CONNECT: RESEARCH & INNOVATION NEWS JULY-AUGUST 2012 - ISSUE #4 ENGINEERING A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE
Partnering with industry to build green transport corridors, reduce steelmakingâ€™s carbon footprint & design long life batteries for the cars of tomorrow TARGETED DRUG DELIVERY FOR EPILEPSY The implants that stop seizures before they happen PUTTING A FACE TO THE BONES Facial Anthropologist, Dr Susan Hayes blends art and science in the quest to develop a face for The Hobbit
The University of Wollongong ranks in the top 2% of research universities worldwide Source: Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2011.
Research & Innovation News is the research magazine of the University of Wollongong and is published six times per year. Contact: Research Services Office Building 20, Level 1 University of Wollongong Northfields Ave, Wollongong NSW, Australia, 2522 Publication manager: Sharon Martin Supervisor: Vicky Wallace Editor & designer: Elise Pitt firstname.lastname@example.org | +61 2 4221 3761 Subscriptions: Visit www.uow.edu.au/research to subscribe to electronic versions of Research & Innovation News.
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09 04 NEWS
Blending art and science to give The Hobbit a face, building implantable devices for epilepsy, UOW’s 2013 Future Fellows, and a new research centre targets mobile phone health concerns
Joining forces with industry for a cleaner, greener and secure online future for Australia: UOW’s four successful round 2 2012 ARC Linkage Projects
PhD student and Three Minute Thesis winner Kevin Loo on developing new prostate cancer treatments
Global politics researcher Dr Susan Engel visits Germany in the midst of the Eurozone crisis to study Non-Government Organisations
NEW RESEARCHERS & STAFF
Professor Nan Seuffert takes charge of UOW’s Legal Intersections Research Centre
Grant outcomes and upcoming funding opportunities
INNOVATION & COMMERCIAL RESEARCH NEWS
iAccelerate establishes sisterhood relationship with Chinese incubator + the next Pitching Plate event
Upcoming meeting dates
UOW to host major international conferences in the second half of 2012 + Uni in the Brewery
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Awards boom for blast fence project
UOW’s Associate Professor Alex Remennikov’s collaboration with Woolacotts Consulting Engineers to produce a new blast deflector fence to accommodate its new A380 and 787 aircraft has received a boom of accolades since the project’s completion in 2010. The fence’s original and highly specialised design has been recognised by both the Australian Steel Institute (ASI) Steel Design Awards NSW and ACT 2012 and a Highly Commended nod from the Consult Australia Awards for Excellence 2011. The fence, located at the Qantas Jet Base in Mascot, cost $3million and was designed to protect people and property from engine blasts during aircraft testing. Associate Professor Remennikov, Head of UOW’s School of Civil, Mining and Environmental Engineering, explained that jet blasts have the power to uproot trees, shatter windows, overturn cars and trucks and injure people. The role of a blast fence is to redirect the high-energy exhaust from a jet engine to prevent damage and injury. The structure must be able to withstand heat, high-speed air stream, dust and debris. “The project was very exciting and practical,” Associate Professor Remennikov said. “It was great to interact with industry bodies and to make practical use of my skills. Designing the blast fence definitely wasn’t something that could have been learnt from a textbook, it required a lot of experimentation and trial and error.” Professor Remennikov said multiple fence designs were tested using Computational Fluid Dynamics simulations and adapted after each test. The effectiveness of the final fence design was also confirmed via a live testing with the A380 aircraft. “It took quite a few trials to get it right, but the final result is highly functional, sculptural and pleasing to the eye,” he said. 4
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The $3M blast fence at Mascot airport was designed to protect people and property from engine blasts. “To have the structure recognised by two industry awards is just delightful.” The 120m long fence was constructed from standard lightweight galvanised steel shapes. The fence is rail mounted to run full circle, allowing it to be positioned behind aircraft to suit the prevailing wind direction. This is a unique facility, as typically fences are fixed in position, allowing testing in only a limited range of wind conditions. Mounting on the rails also allows the required extent of fence to be significantly reduced as well as the ability to ‘park’ the fence when not in use, maximizing the available hardstand space-a significant advantage at the Mascot Jet Base, where space is a premium. The ASI Steel awards are offered every two years. They are designed to highlight the high standards of design and execution achievable with steel as the prime building material and showcase the versatility of steel and the Australian steel industry’s capabilities. The Consult Australia Awards for Excellence is an annual event that provides a unique opportunity to profile and promote the outstanding achievements of Consult Australia’s member firms to the industry and community. Qantas’ Northern Blast Deflector Fence was constructed by Nepean Engineering and Innovation with steel from BlueScope Steel.
Putting a face to the bones
Left: Penny Williamson, Curator at UOW’s School of Earth & Environmental Sciences and Facial Anthropologist, Dr Susan Hayes. Above: The cave in Flores where CAS and Indonesian researchers discovered The Hobbit in 2003.
Before TV shows like CSI and Silent Witness made the world of forensics so popular, facial anthropologists like Dr Susan Hayes had been putting a face to the bones for years – and in real life it’s more about evidence than intuition. Dr Hayes, a new Honorary Senior Research Fellow at UOW’s Centre for Archaeological Science (CAS), says TV shows like CSI don’t show the extensive research and measurements that go into facial approximation. She recently joked in an interview with ABC Radio Canberra that she lacks the intuition depicted in television forensic artists. “So you’re looking at the skull, is the person staring back at you? You’re getting the vibe, who is this person? Why did they die? How did they die?” “What tends not to get shown on TV, I guess because it’s boring, is all of the measurements, the research that could actually support an approximation of a person’s face. It’s a lot more tedious than you usually get on TV”, she explained. While at UOW, Dr Hayes will be working with Professor Mike Morwood and colleagues at CAS to put a face to The Hobbit, a previously unknown species of tiny hominin that survived on the Indonesian island of Flores until just 18,000 years ago, which Professor Morwood’s Indonesian collaborators discovered in 2003. “She has been given a few different faces over the years, so it is going to
be interesting to see the results of my methods”, says Dr Hayes, whose method is based on the approach developed by the Russian anatomist, Mikhail Gerasimov (the film Gorky Park features his work). “This approach includes building up the underlying anatomy (muscles, glands, features) as well as using soft tissue depths”, says Dr Hayes.
Dr Hayes will put a face to The Hobbit, a previously unknown species of tiny hominin discovered in Indonesia in 2003. “Once I have examined and measured an individual’s remains, I take orthogonal photographs and enter the images into a graphics program, where I build up a virtual anatomy within the parameters indicated by the skull”. Dr Hayes, who has an impressive, highly interdisciplinary resume, with a Master of Fine Arts from Monash University, a Bachelor of Humanities from Murdoch University and a PhD in Anatomy from the University of Western Australia, says she started in the field of facial approximation “quite by accident.”
