Research Awards past recipients 2011


Vice Chancellor’s Award for Research Excellence

Professor Charlie Changli Xue

School of Health Sciences

Professor Xue's research has focussed on taking an evidence-based rigorous approach to systematically evaluate major traditional and complementary medicine interventions for common chronic respiratory diseases and pain conditions. These research activities have been supported by over $8 million research grants from the NHMRC and major international grant schemes. To-date, our findings have showed that acupuncture and herbal medicine are beneficial for hayfever, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease as well as chronic and acute musculo-skeletal pain.

>> About Vice Chancellor’s Award for Research Excellence


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Vice Chancellor’s Award for Emerging Researcher

Dr Rick Franich

School of Applied Sciences

Dr Franich's research in Medical Physics is focused on improving the accuracy of radiation delivery in radiotherapy and medical imaging, while minimising the radiation dose to healthy tissue. This goal is achieved by developing novel systems and techniques for accurately measuring and calculating the radiation exposure distribution in patients’ anatomy. Dr Franich’s research includes the world’s first 3-D deformable radiation detector, and a system for real-time feedback of radiation dose during treatment of prostate cancer.

Dr Madhu Bhaskaran

School of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Dr Bhaskaran's research has focussed on functional materials to enhance electronic devices, with a specific focus on piezoelectric materials to harvest electrical energy from mechanical pressure. Dr. Bhaskaran is an ARC Post-Doctoral Fellow and has published over 50 peer-reviewed publications in the last 5 years. Her work on nanoscale energy generation properties of piezoelectric thin films has received widespread, international media attention for which Dr. Bhaskaran was recently awarded the RMIT Media Star Award 2011 for Research.


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Vice Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding HDR Thesis

Dr Nicole Pepperell

School of Global Studies, Social Science and Planning

Thesis Title: Disassembling Capitalism

Nicole Pepperell’s Disassembling Capital highlights the use of irony and parody in Marx’s Capital, in order to explore better ways of theorising complex and dynamic social environments. A revised version of the thesis has been accepted for publication with Brill’s Historical Materialism series.


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Ian Permezel Memorial Award

Dr Sharath Sriram

School of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Dr Sriram undertakes research is in novel materials and micro-devices with applications in energy, sensing, and memory technologies. These areas are aligned to RMIT University’s research focus area of Smart Technology Solutions. The Ian Permezel Memorial Award provides him with a valuable professional development opportunity. Through this award, he will participate in the 2nd NanoToday Conference, where he will be presenting two papers highlighting outcomes from his current ARC Australian Post-Doctoral Fellowship.


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Malcolm Moore Industry Research Award

Dr Olivia Guntarik

School of Media and Communications

Dr Olivia Guntarik has published in the fields of memory studies, and indigenous and multicultural history and heritage. This project aims to promote greater understanding around how Vietnamese, Sri Lankan and Turkish families rebuild their lives in the post-resettlement years. The research will contribute directly to policy debates about the support services for and development of migrant and refugee communities.

>> About Malcolm Moore Industry Research Award


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University Research Prize

Dr Minh Phuong Doan

School of Economics, Finance and Marketing

Thesis Title: The roles of systematic skewness and systematic kurtosis in asset pricing

Dr Doan's research focused on investigating factors used to price stocks on the Australian stock market. Specifically, the factors underpinning stock market returns. Her research showed that it is not sufficient just to consider the mean and variance of returns as investors also price skewness and kurtosis (a measure of excessive large and small returns). When these factors were considered the pricing models performed better, especially in bull and bear markets.

Supervisor: Dr Heather Mitchell

Dr Judith Hart

School of Health Sciences

Thesis Title: Feeling Grateful: A Parse Research Method Study

Dr. Judith Hart’s dissertation explored the question: What is the structure of the lived experience of feeling grateful? in relation to health and quality of life. The Parse research method, underpinned by the ontology of humanbecoming guided this study. The participants were 10 individuals in the community. Feeling grateful was experienced as: potent elation amid tribulation arising with the assuredness-unassuredness of benevolent alliances. These findings contribute new nursing knowledge and further expand the humanbecoming school of thought.

Supervisors: Dr Phil Maude, RMIT University; Dr Anthony Welch, CQU; Dr Rosemarie Rizzo Parse, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Loyola University of Chicago

Dr Nicholas Justin Murray

School of Architecture and Design

Thesis Title: Sound and Space: An Architect's Investigation

Murray researched a positive role for acoustics in architecture, a field in which acoustics are usually applied to suppress unwanted sounds. He developed the concept of an acoustic landscape, profiled in sound contours that would enable groups of learners to work in open plan, sometimes all linked in lecture mode, but also within their own acoustic containers. He prototyped a segment of this landscape and demonstrated it at work. The research has profound implications for the design of learning environments.

Supervisor: Professor Leon van Schaik


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