Graduates from our PhD and Masters program have consistently achieved excellent examiners' reports from international leaders in their fields. Most have been eligible for the UTS Chancellor's Award, and several have been placed on the Chancellor's List.
To learn more about a selection of ISF's higher degree research graduates, read below.
For a full list of ISF's graduates, click here.
Dr. Juergen Peterseim
“I wanted to cover all the relevant aspects – economics, resources, the social implications — not just the technical parts.
Through his research on integrating solar thermal energy into existing power stations and industrial facilities, Juergen Peterseim seeks to bring about significant, positive change in the global energy market.
As an industrial engineer working for German company ERK Eckrohrkessel GmbH (ERK), designing boilers for power stations and industrial plants across the world, Juergen saw an opportunity to build a more sustainable future for the often quite traditional sector.
Attracted to ISF’s multi-disciplinary approach to research, he embarked on his doctorate, exploring the benefits and potential role of concentrating solar power (CSP) hybrid plants in the Australia’s transition to a low carbon energy future.
Juergen’s approach of building renewable sources into existing plants means that companies can take small steps, and build on them.
It allows them to see the significant cost reduction – in some cases, up to 40 per cent – while giving operators the chance to get used to the technology on a smaller scale. If their staff are comfortable with the technology, then senior management are more likely to want to invest in taking it further.
The potential for environmental, economic and social impact is immense.
Returning to Germany and to ERK, where he is now Director for Strategy and New Products with the company, Juergen is working intensively to build renewable energy products and integrate them into industrial facilities.
His great hope is to build a bespoke solar hybrid plant in the next two years – and with two such projects in their early stages, it’s a very real possibility.
Dr. Paul Crawford
“It struck me that the world would not be sustainable while ever there was poverty and inequity – but the efforts to address them seemed themselves unsustainable.”
Working in humanitarian aid and development in countries like Rwanda, afflicted by poverty, war and genocide, Paul Crawford saw first hand the impact – and the un-sustainability – of development programs.
Returning to Australia for a period of reflection, Paul joined ISF’s PhD program to explore ideas of effective development, and how external change agents can systemically and enduringly improve people’s lives.
Finding that the basis for judging effectiveness was itself flawed, he narrowed his focus to monitoring and evaluation (M&E), and to improving methods for assessing performance of aid projects.
Better knowledge means better aid, and ultimately a better world.
Complex problems don’t lend themselves to neat engineering solutions – they require a multidisciplinary approach.
Drawing on soft systems methodology, and broader academic fields of project management, information systems and organisational development, Paul iteratively developed a series of conceptual frameworks to guide M&E processes that focus on the very people the aid is trying to help, rather than starting with an organisation and working down.
As Principal Consultant with Aid-IT solutions, since 2004 he has conducted more than 100 international M&E assignments in more than 50 countries.
In recent years, he has been working with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, to dramatically improve the way M&E is conducted across individual projects and entire aid programs.
Paul believes that good M&E doesn’t just help appease powerful stakeholders; it can influence the nature of development discourse itself – and occasionally, profoundly change the world.
Dr. Christiane Behrisch
“Sustainability issues are rarely linked to a single discipline. Being in an environment with students from so many different areas allowed me to broaden my horizons and open up my thinking.”
Working in the automotive industry, Christiane Behrisch was looking at biofuels to address sustainability challenges – but she soon realised that wasn’t enough.
She turned her attention to ways to change the overall mobility of cities – through improving public transport, walking and cycling infrastructure, better integration of transport modes and more effective models for car-sharing – to make individual car ownership unnecessary.
This not only means less congestion and environmental harm, but reduces infrastructure and resource requirements, and addresses the problem of insufficient parking availability.
The solutions are largely known, but rarely implemented.
Christiane’s PhD investigated the barriers in the policy-making process and how best to overcome them, particularly through models for effective stakeholder dialogue. Taking Sydney as a case study, she presented on her research to senior practitioners, politicians and planners, planting the seeds for a more collaborative and more integrated approach to addressing the city’s growing issues as a result of private vehicle ownership.
Back home in Munich, she is working with the city’s public transport operator to establish a multi-modal mobility service that allows citizens to use public transport, car-sharing and bike-sharing in an integrated package.
The approach seeks to meet people’s needs each and every day – from getting to and from work or school to heading into the mountains for a weekend getaway — providing a mobility model for cities around the world.
Dr. Andrew Glover
“The skills I developed at ISF enable me to grapple with complex problems, where no solution is obvious.”
Exploring the motivations that drive unsustainable consumption and disposal practices, Andrew Glover’s research aims to discover social levers to change behaviour.
There’s a lot of market research on what motivates people to buy things, but little on why we throw them away.
Using social practice theory, Andrew’s PhD flipped the status quo on its head and went out to discover how and what motivates people to dispose of stuff they don’t want.
Many people donate stuff to charities to avoid feeling bad about wasting resources. Though well intentioned, it passes waste onto someone else, still ends up in landfill and creates added disposal costs for charities.
Andrew’s research found we’re actually motivated by a strong sense of responsibility. We worry about waste and care enough to change our behaviour when we know where it goes and what the impacts are.
Now a post-doctoral research fellow at RMIT, Andrew is working on embedding greater sustainability within the academic research sector.