Over the past month, UNSW academics have been awarded over $21m in combined grants, with five academics being named Australian Research Council Australian Laureate Fellows. 

With only 14 Fellowships awarded each year, UNSW received the most of any university and leads the state, receiving five of the six Fellowships awarded in New South Wales.

Australian Laureate Fellowships are the most prestigious research awards for excellence in Australia and are only open to researchers of global repute, who have played a significant part in building the country’s internationally competitive research capacity. 

Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research, Professor Nicholas Fisk congratulated UNSW’s new Laureate Fellows.
“Laureate Fellowships are regarded as the pinnacle of achievement and highly coveted in the research sector. No one is more deserving than these leaders in their fields, ranging from a highly advanced digital platform, to nanoparticles, AI, data regulation and world history writing.”

Scientia Professor Dennis Del Favero, Director of the iCinema Centre for Interactive Cinema Research at UNSW Art & Design. $3.6m to harness revolutionary advances in art and technology to create a cutting-edge digital platform that provide users with life-like visual experiences so they can safely navigate a range of risk-laden environments, such as wildfire landscapes.

Scientia Professor Ross Buckley, inaugural Chair in Disruptive Innovation and Law at UNSW Law. $2.6m to inform Australia’s legal and regulatory systems to ensure they are fit to deal with the transformative rise of data and its algorithmic analysis. Professor Buckley’s research has a focus on the regulation and use of FinTech, RegTech and cryptocurrencies.

Scientia Professor Martina Stenzel, in the School of Chemistry at UNSW Science. $3.4m to develop a toolset that allows the design of very small nanoparticles that display enhanced biological activity that will have application for nanomedicine, catalysis and sensors.

Scientia Professor Toby Walsh, in the School of Computer Science and Engineering at UNSW Engineering and CSIRO’s Data61. $3.1m to understand how to build fairer and more efficient AI systems that humans can trust and which will improve the competitiveness of Australian businesses and delivery of health services.

Professor Alison Bashford, in the School of Humanities & Languages at UNSW Arts & Social Sciences. $2.8m to deepen Australian understanding of complex and longstanding population questions in the Asia Pacific region, focusing on how population policies emerged and what their present legacies are, to inform evidence-based policy.

UNSW Australian Laureate Fellows

Image top left to bottom right: Scientia Professor Dennis Del Favero, Professor Alison Bashford, Scientia Professor Ross Buckley, Scientia Professor Martina Stenzel and Scientia Professor Toby Walsh

In addition to this extraordinary achievement, a handful of UNSW researchers will share $6 million in grants from the federal government’s Cooperative Research Centre Projects (CRC-P) program for projects to develop a new space traffic management system and to make cell and gene therapy more affordable.

A team from UNSW Canberra led by Dr Melrose Brown will work alongside Clearbox Systems, Capricorn Space and Bluerydge to develop a unique Australian radio frequency sensor for satellite identification, tracking and collision avoidance. The new sensor system will make an important contribution to the global effort to safely and sustainably manage the growing population of satellites orbiting Earth into the future.

The gene therapy project is led by Dr Robert Nordon from UNSW’s Faculty of Engineering, who will work alongside Genesys Electronics Design and CSL to develop a microbioreactor. The CRC-P funding will progress the technology toward full commercialisation, developing an automated microscale bioreactor to bring down the cost of genetically modifying cells for the treatment of cancers and inherited diseases. 

UNSW continuously seeks to build trust through increased collaboration from across the country and across sectors, chasing the best outcomes for the University’s communities. Engagement and linkage with external partners from industry, government, not for profits and other organisations is fundamental to UNSW’s mission to improve and transform lives through excellence in research. 

For more information

You can explore Scientia Professor Dennis Del Favero’s and Scientia Professor Ross Buckley’s research, plus many other capabilities, by visiting UNSW’s growing research portfolio at capabilities.unsw.edu.au

UNSW offers a wide range of opportunities for potential and existing partners. UNSW Knowledge Exchange enable collaboration and connect prospective partners with the University’s experts and vice versa, the specialised team can support grant applications, find funding schemes and can help identify and protect intellectual property. 

If you are interested in collaborating on a research project or have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.