“I think the reason why I’ve insisted on going down this path (which can be both a lonely and rocky one) is because it hits all of my buttons – facial approximation is astonishingly inter-disciplinary, crossing not just the arts/science divide, but also involving many associated fields within each, such as face perception, anthropology, history, medico-dental studies. In many ways, it would be easier to list the areas that do not have something to say in what I do.” By far her favourite archaeological project to date would have to be creating a face for “Aunty”, a relative of the iwi Rangitane who was unearthed in the South Island of New Zealand last century. “As part of the repatriation process – and through my colleague Hallie Buckley from the University of Otago – the iwi Rangitane, who are the custodians of the remains, requested a facial approximation be performed”, says Dr Hayes. “They wanted their ancestors to be seen as something more than just scientific curiosities, and it was a privilege to be able to work on the skull of an individual for her family.” Dr Hayes is currently travelling around the North-West of the country, running handson labs for the general public and giving free public talks, with the latter supported by Inspiring Australia, the Federal Government’s science communication initiative. “As I basically live in a van, I’ll probably not be back in Wollongong until it’s warmer!”, she says. But when the weather heats up, Dr Hayes says she is looking forward to continuing her work on putting a face to the bones of The Hobbit at UOW. R E S E A R CH & INN O VAT I O N NE W S
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iSee video conferencing technology wins prestigious iAward
iSee, a new technology that will transform the way people collaborate and learn globally, has won a team of UOW researchers in collaboration with the Smart Services Co-operative Research Centre (CRC) the 2012 iAward for Research and Development . The Deputy Premier, Minister for Trade and Investment and Minister for Regional Infrastructure and Services, Andrew Stoner, presented the developers of iSee, Professor Farzad Safaei and Amir Hesami from the Faculty of Informatics with the award at in a ceremony at Parliament House in July.
Professor Safaei says iSee uses real time video and spatial audio in a 3D immersive environment to provide groups of any size, from two to hundreds, the ability to interact with each other, creating a real sense of being together and sharing. “In iSee you actually feel like you are part of a crowd as you move naturally around the environment”, he says. iSee is currently in user trials with education providers to improve learning outcomes for remote and regional communities, not-for-profit organisations to train and communicate with their volunteers and the mining industry to bring
their dispersed workforces together for project planning. Chief Executive of Smart Services, Warren Bradey, said: “iSee is seen as a game changer for distributed work teams and for distance education. Online education or telecommuting is rather a lonely experience for most people. This gives them the ability to collaborate on projects, have social interaction and valuable networking with each other. iSee will also be a great benefit for connecting regional communities and for rolling out national training with significant productivity savings”.
UOW commercialises lipid characterisation technology Researchers at UOW have partnered with global life science analytical instrumentation manufacturer, AB Sciex, to commercialise their method of advanced lipid analysis, which will provide a greater understanding of lipid metabolism and its role in health and disease. Dr Todd Mitchell, an ARC Future Fellow and joint principal investigator on the project, which is funded by an ARC Linkage grant, says diseases such as obesity, type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease and several forms of cancer have all been linked to altered lipid metabolism. “Improving our understanding of the role of lipids in these illnesses may lead to better ways to prevent or manage such disease states”, he says. 6
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UOW invented the technology, ozone induced dissociation (known as “OzID”) in 2006. Professor Stephen Blanksby, joint principal investigator on the project, says that OzID harnesses the power of mass spectrometry to separate one lipid compound out of literally hundreds on the basis of mass, and then uses ozone like a pair of scissors to cut the molecule at a particular position, namely a double bond. “The technology we are developing with AB Sciex will give scientists the unique ability to understand lipid structure with a speed and granularity that the industry simply cannot do right now”, Professor Blanksby says.
Adam Gilchrist seals oil deal
Above: Adam Gilchrist joined CASTROL’S General Manager, ANZ Lubricants Brett Davis (left) and UOW Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Wellings to celebrate the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the company and the University.
University of Wollongong. Not only does it have a very positive reputation in the Australian mining industry, but it also has a strong commercial focus.”
UOW has forged an important research partnership with international lubricants manufacturer CASTROL. The deal, which was sealed by Australian Cricketing great Adam Gilchrist, will see UOW researchers and CASTROL’s Global Mining Team working together to develop innovative products and services that help reduce total operating costs and risk for mining companies across the world. Mr Gilchrist, an ambassador for both UOW and CASTROL, said his intimate knowledge of both organisations led to him suggesting the two organisations should talk about areas of common interest, such as research and development, which would be positive for both.
“Both are wonderful organisations, highly respected in their areas of expertise,” he said. “The opportunities (for collaboration) in the research and development area are very exciting”. But the partnership will also give UOW students access to new scholarships, internships and graduate programs within the international company. CASTROL Global Mining Manager, Dave Collings said that CASTROL has been “accelerating its global mining program” and were looking to develop a relationship with a tertiary institution that is strongly focused on the mining industry and related engineering disciplines. “Adam suggested we investigate the
Mr Collings said CASTROL was looking forward to working with UOW researchers who had a strong understanding of the needs of the mining industry to develop better engineering solutions to current and future mining challenges. “We are also hoping to attract to our company top quality graduates from Mining Engineering and related disciples at the University.” UOW’s Director, Corporate Relations Craig Peden said the University was delighted to have the opportunity to develop a wideranging partnership with a company with such a strong global brand. He said the relationship would start with the Faculty of Engineering, but over time, will evolve into further collaborations with other faculties such as Informatics and Commerce, and centres like the SMART Infrastructure Facility and the Australian Institute for Innovative Materials (AIIM).
Chemistry excellence recognised by Birch Medal UOW Chemistry Professor Stephen Pyne has won the 2012 A.J Birch Medal for excellence in organic chemical research for his significant contributions to research, governance and training in the field. The medal, which is the premier award of the Organic Chemistry Division of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI), recognises his significant research contributions over the past 10 years to the areas of organic synthesis including asymmetric synthesis, natural product total
synthesis, the discovery of new synthetic chemical methodology and medicinal chemistry. Over the last 10 years, Professor Pyne has secured over $13.5 million in research funding from the Australian Research Council (ARC), National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and industry. He has published over 220 journal publications, 7 patents, 9 chapters in books and has also been involved in the research training of 17 PhD students.
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Targeted drug delivery for epilepsy
UOW researchers collaborate with world renowned neurologist to develop implantable devices that stop seizures before they occur. Professor Mark Cook, one of Australia’s leading neurologists from St Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne and research collaborator with UOW, is on the forefront of creating treatments for epilepsy. In a collaborative project with Professor Gordon Wallace, who is an Australian Laureate Fellow and Executive Research Director of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science (ACES), Professor Cook has developed a novel method of targeted drug delivery using implantable devices that determine the exact point of seizure activity in the brain and stop the seizure before it occurs. Professor Cook says this treatment eliminates the problem of taking anti-epileptic drugs orally, which causes an unnecessary concentration of drugs in the bloodstream. “Targeted drug delivery is more critical than ever if we want to avoid the side-effects of anti-epileptic drugs such as degradation of bone
mass and loss of balance,” Professor Cook said. A study, led by the University of Melbourne and published recently in the prestigious Neurology journal, found that people taking anti-epileptic drugs are up to four times more likely to suffer spine, collarbone and ankle fractures and more likely to have been diagnosed with osteoporosis. Professor Gordon Wallace and his research team at ACES are developing the next generation of wearable and implantable devices for surgery of this type. Both researchers were featured speakers at the inaugural TEDxUWollongong event on medical bionics in May. View their talks, as well as other experts discussing topics such as developing a bionic eye prototype for 2013 and the social implications of microchipping humans, at tedxuwollongong.com
New insight into treating hyperthermia PhD student Joanne Caldwell, from the Centre for Human and Applied Physiology, has proven that an established method for treating hyperthermic patients is not only inefficient, it is extremely unsafe. Joanne, under the supervision of Associate Professor Nigel Taylor, investigated the best way to cool seriously ill, hyperthermic patients in the field. “Most people would guess that ice cold-water immersion would be ideal for this, and this is the current recommended practise”, says Associate Professor Taylor. However, Associate Professor Taylor says UOW scientists have not only challenged this treatment, but they have proven that a safer and equally efficient alternative field treatment is possible. “Sudden cold-water immersion is potentially lethal in people with a normal body temperature, but in hot people, the risk of cardiac complications is dramatically increased”, he says. 8
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The research conducted by Joanne and her colleagues involved a series of experiments, in which they compared the wholebody immersion of hyperthermic individuals at different water temperatures. They concluded that the best way to cool hyperthermic patients was to immerse them in water at a very comfortable 26 degrees. This not only removes the risk of coronary failure, but draws out heat almost as rapidly. “This research has altered the emergency field treatment of hyperthermia, challenging the prevailing paradigm, and providing a mechanistic explanation for safe and rapid heat removal by supporting skin blood flow”, says Associate Professor Taylor. Joanne will soon submit her dissertation for examination. Her work covers several thematic research questions (including the above), primarily dealing with the control of skin blood flow, but also with other heat-loss avenues, such as the initiation of, and the evaporation of sweat.
