Academy Fellows among ARC Linkage Project recipients

August 02, 2021
From top left: Associate Professor Lee Berger; Professor Martin Green; Professor Hala Zreiqat; Professor Richard Bryant; Professor Christopher Barner-Kowollik; Dr Anna Koltunow; Professor Craig Moritz; and Professor Steven Prawer.

Eight Academy Fellows are among the recipients of 67 collaborative research projects funded under the Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Projects scheme, bringing together higher education and industry to conduct research into pressing issues facing Australians.

The scheme supports collaborative research projects between higher education researchers and partner organisations in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors to find practical solutions to problems and challenges in real-world, industry-based settings.

The funding for research partnerships includes:

  • $480,000 for Queensland University of Technology to pioneer an integrated solution for stormwater retention, while removing chemical pollutants. Professor Christopher Barner-Kowollik and colleagues will design fibre coatings based on a versatile and chemically simple deposition process, incorporate functionalities onto the fibres allowing active stormwater treatment, and investigate these interfaces in-depth by advanced surface and interface characterisation methods.
  • $259,379 to the University of Melbourne to increase amphibian immunity to combat disease causing mass extinction. The project aims to increase amphibian survival to combat the devastating chytrid fungus by identifying resistance genes and increasing their frequency in the host population. Associate Professor Lee Berger and colleagues expect outcomes of enhanced international collaborations in comparative immunology, a comprehensive understanding of immunity to chytridiomycosis, and disease resistant amphibians.
  • $837,040 to the University of New South Wales to understand the impact of missing family on forcibly displaced people. This project aims to investigate the psychological and social effects of having missing family on forcibly displaced people settled in Australia. With colleagues, Professor Richard Bryant will enlist a longitudinal mixed-method approach to compare those with missing family to those whose connections have been restored on key outcomes and coping strategies.
  • $539,137 to the University of New South Wales to develop a long-life, stable, high-performance, and green chalcopyrite solar powered building steel, which is expected to offer a shapable truly green building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) product for building deployment. Within the research team is Professor Martin Green. The project completion will accelerate the transition to zero-emission buildings.
  • $607,411 to the University of Sydney for generating new knowledge of climate resilient seed production technology. The project aims to increase productivity and profitability of the Australian sorghum industry in the face of risks imposed by an increasingly variable climate. Dr Anna Koltunow and colleagues expect the project to support profitable and productive businesses, providing Australian agriculture with a competitive, sustainable edge.
  • $516,968 to Macquarie University for new biocultural approach to fauna conservation. Professor Craig Moritz and colleagues aim to record endangered Indigenous knowledge of fauna and integrate this with innovative Western science to develop Australia’s first cross-cultural fauna conservation strategy.
  • $443,000 to the University of Melbourne to develop a reliable microneedle array for blood collection procedures. Professor Steven Prawer hopes the outcomes of this project will include the development of synthetic diamond-based microneedles through improved and affordable healthcare and the development of new high-tech industries.
  • $405,031 to the University of Sydney for the development of a novel technology platform to mediate load transfer between synthetic and biological materials with dissimilar mechanical properties, creating an effective interface mechanism. Professor Hala Zreiqat will work with colleagues to generate new knowledge in materials engineering by combining interdisciplinary expertise and state-of-the-art technologies in computational modelling, biomaterials, and additive manufacturing. This could ultimately benefit Australian industry engaged in developing next-generation synthetic orthopaedic solutions, providing a significant competitive advantage in an expanding global market.

More information about the latest recipients and research partners of ARC Linkage Projects funding.

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