UQ Research Week FREA and HDR award winners
UQ Research Week FREA and HDR award winners
13 September 2017

A record number of researchers and research supervisors has been honoured for their outstanding achievements at the 2017 UQ Research Week awards.

Last night’s awards illustrated the depth and breadth of research at UQ, featuring projects spanning neurodegenerative disease, environmental mapping, antibiotic resistance and wastewater treatment technology.

Nine researchers, two research teams and six research supervisors were acknowledged across three categories – Foundation Research Excellence Awards (FREAs), Partners in Research Excellence Awards (PIREAs), and Awards for Excellence in Higher Degree by Research (HDR) Supervision.

The awards were presented by UQ Provost Professor Aidan Byrne and guest speaker Mr Michael Edwards General Manager Boeing Research and Technology Australia, along with UniQuest CEO Dr Dean Moss, at a celebration at Customs House.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Robyn Ward said the awards showcased extraordinary research work by individuals and teams at UQ.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to shine a light on those who are creating change through their own research or by supporting research, from early to mid-career researchers to industry collaborators and HDR supervisors,” Professor Ward said.

“The wide-ranging research being undertaken at UQ is simply astounding, which is why this year 17 awards were presented across the three categories.

“The Research Week awards give us the opportunity to highlight UQ’s research linkages with industry partners, which help take the benefits of UQ research and innovation to people all over the world.”

The UQ FREA awards – now in their 19th year – recognise excellence and the promise of future success in research for UQ’s early to mid-career researchers.

The 2017 FREA winners are:

Dr Felicity Davis – School of Pharmacy


Dr Nathan Palpant – Institute of Molecular Bioscience


Dr Meihua Yu – UQ Diamantina Institute


Dr Zhitao Hu – Queensland Brain Institute


Dr Ben Schulz – School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences


Dr Jianhua Guo – Advanced Water Management Centre


Dr Emma Hutchison – School of Political Science and International Studies


The PIREA awards – co-hosted by UQ’s main commercialisation company, UniQuest – recognise outstanding industry-UQ collaborations that have benefitted industry and the community.

The 2017 PIREA winners are:

Engineering, Materials and Information and Communications Technology

Professor Zhiguo Yuan, Dr Shihu Hu, Professor Jurg Keller, Professor Damien Batstone and Dr Maxime Rattier, and Queensland Urban Utilities Innovation Research and Development Manager Colin Chapman



Associate Professor Trent Woodruff and Alsonex Pharmaceuticals CEO Dr Alan Robertson



Professor Stuart Phinn, with Queensland Department of Science, Information Technology and Innovation Principal Scientist (Remote Sensing) Dan Tindall and New South Wales Office of Environment and Heritage Remote Sensing


Social enterprise

Dr Peggy Schrobback, Dr Alistair Grinham and Professor Carlo Prato, and Port of Brisbane General Manager Infrastructure and Environment Robert Nave


The UQ Awards for Excellence in HDR Supervision recognise outstanding performance in supervising, mentoring and training HDR candidates.

The 2017 Awards for Excellence in HDR Supervision winners are:

Professor Tom Baldock – School of Civil Engineering


Professor Elizabeth Ward – School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences


Professor Sara Dolnicar – Business School


Professor Stuart Phinn – School of Earth and Environmental Sciences


The Emerging Adviser Award recognises the special achievement of an early career staff member in supervising, mentoring and training HDR candidates.

The 2017 Emerging Adviser Award winners are:

Associate Professor Jonathan Rhodes – School of Earth and Environmental Sciences


Dr Fiona Barlow – School of Psychology


View all the winners' videos here.

Media: UQ Communications, communications@uq.edu.au or 07 3346 7890.