Monash research teams receive $1.9m Federal funding to collaborate and innovate

Using Indigenous knowledge to better manage urban water and next generation lights for a better night’s sleep are among five Monash University research partnerships to receive more than $1.9 million from the Australian Research Council’s (ARC) Linkage Project scheme.

The Federal Government program funds research partnerships between researchers and business, industry and community organisations.

Federal Education Minister Alan Tudge announced 67 new research projects would share in $31.7 million to keep Australia at the forefront of emerging technologies and have real-world benefits for Australians.

Monash University President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Margaret Gardner AC said the funding recognised the significance of collaborations with industry and communities when it comes to research with high commercial and impact potential.

“Monash University researchers are working to solve some of the world’s biggest challenges. This funding will enable them to progress their research with strategic partnerships that are designed to deliver innovative ideas and solutions,” Professor Gardner said.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Rebekah Brown said: “These successful research partnerships are great examples of Monash’s deep commitment to collaborating with industry and community groups for research to solve everyday problems.

“This Linkage Project investment gives these projects the chance to take their work to another level and grow the impact of their research.”

The five successful Monash recipients are:

Professor Brian Martin (Faculty of Art, Design & Architecture) 

Repairing Memory & Place: An Indigenous-led approach to urban water design

$240,000

The project aims to integrate Indigenous ways of knowing with urban water management by pioneering an interdisciplinary approach that enmeshes Indigenous practice with mainstream water management techniques. The project will partner with Melbourne Water Corporation, Museums Victoria, Bayside City Council, City of Port Phillip and Boon Wurrung Foundation.

Associate Professor Rebecca Kippen (School of Rural Health)

Putting Death In Its Place

$441,572

The project aims to link 890,000 population records from 1838 to 1930 to examine the relationships between where people live, mortality, life expectancy and health. Using novel matching techniques, the project aims to identify intergenerational changes and the spatial dynamics of inequality and social mobility. The expected outcome of a public resource of linked data and better understanding of long-run health and inequality can inform policy aimed at contemporary health challenges. The project is a partnership with Libraries Tasmania.

Associate Professor Sean Cain (Turner Institute for Brain & Mental Health)

Next Generation smart lighting to improve sleep and alertness

$479,588

There has been no systematic study that can guide manufacturers in the design of the ideal light source for promoting either sleep or alertness. This study will systematically examine the impact of the amount of blue light in a light source and the visual brightness, creating a wide range of combinations that can be used to model the optimal light specifications for sleep and alertness while maintaining visual activity and colour discrimination. The research team is partnering with Versalux Lighting Systems on the project.

Professor Xiwang Zhang (Department of Chemical Engineering)

Sustainable Hydrogen Production from Used Water

$541,149

The project aims to address the pressing challenge of water scarcity in hydrogen production by developing an innovative approach of using used water as the feed for water electrolysis. It will result in an in-depth understanding of the impacts of water impurities in used water on the performance and durability of water electrolysers and develop guidelines for the design of highly durable electrolysers and the operation & upgrade of existing wastewater treatment plants. The research team is partnering with Water Research Australia and Graphenex Pty Ltd on the project.

Professor Christopher Hutchinson (Department of Materials Science & Engineering)

The Development of Lead-Free Silicon Brass for the Plumbing Industry

$257,714

The worldwide brass industry is currently undergoing a transition away from lead-containing brass water fittings to lead-free fittings, driven by concerns surrounding lead-leaching into drinking water. This project is focused on the development of new lead-free brasses that can be used to manufacture plumbing fittings with superior combinations of processability, performance and cost. The research team is partnering with Reliance Worldwide Corporation on the project.

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