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2010 Research Award Winners

Excellence in Research - Social Sciences, Business & Humanities

The cross cultural supervision project: web-based resources for candidates, supervisors & institutions

Associate Professor Judi Homewood
Department of Psychology, Faculty of Human Sciences, Macquarie University


Macquarie University
Dr Theresa Winchester-Seeto, Learning & Teaching Centre
Ms Christina Jacenyik Trawoger, Learning & Teaching Centre
Mr Mark Parry, Learning & Teaching Centre

University of Sydney
Professor Anna Reid

University of NSW
Dr Clair Wakefiled

University of Newcastle
Professor Allyson Holbrook
Professor Sid Bourke

University of Queensland
Dr Catherine Manathunga


In this research first hand accounts of the experience of HDR candidature and supervision when the candidate and supervisor identified with different cultural backgrounds were collected and used to construct a series of innovative resources. The output from the research is a web site hosted by the Australian Learning and Teaching Council - Cross cultural supervision project

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Excellence in Research - Science & Engineering

M*A*S*H: The Macquarie/AAO/Strasbourg H-alpha planetary nebula project

Professor Quentin Parker
Department Physics & Astronomy, Faculty of Science, Macquarie University


Macquarie University
Dr. Warren Reid, Department of Physics & Astronomy
Dr. David J. Frew, Department of Physics & Astronomy
Dr. Ivan Bojicic, Department of Physics & Astronomy
Ms. Anna Kovacevic, Department of Physics & Astronomy
A/Prof.Orsola der Marco, Department of Physics & Astronomy

University of Hertfordshire
Dr Brent Miszalski, Centre for Astrophysics Research

Universite de Strasbourg
Professor.Agnes Acker, Observatoire Astronomique

University of California
Dr.Martin Cohen, Radio Astronomy Laboratory

Giant Magellan Telescope project
Dr.George Jacoby


MASH is a major umbrella Planetary Nebula (PN) research programme led by Parker, similar to other research groups with a specific focus like CUDOS. Many significant outputs have been produced but for award eligibility we focus on specific and distinct research achievements over the last 3 years: new estimate of the PN binary fraction; new technique for PN distance measures and new approach to identifying PN contaminants. These key results accompanied by major growth and other outputs underpinned our emergence as a CORE in 2009 and played a significant role in our departmental rename to Physics and Astronomy in 2010.

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Excellence in Higher Degree Research - Social Science, Business & Humanities

Upstream and Downstream Hydrocarbon prices: Crude oil to Plastics

Lurion De Mello, PhD Candidate
Department of Economics, Faculty of Business and Economics, Macquarie University


Macquarie University
Associate Professor Stefan Trueck, Department of Economics

Curtin Business School (Curtin University of Technology)
Professor Ronald Ripple, Adjunct Supervisor


The research focuses on the dynamics between the prices of crude oil and various refined product such as diesel, petroleum, petrochemical, intermediaries, polymers and plastics. The aim is to model these dynamics by using modern econometric and statistical tools to assess whether prices are influenced by upstream input costs and/or downstream demand. This research extends the modelling techniques and literature on the economics of downstream hydrocarbon markets regionally and globally. The outcomes will benefit energy economists in academia and industry by providing strategies for managing price risk, particularly in the petrochemical, plastics and polymers markets.

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Excellence in Higher Degree Research - Science & Engineering

Fault-tolerance in globally controlled quantum computers

Gerardo Andres Paz Silva, PhD Candidate
Department of Physics, Faculty of Science, Macquarie University


A Quantum Computer, when built, will represent a technological revolution for human kind, comparable to the transition from the Neolithic period to the Iron Age. Despite the difficulty of their implementation implied by their quantum nature, the very same characteristic that makes them so powerful, it has been shown that reliable Quantum Computers can be constructed with real world, i.e. imperfect, building elements. This result however leads to certain, typically very stringent, constraints on the type and quality of the physical processes involved. The strength of these conditions is what separates us from a working large-scale quantum computer. The goal and main result of my work, developed in collaboration with members of the group and other universities, was to show that those constraints can be vastly relaxed, and in cases pushed within current technological reach, making the dream of a large scale quantum computer a closer reality.

