Engineering breaks its own record with 20 successful ARC Discovery Projects

In the latest round of Australian Research Council (ARC) funding, Monash Engineering has excelled itself with grants awarded for an unprecedented 20 Discovery Projects (leading all but six), as well as for four Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities projects (leading two), three Discovery Early Career Research Awards and one Linkage Project. Announced on Tuesday 27 November by the Honourable Dan Tehan, this huge win underscores the faculty’s strong reputation for life-changing initiatives.

“The ARC has a highly competitive peer-reviewed application process,” explains Chris Hutchinson, Associate Dean of Research, Faculty of Engineering. “These fantastic outcomes are a testament to the high calibre and commitment of our researchers and their teams."

The grants will boost innovative research in chemical, civil, electrical and computer systems, materials, mechanical and aerospace engineering – advancing everything from biodegradable stents and ultra-lightweight corrosion-resistant metal products to landfill liners and smart windows for green construction to micro-air vehicles and soil moisture satellite missions.

Here are just a few of the newly funded Engineering projects (see tables below for details of all successful projects):

  • Exploration of semiconducting polymer chains and charge transport in thin-film devices to improve high-performance polymer transistors, laying the groundwork for new technologies based on lightweight flexible electronic devices (Assoc Prof Christopher McNeill, Assoc Prof David Huang, Prof Martin Heeney and Prof Michael Sommer).
  • Developing new membranes as separators in lithium-sulphur batteries to produce lighter, longer-lasting and cheaper batteries than the existing lithium-ion ones, with the potential to boost the adoption of electric cars (Assoc Prof Matthew Hill, Prof Mainak Majumder, Dr Mahdokht Shaibani and Prof Stephen Kaskel).
  • Interdisciplinary study of sperm motion at surfaces, providing insight into flagellar motility in eukaryotes and the biophysics of mammalian reproduction (Dr Reza Nosrati, Dr Prabhakar Ranganathan and Prof David Sinton).

Prof Margaret Gardner AO FASSA, President and Vice-Chancellor of Monash, asserts that the outstanding ARC results demonstrate our commitment to growing research capacity on an international scale. “Being able to solve some of the greatest global challenges requires world-class vision by world-class researchers,” she says. “Excellence in research can lead to lasting and positive change, and our Australian Research Council grant recipients will be able to pursue this kind of impact.”

Successful 2019 Discovery Projects

Investigator(s) Lead Department Project Title
Matthew Hill, Mainak Majumder, Mahdokht Shaibani, Stefan Kaskel Chemical, Mech & Aero Advanced separators for Li-S batteries
Ravi Jagadeeshan, Gareth McKinley Chemical Linking topology and rheology for designing supramolecular polymer networks
Hai Vu, Lachlan Andrew, Tran Khoa Phan Civil Efficient and fair context-aware resource allocation in networks
Abdelmalek Bouazza, Will Gates, Ronald Rowe, Harianto Rahardjo Civil Thermo-hydro-mechanics of geosynthetic liners: from processes to prediction
Ha Bui, Giang Nguyen Civil Bridging spatial and temporal scales in modelling internal soil erosions
Abdelmalek Bouazza, Ronald Rowe Civil Landfill gas emissions through geosynthetic systems: closing the missing gaps
Arthur Lowery, Andreas Boes, John Bowers ECSE Low-energy electro-photonics: novel materials, devices and systems
Benjamin Eggleton, William Corcoran, Amol Choudhary, Radan Slavik ECSE – USyd collab Needle in a haystack: new tools for optical tone recovery
Arnan Mitchell, William Corcoran, John Bowers, Jochen Schröder ECSE – RMIT collab Rainbows on demand: coherent comb sources on a photonic chip
Christopher McNeill, David Huang, Martin Heeney, Michael Sommer Materials Aggregation control for high-performance polymer electronics
Neil Cameron, Tanja Junkers Materials Precision porous polymer microparticles via integrated flow processes
Jian-Feng Nie, Yunzhi Wang Materials Stronger zinc alloys for more flexible biodegradable stents
Michael Ferry, Sophie Primig, Nick Birbilis, Philip Nakashima Materials – UNSW collab Unlocking the diverse property profile of ultra-lightweight magnesium alloys.
Steven Chown, Christopher Hutchinson Biology, Materials Skin in the game: biomimetics, fitness and the springtail cuticle
Nicolas Voelcker, Victor Cadarso Busto, Jessica Frith, Dr Juergen Brugger, Dr Joachim Spatz Pharmacy, Mech & Aero, Materials Micro/nano smart surfaces to unlock the potential of multipotent stem cells
Reza Nosrati, Prabhakar Ranganathan, David Sinton Mech & Aero Understanding sperm motion at surfaces
Daniel Edgington- Mitchell, Damon Honnery, Mo Samimy, Kilian Oberleithner, Peter Jordan Mech & Aero The art of controlling multijet resonance in jet noise and power generation
Julio Soria, Callum Atkinson, Javier Jimenez, Peter Schmid Mech & Aero Genesis and evolution of coherent structures in wall- bounded turbulence
Mark Thompson, John Sheridan, David Lo Jacono Mech & Aero Understanding flapping aerodynamics in non-optimal environments
Elizabeth Gardiner, Woei Ming Lee, Josie Carberry Mech & Aero – ANU collab A multiplex microscope platform to define molecular events in fluid systems

