2019 Research Awards Recipients

Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Research Excellence

Professor Ross Vlahos

ross vlahos photo Professor Ross Vlahos

Professor Ross Vlahos is a Principal Research Fellow and Head of the Respiratory Research Group in the School of Health and Biomedical Sciences at RMIT University. His internationally competitive and ground-breaking research has identified novel disease mechanisms, paradigms and therapeutic targets for lung diseases including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and respiratory infections. Ross has co-authored more than 100 publications in leading peer reviewed journals, has had continuous National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Australia funding since 2001 and has played a major role in commercially funded work that has confidentiality/patent agreements. He has served on NHMRC Grant Review Panels / Assigners Academy, various international society committees (e.g. American Thoracic Society), numerous Editorial boards, has been invited to present at prestigious Gordon conferences and is currently Deputy co-convenor of the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand COPD Special Interest Group, and a Director on the Board of the Australasian Society of Clinical and Experimental Pharmacologists and Toxicologists.

Vice-Chancellor’s Prize for Research Excellence – Higher Degree by Research

Dr Heba Ahmed

Heba Ahmed Dr Heba Ahmed

Dr Heba Ahmed’s PhD research investigates the role of Megahertz (MHz) acoustics in synthesis and tuning the properties of smart materials for environmental and energy technologies. Dr Ahmed made a remarkable discovery of the acoustic effect on the known structure of common table salt, the most studied materials in history, and formed two new structures not found in nature. Her research transcends fundamental research, where her low cost acoustic technology for synthesis of 2D Materials and Metal Organic Frameworks (MOFs) eliminated the necessity for using toxic environmentally harmful solvents, and reduces the greenhouse gases emitted during the conventional production methods. Her research was widely circulated in over 500 national and international media, and was scored by Altmetric among the top 5% most circulated research to have ever been published, drawing an audience of over 100,000. Dr. Ahmed’s research has attracted international industrial collaboration with Made in Space Inc., to provide her acoustic platform to NASA for CO2 scavenging on the International Space Station (ISS).

Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Research Supervision Excellence

Associate Professor Sarah Spencer

Sarah Spencer Associate Professor Sarah Spencer

Associate Professor Sarah Spencer is a neuroendocrinology researcher with approximately 14 years’ experience. Sarah’s core research focus is on understanding the impact of the early life environment on brain and behaviour. Her recent work also addresses the neurological consequences of poor diet and obesity for the ageing brain. Sarah has 84 career publications, 48 in the past 5 years (since 2014). She has supervised 5 PhD students to completion in the past 3 years and is currently supervising 6 PhD students. Each of the students she has supervised as primary supervisor has graduated with at least 6 publications, with one student publishing an impressive 14 articles, in Q1 journals. Sarah has shown an outstanding commitment to providing a high quality and internationally competitive learning environment for her research students, and provided leadership in mentoring junior supervisors and support for improving the research training outcomes of the university.

Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Research Impact

Professor Dayanthi Nugegoda

 

Professor Dayanthi Nugegoda Professor Dayanthi Nugegoda

Environmental pollution from anthropogenic sources devastates ecosystems and threatens our health and survival. Professor Dayanthi Nugegoda is a pioneering Ecotoxicologist in Australasia whose research investigating effects of pollutants on Australian biota has a significant impact on monitoring, minimising and remediating anthropogenic pollution in our environment. National and international recognition of her research has resulted in her advisory appointments to Federal, State and Industry Science Expert Panels, international Ecotoxicology Research Award Committees, OECD Ecotoxicity test validation panels, and election as the first female President of the Society for Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, Australasia. She works with NGOs identifying threats to iconic native species; and her industry collaboration secured a $5 million research contract for RMIT to establish the Aquatic Pollution Prevention Partnership with Melbourne Water 2018-2023. Her passion to educate the next generation has seen her graduate 26 HDR candidates and achieve recognition for RMIT as the leader in Australasian Ecotoxicology research.

Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Research Impact – Early Career Researcher

Dr Chris Berg

Dr Chris Berg Dr Chris Berg

Dr Chris Berg’s research on the economics and social science of blockchain technology since 2017 has made a major impact on the blockchain industry in Australia and globally, and influenced the research and teaching of this frontier technology at RMIT and elsewhere. In addition, his public policy and media engagement has had a material impact on public policy in Australia. Through his research and leadership at the RMIT Blockchain Innovation Hub, he has contributed to the development of RMIT as a global leader in blockchain research. He has pioneered a large number of industry engagements and research projects, across areas as diverse as economic development, health records and the protection of privacy, blockchain governance, and water management. The high national and international demand for Dr Berg’s expertise on the future of the blockchain economy has brought significant media attention and research income for RMIT.