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New microscope to help achieve major medical breakthroughs
Researchers at UOW’s Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute (IHMRI) have just received a new, German-made confocal microscope, valued at more than $800,000, to further their research in diseases such as type II diabetes to alzheimer’s and motor neurone disease. This high-end microscope includes a single molecule detection (SMD) fluorescence system that will enable researchers to look beyond dead cells to see molecular processes happening in real time. IHMRI PhD student Daniel Whiten has been studying motor neurone disease and was the first researcher to use the confocal. “The SMD capability is particularly exciting as it offers us the chance to view interactions between single molecules, such as
disease-causing proteins and intracellular defence mechanisms. We can now conduct experiments we couldn’t have dreamed of six months ago.” The system, which uses sophisticated electronics and lasers to view slices of specimens as thin as one micron (one thousandth of a millimetre), was installed thanks to an Australian Research Council Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities (LIEF) grant and topped up with contributions from IHMRI, UOW and the University of Sydney. Dr Justin Yerbury, who led the funding application, says that he and his colleagues are excited about making the switch from the old system they were using, which had “pretty much reached its use-by date” to the confocal, “that we know is helping researchers around the world achieve major breakthroughs.”
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) appointed to ANSTO board The Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research, Senator Chris Evans, has announced the appointment of UOW Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) as a new member of the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology (ANSTO) board.
a centre of excellence in nuclear science and technology.
Senator Evans congratulated Professor Judy Raper on her four-year appointment and said he looked forward to her contribution as ANSTO (pictured right) continues its vital work as
ANSTO is home to Australia’s only nuclear reactor, supporting Australian science and each year provides more than 500,000 patient doses of nuclear medicines to Australians.
“She is eminently qualified, with expertise in the fields of chemistry and engineering and has considerable experience across a range of boards and executive committees,” he said.
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Exploring the new age of nanotechnology From everyday iPods and sunscreens to futuristic space-elevators and bionic implants, enter the exciting new world of nanotechnology. Everything NANO is explored at the new NANOtechnology Exhibition at the Wollongong Science Centre and Planetarium, which was officially opened by Australia’s Chief Scientist, Professor Ian Chubb, on 17 July, and will stay on as a permanent exhibit. The joint project between the Wollongong Science Centre and nextdoor-neighbour, the ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science (ACES), aims to help the general public and school students understand these important new technologies and also to appreciate Australia’s role in researching and developing practical applications for these technologies.
“It’s a fast moving field of science that sometimes blurs the boundary between science fiction and reality, and as researchers we are constantly challenged to think and problem solve in new ways.” “When you work on improving a device like the Cochlear ear implant, that has already affected the lives of many people, you realise the importance of your work and it gives you the motivation and passion to keep moving forward. I love my job.”
ACES PhD student Willo Grosse, who was one of a handful of UOW research students that designed the exhibition, says she and her colleagues at ACES are using nanomaterials to develop and improve medical devices like the cochlear ear implant, investigate the cell response of nanomaterials in the body, develop solar cell technology and improve batteries using carbon nanotubes and graphene, just to name a few. “We have a diverse team of world leading researchers who are experts in nanomaterials, engineering, cell biology, chemistry and physics, and together we make some really cool and useful things.” Willo says it’s the endless possibilities in nanotechnology research that excites her most.
Researchers tackle antipsychotic-induced obesity Over the past two decades, antipsychotic medication has significantly improved the lives of people living with serious mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
Photo: AnnaOmelchenko | Dreamstime.com
However, one of the most commonly prescribed medications, olanzapine, comes with a handful of devastating side-effects - weight gain, obesity and, in some cases, type II diabetes.
“There is now real hope that [patients] will not experience the devastating effects of weight gain” 10
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In 2008, researchers at UOW identified the link between olanzapine-induced weight gain and its action on the histaminergic system – which regulates the appetite. Eager to reduce the incidence of preventable disease in a vulnerable population, research scientists at the Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute (IHMRI) have since been seeking solutions and have found some promising insights, which were recently published in the international Journal of Psychopharmacology. The study focused on betahistine, a drug that has been prescribed for common vestibular disorders, such as vertigo and dizziness, for over 40
years with a low rate (around 1 in 100,000) of adverse side-effects. The IHMRI team found that betahistine combined with olanzapine resulted in a significant decrease in appetite and a 45 per cent reduction in weight gain compared to subjects treated solely with olanzapine. IHMRI Executive Director, Professor Don Iverson says the study represents an example of scientific research that translates into real outcomes for clinical treatment. “This is an important study for patients taking olanzapine as there is now real hope that they and future patients will not experience the often devastating side effect of significant weight gain which, in turn, contributes to the development of other psychological and physical problems,” says. Thanks to an IHMRI clinical grant, a specialist team of IHMRI, UOW and Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District scientists and clinicians, will now commence a clinical trial in the Illawarra involving co-treatment of olanzapine with betahistine.
UOW’s Future Fellows
Left: Dr Julia Martinez, Professor Zhengyi Jiang and Professor Sandra Jones. Above: Associate Professor Louise D’Arcens.
The 2013 Australian Research Council’s Future Fellows, a prestigious group of the nation’s best and brightest mid-career researchers were announced in July, with four UOW researchers receiving the highly prestigious Fellowship. UOW’s four Future Fellows, who have been awarded a total of $3.095M in funding, are poised to use their Fellowships to solve worldwide challenges and make discoveries that will inevitably improve the lives of all Australians. UOW Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Judy Raper congratulated the University’s recipients.“Future Fellowships are highly regarded and much sought-after, and I congratulate our four recipients,” she said. “Their projects are all extremely worthwhile and will make a valuable contribution to the nation.” UOW’s four Future Fellows and their projects are:
REDUCING ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION Professor Sandra Jones
EXPLORING THE MIDDLE AGES Associate Professor Louise D’Arcens
Professor Jones, Director of the Centre for Health Initiatives, will conduct research as part of the Fellowship that aims to reduce alcohol consumption and alcohol-related harms among young people (12-17years) by using various interventions to encourage and empower young people not to drink.
Associate Professor in the English Literatures Program, Louise’s research is focused on medieval literature. Her Future Fellowship will examine how comic depictions of the Middle Ages reflect views about the past and the present, and reveal how historical humour contributes to cultural tolerance in Australia.
HUMAN TRAFFICKING Dr Julia Martinez Dr Martinez, a member of the Institute for Social Transformation Research and the Centre for Asia Pacific Social Transformation Studies, will offer a critical analysis of historical narratives on the traffic of women within Asia Pacific networks. This work will position Australian history at the forefront on international research in this area and consider parallels with today’s human trafficking debates.
