Vice-Chancellor's Senior Research Fellows

Vice-Chancellor’s Senior Research Fellows are internationally recognised experts in their field with excellent research track records.

Senior VCRF Charlotte Conn

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

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

2023 Vice-Chancellor's Senior Research Fellows

Dr Melanie Lowe

School of Global, Urban and Social Studies | DSC College

Dr Melanie Lowe is a Vice-Chancellor’s Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for Urban Research, RMIT University. Melanie investigates how to plan healthy and resilient cities and develops evidence informed indicators to monitor and inform policy. She works at the interface of the urban planning and public health fields and collaborates with researchers and policymakers to strengthen consideration of health in city planning. Her research has been included in local, state and federal government policy in Australia. She is Co-Director of the Global Observatory of Healthy and Sustainable Cities, which develops and provides indicators of healthy and sustainable urban design and planning for cities across the globe.

Dr Sarah Barns

School of Global, Urban and Social Studies | DSC College

Dr Sarah Barns is a Vice-Chancellors Senior Research Fellow whose work is critically engaged with the evolution of digital–urban interfaces, platforms and ecosystems and their implications for urban justice and connected communities.

Dr Emmanuelle Walkowiak

School of Economics, Finance and Marketing | CoBL

Dr Emmanuelle Walkowiak is a Vice-Chancellor Senior Research Fellow in economics at the RMIT School of Economics, Finance and Marketing. Her research analyses how the rapid diffusion of technologies is disrupting work, workers, workplaces, the labour market and employment policies. As businesses struggle with the post-Covid workplace models, it is urgent to adapt employment policies and organisational practices to make them fit for a productive, inclusive and sustainable Future of Work.

Dr Peter Sherrell

School of Science | STEM College

Dr Peter C. Sherrell is a Senior Vice Chancellors Research Fellow in Applied Chemistry and Environmental Science within the STEM College. His research focusses on capturing and using ambient energy from the environment, to drive green and sustainable chemistries. In particular, Peter is working on developing new methods of harvesting motion and heat from chemical and electrochemical processes, to enable highly efficient catalysis. He is broadly interested in understanding materials structure-property-performance relationships, and unlocking the fundamental mechanisms behind emerging energy devices - and using these mechanistic understanding to engineer more efficient energy storage, conversion, and harvesting systems.

Dr Kate Anderson

School of School of Computing Technologies | STEM College

Dr Natalie Javonovski

School of Health and Biomedical Sciences | STEM College

Dr Philipp Reineck

School of Science | STEM College

Dr Philipp Reineck is a Senior Vice-Chancellor's Research Fellow and an associate investigator of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics. His research interests span many areas including biophysics, fluorescent nanomaterials, plasmonics, nanoparticle chemistry and self-assembly, nano-photonics and bioimaging.

RMIT Vice-Chancellor's Senior Research Fellows by starting year

2022 Vice-Chancellor's Senior Research Fellows

Portrait of Yunhui Chen

Dr Yunhui Chen

Dr Yunhui Chen is a Vice-Chancellor's Senior Research Fellow in the School of Engineering and a Visiting Scientist at European Synchrotron Research Facilities, France. Dr Chen works in the field of in situ synchrotron X-ray imaging of additive manufacturing. She is an avid experimentalist, developing nano-precision apparatus which replicate the processing and service performance of materials on a synchrotron beamline, enabling the 3D vision of the inside of materials as they change in realtime. Her work explores the material phenomena in advanced manufacturing processes, including the microstructural evolution, defect formation and phase transformations that are critical to industrial practice.

Portrait of Melanie Davern

Associate Professor Melanie Davern

Associate Professor Melanie Davern is Director of the Australian Urban Observatory at the Centre for Urban Research, RMIT University and a Vice Chancellor’s Senior Research Fellow. Melanie combines her background in public health with urban planning and public policy through a program of liveability research investigating the connections between social, economic and environmental factors and health. Her interdisciplinary research practice includes qualitative, quantitative and spatial research methods with a passion for applied research using methodologies that enhance the translation of research knowledge into policy and planning practice.

Portrait of Nasir Mahmood

Dr Nasir Mahmood

Dr Nasir Mahmood is a Senior Research Fellow in the School of Science, STEM College. Nasir obtained his PhD from Peking University in 2015. He is one of the highly cited researchers of 2021 by Clarivate.

