Research Awards recipients 2014


Vice-Chancellor’s Research Excellence Award

Suresh Kumar Bhargava

Professor Suresh Bhargava

College of Science, Engineering and Health

Professor Suresh Bhargava is the Director of the Centre for Advanced Materials and Industrial Chemistry and an internationally recognised and highly cited RMIT researcher (> 5400 citations, current rate of five/day). A Fellow of five learned academies around the world, including Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, the current phase of his research is focused on real world applications and creating RMIT brand research leaders for tomorrow. In the past five years, he has produced 17 PhD scholars and multiple postdoctoral and Future Fellows. As one of the top 1% of science and technology leaders in the Australian resource sector, he has received competitive ARC Linkage grants with large corporate multinationals, including Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton and Alcoa.

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Vice-Chancellor’s Research Supervision Excellence Award

Kourosh Kalantar-zadeh

Professor Kourosh Kalantar-zadeh

College of Science, Engineering and Health, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Professor Kourosh Kalantar-zadeh is the Director of the Centre for Advanced Electronics and Sensors (CADES) at RMIT. He is the co-author of nearly 300 books and highly cited scientific papers, Kourosh is internationally recognised for his research into nanotechnology enabled sensors, especially bio and gas sensors, and two dimensional semiconductors. His other areas of research interest include microfluidics and electronic materials.

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Vice-Chancellor’s Research Excellence - Early Career Researcher Award

Sharath Sriram

Dr Sharath Sriram

College of Science, Engineering and Health, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Dr Sharath Sriram is a Senior Research Fellow and ARC Australian Post-Doctoral Fellow in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He jointly leads the Functional Materials and Microsystems Research Group, with a focus on micro/nano-devices for sensing, memories, electromagnetics, and flexible electronics. Sharath is also the Deputy Director of RMIT University’s new MicroNano Research Facility (MNRF). Sharath has published over 100 peer-reviewed publications, with work featured on ten occasions on covers of prestigious journals and receiving extensive media coverage.

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Vice-Chancellor’s Doctoral Research Excellence Prize

Sumeet Walia

Dr Sumeet Walia

College of Science, Engineering and Health, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering

The miniaturisation of energy generation systems, while simultaneously maintaining their energy and power capacities, is an important technological challenge. Dr Sumeet Walia’s thesis demonstrated a novel solution to this problem using "thermopower waves" to convert chemical energy to electrical power at high transformation rates. By coating thermoelectric thin films with combustible fuels and igniting them, he demonstrated combustion waves that could produce strong electric current with power-to-mass ratios larger than conventional technologies, such as supercapacitors and lithium ion batteries.

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Vice-Chancellor’s Higher Degree by Research Publication Excellence Prize

Nicholas Williams

Mr Nicholas Williams

College of Design and Social Context, School of Architecture and Design

Nicholas Williams is undertaking a PhD in the School of Architecture and Design, College of Design and Social Context. He has published nine conference proceedings in the field of computational modelling in architecture during the initial two years of his PhD candidature and is lead author for four publications. Nicholas also has a journal publication accepted in Automation in Construction, one of two top ranked journals in the field. Significantly these publications reflect Nicholas’s prodigious creative project output, for which he has also been invited to exhibit in six venues, domestically and internationally.

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RMIT University Research Excellence Award

Supriya Singh

Professor Supriya Singh

College of Business, Graduate School of Business and Law

Professor Supriya Singh is the Professor, Sociology of Communications in the Graduate School of Business and Law. A member of the Global Cities Research Institute, Supriya also co-convenes Asia@RMIT and is a member of the Global Cities Research Institute. Her research focuses on the sociology of money and banking; migration, remittances and the transnational family; globalisation, financial inclusion, user centred design of information and communication technologies; and methodological issues relating to qualitative research.






