UNSW tops the state in industry-linkage grants

UNSW researchers have been awarded $11.4 million in the latest round of federal government funding for industry-linked research projects and a centre to transform Australia’s high-performance manufacturing sector.

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Professor Gangadhara Prusty (centre), with his research team.

UNSW researchers have been awarded $7.6 million for 25 industry-linked research projects and $3.8 million for a centre to transform Australia’s high-performance manufacturing industry, in the latest round of federal government funding.

UNSW outperformed every other university in the State in the Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Projects scheme and ranked third nationally. The 25 grants cover research projects in fields ranging from cancer care and refugee health, to water treatment and automated vehicles. 

Under the Linkage scheme, industry partners must make a significant cash and/or in-kind contribution to their projects. The collaboration is essential to transforming industries, building communities and strengthening the Australian economy.

Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Professor Brian Boyle, congratulated the grant recipients: “This is another strong result for UNSW. The Linkage program success reflects our leading engagement and collaboration with industry.

"The funded projects, along with the support for a new Industry Transformation Program led by UNSW Engineering, highlight the talent of our researchers to find solutions to real-word problems. This recognition for UNSW’s innovators and collaborators will help further accelerate knowledge transfer.”

The $3.8 million awarded under the Industrial Transformation Research Program will establish a new ARC Training Centre for Automated Manufacture of Advanced Composites with the aim of developing a new generation of innovative researchers who can transform Australia’s high-performance carbon composites manufacturing industry.

Led by Professor Gangadhara Prusty, from UNSW’s School of Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering, the training centre will use advanced automation technology to position Australian manufacturers as world-class agile producers of high-value advanced composite structures. Partners include the ANU, Technical University of Munich, the Ford Motor Company, Advanced Composite Structures Australia, the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, and the Defence Science and Technology Organisation.

A team led by Professor Prusty also received $360,000 for a separate Linkage project investigating the use of advanced photonic and micro-mechanical techniques to design next generation dental materials.

Other successful projects include:

  • $568,000 to a team led by Dr Angela Nickerson, from the School of Psychology, to conduct a longitudinal investigation of the psychosocial adaptation of refugees.
  • $458,000 to a team led by Dr Vinayak Dixit, from the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, to explore human factor issues critical to the successful deployment of automated vehicles.
  • $450,000 to a team led by Professor Greg Leslie, from the School of Chemical Sciences and Engineering, to make the water industry capable of foreseeing and managing adverse raw water organic matter quality from the catchment to the treatment plant.
  • $210,000 to a team led by Professor Alex Broom, from the School of Social Sciences, to investigate ways to push the cancer care sector toward person-centred care that results in improved care for migrants living with cancer, and inclusive policy strategies and guides for practice.
  • $190,000 to a team led by Professor Valsa Eapen, from the School of Psychiatry, to better understand how oxytocin mediates links between maternal sensitivity and attachment and a child’s emotional health.

UNSW Engineering projects performed particularly well in the latest round, picking up 13 out of the University’s 25 successful grants.

“This reflects UNSW Engineering’s position as Australia’s largest and most innovative engineering faculty and its commitment to engaging in industry-relevant research,” Professor Boyle said.