11 April 2011

A new collaborative initiative to deal with water technology issues in the minerals industry in Australia is one of 15 successful applications in two new University of Queensland internal fellowship schemes to foster research excellence.

Professor Jurg Keller, who heads UQ’s Advanced Water Management Centre, has been awarded one of the first 13 Vice-Chancellor’s Senior Research Fellowships (VCSRF).

The University has also announced it will award two UQ Research Fellowships in the Humanities and Social Sciences (UQRFHSS), with funding for both schemes valued at more than million.

The fellowships will cover research as diverse as terminating auto-immune diabetes, the extinction of human fear, the sensory world of Australian animals, media and material culture, quantum optics and solar-driven energy conversion.

Professor Keller said the new project would integrate biological processes in mining/minerals treatment processes.

“The use of bio-processes is currently limited, and some are not well developed,” he said.

“ Approaches to recover key resources such as metals or sulfur compounds are largely unknown, apart from some notable industry exceptions.

“This fellowship will create the scientific understanding and novel process concepts to develop pioneering technologies.”

The project will take a collaborative approach, building on the University’s expertise in its Advanced Water Management Centre, the Sustainable Minerals Institute and the School of Chemical Engineering.

UQ Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Greenfield said the Vice-Chancellor’s Senior Research Fellowships supported world-class researchers and leaders in their fields, and would help maintain and build Queensland’s and Australia’s critical mass of outstanding talent.

“The global contest for researchers of this calibre is intense, and Australia cannot afford to lose more top-notch talent to overseas competitors,” he said.

“At a time of constrained government funding, UQ is innovating to ensure that we hold onto these high performers, who in turn draw more talent to our shores.”

UQ Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Max Lu said the UQRFHSS scheme fostered talented early career researchers in the humanities and social sciences.

“This new scheme will help the University build high quality research capacity in these disciplines and will provide support to researchers with a track record of competitive fellowship success over the next five years,” he said.

The successful applicants are:

Vice-Chancellor’s Senior Research Fellowships

• Professor Justin Marshall, Queensland Brain Institute — Visual Ecology and the Super-Sensory World of Australian Animals;

• Professor Ottmar Lipp, School of Psychology — The extinction of human fear;

• Professor Darryn Bryant, School of Mathematics and Physics — Decompositions of graphs into cycles;

• Professor Timothy Ralph, School of Mathematics and Physics — Quantum Optics and Quantum Information;

• Dr Dagmar Wilhelm, Institute for Molecular Bioscience — Towards a new understanding of the development of the reproductive system;

• Professor Paul Meredith, School of Mathematics and Physics — Integrated Organic Optoelectronics;

• Professor Andrew White, School of Mathematics and Physics — Simulating quantum systems in biology, chemistry and physics;

• Professor Alan Mark, School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences — Understanding sub-cellular systems at the atomic level;

• Associate Professor Lianzhou Wang, School of Chemical Engineering — Designing Advanced Materials for Efficient Solar-driven Energy Conversion;

• Professor Jurg Keller, Advanced Water Management Centre — Sustainable Water Treatment Technologies for Inorganic Pollutants;

• Dr Ray Steptoe, UQ Diamantina Institute — Terminating autoimmune diabetes;

• Professor Roger Remington, School of Psychology — Mechanisms on Involuntary Orienting; and

• Professor John Quiggin, School of Economics — Black Swans, Martingales and Multiple Priors: Macrofinancial theory and policy in the presence of unanticipated

UQ Research Fellowships in the Humanities and Social Sciences

• Dr Anna Pertierra, School of Social Science — Media and material culture in the
trans-pacific world; and

• Dr Shino Takayama, School of Economics — Information and Market Price
Manipulation in Trade.

Media: Jan King 0413 601 248