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Continuing the run of research achievements

Posted November 23, 2011 in category General by Heather CROSLING

Three Distinguished Early Career Researcher Awards, three Future Fellowships, and involvement in three of six successful bids for new Cooperative Research Centres (CRCs) - just another week at Swinburne.

Each week I receive news of student and staff success, and the recent run of research achievements clearly highlights the depth of expertise and brilliance that we have at Swinburne.  It also demonstrates the value of carrying out both pure research, in advancing our understanding of the world we live in, and applied research for the significant contribution it makes to society.

Encouraging our researchers to work on the world's problems is the very essence of a research intensive university's reason for being.  In the words of Stanford's President John Hennessy, "if the universities don't work on the world's biggest problems, who will?"

Universities have been described as the crown jewels of our society for the critical role they play in problem solving and stimulating a country's innovation agenda.  Solving problems can best be achieved through multidisciplinary teams, and it is this premise that Australia's CRCs are based on.  

In announcing the successful applicants, Minister Kim Carr said that "CRCs are about building partnerships between excellent researchers and industry, working collectively for the national benefit ....to research the major challenges facing Australia, as well as our big opportunities.  Their collaborations will deliver important economic, environmental and social benefits.  This is about improving the living standard of all Australians."

It is with this said, that we should all be particularly proud of the successful CRC bids that Swinburne is involved in.  These are the:

Automotive Australia 2020 CRC ($26 million): This is a continuing CRC with Professor Ajay Kapoor, Professor R Nagarajah, A/Prof S Tavrou, Dr M Ektesabi, Dr W Shen, Dr C Steele, Dr D Ruan, Dr Y Wong from the Faculty of Engineering and Industrial Sciences, which will undertake research programs and build human capital in areas of vehicle electrification, gaseous fuels and production of greener vehicles and components. 

CRC for Polymers ($14.5 million): This is a continuing CRC involving researchers from the Centre for Micro-Photonics led by Professor Min Gu and Professor Russell Crawford, Professor Derek Chan and Professor Ian Harding from Faculty of Life and Social Sciences which will contribute to establishing Australia as a leading provider and exporter of products that meet emerging global needs in the areas of health therapies, water and food security and low-cost solar energy.

CRC for Low Carbon Living ($28 million): Professor John Wilson, Professor Jay Sanjayan, Professor Emad Gad, Professor Riadh Al-Mahaidi and Associate Professor Arul Arulrajah from the Centre for Sustainable Infrastructure along with Professor Peter Newton from the Swinburne Institute for Social Research and Cathy Wills from National Centre for Sustainability will participate in this new CRC which focuses on bringing together leading researchers and key end-users to develop new tools to reduce carbon emissions and transform the built environment to a low carbon future. 

My congratulations go to the successful researchers, and to the other Swinburne staff involved in supporting the applications and the researchers enabling them to conduct their work.  Researchers cannot carry out their work without the support of many other staff - laboratory technicians, administrative staff, research office staff.   I would also like to thank them for their efforts in helping Swinburne conduct our world class research.

Regards, 


Professor Linda Kristjanson
Vice-Chancellor

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