ADVANCED MICROMANUFACTURING Professor Zhengyi Jiang Professor Jiang from the School of Mechanical, Materials and Mechatronic Engineering will establish high precision rolling technology for manufacturing microparts in Australia using a unique profile and flexible rolling method. The research will provide an important breakthrough in advanced micromanufacturing for the region.
Marketing Professor wins long term impact award Congratulations to IIBSoR member Professor John Rossiter, who has won the 2012 Steenkamp Award for Long-Term Impact, given annually to papers published in the International Journal of Research in Marketing (IJRM) that have made long term impact on the field of marketing. “The C-OAR-SE procedure for scale development in marketing” was published in the journal in 2002. By questioning the conventional approach to social science research – psychometrics – Professor
Rossiter has invented a new innovative approach, the C-OAR-SE method. Designed to produce more reliable results, it can be applied to research across sociology, psychology, organisational behaviour, management, and marketing. Professor Rossiter has also just been awarded the European Journal of Marketing’s Outstanding Paper Award for 2012 for his article on the same subject; “Marketing measurement revolution: the C-OAR-SE method and why it must replace psychometrics”.
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New research centre targets mobile phone health concerns electromagnetic energy (EME) that powers this technology is now ubiquitous -as is community concern about the possibility of associated health effects. The Centre of Research Excellence, which was only one of 17 recipients announced as sharing in $42.3M in medical research funding from the Gillard Government, will now embark on a five-year research program to promote Australia’s EME health both in the immediate future, and through the development of human research capacity in this field, into the future. Professor Croft said whether or not the low-level EME exposure affected health has not been resolved, with key risk assessment agencies such as the World Health Organisation and the International Agency for Research on Cancer, recommending the importance of further research to inform on this issue. With more than 5 billion mobile phone subscriptions worldwide, the University of Wollongong has been selected to lead its first ever National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Centre of Research Excellence examining possible health concerns associated with mobile phone use. In August, Federal Minister for Health, Tanya Plibersek, announced the establishment of the $2.5 million Australian Centre for Electromagnetic Bioeffects Research to be led by Professor Rodney Croft from the School of Psychology, who was the Executive Director of the Australian Centre for Radiofrequency Bioeffects Research from 2004-2011. Professor Croft said with the billions of mobile phone users, the
“It is thus crucial that Australia strengthen its EME bioeffect expertise in order to provide it with strong research and appropriate policy guidance, both now and into the future,” he said. Professor Croft’s chief collaborators in this important project hail from RMIT University, Swinburne University of Technology, Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, the University of Adelaide and the Institute of Medical and Veterinary Science, with associate investigators who will make various specialised contributions to the Centre of Research Excellence. These include representatives from the University of Melbourne, University of Innsbruck, Austria; Kings College London, UK; and organisations in Norway and Sweden.
PhD student’s solar cells win scholarship UOW PhD candidate with the ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science (ACES), Joseph Giorgio, has been awarded an Australian Solar Institute PhD Scholarship, a ‘top-up’ scholarship above his Australian Postgraduate Award Scholarship.
As part of the ACES Energy program, Joseph is working on fabricating dyesensitised solar cells that are light weight and flexible.
Based on the merit of the candidate and the project, the Australian Solar Institute presents a select number of scholarships each year.
“The foils are more electrically conductive than glass electrodes, improving the efficiency of solar cells made in this way and driving down fabrication and installation costs.”
“I am really appreciative of this scholarship,” said Joseph. “It allows me to focus all of my energy into the PhD program while also providing great opportunities to meet other Australian solar researchers.” 12
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“This is achieved my replacing the glass electrodes traditionally used in dye-sensitised solar cells with two metallic foils,” said Joseph.
The flexible nature of the device lends itself to an economical rollto-roll production method when the technology is ready for commercial deployment.
Bridging the gap between research and clinical practice A team from UOW’s Illawarra Institute for Mental Health (iiMH) have taken out the category of Excellence in Research at the prestigious 2012 National Drug and Alcohol Awards for their five year collaboration with The Salvation Army. Dr Peter Kelly, says the team’s collaboration with Australia’s largest provider of residential treatment services for individuals with substance misuse problems aimed to “bridge the gap between research and clinical practice”. Photos: Adamr, Tom Tomczyk | Dreamstime.com, pushthisbutton | Flickr
Dr Kelly, along with iiMH Director Professor Frank Deane and Dr Trevor Crowe, have been evaluating The Salvation Army rehabilitation and detoxification services located in Townsville, Brisbane, Sydney, Lack Macquarie, Canberra, the Gold Coast, Blue Mountains and Central Coast. He says significant achievements as part of the program have included helping The Salvation Army to benchmark their program activities, introducing the use of routine outcome assessments to inform client care, and training staff to improve the way that they work with people diagnosed with co-occurring mental illness. “As part of our ongoing program of research, we are currently trialling a Rotary Health Funded computer based intervention for people diagnosed with depression. We are also pilot testing a Cancer Council, NSW funded healthy lifestyles program that aims to help participants to quit smoking, improve their diet and increase their level of physical activity”. The National Drug and Alcohol Awards are funded by the Federal Department of Health and Ageing, and are the leading national awards in the field. “This is a highly prestigious honour, and recognises the national significance and clinical impact of the research program”, says Dr Kelly.
Research team wins National Drug & Alcohol Award for five year collaboration with Salvos.
Wollongong’s research at forefront of clean tech innovation Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, Mark Dreyfus, was impressed by the high standard of clean energy research under way at UOW when he visited the Illawarra recently to introduce the community to Australia’s Clean Energy Plan. Accompanied by local federal MPs Sharon Bird (Member for Cunningham) and Stephen Jones (Member for Throsby), Mr Dreyfus also used the opportunity to visit the Spectronous analyser which delivers a high precision, real-time analysis of all principle greenhouse gases. It is based on technology developed by researchers at UOW’s School of Chemistry. “New technology, like the Spectronous analyser that measures a
“Researchers are working on new solar technologies, energy storage and battery technology, improving energy efficiency and hydrogen production”
range of greenhouse gases simultaneously, will ensure Australian research is at the forefront of clean tech innovation as the world moves to a cleaner energy future,” Mr Dreyfus said. Ms Bird said that businesses in the Illawarra were fortunate to have world-leading researchers and research facilities at their doorstep. “Researchers are working on new solar technologies, energy storage and battery technologies, improving energy efficiency, hydrogen production and improved power quality,” she said. Mr Dreyfus said that in addressing the energy solutions of the future it is important that energy efficiency is considered, noting that 70 per cent of the buildings that will exist in 2050 have already been built. “The Sustainable Buildings Research Centre under construction on the Innovation Campus, is an investment in the region by the government which will link researchers, industry and TAFE to work together to meet the challenge of energy efficiency in new and existing building stock. “Collaborative efforts like it are an important part of the future of energy use not only in the Illawarra but across the country,” Mr Jones said.
