UNSW engineers have secured more than $2.7 million for five projects across various disciplines in the latest round of Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Grant funding. Many of the successful Engineering projects are cross-school collaborations, and all of them will work closely with industry partners throughout their projects.

Professor Klaus Regenauer-Lieb from the Faculty of Engineering received a $660,000 grant for thermodynamics inversion for mineral systems. This project aims to develop a new scientific approach to the Australian Lithospheric Architecture Magnetotelluric Project (AusLAMP). AusLAMP provides geophysical information aimed at unravelling the tectonic history of the Australian continent and its mineral potential.    

Another large grant ($613,000) was awarded to Professor Jinhong Yuan from the School of Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications to develop reliable communications channels for agricultural areas with difficult terrain. The project will contribute to the crucial communication infrastructures for smart farms, which will lead to higher agricultural productivity and national economy. 

Chemical Engineering Scientia Professor Rose Amal received a $562,000 grant for a project that will enable the timely treatment of industrial waste water, as well as sewage treatment plant effluents using simple and cheap catalyst materials.

Scientia Professor David Waite was awarded a $498,000 grant for ammonia recovery from wastewater, using flow electrode-membrane systems. The outcome of the project is expected to minimise damage to, and develop solutions for restoration and remediation of soil, fresh and potable water, urban catchments and marine systems, and significantly improve the environmental impacts of ammonia.

Associate Professor Arnaud Castel received a $321,000 grant to explore the shrinkage, cracking, self-healing and corrosion in blended cement concrete. This project will lead to a significant improvement in the serviceability and durability of concrete structures in severe environments.

Federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham announced $26 million in ARC funding last week, supporting 66 research teams. UNSW secured $4.3 million, the largest share of funding among NSW universities, and second-largest in the nation behind the University of Queensland. Other successful UNSW researchers include:

  • Dr Angela Nickerson ($739,083), a lecturer at the School of Psychology and Director of the Refugee Trauma and Recovery Program, to lead a team investigating the pathways to settlement for displaced refugees. The goal of the project is to significantly advance understanding of the psychosocial impact of displacement and inform service provision in supporting the tens of millions of refugees exposed to sustained displacement worldwide.
  • Emeritus Professor Christine Alexander ($299,758) to undertake a textual and critical study of Charlotte Brontë. This project will reinterpret Charlotte Brontë’s original novels, which are stranger, more unsettling, and more artistically and socially challenging than the available later editions lead readers to believe.
  • Professor Bill Randolph ($163,702) for a project tackling defects in multi-unit strata housing. This project aims to address growing concerns that building quality issues are threatening the appeal of higher density multi-unit housing for city dwellers, which could undermine urban planning goals.
  • Professor David Keith ($416,00) for an ecosystem risk assessment. This project aims to develop a type-based framework for the world's ecosystems and undertake the first broad-scale global risk assessment for ecosystems. This will help meet UN Sustainable Development Goals to improve human well-being globally.