He previously worked at the University of Wollongong and Tianjin University. Dr Mahmood published over 125 papers with citations over 9400 and an H-index of 45, hold four patents and is the author of ten books/book chapters.

Nasir is well known for commercialisation, attracting research funding and media attention, and organising conferences. His research has been highlighted in more than 80 media blogs/magazines in 6 different languages worldwide. He has been awarded several prestigious awards and currently serving as an Associate Editor for Frontiers in Chemistry.


Dr Mahsa Majzoobi

Rebecca Olive

Dr Rebecca Olive

Dr Rebecca Olive is an ARC DECRA and Vice-Chancellor's Senior Research Fellow in the Social and Global Studies Centre. Her work focuses on the role of ocean and water sports in human-environmental health and wellbeing.

Rebecca is interested in recreational sport, physical activity and leisure in everyday life. Building on her work on sex/gender politics, her current focus is on how water sports like swimming, surfing and sailing shape how people feel connected to places and ecologies.

Rebecca co-edited 'Women in Action Sport Cultures', regularly contributes to surf media and has a project website,

Portrait of Thi Thu Hao Van

Dr Thi Thu Hao Van

Dr Van is a molecular microbiologist. Hao has led impactful industry-related research, which has been recognised internationally and nationally. Her areas of expertise include gut microbiota characterisation and manipulation, identification of bacterial pathogens and deciphering their biology, and developing intervention strategies to combat bacterial diseases, including the development of probiotics, antimicrobial compounds and vaccines.

Louise Byrne

Dr Louise Byrne is a researcher with deep knowledge of organisational issues relevant to ‘lived experience’ mental health employment. Louise is a Senior Research Fellow in the School of Management, College of Business and Law.  Louise was awarded a Fulbright Postdoctoral Scholarship in 2017 to conduct research on lived experience employment in the United States, based at Yale University. Louise’s work frequently informs policy. Louise has received several industry and academic awards and been featured on respected national media, including Radio National ‘Life Matters’ and ABC’s ‘Q&A’. View her Tedx video on YouTube

Louise is aligned to the RMIT Social Change ECP.​​​​​​​

Find out more about Louise

Sefa Awaworyi Churchill

Sefa holds a PhD in Economics from Monash University. As an applied economist, his inter-disciplinary research focuses on development economics, innovation, wellbeing, and energy economics. He has published over 80 books, book chapters and journal articles in a wide range of fields, and has a strong record for attracting external grants with over half a million dollars in the last 3 years. He has experience working on consultancy projects for various policy agencies and international development organizations.

Sefa’s work aligns with the Global Business Innovation (GBI) and Social Change ECPs.He is based in the School of Economics, Finance & Marketing.

​​​​​​​Sefa is aligned to the RMIT Global Business Innovation ECP.

Find out more about Sefa

Erica Kuligowski

Dr Erica Kuligowski is a Vice-Chancellor’s Senior Research Fellow in the School of Engineering at RMIT University. With a PhD in Sociology and MS and BS degrees in Engineering, she has pioneered interdisciplinary research studies of human response to hazards and disasters to improve the life safety of people in buildings and communities around the world. She joins RMIT University from the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Engineering Laboratory where her research on evacuation and sheltering behaviour and emergency communications in disaster events, including building fire, severe weather, and bushfire, has received prestigious awards from the U.S. Government (Department of Commerce) and international fire engineering organizations (SFPE and NFPA). Dr Kuligowski has written nine book chapters and over 100 journals, conference, and agency articles. Her work has led to the development of new or improved building codes and community standards, decision-making tools for disaster response such as evacuation models, and emergency alert/warning creation tools and templates.

Erica is aligned to the RMIT Urban Futures ECP.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Find out more about Erica

Haiyan Li

Dr Haiyan Li (Vice-Chancellor Senior Research Fellow in the School of Engineering) is a biomaterials scientist with a background in polymer science and bioceramics. Her research focuses on developing bioactive hydrogels for tissue regeneration​​​​​​​​​​​​​​.

Find out more aboutHaiyan

Dr Troy Innocent

Dr Troy Innocent is a Senior Research Fellow at RMIT University where his creative practice research investigates urban play and its role in re-imagining and co-creating cities.