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Joining forces for a better future UOW researchers are partnering with industry to create innovative, real world solutions for a clean, green and online future for Australia. By Elise Pitt As Prime Minster Julia Gillard put it, “success in the 21st century belongs to those societies that value qualities such as creativity, innovation and problem-solving”. In order to solve global issues such as Europe’s financial crisis and climate change, we must bridge the gap between academics and businesses. It is through these interdisciplinary collaborations that the most successful, realistic and efficient ideas are pioneered and the products and services of tomorrow are developed. At UOW, our researchers have a strong history of industry collaborations and in 2012 and beyond, these relationships are as staunch as ever. In July, the Minister for Science and Research, Senator Chris Evans, announced the funding outcomes for Round 2 of the 2012 Australian Research Council Linkage Projects Scheme. Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Judy Raper said UOW received a total of $1.13M in funding from the Federal Government, with partner organisations contributing an extra $2.44M (cash and in-kind) over the life of the projects. These four UOW led projects will see our researchers partnering
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with companies who are at the top of their field to produce novel ways to reduce the carbon footprint of the steel industry, turn Australia’s highways into green transport corridors, develop long life batteries for clean energy and create innovative new methods for secure online health records. FORGING A NEW ERA OF PERSONAL HEALTH RECORDS UOW researchers will partner with Australian software development company eNitiatives.com Pty Ltd to create a secure e-consent mechanism for Personal Health Records. The $105K project will play an important role in the future healthcare industry, as it moves from records which are operated by institutions (such as hospitals) to those that are maintained by the patient. “Security is a prominent issue, in particular in relation to the health sector, especially with the introduction of the national PCEHR (Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record) system in Australia”, says Professor Willy Susilo, Director of UOW’s Computer
and Information Security Research Lab, who will lead the project at UOW. Professor Susilo says that the application of this NBN facilitated project will place Australia as the first country able to design and implement a practical, highly efficient and provably secure personal health record system. Using advanced cryptography and network security, Professor Susilo said that the main goal of this project is to propose and implement a unified framework for online and secure Personal Health Records. Health informatics specialist and member of the Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute, Dr Khin Than Win, will work alongside Professor Susilo and other medical practitioners, to ensure the practicality of the system, while industry partner eNitiatives.com Pty Ltd, an Australian owned research and development specialising in developing access and authorisation software, will work with the team of researchers to adapt their current software program, ViewDS Access Sentinel. “As health information contains sensitive information, a sophisticated approach to secure access is required, as this alleviates concerns about invasion of privacy and confidentiality”, says Professor Susilo. “The significance of this project covers both theory and practice, as it aims to merge the existing technologies into the proposed system, as well as to enable new and secure mechanisms for providing the next level of protections”, he says. REDUCING OUR CARBON FOOTPRINT WITH THERMOELECTRIC MATERIALS Researchers at UOW’s Institute for Superconducting & Electronic Materials (ISEM) have been awarded $400K to investigate a new generation of high efficiency thermoelectric materials that will harness untapped waste energy in steelmaking. At present, more than half the world’s energy is lost in the production stage as heat. Thermoelectric (TE) materials enable the conversion of heat to electric energy. Although these materials have already been used in some applications, the low thermoelectric effect and high price of the materials have limited their applications. ISEM’s Professor Shi Xue Dou and his team are determined to deliver robust, inexpensive and highly stable thermoelectric power modules that are specifically designed for the steel industry. Professor Dou says “the successful development and uptake of TE technology would lead to multimillion dollar savings
on electricity for the steel industry and a significant reduction in its carbon footprint.” China’s Baosteel, one of the major steel manufacturers in the world, have partnered with ISEM on the project, which will utilise the newly built Australian Institute for Innovative Materials – Processing & Devices facility (AIIM P&D) at UOW’s Innovation Campus, which is bridging the gap between research breakthroughs, prototyping and commercialisation. UOW’s Dr Wenxian Li was awarded an Australian Postdoctoral Fellowship (Industry); one of only 10 APDI’s awarded nationally, as part of the Linkage Project.
UOW will lead four 2012 ARC Linkage Projects that will see our researchers partnering with leading companies to develop novel solutions to real world problems related to clean energy and online security. CREATING GREEN TRANSPORT CORRIDORS FOR AUSTRALIA A team led by the Director of UOW’s Centre for Geotechnics & Railway Engineering, Professor Buddhima Indraratna, will investigate eco-friendly and cost- effective bioengineering strategies for transport corridors. Professor Indraratna says that more than 150 landslides have occurred in NSW since the extreme rainstorm of August 1998, causing fatalities, significant environmental degradation and millions of dollars of damage to all types of transport infrastructure and pipelines, buildings and communication lines. He says that Emergency Management Australia reported that, for the period from 1900 to 1999, the total socio-economic cost related to unstable land was close to $500 million. To combat this problem, Professor Indraratna and his team will utilise computer modelling to design and test the concept of green corridors and green hills for unstable soil terrains (such as highway and railway embankments) through optimum root reinforcement and suction of
quick growing vegetation. This novel bioengineering strategy will reduce impacts on the environment by eliminating the need for using high pH admixtures such as lime or cement. It will also reduce the costs in the maintenance of earth structures, as well as “provide an efficient platform for sustainable development of transport and building infrastructure”, says Professor Indraratna. The 3-year, $355K Linkage Project will see UOW partner with a number of collaborators, including the University of South Australia, GHD Pty Ltd, City of Salisbury, Failsafe Technology Australia and Transport Construction Authority. LONG LIFE BATTERIES FOR CLEAN ENERGY AND TRANSPORT One of the greatest challenges of the 21st century is undoubtedly energy storage and Professor Shulei Chou and his team at the Institute for Superconducting and Electronic Materials (ISEM) are on a mission to develop novel new materials that promise to significantly enhance the international competitiveness of Australia in the area of clean energy. The $270K project will see UOW working with researchers at the Kongju National University, DLG Battery and China’s Wuxi Xinrun Petrochemical, to develop novel composite anode materials combined with new binders for high energy, high power and long life lithium-ion batteries. Another advantage of this work is that the new binders can be dissolved and processed in water, which in turn makes the electrode fabrication process cheaper and more environmentally friendly. COLLABORATIONS WITH OTHER UNIVERSITIES UOW researchers are also involved in a number of collaborations led by other universities under the 2012 ARC Linkage Projects Scheme. Professor Sandra Jones will be working with colleagues at Deakin University to develop culturally relevant social marketing interventions to increase blood donation amongst African migrant communities, while Dr Anthony Dossetto will work with researchers at the Australian National University to catalogue the landscape evolution, environmental change and human occupation history of Lake George. Dr Michael Higgins and Dr Paul Molino will partner with the University of Tasmania for a project on sustainable, water efficient paper manufacture and Dr Tim Cohen will work with colleagues at Griffith University for a project entitled “The big flood: will it happen again?”