Vice-Chancellor’s Prize for Research Impact – Higher Degree by Research

Ms Lauren Burns

Ms Lauren Burns Ms Lauren Burns

Lauren Burns has been an outstanding and dynamic individual throughout her PhD candidature. Her research comprised of a series of studies that investigated lifestyle and support structures for athletes, with the findings being used to modify the approaches, models and support structures advocated and provided to athletes (senior and junior) by major sporting organisations to support the health and performance of athletes, as well as contributing to further strengthen the theoretical understanding of such models of support and care. The uniqueness and excellence of her work has resulted in the findings being taken up by the highest level organisations in the industry, and resulted in the presentation of her findings to a wide range of audiences, including: national sports governing bodies and institutes; regional and local sports organisations; and international conferences.

RMIT Award for Innovative Research Supervision

Professor Vivian Mitsogianni

Professor Vivian Mitsogianni Professor Vivian Mitsogianni

Professor Vivian Mitsogianni is Associate Dean, Architecture in the School of Architecture & Urban Design, and a director of the multi-AIA award winning practice M@ STUDIO architects – which focuses on architectural design research. Professor Mitsogianni is an acknowledged leader in facilitating processes for design innovation by combining experimental design practice research and ‘real world’ industry-linked projects.

Internationally recognised, Professor Mitsogianni is often called upon for her expertise in architectural design research and the design-practice PhD model. She was part of the founding supervisory team of RMIT’s internationally renowned practice-based PhD program in Australia and has been invited to publish and lecture on the design-practice PhD model and lead research training methods nationally and internationally including in the UK, Denmark, Belgium and Italy. She has and continues to supervise multi-award winning internationally recognised architects in Australia and Europe and formulate proposals for new hybrid design-practice PhD models.

RMIT Award for Excellence – Graduate Research Leadership

Associate Professor Akbar Afaghi Khatibi

Associate Professor Akbar Afaghi Khatibi Associate Professor Akbar Afaghi Khatibi

In his role as lead for Higher Degree by Research (HDR) Student Experience and Belonging in the School of Engineering, Associate Professor Akbar Khatibi designed and implemented a new program for enhancing the experience and intellectual climate for the HDR community.

Based on a new “Development Needs Analysis Platform”, HDR candidates can now take ownership of identifying and developing their research skills. The platform provides a critical link between individual developmental needs and planned professional development opportunities across the University. Since implementing this initiative in 2019, the levels of engagement and awareness around skills training needs and opportunities have significantly increased among the HDR community within the School of Science.

RMIT Award for Excellence – Industry Engagement in Graduate Research

Professor Margaret Lech

Professor Margaret Lech Professor Margaret Lech

Through her industry engaged HDR supervision, Professor Margaret Lech has initiated and supported innovative and transformational engagement between higher degree research candidates and industry partners.

She has successfully secured national and international Defence industry funding support with her postgraduate students and consistently links her postgraduate students to industry partners to prepare them for potential future industry and academic careers.

RMIT Prize for Research Excellence - HDF (Technology)

Dr Shwathy Ramesan

Dr Shwathy Ramesan Dr Shwathy Ramesan

Dr Shwathy Ramesan is a post-doctoral research fellow at the Micro/Nanophysics Research Laboratory (MNRL) in the School of Engineering. Ramesan completed her PhD from RMIT University on utilising high frequency sound waves for various drug delivery applications in cells and tissues.

During her PhD, Ramesan discovered a novel delivery technique, the first of its kind to deliver molecules to the cell, opening up new areas of research using acoustic waves. The thesis was praised for the quality of research and the impact the work has created in the field of acoustic manipulation of fluids in biological materials and drug delivery.

Dr Ramesan’s research has considerably advanced the state-of-the-art in scientific knowledge, by developing new ideas and novel research directions. Two of the technologies have already had practical impact, resulting in publications in top multidisciplinary journals and two provisional patents. Her research was also recognised with the award of the Maxwell Eagle Endowment Award for cancer research

RMIT Prize for Research Excellence - HDR (Design)

Dr Kim Munro 

Dr Kim Munro Dr Kim Munro

Dr Kim Munro’s practice-led PhD, Listening in: approaching difference, multiplicity and collectivity through a practice of listening in documentary investigated the role that a foregrounding of listening can play in documentary, so as to address contemporary isolation and reconstitute a sense of a collective.