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Excellence in External Research Partnership

Collaborative research partnership between Chungtia village of Nagaland and Macquarie University to work on traditional medicinal plants

Meza Meyanungsang, PhD Student
Department of Chemistry and Biomolecular Sciences, Faculty of Science, Macquarie University


Macquarie University
Associate Professor Joanne Jamie, Department of Chemistry and Biomolecular Sciences
Associate Professor Subramanyam Vemulpad, Department of Chiropractic
Emeritus Professor Jim Kohen, Department of Biological Sciences

Chungtia Senso Mokokchung Town (CSMT), Mokokchung: Nagaland, India
K. Luin Longkumer, President
M. Bendang Longchar, Secretary
A. Anungba Jamir, Treasurer


This collaborative research project with Macquarie University follows requests from Meyanungsang's elders in Chungtia village, Nagaland, India, to document their traditional medicinal plant knowledge for its preservation and cultural value. Further studies were initiated to scientifically understand the medicinal properties of some of these plants.

Meyanungsang interviewed traditional knowledge holders and documented first-hand information of 135 medicinal plants. Eleven plants were studied for their antibacterial activities and three plants were analysed phytochemically. This resulted in the isolation of 15 antibacterial compounds and that support the medicinal use of these plants by Meyanungsang's village.

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Excellence in Research in Sustainability

Adaptation to impacts of climate change on human health

Dr Paul J. Beggs
Department of Environment and Geography, Faculty of Science, Macquarie University


The research is on the impacts of climate change on aeroallergens such as pollen and mould spores and associated diseases such as asthma and allergic rhinitis, and in particular the exploration of options for adaptation to avoid these adverse impacts. The research is novel and nationally and internationally significant, and will contribute to sustainability through improved human health.

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Excellence in Commercialsation (Translation) of Research IP

Continuous-wave visible laser for Ophthalmology

Dr Helen Pask
Department of Physics & Astronomy, Macquarie University


Macquarie University
Andrew Lee, Department of Physics and Astronomy
Peter Dekker, Department of Physics and Astronomy
David Spence, Department of Physics and Astronomy
Professor Jim Piper, Deputy Vice Chancellor, Research
Warren Bailey, Enterprise Partnerships and Commercialisation


We have developed a unique, high performance and flexible laser design which will set a new benchmark in ophthalmic laser photocoagulator instrumentation. This application describes commercialisation of a research project, which started with laboratory proof of concept, and progressed through various stages which included an R&D contract, technology transfer and product development, culminating in the recent production of the first 15 "Mitra" yellow laser products. "Mitra uses patented Raman laser technology licensed from Macquarie University. An ARC Linkage project is now developing wavelelength-selective lasers for ophthalmology.

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Early Career Research of the Year Award

Dr JIN, Dayong
ARC Postdoctoral Research Fellow (2010-2013)
Macquarie University Research Fellow (2008-2011)
International Society for Advancement Cytometry Scholar (2007-2012)
Faculty of Science, Macquarie University

Dr. Jin's PhD resulted in a core invention of Time-Resolved Flow Cytometry (US patent) for rapid pathogen detection. His MQRF fellowship has led to a luminescence particle technology as smart bio-agent sensors in nanoscale. Both his earlier successes paved the way towards his APD fellowship project, challenging a diverse technology of suspension arrays, which will enable doctors to precisely tailor therapeutic medicine according to individual patients' genetic makeup.

Jin has gained peer recognition as invited speakers and reviewers, with 22 papers and book chapters, and many international awards. Dr. JIN has secured total $850,000 grants as the principle investigators. He is currently supervising three PhD students, and establishing the internationally oriented Advanced Cytometry Laboratories @ Macquarie.

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