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Kevin Loo PhD student and UOW’s 2012 Three Minute Thesis winner talks about his research into new treatments for prostate cancer. You’ve already successfully explained your thesis in three minutes. Can you tell us about it in three sentences? Implanting encapsulated radioactive materials directly into cancerous organs is a technique know as brachytherapy. Prostate cancer is the number one cancer in Australian men and while treatment is very successful, approximately 40% of men can experience unwanted complications due to badly placed radiation. By developing a brand new, real-time in-body imaging device called BrachyView, we can ensure that such errors are avoided and thus treatment outcomes maximised. How did you decide to research this topic? I’ve always had an interest in science and physics, and my time in the undergraduate medical radiation physics program at UOW exposed me to a clinical world of using the latest technologies and oldest sciences to treat cancer. I completed my honours research in eye brachytherapy, and enjoyed my time doing that. When my professor presented me with this opportunity to further my experience in the research field in prostate cancer, it seemed like a natural progression. As an important bonus, it also meant I could work on something that could potentially improve the lives of thousands of men undergoing cancer treatment, and I thought that was pretty cool. How did you come to study at UOW? I have lived in Wollongong since I started school in 1995 and when I finally finished high school, I had no real need to move away considering the local university seemed to offer world class programs and ranked consistently highly in national uni comparisons. Furthermore, my dad is an academic at the Uni, and so I was exposed
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to the UOW environment from a young age, and it just seemed right at the time. What’s been the highlight of your career so far? Last year, I was blessed with the opportunity to work in Prague for few months. I was working with the Institute of Experimental and Applied Physics (Czech Technical University) with the team there that specialises in the particular detector technology we are using in my PhD projects. I learned so much from them, and of course experienced Europe on the side too. Have you always had an interest in medicine? I’ve leaned more towards science and maths, but medicine was always hovering in the background. While as medical physicists we don’t technically deal directly with patients, our roles seems to me a perfect marriage between physics research and clinical work. What do you think are the key issues relating to your industry today? Our ability to treat cancer is ultimately limited by our ability to visualise the
treatment area. We already know how to effectively treat tumours with radiation, but to be able to see inside the body and aim the therapeutic dose better is the key for future cancer treatment. What will you do after the completion of your research? I will see what doors open as time goes on. Right now I’m just concentrating on just finishing the thesis! A role in a cancer ward would be ideal, to finally be able to use all I’ve learned from my many years at Uni would be great. I am aiming to finish by mid next year. What do you hope to achieve in your research /field in the future? Cancer is a malevolent force in society and I hope that any work I do will be able to improve and prolong the lives of those affected, so they can appreciate and enjoy life to the fullest, even post-cancer treatment. Kevin’s primary PhD supervisor is Centre for Medical Radiation Physics Director, Professor Anatoly Rozenfeld.
Photo: khawkins| Flickr
In the midst of the Eurozone crisis
International studies and global politics lecturer, Dr Susan Engel, recounts her recent trip to the German town of Freiburg to conduct research on Non-Government Organisations. The University of Freiburg in Germany was my home for the first half of 2012. I was a visiting fellow in the Southeast Asian Studies program in the Seminar for Political Science. Freiburg is around the same size as Wolllongong, though far from the ocean – it is tucked into the southwest corner of Germany, close to the Swiss and French borders. Wollongong could well learn from the extensive bike lanes and bike culture – 9,000 bikes pass one of the city’s bike counters most days - even during the cold winter. It is a lovely city, though not quite as nice as Wollongong! It was engaging being in a University so steeped in history - the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg was founded way back in 1457. It is the fifth oldest university in Germany and has hosted many eminent scholars, in the social science these include: Hannah Arendt, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Friedrich Hayek, Martin Heidegger, Edmund Husserl and Max Weber. This proud history, though, does not exempt Freiburg and other Germany universities from the pressure of the modern fiscally restrained state. Indeed, with free university education still in place, the universities seem to be under more pressure than Australian ones. Given my interests in political economy, it was a fascinating time to be in Europe in the midst of the Eurozone crisis and I even managed a short trip to Greece during the thankfully rather quiet elections in June. Most of my time was spent doing research on nongovernment organisations working in international development.
Germany has an amazingly large and diverse civil society engagement – there are literally several thousand NGOs compared to the 130 or so in Australia. One unique German form of development NGO is the political foundation each party represented in the Bundestag has state-funded foundation linked to it. The foundations were established to build commitment to democracy in Germany after the defeat of the fascists. However, in the 1960s they turned their attention abroad and now run development programs in many states. They are a form of NGO, but are fully state funded and they run many activities that would be regarded as too political for the Australian aid program. Another notable difference to Australia is the strong focus on local education and advocacy. For example, a lot of NGOs work with local individuals, businesses and local governments to encourage fair trade and sustainability. However, many of the challenges NGOs face in Germany are similar to those in Australia: raising funds, managing their relationship with the state, maintaining accountability to recipients and donors and the rise of new global aid agenda. My sabbatical in Germany gave me new perspectives on the work of development NGOs and first hand experience of the impact of the Eurozone crisis. I faced personal challenges too. Moving two teenage boys can be like moving a mountain – though I believe we all grew from the experience! R E S E A R CH & INN O VAT I O N NE W S
NEW RESEARCHERS & STAFF
Dr Stewart Vella has taken up a joint appointment with the Faculty of Education and the Interdisciplinary Educational Research Institute (IERI) as a PostDoctoral Research Fellow. He will work within the Physical Activity and Nutrition theme of IERI, with a focus on increasing motivation for physical activity through youth sports. Prior to joining the Faculty of Education and IERI, Stewart was an adjunct lecturer in Sport Psychology at the University of Western Sydney. Stewart has also previously worked within IERI on a project to update the Australian Physical Activity Guidelines for Children and Young People, and write Australia’s first national Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines for Children and Young People. He is very happy to have joined the Faculty of Education and IERI on a permanent basis. Stewart completed his PhD in the School of Psychology at UOW. His PhD thesis explored the area of positive youth development through sport, and he hopes to apply this knowledge in the area of educational research. He is also looking forward to learning from the many accomplished and knowledgeable researchers currently working at IERI and the Faculty of Education.
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Dr John Ehrich has joined UOW as a Senior Lecturer in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESOL) at the School of Education. Before relocating to Wollongong in June 2012, John worked as a Senior Lecturer in Education at Edith Cowan University in Perth. He has also worked as a Psychology lecturer at Central Queensland University, a research fellow at Charles Darwin University, a post-doctoral fellow at Macquarie University, an English teacher, and a curriculum designer. John is interested in interdisciplinary studies and has research experience in varied fields such as gambling pathology, psycholinguistics, applied linguistics, children’s literacy, and educational leadership. He is particularly interested in investigating the impact of a learner’s cultural background on second language acquisition and processing. He is looking forward to future research collaborations and getting to know his students.
Dr Katrina Green is an Associate Research Fellow working in the Antipsychotic Research Laboratory at the Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute (IHMRI). Her research has primarily focused on understanding the mechanisms of the devastating obesity and type II diabetes side-effects associated with several widely prescribed antipsychotic drugs that are used to treat a number of mental disorders, including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Katrina’s research aims to examine the effects of antipsychotic drugs on key neuroendocrine signals that regulate food intake and glucose metabolism in order to develop effective prevention or treatments for these metabolic side-effects. She is currently investigating the unique neuropharmacological properties of a new antipsychotic drug, aripiprazole, which is an effective treatment for the multiple symptoms of schizophrenia and has minimal side-effects. Katrina is looking forward to working as an early career researcher at the University of Wollongong and to further current understanding of the therapeutic characteristics of antipsychotic drugs, as well as the mechanisms and potential treatments for metabolic side-effects.
Professor Nan Seuffert is the new director of UOW’s Legal Intersections Research Centre. Professor Seuffert, who recently joined UOW’s Faculty of Law from the University of Waikato in New Zealand, will lead a team of 12 academic staff and 20 PhD students in research related to the following six themes: Regulation of speech and communication, Democracy, constitutions and human rights, Law and popular cultures, Crime and society, The construction and regulation of subjects, and Comparative Asian law. Professor Seuffert’s vision for the Legal Intersections Research Centre, a UOW Strategic Research Initiative, includes drawing on UOW’s traditional interdisciplinary research strengths to become more involved in public interest litigation. The centre has embarked on a three-year public litigation project designed to build inter-disciplinary cooperation and foster industry partnerships with legal firms and community legal centres. Professor Seuffert has a Doctorate of Juridical Science from Columbia University in New York and a Juris Doctor degree from Boston University. She has taught, researched and written in refereed law journals and books around the world in the areas of critical legal theory, public interest lawyering, law and history, race, gender sexuality and the law, and securities regulation. She has also worked on a number of international research projects analysing gender, race, sexuality and the law.