Successful 2019 Discovery Early Career Researcher Award projects

Investigator(s)Department Project Title
Zhu, Yinlong Chemical Perovskite-based electrocatalysts for water electrolysis
Zhang, Qianhui Civil Nanotechnology-based multifunctional smart window development
Angmo, Dechan Materials Printed back electrodes enabling low-cost perovskite solar cells

Successful Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities projects

Investigator(s)Department Project Title
Jeffrey Walker, Stuart Phinn, Linlin Ge, Nemai Karmakar, Mirela Tulbure, Brian Ng, Mark Preiss, Mahta Moghaddam, James Mead Civil, ECSE High resolution airborne P-band radar for environmental research
Qiaoliang Bao, Igor Aharonovich, Kourosh Kalantar-zadeh, Wenlong Cheng, Yuerui Lu, Jacek Jasieniak, Nicolas Voelcker, Min Gu, Luhua Li, Mark Banaszak Holl, Tao Wu, Matthew Phillips, Brian Abbey, Ann Roberts, Dan Li Materials Chemical Multi-functional 3D imaging system for micro and nanoscale devices
Julie Cairney, Margaret Sunde, Simon Ringer, Shelley Wickham, Nick Birbilis, Sebastian Thomas, Roger Wepf, Ruth Knibbe, Richard Tilley, David Young, Nicholas Ariotti, S Yin Xiao, Prasaad Yarlagadda, Mark Wilson, Darren Bagnall Materials – U Syd collab A comprehensive correlative cryo microscopy suite
Sean Smith, Debra Bernhardt, Matthew England, Evatt Hawkes, Oliver Hofmann, Derek Leinweber, Alan Mark, Louis Moresi, Dietmar Muller, Associate Ekaterina Pas (née Izgorodina), Salvy Russo, Julio Soria, Ben Thornber, Irene Yarovsky, James Zanotti Mech & Aero – ANU collab Sustaining and strengthening merit-based access to National Computational Infrastructure.

2018 ARC Linkage Projects – continuous round

Investigator(s)Department Project Title
Lian Zhang, Alan Chaffee, Hongwei Zhenyu Liu, Stephen Wee, Gerald Morvell Chemical In-situ catalytic upgrading of bio-oil use of scrap tyre char

To see a full list of ARC grants per institution and discipline, please visit the following links: Discovery Projects 2019, Discovery Early Career Researcher Award 2019, Linkage Infrastructure 2019, Linkage Projects.