State backs UQ researchers to create change

24 Mar 2017

Twenty-five University of Queensland researchers are celebrating a combined multi-million-dollar success in the Queensland Government’s Advance Queensland Fellowships scheme.

Deputy Premier Jackie Trad announced 50 fellowship recipients last night (23 March), with UQ taking the lion’s share with 20, and Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology faculty taking eight.

Six mid-career and 14 early-career researchers at UQ received a combined $4.32 million in fellowship funding. Associated funding from industry partners boosts the total value to $6.77 million.

Additionally, five UQ researchers were awarded PhD scholarships worth $45,000 each.

UQ Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Høj congratulated all the fellowship and scholarship winners.

“The Government’s continued focus on and support for science and research ensures that the state reaps the benefits of extraordinary work by Queensland’s best researchers,” Professor Høj said.

UQ Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Robyn Ward she was delighted to see such significant support for researchers working to create positive change in fields including health and medicine, mining and energy, primary industries, and technology.

“I’m particularly pleased to see that seven of the UQ recipients are women,” she said.

“They are working in fields as diverse as influenza detection, the oyster industry, and energy.”

Deputy Premier Trad said the research would benefit Queensland and have global impact.

“We are supporting researchers from across the state who are collaborating with industry to give them a vital boost to ensure their significant research can translate into practical outcomes,” she said.

“Not only do we want to create jobs and boost commercialisation opportunities in Queensland, but we want to improve the lives of Queenslanders – and there is real potential to do that.”

Advance Queensland Research Fellowships are for PhD-qualified researchers undertaking original research that will benefit Queensland.

Mid-Career Fellowships are worth $300,000 over three years, and Early-Career Fellowships are worth $180,000 over three years.

UQ’s Mid-Career Fellowship recipients and their projects are:

Dr Konstanty Bialkowski, School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, Road monitoring and anomaly detection using microwave based sensors.

Dr Anand Veeraragavan, School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering, Supersonic combustion of hydrocarbon fuels for high-mach-number axisymmetric scramjets.

Dr Richard Gordon, School of Biomedical Sciences, Drug repurposing for neurodegeneration using artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Dr Zhongfan Jia, Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, Cheaper and safer flow battery for micro-grid energy storage.

Dr Carmel McDougall, School of Biological Sciences, Reinvigorating the Queensland oyster industry.

Dr Karl Robinson, Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation, New horizons with BioClay: protecting crops from aphids and whiteflies.

Early-Career Fellowship recipients are:

Dr Wayes Tushar, School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, Peer-to-peer energy trading scheme for sustainable cities.

Dr Sasan Ahdi Rezaeieh, School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, Electromagnetic torso scanner for fatty liver disease detection and monitoring.

Dr Wen Hua, School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, Machine learning, data analytics and knowledge management for microgrid data.

Dr Hina Khan, School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, Data management, exploration and visualisation for smart energy grid.

Dr Xumeng Chen, School of Chemical Engineering, Developing and implementing new chemistries to effectively recover fine coals.

Dr Mahshid Firouzi, School of Chemical Engineering, Enhancing CSG well production through well bottom-hole pressure control.

Dr Lynette Molyneaux, Global Change Institute, Is Queensland's economy resilient to an energy shock?

Dr Lee Barber, Child Health Research Centre, CP muscle-movement toolbox: expand early detection of cerebral palsy.

Dr Marina Fortes, School of Chemistry and Molecular Bioscience, Female reproduction phenobank and validation herds.

Dr Md Daloar Hossain, Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, Environmentally adaptive antimicrobial surfaces for application in the aircraft industry.

Dr Chang Lei, Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, Nano-lateral flow assays for rapid and ultra-sensitive influenza detection.

Dr Steve Mehrkanoon, UQ Centre for Clinical Research, The early diagnosis of neurodevelopmental disabilities using integrated bioengineering technology.

Dr Kelvin Tuong, UQ Diamantina Institute, Approaching antigen-presenting cell immunotherapy for cervical cancer using single-cell transcriptomics.

Dr Najeeb Ullah, Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation, Exploring opportunities to improve wheat performance to future warmer climates.

Media: Fiona Cameron,, +61 7 3346 7086.