Find out more about Troy

Dr Joona Keränen

Dr. Joona Keränen is an Associate Professor and Vice-Chancellor´s Senior Research Fellow at the Graduate School of Business & Law at RMIT University.

His research is focused on understanding how industrial firms can sell, buy, and price value and performance outcomes in business-to-business (B2B) markets.

Find out more about Joona

Dr Monica Barrett

Monica is a Vice-Chancellor's Senior Research Fellow in the Social and Global Studies Centre at RMIT University. She is currently undertaking a four-year program of research investigating psychoactive drug use in digital society. 

Find out more about Monica

Dr Francesca Cavalieri

Find out more about Francesca

Dr Anita Quigly

Find out more about Anita

Dr Jaz Choi

Dr Jaz Hee-jeong Choi is the Director of the Care-full Design Lab and Vice-Chancellor’s Senior Research Fellow, who leads RMIT in the EU Horizon 2020 project, CreaTures: Creative Practices for Transformational Futures (2020 - 2022).


Dr Andrew Martin

Dr Andrew Martin is developing new methods of imaging atomic structure with x-rays and electrons for use at the Australian Synchrotron, international x-ray laser facilities and RMIT’s microscopy facility.


Dr Shaghik Atakaramians

Dr Shaghik Atakamians develops compact terahertz (THz) photonic devices with potential applications in healthcare, public security and communications.

Dr Hannah Badland

Dr Badland researches how improving the liveability of cities through better urban design can enhance health and wellbeing and reduce inequities.


Dr Xiaobo Chen

Dr Xiaobo Chen researches the functional characteristics of light metal surfaces to enable a wide range of engineering applications in the automotive and biomedical industries.


Associate Professor Charlotte Conn

Associate Professor Charlotte Conn investigates the use of lipid nanomaterials to increase the stability and activity of biopharmaceuticals over prolonged storage and during in-vivo delivery.


Dr Shane Culpepper

Dr Shane Culpepper runs the Algorithm Design Lab (ADL) at RMIT where he works on developing scalable algorithms capable of processing and searching massive data collections.


Associate Professor Anne Harris

Associate Professor Harris examines how we can achieve social transformation through performance, creativity and digital media.


Associate Professor Nicola Henry

As a socio-legal scholar, Nicola's research focuses on sexual violence and harassment, including technology-facilitated abuse, image-based sexual abuse, sexual assault and harassment in university settings, rape law reform and wartime rape


Associate Professor Elisa Hill

Associate Professor Elisa Hill is a neuroscientist who is passionate about understanding how changes in gut function occur in neurological diseases and how they might affect mood and behaviour.


Professor Renata Kokanovic

Professor Renata Kokanovic’s research focuses on health, society and medicine in psychiatric, disability and chronic illnesses along with digital media in health communication.​


Dr Shelley Marshall

Dr Shelley Marshall is a cross-disciplinary scholar who researches business and human rights and labour regulation in developing countries.


Dr Jonathan McQualter

Through his work on tissue regeneration, Dr Jonathan McQualter hopes to identify therapeutic strategies to restore lung function for patients with chronic lung disease.


Dr Stan Karanasios

Dr Stan Karanasios has established research programs in managing ICT in developing countries; organisations and social media; and innovation, management and information sharing in disaster response.

Dr Cecily Maller

Dr Cecily Maller is collaborating with researchers nationally and internationally to undertake comparative research to understand how we can achieve more sustainable forms and aspirations for housing.


Associate Professor Paul Ramsland

Associate Professor Paul Ramsland comes to RMIT from the Burnet Institute where he was Laboratory Head in the Centre for Biomedical Research.


Dr Ascelin Gordon

Dr Ascelin Gordon has expertise in the field of Conservation Science and he is working to find solutions to a range of applied environmental and conservation problems.


Dr Hariz Halilovich

Dr Halilovich has identified novel ways to research how adults and young people use narratives and technologies to build life stories about place, migration, war, reconciliation and communal identity.


Dr Fiona Macdonald

Dr Fiona Macdonald’s work is concerned with changes in labour markets and employment in social support and care systems both in Australia and internationally.


Associate Professor Nicolas Menicucci

Associate Professor Nicolas Menicucci is working in the area of quantum simulation which will enable the development of new pharmaceuticals and new materials.


