UTS Science researchers promoted to Senior Lecturers
Over the last few months, researchers in UTS Science have been working on their applications for Senior Lecturers. The process is quite extensive and the documentation requires candidates to explain their research, papers written and published, and their potential plan for academic growth. Dr Fraser Torpy, Dr Jurgen Schulte, Dr Hanyu Gu, Dr Olga Shimoni and Dr Iain Duggin were promoted to Senior Lecturer in August this year.
Dr Hanyu Gu
Dr Hanyu Gu completed his PhD in 1999 on power engineering and automation, but a desire to link his research to real world applications saw him transfer to optimisation research.
“My research area sits between mathematics and computer science,” said Dr Gu. “You need advanced computing and mathematics to solve these vast problems … it is very multidisciplinary.”
Dr Gu is works on projects that apply mathematical and computing theories to solve the future challenges in Australia and the world. His current project involves working with a large transport company to reduce costs and increase employee satisfaction with truck driving scheduling in Australia.
“To make good decisions, you need to use operations research techniques,” he said. “It will be really good for the Australian economy, and it will help to meet future challenges.”
Dr Gu also hopes to create and teach a subject which will convey the power and beauty of mathematics, and how it can be used to solve complex real word problems.
Dr Olga Shimoni
Dr Olga Shimoni’s research focuses on nanomedicine including the development of multifunctional nanoparticles for applications in biomedicine.
“Nanomedicine is a potential future treatment for many diseases,” said Dr Shimoni. “The nanobiotechnology and nanomedicine is multidisciplinary research, and it incorporates physics, material sciences, chemistry and biology aspects of science.
“It is a very interesting area to see how a progress in nanotechnology goes from physics to other disciplines like biology—the multidisciplinary aspect is what really attracted me to go into that area.”
Dr Shimoni is a Chancellor's Postdoctoral Research Fellow and was awarded a NHMRC-ARC Dementia Research Fellowship this year. She is currently developing fluorescent nanoparticles as sensors to investigate causes and progression of Alzheimer's disease.
In addition, Dr Shimoni is one of the chief investigators on the UTS-based ARC Industrial Research Hub (IDEAL). The goal of the IDEAL Hub is to develop a suite of portable devices for rapid, time-critical on-site detection of analytes, such as antibodies, biomarkers, pathogens or toxins, enhanced by technological developments in nanophotonics and nanomaterials.
Dr Iain Duggin
Dr Iain Duggin leads a research group at the ithree Institute (Infection, Immunity and Innovation) that is focused on understanding how microbes respond to changing environments, by altering their cell structure and shape.
“We are interested in understanding what allows bacterial cells to survive in these environments and the genes that they use to cause infections,” said Dr Duggin.
Dr Duggin is currently managing several research projects, one of which focuses on understanding why the bacteria that cause urinary tract infections change in shape and structure in order to cause infection.
His research group is also working on understanding the cell growth and shape changes of microorganisms called archaea. Through these studies, Dr Duggin’s team is creating a model for the study of cellular development and evolution.
Dr Duggin’s research led to the discovery of a ‘primordial cytoskeleton’, a mini cell skeleton inside any cell, which was published in the prestigious journal Nature in 2015. He was also recently awarded an ARC Fellowship where he will examine cell pision in archaea. The project is expected to provide insights into cell structure, function and persity, impacting a wide range of cell and molecular biology studies.
Dr Duggin is also responsible for coordinating the infection and immunity Honours projects in the School of Life Sciences.
Congratulations to all the newly appointed Senior Lecturers in UTS Science.