First published 7 January 2022

QUT researchers were successful in attaining nearly $8 million in funding for research, one of QUT’s best funding rounds so far.

Professor Mahen Mahendran, Dr Anthony Ariyanayagam, Professor Felipe Gonzalez and Associate Professor Grant Hamilton will develop a new method of assessing bushfire risk and building integrity using drone-based advanced technologies. They received $360,000 for their research.

Associate Professors Matthew Phillips and Peter Prentis received $475,000 in funding for their project which expects to generate new knowledge of the processes that have promoted and maintained marsupial biodiversity in Australia.

QUT Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) and ARC Laureate Fellow Professor Christopher Barner-Kowollik said these ARC grants were testament to the hard work and dedication of QUT’s researchers in their fields and the support of their collaborators and industry partners.

“There is enormous competition for these Australian Research Council grants and to have 19 awarded to QUT demonstrates how hard our researchers are working to make a difference in their fields and in the world,” Professor Barner-Kowollik said. “These grants are recognition of the work of all of our researchers who are working in a highly competitive environment in a complex and increasingly politicised funding landscape,” Professor Barner-Kowollik added.

“We also acknowledge and strongly value the work by the unsuccessful applicants and look forward to working with them in the upcoming round.”

Professor Barner-Kowollik said the hard work QUT’s researchers, their teams and the support by QUT’s research structures including the Office of Research Services, and by dedicated academic leaders and the entire academic community, led to QUT’s excellent result.

Other highlights in the ARC Discovery Grants include Associate Professor Carol Richards with her project Food system shocks: Managing transitions to future food security ($257,666); and Associate Professor Niko Suenderhauf with his project, which aims to develop algorithms that enable robots to perform high-complexity tasks that are currently impossible ($515,000).


Other QUT research funded in this round:

  • Professors Alistair Barros and Colin Fidge will develop a software architecture style suitable for localised loT execution ($480,000)
  • Dr Vivien Challis and Professor Anthony Roberts will design a new piezoelectric material microstructures that can enhance the measurement of complex local stress states within robotic limbs ($375,000)
  • Professor Tommy Chan will develop a cost-effective system for monitoring bridges in real time for ongoing health assessment and necessary repairs ($403,000)
  • Professors Greig de Zubicaray and Katie McMahon will combine behavioural, neuroimaging and computational studies to characterise how the brain processes language ($448,610)
  • Professors Ana Deletic and Ashantha Goonetilleke will combine principles of water sensitive urban design with advanced pollutant removal processes for wastewater treatment ($450,000)
  • Professor Lyn English and Dr Chrystal Whiteford will generate new knowledge on how sustainable, innovative mathematics learning can be fostered through STEM-enriched mathematical modelling across the early grades ($332,636)
  • Distinguished Professor Dietmar Hutmacher, Professors Martin Obschonka and Per Davidsson will develop a method of analysing academic entrepreneurship in Australian universities ($203,448)
  • Professor Balz Kamber and Dr Patrick Hayman will generate new experimental and empirical knowledge to help study hot mantle in the Earth’s crust  ($413,000)
  • Associate Professor Azharul Karim will develop a multiscale model for food drying to position Australia in the forefront of world drying research ($430,000)
  • Professor Ottmar Lipp will develop a more rigorous test to advance understanding of facial expression processing ($404,680)
  • Professor Andry Rakotonirainy, Associate Professor Ronald Schroeter, Professor Sebastien Glaser and Dr Xiaomeng Li will create a computational model to address the inability of Automated Vehicles, powered by artificial intelligence, to self-explain their behaviours ($525,000)
  • Professor Michael Rosemann will use conceptual design, process modelling and co-design approaches to create a structured approach for the management of trust ($465,000)
  • Dr Alessandro Soro and Associate Professor Ronald Schroeter will co-design new interfaces to support older Australians to collaboratively learn the use of automated vehicles ($450,000)
  • Professor Glen Tian and Associate Professor Yateendra Mishra will develop a systematic theory to capture the dynamic risk propagation of cyberattacks on cyber-physical power systems ($490,000)
  • Professors Tan Yigitcanlar and Kevin Desouza will generate new knowledge on the most appropriate approaches for local governments to engage with AI to achieve responsible urban innovation ($499,630)


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