The Australian Research Council (ARC) has awarded nine UNSW researchers grants totalling more than $3.5 million in the latest round of Linkage Projects. The University has received more grants than any other university in this round.

UNSW Pro Vice-Chancellor, Research, Professor Ana Deletic congratulated the University’s researchers on their success.

“With nine ARC Linkage Project grants in this round, UNSW has received the highest number in the country. We are proud of our academics’ ability to benefit society and industry by delivering cutting-edge solutions to real-world problems,” Professor Deletic said

Associate Professor Yansong Shen at UNSW Engineering has received $539,723. Raceway dynamics in ironmaking blast furnaces affect operational stability and cost considerably, yet their dynamic behaviour has not been well monitored online. The project aims to develop a data-driven model for monitoring the internal state of gas-solid-powder reacting flow in the raceway and predicting raceway anomalies online. The project outcomes, including codes, models and raceway control strategies, can help promote Australian metallurgical coal's global markets and ultimately the Australian economy.

Professor Chuan Zhao at UNSW Science has received $424,566. Low-cost and robust fuel cell technology is a cornerstone for the success of the hydrogen economy. The project aims to address the cost and durability of hydrogen fuel cells by advancing low-cost electrocatalysts for oxygen reduction reactions.

Scientia Professor Alexander Hamilton at UNSW Science has received $420,696. This joint proposal combines Interuniversity Microelectronics Centre’s (IMEC) technology and facilities for silicon chip fabrication with UNSW’s expertise in quantum devices to optimise the design and fabrication techniques used to manufacture silicon-based hole spin qubits on an industrial scale in a full 300mm wafer fabrication line. The outcomes will open up new routes to spin-based quantum computing based on holes.

Dr Erin Brannigan at UNSW Arts & Social Sciences has received $393,181. This project aims to interrogate the relationship between dance and visual art practices and institutions since the turn of the 21st century, developing solutions for emerging and associated challenges for artists and art workers. Bringing academics, curators, conservators and artists from diverse institutions together, ‘Precarious Movements’ stages a dialogue between dance artists and art institutions to support exemplary creative arts practices and the production of end-user processes and protocols.

Acting Dean Professor Stephen Foster at UNSW Engineering has received $384,117. This project will lead a paradigm shift in concrete mix design methodology, which currently focuses on meeting the mechanical performance objectives of concrete, to a holistic approach that maximises its durability alongside its mechanical performance. The proposed optimisation model will allow simultaneous consideration of several design objectives, including minimising the overall risk of cracking, minimising the permeability and maximising the rate of strength development.

Professor Robert Malaney at UNSW Engineering has received $371,806. This work will investigate a new space-borne platform capable of quantum communications with a terrestrial ground station. The research will be a significant advance in an emerging technology space and will enable Australia to take scientific leadership in an important aspect of ultra-secure communications from satellites.

Professor Steven Sherwood at UNSW Science has received $362,500. Wind gusts can do significant structural damage, and their rarity and small scale make prediction and risk assessment difficult. This proposal seeks to better understand and predict wind gusts and their impacts to aid in planning. It targets important scientific and practical issues such as the joint occurrence of gusts and high rainfall, role of gusts in contributing to dust and other airborne pollutants, impacts of gusts on subsequent storm activity, and gusts in a warming climate.

Dr Veronica Tello at UNSW Art & Design has received $338,927. Regional art museums need to diversify to maintain relevance to their communities as they become increasingly culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) as a result of humanitarian resettlement programs. Working with the Murray Art Museum Albury in Albury-Wodonga, this project creates a new museological method to generate structural change, training future CALD cultural leaders and prototyping an inclusive museum.

Professor Joe Dong at UNSW Engineering has received $300,000. This project aims to enhance large-scale renewable penetrations to a national power grid by advancing control, optimisation and ancillary services of Virtual Power Plants (VPPs), considering different disruptive events including the recent South Australian blackout.

The ARC Linkage Project scheme brings together higher education and industry to conduct research into pressing issues affecting Australians.

Read more about round 1 of ARC Linkage Projects 2020.

Belinda Henwood