Griffith University: Griffith Spotlights – research for a brighter future

Encompassing a diverse body of research, Griffith University’s new Spotlights include digital wearable technology for injury prevention, machine learning to catalogue rock art motifs and developing advanced software for aerospace services and devices.

“A key element of the Griffith University Strategic Plan 2020-2025 is the ambition to have greater research impact – bringing benefits to local communities and globally,” said Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research) Professor Sheena Reilly.

“Griffith Spotlights are two-year strategic investments, providing support for Griffith researchers to embrace new collaborations, pursue unprecedented ideas, develop new areas of strength for the University, and establish the framework for delivering impact to communities.

“They will bring together diverse, agile teams that build on the strengths and perspectives of a range of disciplines to undertake leading-edge, bold research that pushes the boundaries in fundamental or applied knowledge.”

Integrated Microelectronic Platform for Advanced Health Care and Therapy Spotlight

Co-leaders: Dr Claudio Pizzolato (Menzies Health Institute Queensland) and Dr Hoang Phuong Phan (Queensland Micro and Nanotechnology Centre)


Dr Hoang-Phuong Phan

Dr Claudio Pizzolato
The vision of this Spotlight is to quantify and interpret human movement to unlock effective rehabilitation and injury prevention.

“We are achieving our vision by developing miniaturised wearable sensors embedded in clothes that can measure important biosignals generated by the human body during movement,’’ Dr Pizzolato said.

“When combined with advanced data analytics methods, such as human digital twins, this data provides unprecedented insights on the inner workings of the human nervous, muscular, and skeletal systems.”

The developed technology will enable devising personalised strategies for injury prevention in sport and industrial applications, as well as advanced rehabilitation for musculoskeletal and neurological conditions outside the laboratory environment.

“Griffith has advanced fabrication infrastructures and world-leading researchers to drive this promising technologies forwards,” Dr Phan said.

“This spotlight will be a strong boost, making applications of flexible electronics for rehabilitation and medical therapy a reality.”

Digitising the deep past: Machine learning, rock art and Indigenous engagements with 21st century technology Spotlight (Griffith Centre for Social and Cultural Research)


A ‘typical’ panel of rock art motifs in Quinkan country, southeast Cape York Peninsula. Image: Lynley Wallis
Leader: Professor Lynley Wallis (Griffith Centre for Social and Cultural Research)

This Spotlight will bring together archaeologists, machine learning specialists, education experts and Aboriginal community members, to develop machine learning technology capable of cataloguing rock art motifs.

“With a genuinely collaborative approach at its heart, a key aspect of the project will be engaging Aboriginal people,’’ Professor Wallis said.

She said while researchers worked on developing the technological aspects, rock art would be used as the basis for developing innovative educational modules for children in remote Cape York Peninsula communities, supported by Aboriginal Elders and archaeologists.

“All of whom will then engage with the developed technology, leading to improved education outcomes. The AI products we develop in partnership with Aboriginal custodians will revolutionise how we document and analyse rock art globally and establish Griffith as a world leader in this space.

“This will greatly improve our capacity to document at-risk art sites, resulting in the development of computer software that will have marketable value.”

Griffith Aerospace Spotlight


Professor Paulo de Souza
Leader: Professor Paulo de Souza (School of Information and Communication Technology)

The Griffith Aerospace Spotlight will bring together academics, professionals and students at GriffithUniversity to initiate and collaborate in a number of activities to create impact with local and global industries.

“It will inspire others to pursue a career in STEM and help the University train a globally competitive workforce in this fast-growing sector,’’ Professor de Souza said.

“It is about developing capability within Griffith, facilitating job creation in industry and supporting economic development.”

“One example is the G-Class Satellite development with Gilmour Space Technology to be launched from Queensland next year,’’ said co-leader Dr Liat Rozenberg.


An artist’s impression of the proposed satellite to be developed and launched by Griffith University and Gilmour Space
“The spotlight is an incredible opportunity as an early career researcher to lead innovative research and apply my research interests to the intriguing area of space through the G-Class Satellite program.”

A number of educational and outreach activities with schools will be developed with the “Science on the Go!” program as part of the Spotlight.

“We have a competitive advantage at Griffith to deliver innovative and transformative solutions in these areas. The new frontiers of exploration include ateroids, comets and moons orbiting Earth and other planets, Professor de Souza said.

“Technology developed for space has been proven to address urgent current topics shedding new light into challenges like climate change, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions and management of many chronic health conditions associated with a high economic burden on earth.”

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