Vice-Chancellor's Research Fellows

Our Vice-Chancellor’s Research Fellows are nationally recognised for their research contributions and establishing strong research track records through quality research outputs.

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The Vice-Chancellor’s Research Fellowships is a competitive scheme advertised internationally on an annual basis.

Applicants are selected on the basis of their exceptional track record and national recognition for undertaking high quality research in one of RMIT's research priority areas.

2022 Vice-Chancellor's Research Fellows

Portrait of Justyna Dabrowska

Dr Justyna Dabrowska

Dr Justyna Dabrowska is a Vice Chancellor’s Research Fellow in the School of Management, COBL. Her research centres on innovation management with a focus on developing open collaborative innovation capabilities, collaborative approaches between incumbents and start-ups in New Product Development, orchestrating innovation ecosystems, and digital transformation.

Justyna has extensive experience in developing and managing large international projects on open innovation, business acceleration, sustainability and digital transformation, as well as collaborating with a wide range of companies from different industries.

Portrait of Ruchika Ojha

Dr Ruchika Ojha

Dr Ruchika Ojha is a Vice Chancellor’s Research Fellow in the School of Science, STEM College. Ruchika is an inorganic synthetic chemist and electrochemist performing research in the field of cancer and energy-storage solutions. Her research interest includes synthesising advanced material such as anticancer agents, solution and solid-state electrochemical analysis, generation and stabilisation of the metal complexes with rare oxidation states, activated carbon materials, hydrogen-storage and energy-storage systems.

Ruchika is currently working on synthesising novel bimetallic gold-platinum anticancer drugs and undertaking electrochemical studies to increase their overall anticancer activity, aiming to create health benefits for the community.

Portrait of Johanne Trippas

Dr Johanne Trippas

Dr Johanne Trippas is Vice-Chancellor's Research Fellow in the School of Computing Technologies, STEM College. Johanne has built an international reputation as a leader in conversational information seeking research, especially at the intersection of information retrieval, human-computer interaction, and dialogue analysis, with the aim of making information more accessible. Prior to RMIT University, she was a Doreen Thomas Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne.

Dr Trippas obtained her PhD in Computer Science from RMIT University. Recently, her work has focused on developing next-generation capabilities for intelligent systems, including spoken conversational search, digital assistants in a cockpit, and artificial intelligence to identify cardiac arrests.

Valentina Baccetti

Dr Valentina Baccetti is an expert in relativistic quantum information, an area of research that brings together Einstein’s theory of relativity, quantum physics and information theory, and general relativity in which she has several significant high impact publications.

Valentina’s work on black holes physics, specifically on the black hole information loss paradox, has had a significant impact on this forty-year-old Physics paradox, which ultimately pertains to the microscopic nature of space and time. Valentina is a member of the Quantum Laboratory at RMIT (QuRMIT) and ARC Centre for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology (CQC2T). Additionally, she has extensive international collaborations with the Institute of Quantum Computing and Perimeter Institute in Canada. 

As a VC Research Fellow, she is focusing on understanding how relativity affects quantum mechanics and the so-called quantum resources, such as “quantum entanglement”. Primary applications of this research can be seen in quantum communications performed between satellites. Among other recognitions, Valentina was also a recipient of a Macquarie Research Fellowship in 2015.

Valentina is aligned to the RMIT Information and Systems (Engineering) ECP.

Find out more about Valentina​​​​​​


Jessica Holien

Dr Jessica Holien has an outstanding track record in computational molecular modelling and drug discovery relative to opportunity. Her research bridges the chemistry-biology divide, incorporating medicinal chemistry, biology and computational modelling. Furthermore, she has extensive experience in the commercial drug discovery sector, consulting widely with Australian and international start-up biotechnology companies. Her lab uses cutting-edge, machine learning methods to enrich traditional bioinformatic analysis and improve high-throughput chemistry screens. This leads to faster small molecule chemical hit identification. She has a particular interest in understanding the mechanisms behind protein-protein interactions developing tools to design small molecule inhibitors to modulate them.

Jessica is aligned to the RMIT Biomedical Health and Innovation ECP.

Find out more about Jessica


Huacheng Zhang

Dr Huacheng Zhang is a Vice-Chancellor’s Research Fellow in the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering. She worked as an ARC-DECRA Research Fellow in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Monash University before being awarded a Vice-Chancellor’s Research Fellowship at RMIT. 

Dr Zhang is a prominent and internationally recognized researcher in the field of bioinspired engineering of artificial membranes for efficient separation applications. She has published 45 peer-reviewed research journal articles in international and leading journals, including Nature Materials, Science Advances, and Nature Communications. Her publications have received more than 1900 citations with a corresponding h-index of 21.

Huacheng is aligned to the RMIT Advanced Materials ECP.

Find out more about Huacheng

Kylie Quinn

Dr Kylie Quinn is a Vice-Chancellor’s Research Fellow in the Translational Immunology and Nanotechnology Program at RMIT University. She is currently exploring how ageing may limit immunity in older individuals and how we might restore immune function.

