RMIT University

Research Awards past recipients 2010


Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Research Excellence

Professor Irene Yarovsky

School of Applied Sciences

This award recognises Professor Irene Yarovsky's sustained excellence in research over a period of three years against research benchmarks for quality; including research publications, research student training and research grant success.

>> About Vice Chancellor’s Award for Research Excellence


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Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Emerging Researcher

Dr Vernon Coffey

School of Medical Sciences

This award for an RMIT researcher, who has completed their PhD within the last 5 years, recognises Dr Vernon Coffey's performance over a period of three years against research benchmarks for performance.


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Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Thesis

Dr Thomas Charles Daniell

School of Architecture and Design

Thesis title: Negotiating Context

Dr Daniell’s research, which documented the impacts on practice of specific cultural and regulatory regimes, emerged from his fascination with the variations between architectural expectations on three continents. This research revealed a gradient of alignments with local conditions and a range of principles shared with his peers around the world. He discovered that this tension between the specific and the architectural ideal energized design at all scales of work, discernible in modest alterations to a traditional house in Kyoto and in a large gallery in Nevada.

Supervisor: Professor Leon van Schaik


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Award for Outstanding Achievement in Teaching and Research

Associate Professor Lisa French

School of Media and Communication

This award recognises the outstanding achievement of Associate Professor Lisa French who has enhanced student learning through exemplary teaching practice and advanced the frontiers of knowledge through a significant contribution to research within a discipline area.


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Ian Permezel Memorial Award

Dr Flora Salim

School of Architecture and Design

Paper title: Demonstration of an Open Platform for Tangible and Social Interactions with Responsive Models

Dr Flora Salim will be presenting her paper “Demonstration of an Open Platform for Tangible and Social Interactions with Responsive Models’ at the 2010 Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture conference. The paper aims to encourage the wider international community to participate in the existing research network on interactive and responsive architecture fostered by the authors.


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Malcolm Moore Industry Research Award

Dr Lara Wallis

School of Property, Construction and Project Management

Project title: An evaluation of how Occupational Health and Safety is embedded in the Education of Australian Building, Design and Construction courses.

Dr Lara Wallis's study aims to ascertain if students participating in vocational education or higher education built environment design study are provided with a broad OHS education, with relevant examples of designing for safe and health construction of buildings/structures. The study will also ascertain if the curriculum allows students to have a functional health and safety knowledge when they are employed by industry.

>> About Malcolm Moore Industry Research Award


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Emerging Researcher Industry Award

Dr Nicky Eshtiaghi

School of Civil, Environmental and Chemical Engineering

Project title: Impact of sludge Rheology on waste water treatment flow processes.

Large volumes of sludge are treated in anaerobic digester at sewage treatment plants in order to reduce the odour potential of the raw sludge. Internationally, existing wastewater treatment plants are under pressure to treat increasing volumes of wastewater with existing treatment plant due to increasing urban populations and financial constraints. By thickening sludge, the chance of pipe blockage and reduction in digester volume increases due to solid deposition. Dr Nicky Eshtiaghi's project will develop an objective design standard for anaerobic digester to enable industry to operate tertiary treatment system at higher concentration. This will lead an immediate reduction in the cost of maintenance and electricity usage.

Dr Thach Nguyen

School of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Project title: Establish an interaction between RMIT and the silicon photonic industry

A formal research collaboration between RMIT and Lightwire Inc, a world leader in silicon photonics for high-speed interconnects, will be formed by Dr Thach Nguyen to investigate silicon photonic devices that can be incorporated on to a single silicon photonic chip to transmit and receive information at very high speed.


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University Research Prize

Dr Catherine Hope

PhD (School of Art)

Thesis title: The Possibility of Infrasonic Music

Dr Hope explored the manipulation of very low frequency sound, known as infrasound, in musical compositions, live performance, installation, improvisation, and recording in new and extant artworks. Her research discovered that music centred around the vibration and resonance created by low frequency sound results in a more embodied listening experience where sound is felt in the body as well as heard with the ears.

Supervisors: Dr Philip Samartzis and Dr KeelyMacarow

Dr Alfred Huah-Syn Wong

PhD (School of Economics, Finance and Marketing)

Thesis title: Empirical Studies of Over-the -counter Currency Option Contracts

Dr Wong explored over-the-counter currency option trading by examining the behaviour of the implied volatility of these contracts. His results reveal option-implied volatility varies over time and does not follow a random walk process. They also indicate a relationship between the volatility smiles and anticipated foreign exchange risk, suggesting their shape affects the predictive ability of implied volatility. These findings provide important insights into the pricing of currency option contracts and the empirical anomalies reported in the currency option market

Supervisors: Assoc Professor AmaliaDiIorio and Professor Richard Heaney

Dr Yohannes Tsegay

PhD (School of Computer Science and Information Technology)

Thesis title: Document Representation for Efficient Search Engines

Dr Tsegay developed and tested several algorithms that are key components of modern text search engines. With web search engines such as Google processing many thousands of queries per second, very fast algorithms for processing the query and returning a set of answers is expected. The thesis describes novel means of compressing and storing billions of documents that allows fast summarisation, and more efficient responses to queries.

Supervisor: Dr Andrew Turpin


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