nanotechnology instrument, uses a microcantilever to interrogate a sample service. Up until now, the technique’s spatial resolution and quantitative measurements are limited, Dr Yong aims to resolve this issue and establish Australia’s prominence in this emerging field.


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