17 April 2012

Seven research fellows for 2012

RMIT University Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Margaret Gardner AO, has announced the successful recipients of the 2012 RMIT University Research Fellowships.

The seven are Dr Sasan Adibi, Dr Jonathan Duckworth, Dr Everson Kandare, Dr Anne NcNevin, Dr Kai (Alex) Qin, Dr Francisco Tovar Lopez and Dr Sarah Spencer.

Professor Gardner welcomed the researchers and said she looked forward to seeing the growth of their research throughout the fellowships.

Dr Sasan Adibi's research focus is the development and optimisation of wireless-based technologies in the context of security and quality of service in health informatics.

As a member of the Advanced Technology department at Research In Motion (RIM), which is the global provider of Blackberry, he has been working in the field of mobile health and interacting with several companies in the area of advanced biomedical systems, with promising global impact and influences.

Dr Adibi has an extensive history of publications and awards. He will be based in the Platform Technologies Research Institute and the School of Business Information Technology and Logistics.

Dr Jonathan Duckworth has been involved in the development of interactive 3D graphics for more than nine years at RMIT's Virtual Reality Centre.

His research interests relate to the design and evaluation of systems for movement rehabilitation in patients who have sustained traumatic brain injury.

Dr Duckworth has developed an approach to rehabilitation which integrates digital media, tangible user interfaces, augmented feedback, and artistic expression to enhance patients' motor and cognitive skills.

His research demonstrates how rehabilitative applications may benefit significantly from theories of embodied interaction design and digital media art.

Dr Duckworth will be based at the Design Research Institute and the School of Media and Communication.

Dr Everson Kandare's research interests include the evaluation of the use of polymer matrices to improve fire reaction properties, and the structural performance of aluminium and steel structures in fire.

He has undertaken extensive research in the performance of composite materials and fibres when exposed to heat, and also for marine, aerospace and automotive applications.

Before beginning work at RMIT in 2009, Dr Kandare worked with the University of Bolton in the UK, and Marquette University in the USA.

He will be based in the Platform Technologies Research Institute and the School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering.

Dr Anne NcNevin's research is focused on migration and citizenship. Taking an approach that is future-oriented and urban in focus, her work is concerned with integrated questions of cultural, economic, social and political sustainability in the context of mass transnational and rural to urban migration.

Most recently, she has carried out field work in Los Angeles, Kuala Lumpur, Berlin and Melbourne as part of an Australian Research Council Discovery project on Irregular Migrants and Political Belonging in Global Cities.

Dr McNevin will continue to be based at the Global Cities Research Institute and the School of Global Studies, Social Science and Planning.

Dr Kai (Alex) Qin has most recently worked as postdoctoral researcher at the French National Institute for Research in Computer Science in Grenoble, France.

An expert in electrical and electronic engineering, Dr Qin's key research interests include global optimisation, evolutionary computation, pattern recognition and computer vision.

He has an extensive record of publications and awards, and solid experience in applying academic research to industrial applications.

Dr Qin will be based in the Platform Technologies Research Institute and the School of Computer Science and Information Technology.

Dr Francisco Tovar Lopez is a founding member of the "Lab on a Chip" team within the Micro-Platform Research Group at RMIT and has recently completed his PhD in Mechanical Engineering.

His doctoral project involved the development of a micro device for blood testing.

Dr Tovar Lopez specialises in computational simulation, mechanical design, microfabrication, fluid experimental techniques and programming languages.

In addition to his academic achievements, he has experience working internationally as a mechanical engineer in the biomedical industry.

Dr Tovar-Lopez will continue to be based at the Platform Technologies Research Institute and the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Dr Sarah Spencer has a growing national and international profile in the research fields of stress and perinatal programming of disease.

She is interested in the impact of psychological stress on brain pathways that control or contribute to the body's stress responses.

At the University of Calgary, Dr Spencer explored neuroimmune interactions, examining the effects of a neonatal immune challenge on adult animals' responses to further inflammatory insults.

Since returning to Australia, she has combined her research backgrounds in stress, neuroinflammation, and developmental physiology to investigate effects of early life dietary manipulations on the stress and metabolism in the adult animal.

Dr Spencer will be based at the Health Innovations Research Institute and the School of Health Sciences.

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