MONASH AWARDED MORE THAN $2.5M IN ARC LINKAGE GRANTS

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Seven Monash University researchers have been awarded over $2.5M in ARC Linkage Grants to create partnerships between research and industry making an impact in the community. 

The funding received by Monash’s awardees will support research projects in a diverse range of faculties including the Faculty of Engineering, Faculty of Science, Faculty of IT and Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences.

Projects include Associate Professor Akshat Tanksale leading the development of a 3-D printed monolithic catalytic reactor for carbon conversion; Professor Helen Skouteris improving support for young people transitioning from out-of-home care into adulthood, and Professor Jeffrey Walker developing an irrigation system to better manage water resources and promote agricultural sustainability.

The Linkage Grants aim to promote national and international research partnerships between researchers and business, industry, community organisations and other publicly funded research agencies, with the goal to promote cooperative approaches to research through partnerships.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Rebekah Brown said the diversity of projects funded in the latest round of Linkage grants recognises Monash’s research excellence and industry partnerships across many disciplines.

“These grants are incredibly important in recognising how our research links to industry making an impact locally and internationally. I congratulate all our awardees and I am really looking forward to seeing the significant benefits their projects will bring to our community.”

The funded projects include: 

Smart Irrigation: integrating UAV soil moisture maps & variable rate sprays

Professor Jeffrey Walker’s project seeks to develop a state of the art precision irrigation system to optimise water use and the yielding of crops. This will be achieved through a UAV soil moisture mapping system that uses passive microwave satellite remote sensing technology. At current, around 60 per cent of water available for human use is used for irrigated agriculture. Professor Walker’s project aims to create innovative technology to manage water resources, which can then optimise food production and promote more sustainable agriculture.

3-D Printed Catalytic Monoliths for Energy Efficient Carbon Conversion

Associate Professor Akshat Tanksale’s project involves developing a 3-D printed monolithic catalytic reactor for carbon conversion. It aims to address the hurdle in carbon utilisation, which often relies on energy-derived fossil sources, by providing this energy through renewables. The 3-D reactor will become a prototype expected to translate into a Carbon Capture and Utilisation (CCU) pilot scale facility, which aims to support Australian industries with meeting Net-Zero targets by 2050.

Making eMaking Accessible for People with Intellectual Disabilities

Dr Kirsten Ellis’ project involves creating an evidence-based eMaking program to promote STEM programs for people with intellectual disabilities. While eMaking is beneficial in promoting collaborative problem solving and employment pathways, people with disabilities are often excluded from the process. This project aims to foster meaningful eMaking opportunities, social connections and greater autonomy for people with intellectual disabilities. It will involve integrated STEM programs with the local community and will have an eMaking van travelling around to various communities.

Improving outcomes for young people transitioning from out-of-home care

Professor Helen Skouteris will lead a project on improving support for young people transitioning from out-of-home care (OOHC) into adulthood. As young people residing in OOHC are more likely to enter juvenile justice, experience mental and physical health problems and addictions, Professor Skouteris’ study aims to reverse the cycle of disadvantage and vulnerability faced by these young people. The project also aims to reduce financial burdens for the Australian economy by allowing young people to reach their full potential.

Three-dimensional Bayesian Modelling of Geological and Geophysical data

Dr Laurent Ailleres will lead a project developing technologies to enable informed decision-making in the management of natural resources. This will involve a forecasting dashboard that enables decision-making and considers the risks associated with resource extractions. The project expects to integrate three-dimensional geological and geophysical modelling to characterise subsurface geology. In doing so, the outcomes aim to promote access to clean water, reduce the mining footprint and enhance a greener future.

High-productivity ammonia electrosynthesis

Dr Alexandr Simonov’s project will use a scalable electrolytic method to develop high-performance devices for ammonia production from renewable sources. To guide tailor-made cathodes for the project, the process will involve experimental and modelling investigations of the nitrogen reduction reaction. This project aims to bring significant benefits to the Australian agriculture sector by creating a new export market for fertilisers and reducing reliance on fossil fuels.

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