New Future Fellows boost RMIT research

New Future Fellows boost RMIT research

New ARC Future Fellowships awarded to RMIT researchers will support landmark projects on foetal brain development, improving human rights and cutting-edge photonics.

The Australian Research Council (ARC) fellowships are awarded to outstanding mid-career researchers, who receive funding support for the next four years to undertake their innovative research in Australia.

RMIT’s Professor Hariz Haliovich, Dr Mary Tolcos and Dr Ivan Maksymov will receive more than $2.6 million through the prestigious fellowships to further their pioneering research.

An ARC Australian Laureate Fellowship was also awarded to RMIT Honorary Professor Kourosh Kalantar-Zadeh, now at UNSW, to continue his research into the unique properties of liquid metals and explore their untapped potential.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Innovation and Vice-President, Professor Calum Drummond, said the funding recognised RMIT’s research strengths in a variety of fields.

“RMIT research is focused on making a real and positive difference for our communities. We’re proud that four of our outstanding researchers have been recognised by the ARC for their valuable contribution in helping to shape the world for the better.”

Protecting baby brains

(Future Fellowship Funding: $903,125)

New ARC Future Fellow, Dr Mary Tolcos, will work on developing novel tools for analysing brain development.

Her research in the School of Health and Biomedical Sciences will focus on the biological mechanisms that drive the folding of the cerebral cortex during brain development, a mechanism unique to humans and higher mammals.

Understanding cortical folding abnormalities in babies born preterm, following foetal growth retardation in utero, or when exposed to maternal alcohol, will enable more targeted approaches to neuroprotection and improve long-term outcomes for affected babies.

Missing people and refugees

(Future Fellowship Funding: $1,005,160)

Based in the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies, Dr Hariz Haliovich researches place-based identity politics, migration, politically motivated violence, memory studies, and human rights.

He was awarded a fellowship to investigate how the issue of missing people in conflicts impacts on the identities, memories and migration patterns of the survivors in the aftermath of violence and displacement.  

Haliovich’s work will raise awareness of missing people and provide better understanding of refugee wellbeing following resettlement.

Replacing lasers with low-intensity light and sound

(Future Fellowship Funding: $719,125)

Nonlinear optics are used in telecommunications and signal processing technologies, but currently nonlinear optical processes are produced by high-power lasers.

Dr Ivan Maksymov’s fellowship project aims to allow the use of low-cost, low-intensity light sources, such as light-emitting diodes and discharge lamps, to generate nonlinear optical signals in photonic devices.

His research in the School of Science will provide the framework that would underpin the development of a new nonlinear photonic technology that does not require lasers, representing a paradigm shift in how photonic devices are designed.  

Story: Brooke Garas

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