$14 million awarded for new discoveries

Research projects into climate change, water preservation and alternative energy are among those funded in the latest round of ARC Discovery grant announcements.

Research projects into climate change, water preservation and alternative energy are among those funded in the latest round of ARC Discovery grant announcements.
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Discovery Projects  [PDF]  (79.96K)
For a full list of Discovery Projects awarded to the University of Adelaide, click on the attached PDF file.

Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Groundbreaking research in the areas of climate change, water preservation and alternative energy are among the 41 new research projects to be conducted at the University of Adelaide from next year, thanks to today's announcement of more than $14 million for new research.

The research - announced as part of the latest round of Discovery Project funding from the Australian Research Council (ARC) - aims to have a major impact on people's lives throughout Australia and across the world.

The University of Adelaide has won a total of $14,143,514 for new research starting in 2008 - more than two thirds of the total Discovery Project funds awarded to universities in the State.

"New research means new knowledge and new ideas that can be used to benefit society in many ways," says the Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor James McWha.

"Spanning fields such as environmental science, mathematics, engineering, psychology and law, these new projects at the University of Adelaide build on a strong tradition of research and innovation and lay the foundation for future discoveries."

Among the winning Discovery Projects at the University of Adelaide are several that address key issues of climate change, alternative energy and water supply, including:

  • $265,000 to Dr Wen Soong (School of Electrical & Electronic Engineering) to investigate new designs for low-cost wind turbine generators that can produce power over a wide range of wind speeds;
  • $645,000 to Professor Nigel Bean (School of Mathematical Sciences) to develop a mathematical model to implement the recommendations of the Wentworth Group, aimed at protecting Australian water supplies;
  • $624,000 to Professor Barry Brook (School of Earth & Environmental Sciences) to better understand human and climatic impacts in prehistory, aimed at providing a context to current environmental threats;
  • $361,000 to Professor Adrian Bradbrook (School of Law) to investigate the contribution of law to sustainable development and climate change;
  • $515,000 to Professor Iain Reid (School of Chemistry & Physics) to study changes in a key layer of the atmosphere, between 50km and 110km.

Funding was received right across the University in science, engineering, IT, mathematics, health, law, economics, and the humanities and social sciences.

Among the many other research projects funded are:

  • $435,000 to Associate Professor Michael Griffith (School of Civil & Environmental Engineering) to investigate the earthquake protection of masonry buildings using fibre-reinforced polymer strengthening;
  • $520,000 to Associate Professor Bruce Dawson (School of Chemistry & Physics) to collaborate with the Pierre Auger observatory in Argentina on particle astrophysics research;
  • $310,000 to Professor Mike McLaughlin (School of Earth & Environmental Sciences) to study the fate and potential toxicity of new nanoparticle metal products on the Australian environment;
  • $257,500 to Affiliate Associate Professor Michael James (School of Medicine) to investigate ways of improving the benefits of omega-3 fats in vegetable oils;
  • $255,000 to Dr Xiujian Peng (Australian Institute for Social Research) for a study into the relationship between population ageing, labour mobility and sustainability on China's economic growth;
  • $254,782 to Dr Jon Opie (Discipline of Philosophy) to investigate the biological foundations of cognition;
  • $224,000 to Dr Peter Strelan (School of Psychology) for a new conceptualisation of forgiveness, recognising that it possesses both altruistic and self-interested dimensions.

The $14m included a number of research Fellowships to be hosted at the University of Adelaide, including two ARC Australian Professorial Fellowships, awarded to:

  • Dr Joel Brugger (School of Earth & Environmental Sciences/South Australian Museum) to research the structure and movement of fluids under extreme conditions, to boost both the minerals and energy industries in supporting the future of Australia's economy; and
  • Professor Robert Elliott (School of Mathematical Sciences) to apply mathematics to risk evaluation, such as for financial institutions in estimating exposure to risk, for companies in the allocation of resources, or in determining the level of risk from a terrorist attack.

Five promising early career researchers were also awarded Australian Postdoctoral Fellowships to support their emerging research areas.

The University of Adelaide has also received other ARC funding this week, including three grants totalling more than $169,000 for international collaborative research, and is a partner in several equipment grants with other universities and institutions throughout Australia.

As the lead institution, Adelaide has been awarded a $700,000 Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities grant - awarded to Dr Joel Brugger (School of Earth & Environmental Sciences/South Australian Museum) in partnership with the Australian Synchrotron - for a "toolbox" of high-precision, spectroscopic tools to enable cutting-edge research into areas such as ore and environmental geology, metallurgy, nanotechnology and biotechnology.

This is in addition to the $2.74 million previously announced this week for nine Linkage Projects with industry and government.


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Mr David Ellis
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