27th June 2014

Almost $5 million in funding in the latest ARC Linkage grants will boost 15 research projects at QUT with aims ranging from optimising a patient scheduling system, and reducing the turnover of early childhood staff to a project to develop an education program to cut the disproportional death rate of young Australian drivers.

Professor Gerard Ledwich and Professor Laurie Buys, along with their multidisciplinary colleagues, have received $525,000 over four years, to study ways to engage consumers in taking control of their energy costs as energy prices continue to rise.

Professor Buys said this project will look at ways of engaging customers to regain their control of energy use and their energy costs. For example the project will investigate ways consumers can use batteries, solar power and network power to lower their power bill.

"We want to find ways for energy companies and their customers to meaningfully engage on reducing their energy use according to their individual needs," Professor Buys said.

"It is not just about poles and wires and smart meters but what consumers can do to understand their energy use. For instance, it could be that painting the roof a pale colour with a reflective paint could significantly reduce cooling costs for a family, or making sure you turn on the bar fridge only when needed."

The ultimate aim of the project is to reduce the costs of the electricity network by reducing the load on the network.

Other projects to benefit from the ARC grant round include the ongoing research into enhancing security at airports and improving passenger experience; understanding what determines psychosocial wellbeing for women-at-risk during settlement in Australia; and enhancing patient and family end-of-life decision-making through better understanding of legal rights, powers and duties.

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