The PhD was recognised by internationally renowned examiners as ‘outstanding work’, and ‘an exemplary PhD project, comprising both the written thesis and the practices as research’. It was noted that it was ‘an original and important contribution to documentary thinking and practice by attentiveness to difference, multiplicity and collectively through a well thought through and artfully crafted attunement to ethical and sensitive ways of listening’ and ‘is a remarkable PhD dissertation that could in fact prove to be groundbreaking’.

Dr Munro has produced both traditional scholarly outputs and creative-practice outputs including two exhibitions, participation in the international multidisciplinary arts residency and the annual Skamdeggi Festival in Northern Iceland.

RMIT Prize for Research Excellence - HDR (Design)

Dr Payam Pirzadeh

Dr Payam Pirzadeh Dr Payam Pirzadeh

Dr Payam Pirzadeh completed his PhD in the field of construction work health and safety in 2018.

His research addressed a critical problem of industry policy and practice through an interdisciplinary, collaborative design decision-making approach for improving safety outcomes.

Pirzadeh’s use of a multi-level network analysis method was highly innovative in the construction discipline, yet was ideally suited to understanding decision-making in complex construction project environments.  Since completing his doctoral research, Pirzadeh’s work has received significant international recognition.

Detailed case studies developed in his thesis have now been developed into teaching resources at the National University of Singapore and he delivered a guest lecture on the subject of health and safety in design, at the University of East Carolina

RMIT Prize for Research Excellence – HDR (Enterprise)

Dr Scarlett Howard

Dr Scarlett Howard Dr Scarlett Howard

Dr Scarlett Howard is an expert in honeybee cognition, learning, behaviour, and perception.

She studies topics related to rule-learning, decision-making, cognition, and neurobiology of miniature insect brains alongside pollination, urban insect density and plant-pollinator relationships. In her PhD research, she examined the ability of miniature bee brains to learn and apply numerical information. She aimed to use this knowledge to advance the development of bio-inspired technology.

Following the publication of her research, multiple laboratories across the world have replicated her work using artificial neural networks and simple learning algorithms. However, the bee brain appears to be the most efficient problem solver of these complex tasks, suggesting there is a lot to learn from honeybee neurobiological processes.

Dr Howard currently employs virtual reality and neurobiological techniques to uncover the mechanisms of simple and complex learning within the bee brain and determine which neurobiological resources are necessary for bee cognition.

RMIT Prize for Research Impact – HDR (Technology)

Ms Inna Krasnokutska

Ms Inna Krasnokutska Ms Inna Krasnokutska

Ms Inna Krasnokutska has made significant contributions to the field of physics and high-tech engineering, finishing her third year of a PhD developing future photonics technology in the Quantum Photonics Laboratory.

The research Krasnokutska is undertaking is highly collaborative, and has involved Heriot-Watt University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Chalmers University, as well as the ARC Centre for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology.

Krasnokutska has published four first-author publication papers in highly selective Q1 journal publishing across all areas of photonics, attracting the attention of research and industry communities, especially with her first paper being cited 50 times in only one year.

In that work, she demonstrated, for the first time, the lowest propagation and coupling loss in LNOI photonics, solving one of the main problems of modern telecommunication industry and future quantum technology.

RMIT Prize for Research Impact – HDR (Design)

Ms Clare McCracken

Ms Clare McCracken Ms Clare McCracken

Clare McCracken’s practice-led doctoral project is based on artworks, fieldwork, and the investigation of family archives to research how mobility systems coproduce space, place and landscape across generations in Australia.

Through three carefully framed projects in different geographical milieu, she enacts a creative dialogue on the social impact of mobility through site-responsive artworks exhibited in public space.

Her research has seen her collaborate with Knox City Council and the Mission to Seafarers to create a critical discourse about the inequities and viability of current transport networks today and into the future. This has led to greater community awareness and, in the case of Knox City Council, further community consultation, the introduction of electric car infrastructure and community education programs.