Dr Warwick Nesbitt

Dr Nesbitt has collaborated extensively with mechanical engineers and bio-engineering colleagues to develop tools and platforms to investigate key biological questions in cell biology and medicine.

Dr Ceridwen Spark

Dr Ceridwen Spark’s research focuses on questions of gender, cultural and ethnic identity in relation to international development, social and political theory and social policy and evaluation.


Dr Mary Tolcos

Dr Mary Tolcos comes to RMIT from The Ritchie Centre of the Hudson Institute of Medical Research where she was Head of the Developmental Brain Injury and Repair Research Group.


Associate Professor Julienne van Loon

Associate Professor Julienne van Loon is a critically acclaimed creative writer who has published three major and 27 minor creative works and won The Australian/Vogel Literary Award.


Associate Professor Cameron Duff

Cameron's work explores complex health and social problems in urban settings.


Dr Melinda L. Jackson

Dr Jackson’s research explores the consequences of sleep disturbance and shift work on cognition, mood and neural function.


Dr Narin Osman

Dr Narin Osman is a Senior Research Fellow and the Deputy Group Leader of the Diabetes Complications Group.


Dr Alberto Peruzzo

Dr Alberto Peruzzo aims is to implement quantum-enhanced processors and sensors with capabilities beyond today’s computers and measurement systems.


Dr Libby Porter

Libby's broad research interests in planning and geography explore the ways in which we collectively produce our understanding of space and place.


Dr Dong Qiu

Dr Dong Qiu's primary research focus is in the field of materials and manufacturing engineering.


Associate Professor Richard Tay

Richard's research involves the development, implementation and evaluation of multidisciplinary measures to improve road safety and reduce the social cost of road crashes.

Dr Xin Wang

Xin’s research has resulted in advancement of textile technologies and fabrication techniques.


Dr Kay Cook

Dr Kay Cook's research focuses on subjective responses to social policies, how institutionalised political ideologies manifest in welfare-to-work, child support and child care policies.

Associate Professor Marta Poblet Balcell

Associate Professor Marta Poblet Balcell has research that cuts across many disciplines including political science, law, technology and sociology.


Dr Alyson Miller

Dr Alyson Miller has established a reputation for cerebral vascular pharmacology and stroke research including stroke risk factors, prevention and treatment.

Dr John Postill

Dr John Postill's research has taken him across several continents as he investigates the relationship between media and social change in different cultural, political and technological contexts.


Associate Professor Donald Wlodkowic

Associate Professor Donald Wlodkowic has undertaken multidisciplinary research into the development of enabling microfluidic Lab-on-a-Chip and bioMEMS technologies.



Professor Andrew Greentree

Professor Andrew Greentree researches quantum devices in the field of Solid Light, Diamond micro and nano fabrication and Coherent Tunnelling Adiabatic Passage (CTAP).


Professor Jason Potts

Professor Jason Potts' expertise lies in the study of economic dynamics, particularly in relation to the causes and consequences of innovation.


Professor Gary Rosengarten

Professor Gary Rosengarten has proven experience as a mechanical engineer in the disciplines of micro/nano technology, chemical engineering and biotechnology.


Professor Heather Horst

Professor Heather Horst's research interests and experience revolve around the intersection of digital media, material culture, transnational migration, consumption and social change.

Dr Juan Molero-Navajas

Dr Juan Molero-Navajas has expertise in the study of obesity and diabetes, metabolism and drug screening.


Associate Professor Sarah Spencer

Associate Professor Sarah Spencer has a growing national and international profile in the research fields of stress and perinatal programming of disease.


Dr Marcelo Stamm

Dr Marcelo Stamm has extensive experience in the philosophy of creativity and design and continental philosophy.

Professor Jared Cole

Professor Jared Cole is a theoretical physicist, specialising in quantum theory and its application in electronics, computing and condensed-matter physics.


Professor Tania Lewis

Professor Tania Lewis’s research interests include "Lifestyle and consumption" and "Ethical consumerism and sustainability".


Discover more

Interested in becoming a RMIT research fellow?

Follow the link below to view the RMIT Vice-Chancellor's Research Fellowships page where you'll find information on application dates and how to apply.

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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.