Professor Dayong Jin, an ARC Future Fellow and Chief Investigator of the ARC multidisciplinary research Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale Biophotonics, has joined the UTS science faculty to grow the Initiative Biomedical Materials & Devices (IBMD) into an international collaborative network.
As the new director of the IBMD, Professor Jin will bring together the disciplines of physics, chemistry, biology, engineering, and medical research to build industry partnerships to transform leading-edge and cost-effective technologies.
A photonics physicist by training, Professor Jin since finishing his PhD in 2007 brought together disciplines of science through his research group, the Advanced Cytometry Labs at Macquarie University.
He sees UTS as a growing, energetic institution with an attractive dynamic and fitting place for multidisciplinary research.
“My goal in the next five years is to develop a more dynamic collaborative research hub in this area which is featured by industry-driven research,” Professor Jin said.
Professor Jin believes UTS has a solid base for international-based science initiatives to take off.
“I think UTS has an advantage because we are in the...most convenient part of the city,” Professor Jin said.
“Because of the technology focus (of the) university the international collaboration could be a lot easier. Of course Australia is quite geographically isolated, (but) we also have an advantage (being) closer to Asian countries, the fastest growing region,
“Also we are the closest western country (to Asia) speaking English… we can connect to the UK, Europe and America quite easily. So I think though geographically isolated, but from a cultural base we are well connected to the rest of the world.”
Professor Jin likens cross-disciplinary science to making a high quality printer: if the printer is good but the ink is not up to standard, the printer does not deliver.
He also says looking at a problem from a cross-disciplinary position can lead to surprisingly straightforward solutions.
“These days you can’t just rely on a single discipline…we (have) already significantly developed a lot of fundamental science. The technology is available but the job is really to put them together (and) find the best combination,” Professor Jin said.
Collaboration is the key to finding answers beyond a researchers comfort zone and expanding their knowledge.
“My philosophy is give before you take,” Professor Jin said.
“If you want (to) build collaboration with other people from other disciplines you need to see how you can help to solve their problem first…Don’t always think what I need from you,
“You build your own strengths, then you tell your collaborators what you can offer…align your research interest and activity to the ultimate goal – like a marathon. Then you see how many milestones you need (to achieve).”