Professor Graham Harris has recently accepted the role of Honorary Professor of Infrastructure and Environmental Systems with the SMART Infrastructure Facility. Graham has worked in and around the interface between research, management and policy for more than 40 years. He specialises in trying to understand and mange the complex interactions between the environment and society; with a particular focus on water and natural resource management. He taught at McMaster University in Canada for 15 years where he worked on the ecology and management of the Laurentian Great Lakes. He moved to Australia in 1984 and worked for CSIRO for over 20 years where he held many senior research management and executive appointments. Until June 2011, Graham was Foundation Director of the expanded Lancaster Environment Centre at Lancaster University, UK – one of the largest environmental research centres in Europe. With more than 150 papers, and 3 books published, Graham will contribute to the nationally significant research conducted at the Facility and we look forward to his input with future projects.
Les Hosking, a leader in energy and finance business, has recently accepted an Honorary Professorial Fellowship with the SMART Infrastructure Facility. As a non-executive Director of AGL Energy Ltd, Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), Innovation Australia and Chairman of Adelaide Brighton Ltd and The Carbon Market Institute, his wealth of industry experience is a welcome addition to SMART. Investing in infrastructure is a major issue for Governments as they grapple with the immense scale of the challenges and costs. Over $240 billion in investment is required between now and 2030 in Australia’s electricity and gas generation, transmission and distribution sectors. Mr Hosking advises “This is necessary to ensure that households and businesses can continue to enjoy reliable, efficient and affordable energy,” “Prior to the investment decision, robust research, analysis and collaboration are critical, and SMART has considerable potential to participate and greatly contribute in this area” he added. With a highly successful career across the energy and finance sectors, Les is ideally suited to contribute to the thought leadership developed at SMART. Through this collaboration, SMART will facilitate a great platform for Mr Hosking to write and disseminate his views and insights on the future of the infrastructure markets in Australia and internationally, with a particular focus on energy. His first piece ‘Big Issues for Energy Infrastructure’ discusses the major challenges currently facing the energy sector. Les is the first of a number of industry leaders that will contribute to the nationally significant research conducted at the Facility and we look forward to his input with future projects.
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Upcoming funding opportunities Due Date
Fulbright Scholarships for Australians
AINSE Research Awards
VC Postdoctoral Fellowships 2013
Round 2 - URC Research Partnerships Scheme deadline
More info: www.uow.edu.au/research/researchgrants
VC FELLOWSHIPS The 2013 round of the Vice Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellowships will open in August. This year the Fellowships offered will be: • Six Vice Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellowships of up to 3 years duration for researchers up to 5 years out from PhD, targeting outstanding external candidates;
FULBRIGHT SCHOLARSHIPS Applications are open for two schemes: • Postdoctoral Scholarships valued up to USD40,000 for a period of 8-12 months. • Senior Scholarships valued up to USD30,000 for a period of 3-6 months. Contact: Tansie Jarrett on ext 4522 or email@example.com
• Four Vice Chancellor’s Bridging Fellowships of 1 year duration, targeting outstanding UOW candidates; and • Two Vice Chancellor’s Research Fellowships of 2 years duration for candidates 5-10 years out from their PhD, targeting outstanding external candidates. EU SEVENTH FRAMEWORK PROGRAMME FOR RESEARCH
AINSE RESEARCH AWARDS AINSE Ltd awards provide funding to support projects undertaken by researchers from member institutions who have a focus on nuclear materials and nuclear techniques of analysis and/or on the use of the unique national facilities and expertise at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO). AINSE Research Awards: Cover the costs associated with access to AINSE-supported Facilities (ASFs); Contribute to the cost of travel and/or accommodation when the university researcher lives in a city different from that in which the facility is located; May contribute toward the cost of equipment and/or materials which are necessary for, but not precursors for the experiment at ANSTO. Contact: James Walsh on ext. 4097 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The European Commission has announced the 2013 Work Programme of the EU Seventh Framework Programme for Research (FP7). The last set of calls for proposals under FP7 will provide €8.1 billion for projects and ideas that will boost Europe’s competitiveness and address key issues such as human health, environmental protection and challenges resulting from growing urbanisation and waste management. All areas of the 2013 Work Programme are generally open to Australian research institutions. However, in some cases Australian institutions have to bring their own funding unless their participation is deemed essential for the project. There are numerous deadlines under FP7 and intending applicants should advise Tansie Jarrett in the Research Services Office by email email@example.com as soon as possible.
Grant outcomes 2012 LINKAGE PROJECTS SCHEME (ROUND 2) The Australian Research Council (ARC) has awarded UOW $1.13 million for research under the Linkage Projects scheme (Round 2), which is designed to promote links between universities, industry and the community, and provide advanced knowledge to address national research priorities. The successful UOW applicants are featured on page 14.
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HEALTH AND MEDICAL OUTCOMES
URC RESEARCH PARTNERSHIPS
Congratulations to Prof Richard Fleming (Health & Behavioural Sciences / Director, NSW/ACT Dementia Training and Study Centre), who has been awarded $534,000 under Dept Health & Ageing’s TRACS program to establish a teaching nursing home in collaboration with the Illawarra Retirement Trust.
Round 1 of the 2012 Research Partnerships Scheme has now closed, with 4 applications awarded funding totalling $59,000. Details of successful applications can be viewed on the UOW intranet. The closing date for 2012 Round 2 applications is Friday, 26 October. Any questions should be directed to Tansie Jarrett, Grants Officer, Research Services Office, on ext. 4522 or firstname.lastname@example.org
INNOVATION & COMMERCIAL RESEARCH NEWS
iAccelerate establishes sisterhood relationship with Chinese incubator UOW has recently executed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Harbin-Israel Incubator Management. The MOU symbolises the establishment of a close bond between iAccelerate and the Chinese counterpart and enables the two organisations to share information and cooperate in the development of innovation ecosystems such as iAccelerate. The Harbin-Israel Incubator is an international joint venture. It works closely with the Harbin government in China investing in high-tech start-up companies and specialise in specific technology areas, which are closely aligned to UOW research strengths: ICT, Green Technology, Materials, bio-medical. iAccelerate is a UOW initiative led by the Innovation and Commercial Research team of the University of Wollongong . It is a key component in the emerging innovation ecosystem in the Illawarra region. Since its inception, iAccelerate has launched the highly successful Entrepreneurship Club (UOW eClub), attracted a number of start-up businesses into StartPad (a business incubator), offered high quality entrepreneurial workshops, and had strong engagement with local business leaders, investors and entrepreneurs dedicated to the regionâ€™s economic regeneration. With the execution of the MOU, iAccelerate will be able to develop meaningful networks into the innovation ecosystem of Harbin and more broadly China, potentially offering startups the opportunity to have a presence in an offshore incubator. For more information please contact Elizabeth Eastland or Holly Zhu in the Innovation and Commercial Research Team.
Get your pitch on The Pitching Plate is an exciting opportunity for local student entrepreneurs and high growth SMEâ€™s to pitch their ideas and businesses to a range of angel investors and venture capitalists. join us for the final pitching plate, which will see entrepreneurs present their honed pitches to panel and audience of innovation investors, plus the chance to win a business award on the night.
Date: 14 August Venue: AIIM Building, Innovation Campus Kick off: 5.30pm More info: Jo Halios-Lewis on email@example.com.