Prize for Research Impact HDR (Enterprise)

Mr Achim Washington

Mr Achim Washington Mr Achim Washington

Achim Washington explored the application of a risk-based approach to the regulation of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) – a pertinent issue faced by the industry. The aim of his research was to improve regulatory outcomes under a new paradigm of risk-based regulation, through providing a conceptual framework for the rational, transparent and systematic treatment of uncertainty in risk assessment and regulatory decision-making processes.

Washington’s research provides a conceptual framework for the more comprehensive treatment of uncertainty in regulatory compliance assessment and processes.

His research not only has the potential to help shape the future of the UAS industry but other industries as well, including personal air mobility vehicles and reusable space launch vehicles.

RMIT Award for Research Excellence – (Technology)

Associate Professor Charlotte Conn

Associate Professor Charlotte Conn Associate Professor Charlotte Conn

Associate Professor Charlotte Conn is a Vice-Chancellor’s Senior Research Fellow recognised worldwide for her contribution to the development of soft nanomaterials for biomedical applications, particularly in drug delivery and protein crystallisation.

Charlotte’s methods and scientific approaches have been adopted by scientists worldwide.

Her most recent contributions include enhancing the performance of anti-microbial peptides, key contenders in the fight against global antibiotic resistance, and in successfully demonstrating effective oral delivery of insulin in animal trials.

Her research determining the fundamental physicochemical interactions between nanoparticles and the cell surface will guide the development of new biomaterials for vaccines and drug delivery, and has the potential to revolutionise personalised medicine.

The impact of this research will lead to advances such as removing the need for refrigerated storage of vaccines, reduced drug side-effects, improved patient compliance and personalised therapies.

RMIT Award for Research Excellence – (Technology)

Associate Professor Elisa Hill

Associate Professor Elisa Hill Associate Professor Elisa Hill

Associate Professor Elisa Hill is a Vice-Chancellor’s Senior Research Fellow who has pioneered a new research field investigating the interactions of the nervous system in the gut with bacteria, and the consequences of this for health and disease.

Her research is internationally recognised due to her discoveries that autism-associated gene mutations in the nervous system influence the gut.

This high impact research has been published in many prestigious Q1 journals, and received multiple highly competitive funding awards, including an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship.

Associate Professor Hill has also demonstrated impact through leading a national campaign leading to a policy change in the NDIS preventing the closure of critical services for severely disabled children.

Her breakthrough findings have opened up new opportunities for treatment design and identifying treatment targets for gut issues in autism.

RMIT Award for Research Excellence (Design)

Associate Professor Quentin Stevens 

Associate Professor Quentin Stevens Associate Professor Quentin Stevens

Associate Professor Quentin Stevens’ transdisciplinary design research spans urban design, landscape, public art, planning, geography, and sociology. His key contribution is his close empirical examination of the design, use and perception of public spaces for which he is internationally renowned.

Quentin’s research on contemporary memorials has been supported by an ARC Future Fellowship and grants from Britain, South Korea and Taiwan. This research has been published in Memorials as Spaces of Engagement (2015) and 31 articles.

His other recent books include Public Space Design and Social Cohesion (2018), Creative Milieux: How Urban Design Nurtures Creative Clusters (2015) and The Uses of Art in Public Space (2015). Associate Professor Stevens research into innovative temporary appropriations of underused urban spaces was awarded an 18-month fellowship from Germany’s Humboldt Foundation and an ARC Discovery grant.

RMIT Award for Research Excellence (Enterprise)

Professor Steven Bozinovski

Professor Steven Bozinovski Professor Steven Bozinovski

Professor Steven Bozinovski is Head of the Airways Inflammation Research (AIR) Group at RMIT. He has extensive experience in developing biological therapeutics for the treatment of acute and chronic lung conditions.

With industry and NHMRC support, he continues to lead research into developing new therapies for respiratory disease. He has also driven translational research efforts leading to the discovery of novel disease biomarkers.

To date, Steven has published over 90 papers in leading scientific, respiratory and pharmacology journals and has been the recipient of highly competitive fellowships (CR Roper and an ARC-Future Fellowship) and has had ongoing support from NHMRC over the past 15 years.

RMIT Award for Research Excellence (Enterprise)

Associate Professor Nicky Eshtiaghi

Associate Professor Nicky Eshtiaghi Associate Professor Nicky Eshtiaghi

Associate Professor Nicky Eshtiaghi is one of the leading researchers in Australia in the area of sludge rheology. She investigates the flow behaviour of solid residue (sludge) from wastewater treatment plants to optimise energy efficiency of process in the sludge treatment lines.

