The 2023 cohort of Fulbright Scholars from UNSW Sydney is set to embark on a year of living and working at host institutions in the United States to tackle a variety of global challenges.

The six Scholars, including a postdoctoral scholar, a PhD candidate and alumni, will strengthen bi-national research collaboration and the exchange of ideas in the areas of medicine, materials science, machine learning and artificial intelligence. Five US Scholars will visit UNSW.       

Dr Aria Ahmed-Cox, at the Children’s Cancer Institute, UNSW Medicine & Health and the University of Melbourne, has been awarded a Fulbright Future Scholarship (Postdoctoral), funded by The Kinghorn Foundation.

She will collaborate with research clinician Professor Jan Grimm and his team at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, where she will employ an imaging technique called ‘Cerenkov luminescence’ to visualise the uptake of cancer drugs into solid tumours. Her aim is to use this information to design more effective, less toxic treatments that improve the outcomes for children with these deadly diseases.

“I am honoured to have this incredible opportunity from the Kinghorn, as part of the Fulbright program. This scholarship is enabling us to establish and strengthen a pivotal research collaboration in the cancer nanomedicine space, to advance the visualisation of drug delivery in cancer by harnessing an imaging modality not currently established in Australia,” Dr Ahmed-Cox said.

Thibault De Villenoisy, a PhD candidate at UNSW Science has been awarded a Fulbright Future Scholarship (Postgraduate), funded by The Kinghorn Foundation. He will travel to the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) to further his study in materials science.

Thibault De Villenoisy

Thibault De Villenoisy. Photo: UNSW.

Mr De Villenoisy said he is delighted to receive a prestigious Fulbright Future Scholarship and embark on an exciting research collaboration between UNSW and UCLA.

He will use his Fulbright Scholarship to develop Metal Organic Frameworks (MOF) - derived materials, composed of metal ions or clusters, tailored specifically for microbial fuel cells. The novel application seeks to transform waste management from an expense to a future energy source.

“With the expertise of renowned leaders in the field at UCLA, I will be working with silver and copper-based MOF- derived materials that have never been used before in microbial fuel cells,” Mr De Villenoisy said.

“By leveraging this innovative approach, we hope to contribute to the global effort to accelerate the transition towards a sustainable energy future, while also promoting the effective decontamination of waste.

“I am incredibly excited about the opportunity to work with such talented researchers across the globe and to contribute to this cutting-edge area of study. I am confident that the results of our research will have far-reaching implications, and I am eager to see where this collaborative effort will take us."

UNSW alumni receiving Fulbrights

Brandon Curtis Colelough BEng (Electrical) (CDF) 2022

As a Fulbright Scholar, Mr Colelough will pursue a PhD in Computer Science, specialising in symbolic-driven explainability to generate trust in the human-AI interaction space.

Vinuri Dissanayake BCom/LLB 2016

As a Fulbright Scholar, Ms Dissanayake will be studying a Master of Public Policy with a specific focus on exploring the impacts of algorithmic bias on areas such as education and welfare. She aims to help to design interventions that better protect the rights of minority groups in AI-driven social innovation.

Treves Li BEng (Hons) (Mining Engineering) 2018

Through his Fulbright research at University of California, Berkeley, Mr Li aims to deepen his technical expertise and explore how advances in machine learning can be used to represent, understand and mitigate geotechnical hazards in mining and tunnelling – industries that underpin Australia’s economy and cities.

Vanessa Turnbull-Roberts BSW (Hons) / LLB 2022

As a Fulbright scholar, Ms Turnbull-Roberts will travel to the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School. She will further her research which aims to develop new, revolutionary ways of changing the child protection system in Australia.