ETHICS NEWS Upcoming Committee meetings
Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) Health and Medical
15 August 19 September
4 September 9 October
Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) Social Sciences
1 August 5 September
16 August 20 September
Animal Ethics Committee
23 August 4 October
13 September 25 October
Gene Technology Review Committee
15 August 7 November
29 August 21 November
More information at: www.uow.edu.au/research/ethics
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UOW to host major international conferences
Cutting edge disease research, regional development and the latest archaeological discoveries are just a handful of the topics that will be explored at the four major international research conferences that UOW will host during the second half of 2012. Science and Archaeology In December, the Centre for Archaeological Science (CAS) will present the Australian Archeological Association’s (AAA) annual 2012 conference, which is the major event in the professional calendar for archaeologists. AAA members and non-members alike, along with traditional owners, cultural heritage managers and other related disciplines, will get together, present and listen to papers and talks to find out about the latest archaeological discoveries from 9-13 December at the Novotel Hotel, Wollongong. Co-Chair of the organising committee and Director of CAS, Professor Richard ‘Bert’ Roberts, says “The theme for AAA2012 will be ‘Science and Archaeology’ and we hope it will embrace a variety of approaches, including the role of science in archaeology, the development and application of scientific techniques to particular archaeological questions, and the interface between the sciences and the humanities in archaeology”. The conference, which will feature key note addresses by seven guest speakers, including Professor Tim Flannery, one of Australia’s leading writers on climate change, is expected to attract 400 plus delegates from Australia and overseas. Proteostasis and Disease Research UOW’s Proteostasis and Disease Research Centre will host the inaugural Proteostasis and Disease Research Symposium from 2830 November at the Novotel Wollongong. Chair of the organising committee, Professor Mark Wilson, says the aim of the Symposium is to foster international advances in research and understanding in this critically important area. “It has become increasingly clear that the onset and progression of many serious age-related human diseases (e.g. alzheimer’s disease, prion diseases, parkinson’s disease, huntington’s disease, type II diabetes, dialysis-related amyloidosis, etc.) are likely to result from dysfunctions in proteostasis, which is known to become compromised in ageing”, says Professor Wilson. Proteostasis (protein homeostasis) encompasses all those
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processes that act to maintain the correct levels and function of proteins in living systems. Professor Wilson says the Symposium aims to be one of the first conferences in the world to address this important new field and will bring together highly respected researchers working in previously disparate areas. More than ten internationally renowned researchers are on the bill to give keynote speeches, including eminent Professor Chris Dobson FRS, from the University of Cambridge in the UK. Connecting Regions: Research, Practice and Policy The 2012 Australian and New Zealand Regional Science Association (ANZRSAI) Conference will be hosted by UOW’s Faculty of Commerce from 5-7 December. The major theme for the 36th annual conference will be Connecting Regions: Research, Practice and Policy, with keynote addresses and sessions exploring how regions can strengthen connections within their area, with the rest of the country and internationally. Internationally renowned regional studies academic, Professor Mario Polèse from the Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique in Montréal, will give a keynote talk on ‘The Wealth and Poverty of Regions: Why Cities Matter’, while Professor Graham Clarke, an expert in urban modelling and retail and business geography from the University of Leeds, will give an address on ‘The Potential of Microsimulation in Regional Science.’ Ultra-high-frequency electronics research and applications The 37th International Conference on Infrared, Milimeter, and Terahertz Waves (IRMMW-THz) will be hosted by UOW’s Institute of Superconducting and Electronic Materials from 23-28 September. The IRMMW-THz conference, begun in 1974, is the oldest and largest continuous forum specifically devoted to the field of ultrahigh-frequency electronics and applications, which are as diverse as space science, biology and medicine. Expected to attract almost 450 researchers and experts from around the world, speakers already confirmed include Harvard University’s Professor Federico Capasso, who was one of the inventors of the quantum cascade laser, which has applications in pollution monitoring, homeland security and medical diagnostics such as breath analysis.
2012 Uni in the Brewery series Hear prominent researchers from the University of Wollongong explain their ideas and research in a relaxed and participatory environment over a few foaming ales. The general public is very welcome to attend and join in the discussion. All presentations are held from 5:306:30pm at The Five Islands Brewery, eastern end of the WIN Entertainment Centre (Cnr Harbour and Crown Streets) Wollongong. Visit uow.edu.au/research/unibrewery for info and to watch video of past presentations.
Wednesday 2 May Professor Lesley Head ‘Dilemmas of household sustainability’
Wednesday 15 August Associate Professor Peter Siminski ‘I was only nineteen, 45 years ago: What can we learn from Australia’s conscription lotteries?’
Wednesday 17 October Professor Tony Okely ‘Child obesity: The skinny of what really works in preventing unhealthy weight gain in kids’
2012 Bill Wheeler Symposium & Award An annual celebration of achievements and innovations in bionics research, the annual Bill Wheeler Award will once again instil young researchers with confidence that the community supports their work. The $2,000 prize is raised from community donations and offered every year to a University of Wollongong PhD student engaged in Medical Bionics project of significance to the larger community. PhD student Amy Gelmi won the award in 2011, for her ongoing research into charactering biomaterials using a protein measurement. “The Bill Wheeler Award gave me a fantastic opportunity to present this unique work at a conference in Paris,” said Amy. “I was able to present our work to leaders in the field and develop new collaborations and contacts.” Bill Wheeler was a very active member of the Illawarra community
who took a keen interest in new Bionics research at the University of Wollongong. Sadly, Bill passed away in 2007, however his passion for helping the community continues with the Bill Wheeler Award, assisting young researchers such as Amy to develop real solutions for the community. The 2012 award will be presented by Mrs Lexie Wheeler at the 2012 Bill Wheeler Symposium at Innovation Campus, Wollongong. Open to general public, the symposium will feature Profs Mark Cook, and Peter Choong, leading clinicians from St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne as well as bi-lateral Cochlear recipient Sue Young will talk about her personal journey. The 2012 Bill Wheeler Symposium: Monday 6 August, 5pm— 6.30pm. RSVP to Natalie 02 4221 3239 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Intelligent Polymer Research Institute Open Day Headquarters of the renowned ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science, and home to Australian Laureate Fellow Professor Gordon Wallace, UOW’s Intelligent Polymer Research Institute is one of the Illawarra’s finest assets. Inside the state-of-the-art facility, researchers are working on projects such as medical bionics, in which they’re developing brain implants for epilepsy patients, to safely delivery drugs directly to the site where they’re needed, just as a seizure is imminent. They’re also making bio-compatible implants to enable nerve regrowth to treat spinal cord damage, using normal inkjet printers to print living human cells and developing an advanced cochlear implant so deaf people have the opportunity to hear even more, like music. And that’s just scraping the surface. You are invited to come and find out more, at the IPRI Open Day on Wednesday August 15 from 10am. Your visit will involve a lab tour through the facility, speaking with researchers on these exciting projects. Future students are invited to a special open day on Monday 27 August, 11.30am-2pm. Tour the labs, meet the researchers and find
out about scholarships while enjoying a BBQ lunch. Bookings are essential for both open days. Phone Natalie 02 4221 3239, email email@example.com or visit ipri.uow.edu.au.
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Research Services Office, Building 20, Level 1, University of Wollongong, Northfields Ave, Wollongong, NSW, Australia, 2522 firstname.lastname@example.org | +61 2 4221 3386 | www.uow.edu.au/research
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