Ralph Horne

Professor Ralph Horne

College of Design and Social Context

Professor Ralph Horne is the Deputy PVC, Research and Innovation for the College of Design and Social Context. With a wide network of industry partnerships, Ralph has been Chief Investigator in over 100 industry-linked research projects across the built environment, urban sustainability and social change since 2005. His research interests include social and policy change for environmentally sustainable design and relations between housing quality and benefits for households. He is also Director, Cities Programme, the urban arm of the UN Global Compact, New York, USA.





Kourosh Kalantar-zadeh

Professor Kourosh Kalantar-zadeh

College of Science, Engineering and Health, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Professor Kourosh Kalantar-zadeh is the Director of the Centre for Advanced Electronics and Sensors (CADES) at RMIT. He is the co-author of nearly 300 books and highly cited scientific papers, Kourosh is internationally recognised for his research into nanotechnology enabled sensors, especially bio and gas sensors, and two dimensional semiconductors. His other areas of research interest include microfluidics and electronic materials.

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RMIT University Doctoral Research Excellence Prize

Dr Celina Ping Yu

College of Business, School of Economics, Finance and Marketing

Supervisors: Professor On Kit Tam, Professor Anthony Naughton

Celina Ping Yu has completed her doctoral candidature in the School of Economics, Finance and Marketing, College of Business. Her thesis, entitled "Corporate Governance of Chinese Fund Management Companies" followed a highly original topic of enquiry, exploring governance quality and drivers of performance outcomes in fund management companies. Celina’s thesis provided new critical insights and extended knowledge and understanding of the subject area, drawing upon perceptive, persistent and careful research, including time spent in Fund management companies in both China and Australia.





Marietta Martinovic

Dr Marietta Martinovic

College of Design and Social Context, School of Global, Urban and Social Studies

Supervisors: Professor Manfred Steger, Dr Marg Liddell

Dr Martinovic produced original and exemplary research on a very complex issue—Home Detention Based Sanctions (HDBS). She analysed ethical, legal, political, and stakeholder controversies and issues as they developed over the decades and commented on them judiciously. She provided evidence that HDBS is more beneficial to society than prison, which operates under a punishment rather than rehabilitation ideology. The insights, knowledge, and authority acquired through her research and writing has made her a world leader in this field.




Adam Francis Chrimes

Dr Adam Francis Chrimes

College of Science, Engineering and Health, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Supervisors: Professor Kourosh Kalantar-zadeh, Associate Professor Vipul Bansal

Dr. Adam Chrime’s thesis represented a high quality scientific work on the next generation of biosensing systems. It contributed novel ideas to the field of microfluidic biosensors, creating new methods to control nano sized particles for increased sensitivity using conventional optical measurement systems. Adam’s work has been published in several high-impact journal articles, one of them chosen by the editors of the American Chemical Society journals as one of the most promising nano systems for biosensing of the year in 2012.

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RMIT University Higher Degree by Research Publication Excellence Prize

Arabella Volkov

Mrs Arabella Volkov

College of Business, School of Accounting

Supervisors: Professor Brendan O’Connell, Dr Mahesh Joshi

Arabella Volkov is mid-way through her doctoral candidature in the School of Accounting, College of Business. During the course of her PhD studies, Arabella, has produced five journal articles and two conference papers as first author. Her PhD investigates the impact of work-based learning (such as the cooperative year offered at RMIT University) on accounting student’s learning outcomes. While undertaking this research, Arabella has also developed a theoretical framework regarding the impact of work-based learning on student learning. Her thesis title is "Assessing the benefits of integrating an extended internship into undergraduate accounting programs".








