Jimmy Tran and Kianoosh Soltani-Naveh are fellow researchers taking part in UQ's Summer Research program.
Jimmy Tran and Kianoosh Soltani-Naveh are fellow researchers taking part in UQ's Summer Research program.
29 November 2013

University of Queensland students are taking advantage of the summer break to focus on innovative research such as using saliva to beat heart disease and simulating hypersonic flights of 8600 km an hour with Scramjets.

More than 470 undergraduate and coursework masters students joined the  Summer Research Program this week, working with research advisors on projects spanning six to 10 weeks.

UQ Office of Undergraduate Education Director Dr Jessica Gallagher said the Summer Research Program was the largest program of its kind in Australia, and attracted students from around the world.

Participants are provided with a scholarship of $300 a week.

“We are delighted to provide opportunities for coursework students to get involved in research programs that will extend their academic studies and enhance their professional development,” she said.

“Student outcomes speak for themselves, with many participants taking advantage of the opportunity to publish their findings, present at international conferences, or progress to honours or a research higher degree following their research experience.”

Bachelor of Mechatronic Engineering student Kianoosh Soltani-Naveh took part in last year’s program and went on to win a People’s Choice award at the 2013 UQ Undergraduate Research Conference for his work on how robots can be programmed to understand human intention.

“My typical day would involve modelling, programming and simulating robot behaviour,” Kianoosh said.

“I’m hoping the results of my research can lead to novel outcomes in the field of human-robot interaction and lead to more efficient teams where robots and humans work together.

“The program is really rewarding as it gives you exposure to great facilities and the wealth of experience of UQ researchers, while the scholarship shows appreciation for your work.”

Another 2012 participant, Bachelor of Arts (Honours) student Johanna Qualmann, said she developed a passion for research through her work on the development of the UQ RD Milns Antiquities Museum.

“Along with planning and time-management, one of the most valuable things the UQ Summer Research Program taught me was how to take an idea and turn it into something concrete,” she said.

Ms Qualmann, an award winner at this year’s UQ Undergraduate Research Conference, said the program reinforced her plans to pursue an academic career.

“Being able to develop a skill set in oral history, research design and data collection will be useful for me in my future academic career, and make me a more versatile researcher,” she said.

“I’m so grateful for the opportunities I’ve had to develop my skills and contribute to research at UQ.”

To find out more about undergraduate research at UQ, visit www.uq.edu.au/undergraduate.

A video highlighting the program’s 2013 UQ Teaching and Learning Award can be viewed here.

Media: Dr Jessica Gallagher, j.gallagher@uq.edu.au, 07 3346 7012, or Georgia Mitchell, 07 3346 0626, georgia.mitchell@uq.edu.au.