14 July 2010
ARC Linkage grants boost RMIT research
Research into mercury vapours in the aluminium industry is among the projects backed by the ARC. © iStockphoto.
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Researchers at RMIT University have been awarded grants worth $2 million by the Australian Research Council.
Partner contributions will bring total funding to $3.1 million across the 10 projects.
Acting Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Daine Alcorn, said RMIT had a success rate of 38.5 per cent on its submitted applications.
"Overall, RMIT’s national rank for this ARC Round is 8 on the number of proposals approved and 9 on the value of approved ARC funding.
"RMIT was second in the Australian Technology Network on both of these measures. This is an excellent outcome. I congratulate those who were successful with their applications."
Members of RMIT’s Platform Technologies Research Institute contributed to five of these grants, with research themes focusing on developing systems to monitor mercury emissions, protect networked critical infrastructures, improve renewable energy, repair systems in aircraft composite structures, and assist in preventative health care measures.
Chief Investigator Professor Suresh Bhargava, of the School of Applied Sciences, said his four-year project aimed to deliver a highly sensitive and selective sensor for the online monitoring of mercury vapours capable of operating under the harsh chemical environments found in the alumina industry.
"The Australian alumina and aluminium industries contribute over $11 billion export income annually," he said.
"All refineries, except one, operate in rural areas and are the main economic drivers in these regions.
"In order to maintain the industry’s commitment to reduce the environmental impact of its processes and remain economically sustainable, innovative technologies are required to monitor mercury emissions.
"The development of an in-situ online sensor platform will assist industries in complying with mercury emission targets and would be a significant technological breakthrough with the potential for many other applications in pollution control," he said.
Professor Bhargava will lead a team comprising Associate Professor Kourosh Kalantar-Zadeh, Dr Anthony O’Mullane, Dr Vipul Bansal, Dr Samuel Ippolito, Dr Steven Rosenberg and Dr Ian Harrison.
Other successful RMIT projects were:
- Dr David Carlin, Professor Peta Tait, Associate Professor James Thom, Associate Professor Laurene Vaughan, Adrian Miles, Michael Finch, Patricia Stokes, Peter Williams and Dr Nicholas Herd for The Circus Oz Living Archive: developing a model of online digital engagement for the performing arts.
- Associate Professor Christopher Chamberlain and Dr Guy Johnson for Breaking the cycle: the role of housing and support in resolving chronic homelessness.
- Associate Professor Jiankun Hu, Professor Zahir Tari, Professor Xinghuo Yu and Dr Fengling Han for developing smart embedded host-based intrusion detection systems.
- Professor Sabu John and Professor Simon Watkins for energy capture from polymer-based synthetic foliage.
- Professor Stefan Kasapis and Associate Professor John Ashton for the creation of a new branch of food research by using whey protein in the development of novel products of low calorie content and glycemic response.
- Professor Adrian Mouritz, Professor Chun Hui Wang and Professor Dong Yang Wu for optimisation of self-healing repair systems in aerospace composite structures.
- Associate Professor Peter Smooker, Professor Peter Coloe, Dr Russell Conduit and Dr Anthony Sasse for increasing the utility of tetanus toxins by protein engineering.
- Associate Professor Linda Williams, Dr Philip Samartzis, Dr Larissa Hjorth, Simon Perry, Dominic Redfern, Dr Kristen Sharp, Carolyn Viney and Anthony Cullen for spatial dialogues: public art and climate change.
- Professor Xinghuo Yu, Professor Jeffery Hughes and Dr Wei Peng for Practice-based Systematized Nomenclature of Medicine (SNOMED) concept learning for drug-disease precaution, early detection and refinement.