Nicky’s unique industry focused approach to waste water sludge rheology is highlighted by her ability to connect local waste water treatment plants and industry experts, and blend this with her focus on the underlying science and theory.

The award of three ARC Linkage Projects emphasises the value of her work by her industry partners, with the grants also resulting in high quality research publications, allowing the outcomes of her work to be shared with industry and others.

Currently she is a Fellow of Engineers Australia (EA) and a Fellow of Higher Education Academy (UK), Engineers Australia Chartered Engineer and an Editor in Chemical Engineering Research and Design Journal (Q1, Elsevier).

RMIT Award for Research Excellence – Early Career Researcher (Technology)

Dr Lei Bao

Dr Lei Bao Dr Lei Bao

Dr Lei Bao holds an Australian Research Council, Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) and is a lecturer in Chemical and Environmental Engineering at the School of Engineering.

Her multidisciplinary work is centred on solving energy and environment related challenges by the controllable design of a nanodroplet-platform for nanomaterial synthesis and assembly.

As an Early Career Researcher, Dr Bao has a growing reputation for research excellence. This is evidenced by the number of high-quality and well-cited scholarly publications as well as national and international conference talks, with total Scopus citations exceeding 1700 and a h-index of 17.

Her research has been recognised by several competitive fellowships, awards, and grants, and she has also established strong collaborative links with University of Twente, Nanjing University of Posts and Telecommunications of China, and Wuhan University.

RMIT Award for Research Excellence – Early Career Researcher (Design)

Dr Rohit Ashok Khot

Dr Rohit Ashok Khot Dr Rohit Ashok Khot

Dr Rohit Ashok Khot is an exceptional early career researcher of international repute in the field of Human- Food Interaction. Working at the intersection of screen technology and eating practices, Dr Khot’s work challenges health stereotypes around mindfulness and wellbeing through the creative convergence of design and technology.

Dr Khot has published over 42 scholarly refereed articles in high-ranking international conferences and journals, and has received wide media recognition and best paper awards for his work.

In 2019, he was awarded the prestigious Australian Research Council’s Discovery Early Career Research Award (DECRA) having previously been awarded RMIT Vice-Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellowship, IBM PhD Fellowship and SIGCHI Development Fund Grant. Dr Khot is the author of the first scholarly book on the topic of Human-Food Interaction.

He serves his scholarly community by contributing to program committees for leading international Human Computer Interaction conferences and leads workshops and symposiums specifically around food and play.

RMIT Award for Research Excellence – Early Career Researcher (Enterprise)

Dr Sefa Awaworyi Churchill

Dr Sefa Awaworyi Churchill Dr Sefa Awaworyi Churchill

Dr Sefa Awaworyi Churchill’s inter-disciplinary research focuses on development economics, addictive behaviour, ethnic diversity, wellbeing, and other issues related to sociology, health and economics. He has made outstanding contributions to these fields with publications in some of the most prestigious general interest economics and field journals.

Awaworyi Churchill has also presented his research at various international conferences across the US, Europe, Asia, Australia and

Africa. He has edited two books, contributed to over a dozen book chapters and has also been the recipient of a number of prestigious academic research awards including an Endeavour Fellowship Award.

Awaworyi Churchill also has a strong record for attracting external grants, is an editorial board member for the rame Journal, and also a regular reviewer for over 25 international journals. 

RMIT Award for Research Impact (Technology)

Associate Professor Nicola Henry

Associate Professor Nicola Henry Associate Professor Nicola Henry

Associate Professor Nicola Henry’s research on technology-facilitated abuse has led to substantial legislative and policy reform in Australia. This includes specific criminal offences introduced in all but one Australian jurisdiction, including at the federal level.

Her research has also shaped, and provided the impetus for, the development of an innovative federal civil penalties scheme for the non-consensual sharing of intimate imagery. In addition to practical law and policy reform, Nicola’s research, through over 120 media interviews and multiple invited

panels and events in the past few years, has led to increased awareness and understanding of the problem of image-based abuse and other forms of sexual violence.

Associate Professor Henry has directly shaped the development of a world-first image-based abuse portal, an online training module on technology-facilitated abuse for frontline workers, and an online university course on disclosures of sexual violence.

Her work provides much-needed support to end-users, particularly victims and stakeholders.