Serene Ho

Dr Serene Ho is a Vice-Chancellor’s Research Fellow in Geospatial Science in the School of Science at RMIT.

Her fellowship explores how the use of disruptive geospatial technologies to co-produce land information to improve tenure security in vulnerable urban communities impacts trust between communities, NGOs and governments. This forms the basis for developing strategies to optimise trust, and indicators to measure the impact of trust creation/destruction to transform urban land administration systems for improved urban governance.

Maria Vasardini

Shadi Hoshayar

Dr Shadi Houshyar is a Vice-Chancellor’s Research Fellow in the School of Engineering at RMIT University. Her research program is focused on developing polymers/biomaterials for medical application.

Dr Brian Coffey

Dr Brian Coffey is a Vice-Chancellor's Research Fellow in the Centre for Urban Research at RMIT University.

READ MORE ABOUT BRIAN COFFEY

Dr Chris De Gruyter

Chris De Gruyter is a Vice-Chancellor’s Research Fellow in the Centre for Urban Research. His research is exploring the impact of new development on public transport.

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Dr Bobbi Fleiss

Dr Bobbi Fleiss focuses on brain injury due to preterm birth and by studying microglial activation and novel treatment windows she aims to develop treatments to improve the lives of people with this injury.

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Dr Amy Gelmi

Dr Amy Gelmi takes a multidisciplinary approach to characterising the live response of stem cells on ‘smart biomaterials’, focusing on developing new approaches for individual patient stem cell therapy.

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Dr Du Yong Kim

Dr Du Yong Kim is increasing understanding and developing breakthrough techniques for live-cell behaviour through efficient stochastic inference algorithms for recognition and estimation of physical states.

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Dr Olga Kokshagina

Olga Kokshagina joined RMIT University in September 2018 as a VC Research Fellow at the Graduate School of Business and Law at the RMIT University. She contributes to the Global Business Innovation ECP.

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Dr Sarah Foster

Dr Foster researches the impact of dwelling and neighbourhood characteristics on health behaviours and outcomes to influence apartment and neighbourhood design policy.

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Dr Beth Jelfs

Dr Beth Jelfs researches signal processing in machine learning applications which influences technology development in areas such as clinical modelling, prosthetics and rehabilitation.

Dr Shanti Sumartojo

Dr Shanti Sumartojo examines the role of design and digital technology in shaping our experiences of public spaces, such as Australia’s ANZAC memorials.

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Dr Ruwini Edirisinghe

Dr Ruwini Edirisinghe uses mobile computing to develop tools and technologies to improve safety in the building and construction industry.

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Dr Nhiem Tran

Dr Nhiem Tran’s research is focused on self assembled nanomaterials for drug and gene delivery and non-antibiotic nanoparticles for antimicrobial applications.

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Dr Jiao Lin

Jiao came to Melbourne in 2013 as an independent ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher after two consecutive postdoctoral appointments.

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Dr Grace McQuilten

Grace is an art historian, artist and curator interested in contemporary art and design and community development.

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Dr Meagan Tyler

Meagan’s research explores feminist theory, sexuality and violence against women.

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Dr Hai Dong

Dr Dong’s research interests include service oriented computing, semantic search and digital ecosystems.

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Dr Mahdi Jalili

Dr Jalili has a PhD in Computer, Communication and Information Sciences and research interests in complex dynamical networks, social networks analysis and mining and applications for network science.

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Dr Crystal Legacy

Dr Crystal Legacy’s research interests include participatory planning and infrastructure delivery, urban governance and strategic planning, growth paradigms and urban resilience, and planning tools.

Dr Sridhar Ravi

Dr Ravi’s research interests include unmanned air vehicles, flapping flight aerodynamics and insect and bird flight in unsteady flows.

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Dr Jonathan Duckworth

Dr Jonathan Duckworth’s research interests relate to the design and evaluation of systems for movement rehabilitation in patients who have sustained traumatic brain injury.

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Dr Everson Kandare

Dr Kandare’s research interests include the evaluation of the use of polymer matrices to improve fire reaction properties, and the structural performance of aluminium and steel structures in fire.

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Dr Kai (Alex) Qin

Dr Kai (Alex) Qin’s research interests include global optimisation, evolutionary computation, pattern recognition and computer vision.

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Dr Francisco Tovar Lopez

Dr Tovar Lopez specialises in computational simulation, mechanical design, microfabrication, fluid experimental techniques and programming languages.

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Dr Elizabeth Kath

Dr Elizabeth Kath has a background in the fields of political/social science, public health and development.

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Dr Ravi Shukla

Dr Ravi Shukla has significant research experience in the fabrication and development of advanced functional nanomaterials for a range of biological and medical applications.

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Dr Yolande Strengers

Dr Yolande Strengers has a background in social sciences with expertise in environmental social change and smart technologies.

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Acknowledgement of Country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.

aboriginal flag
torres strait flag

Acknowledgement of Country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business.