Roger Kemp

Mr Roger Kemp

College of Design and Social Context, School of Architecture and Design

Supervisors: Professor Sand Helsel, Associate Professor Andrea Mina

Roger Kemp is mid-way through his doctoral candidature in the School of Architecture and Design, College of Design and Social Context and his thesis title is "Negotiating Space: A Process of Constructing Interiors". Roger has developed innovative design strategies that foreground and position occupants relative to perceived and experienced physical and virtual conditions of a space. This negotiation of space was tested through a series of 15 exemplary projects, incorporating a range of media, including film, installation, exhibition, drawings, models, montage and text. This led to an expanded definition of interior design, which breaks from the restrictive parameter of interior space as a condition of enclosure. In addition to his creative works, he has published two journal articles, one as first author.







Xiaoyi Zeng

Mr Xiaoyi Zeng

College of Science, Engineering and Health, School of Health Sciences

Supervisors: Professor Jiming Ye, Professor Aimin Xu

Xiaoyi Zeng is nearing the end of his doctoral studies having recently submitted his PhD thesis, "Anti-Diabetic Effects of Oleanolic Acid and Matrine", for examination. Xiaoyi’s body of work includes 14 journal articles and one conference paper, in two cases as first author. He has also presented at national and international conferences and was listed as a finalist in the Australian Postgraduate Student award at the Australian Diabetes Conference.

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RMIT University Research Excellence - Leadership Award

Lesley Duxbury

Professor Lesley Duxbury

College of Design and Social Context, School of Art

Professor Lesley Duxbury is Deputy Head, Research for the School of Art and the editor of the Studio Research Journal. Lesley’s research leadership was exemplified through her pro-active work in establishing the processes for the collection and reporting of creative works, as well as ensuring that standards of quality were adhered to. She is a prolific researcher, producing creative in addition to producing text based output. Lesley has authored five book chapters (including research on the supervision of HDR candidates in the Creative Discipline) and has also taken the lead in terms of getting her creative work in the RMIT research repository, further showcasing the creative work produced at RMIT. Lesley was the ERA leader for DSC for ERA 2012 as well as being the FoR expert for code 1905 (Visual Arts and Craft). RMIT received a 4 for this FoR code—the highest score in Victoria, outpointing the Victorian College of the Arts.

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RMIT University Innovation Excellence Award

Kefei Zhang

Professor Kefei Zhang

College of Science, Engineering and Health, School of Mathematical and Geospatial Sciences

Professor Kefei Zhang’s research pioneered the use of the Global Positioning System (GPS) Radio Occultation (RO) technique for Australian meteorological applications such as weather forecasting, climate and severe weather monitoring. Partnering with the Bureau of Meteorology, Kefei’s team has successfully used this frontier technology to significantly improve the accuracy of short-to-mid-term weather forecasts by up to 10 hours in the Australian region. As a result, this important new space based technique is now officially used in the operational Australian forecasting system. Over 23 million Australians have benefitted from this innovation and will continue to benefit through timely and more accurate weather prediction.

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RMIT University Research Excellence - Team Award

Franz (Tino) Fuss

Sports Engineering and Technology (SportzEdge) research project

Professor Franz (Tino) Fuss – Team Leader

Platform Technologies Research Institute

The SportzEdge program focuses on improving sports performance through smart and instrumented sports equipment, non-linear sports dynamics, advanced manufacturing and sustainable engineering of equipment, sports aerodynamics, and design optimisation and customisation of sports equipment, thereby contributing to Paralympic and world championship gold medals. Notable products developed for optimisation of training and improvement of performance comprise smart balls and bats (cricket, AFL), optimised wheelchairs, smart insoles, improved winter sport garments, smart climbing holds, optimised rugby balls and snowboards, and smart gyms.





Firoz Alam

Associate Professor Firoz Alam

Anthony Bedford

Professor Anthony Bedford

Amanda Benson

Dr Amanda Benson

Stephen Bird

Professor Stephen Bird

Noel Lythgo

Associate Professor Noel Lythgo

Florian Mueller

Associate Professor Florian Mueller

Aaron Smith

Professor Aaron Smith

Aleksandar Subic

Professor Aleksandar Subic

Olga Troynikov

Associate Professor Olga Troynikov

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