UTS Science researchers shine at Vice-Chancellor’s Awards
Group shot of award winners with UTS Chancellor, Professor Vicki Sara AO and Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Research), Professor Glenn Wightwick. Image by Encapture Photography.
The best of UTS Science has been recognised at the 2015 Vice-Chancellor's Awards for Research Excellence with four out of five nominees winning their category.
The Vice-Chancellor’s Awards acknowledge the outstanding contribution made by UTS academics, their partners and support staff towards research.
Associate Professor Igor Aharonovich took home the ‘Early Career Research Excellence’ award for his work in nanophotonics, which has included discovering new room temperature quantum emitters. Igor’s research aims to develop methods of integrating these new emitters into practical 21st Century devices, such as sensors and medical technology.
“We seek to introduce defects that can emit light into materials such as diamonds which can be harnessed in areas such as communication,” Associate Professor Aharonovich said.
Igor has also been responsible for the establishment of a new pioneering experimental laboratory for at UTS, where he has been working with PhD and Masters students on his research projects.
“The most important finding so far is that we have found new very bright emitters and we are able to engineer them…It’s cutting edge—people like to read about it, people want to know more.”
Associate Professor Igor Aharonovich with Vice-President (Research), Professor Glenn Wightwick.
Dr Dominic Hare speaking at the award ceremony.
Dr Dominic Hare won the ‘Research Excellence Through Collaboration’ award with his partners at the Florey in Melbourne and Mount Sinai in New York City. His collaborative research focuses on metals and neurodegeneration; and seeks to discover why iron is increasing in the brains of Parkinson’s patients.
“Though we’re only getting started on what will be a long and challenging process, it’s wonderful to be recognised by UTS for this collaboration I’ve been building for some time now,” he said. “Without the technology at UTS, I couldn’t have developed the analytical methods we need to measure iron in materials like brains, or teeth, or any biological material for that matter.”
“At UTS we have one of the finest collections of analytical equipment, and without it, I wouldn’t be where I am today, working with the people I do.”
Associate Professor Bronwyn O’Brien was awarded the ‘UTS Medal for Teaching and Research Integration’ for her research in the area of immunology and autoimmune disease which seeks to investigate the role of macrophages in the development of autoimmunity. An increased understanding in this area of science may facilitate novel avenues for modulating macrophage and dendritic cell function, which could help inhibit the development of autoimmune disease.
Associate Professor Bronwyn O'Brien and Vice-President (Research), Professor Glenn Wightwick.
Professor Claude Roux with Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Research), Professor Glenn Wightwick.
Professor Claude Roux’s work in forensic science was recognized with the ‘Deputy Vice-Chancellor’s (Research) Medal for Research Impact’. Professor Roux’s innovative research provides evidence-based information and data for a more reliable use of science in the courtroom, cutting-edge methods for the analysis of forensic evidence and pioneering techniques for the detection and enhancement of fingerprints.
“My research distinguishes itself from the dominant view of forensic science as a simple application of science to the legal system,” Professor Roux said. “It gives distinctiveness and coherence to forensic science as a research-based academic discipline through traces as the federating agent.”
L-R: Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Research), Professor Glenn Wightwick; Professor Liz Harris and UTS Chancellor, Professor Vicki Sara AO.
Professor Liz Harry was one of two academics nominated for the ‘Chancellor’s Medal for Exceptional Research’ for her study on how bacteria cells divide and how they regulate this process. She was highly commended in her category, while fellow nominee and recent Eureka Prize winner, Professor Dacheng Tao from the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology, won the Chancellor’s Medal.
Professor Harry said she was honoured to be a finalist in this exceptional research category.
“I am very happy to be at UTS doing my research because I think it is a university that is making amazing progress in becoming what it needs to become in the 21st Century—it is innovative, flexible and encourages equity and diversity.”
Congratulations to all of this year’s nominees and winners.