RMIT Award for Research Impact (Design)

Associate Professor Mauro Baracco

Associate Professor Mauro Baracco Associate Professor Mauro Baracco

Associate Professor Mauro Baracco has achieved national and international recognition for the quality and impact of his research, primarily in the areas of urbanism and architectural design, with his work being described as “quietly radical”.

While serving in senior executive roles within the School of Architecture and Urban Design, he has maintained a strong research program that combines the academic and practice world through his unique design approach. One of the most significant impacts of Baracco’s research is displayed in REPAIR (with Louise Wright and Linda Tegg) which was selected by a national jury to represent Australia at the 2018 Venice Biennale of Architecture.

This prestigious commission resulted in multiple achievements, including the book published for the exhibition, book chapters, and multiple invitations to contribute to projects, publication series and exhibits.

RMIT Award for Research Impact (Enterprise)

Dr Grace McQuilten

Dr Grace McQuilten Dr Grace McQuilten

Dr Grace McQuilten has pioneered research on the model of social enterprise in the arts in Australia and has used the vehicle of art and design to advocate for social inclusion, with a particular focus on new migrant and refugee communities.

Grace has a multidisciplinary approach that engages with a range of fields including art, design, architecture, sustainability, sociology, business and international development. Her research in the last five years has resulted in the implementation of new models of social enterprise across Australia, the success of two ARC Discovery projects, an international monograph on arts-based social enterprise and the generation of over $500,000 in research funding.

As the leader of the Contemporary Art and Social Transformation research group in the School of Art at RMIT, Grace has spearheaded the development of new research teams, labs and interdisciplinary projects with a high level of industry and community engagement.

RMIT Award for Research Impact (Enterprise)

Professor Asha Rao

Professor Asha Rao Professor Asha Rao

Professor Asha Rao is an algebraist by training and applies algebraic techniques to a wide variety of problems, ranging from designing better codes for communication, to detecting money laundering and describing human interactions in the physical space.

Her research work in policy in the field of cybercrime is recognised internationally for its quality and applied nature and has resulted in her being invited by the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime to attend every Intergovernmental meeting on cybercrime since 2013.

Rao is a 2019-2020 Superstar of STEM, and is passionate about mathematics and gender issues that stymie the progress of women and girls in STEM careers.

Asha uses her own research and research outcomes to address the huge challenge of gender inequity in mathematical sciences - and more broadly in STEM - to ensure pathways are created, and the participation of women and other under-represented groups in mathematics is improved.

RMIT Award for Research Impact Early Career Researcher (Designer)

Dr Hugh Davies

Dr Hugh Davies Dr Hugh Davies

Dr Hugh Davies is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Design and Creative Practice Enabling Capability Platform. He has developed an outstanding international reputation in the study and design of games and play.

At RMIT, his research productivity and industry engagement has focused on developing ethnographic play methods for health, community and museum spaces.

Projects include curating the Longitude Exhibition and workshops of Asia-Pacific Games and Play at Library at the Dock with funding from the

City of Melbourne and the Ian Potter Foundation.

Davies also led the production of TIMeR, a wayfaring app enabling users to explore Indigenous understandings of place across the RMIT Campus. He has published widely in top tier-journals, is co-author of the forthcoming book Exploring Minecraft, and was awarded the prestigious M+ and Hong Kong Design Trust Fellowship.

With interdisciplinary curiosity and a passion for practice-led research, Davies continues to apply his scholarship in public, educational and industry settings.

RMIT Award for Research Impact - Early Career Researcher (Enterprise)

Dr Vicki Couzens

Dr Vicki Couzens Dr Vicki Couzens

Dr Vicki Couzens is a Vice Chancellor’s Indigenous Research Fellow, an artist and a Gunditjmara Keerray Woorroong woman, from the Western Districts of Victoria, who has played an active role in promoting the culture of her People.

Couzens has worked in Aboriginal community affairs for 40 years in cultural heritage practice, language reclamation and revival in her Gunditjmara mother tongue, and through her ongoing role as a Cloak Custodian across 80 Aboriginal language groups in the southeastern states of Australia

Vicki’s contributions in the reclamation, regeneration and revitalisation of cultural knowledge and practices extend across the arts and creative cultural expression spectrum including language research and community development.

Her contributions continue today in advisory roles across diverse community settings, including language immersion programs, youth mentoring camps, community health and wellbeing facilities, prisons and mainstream health and cultural organisations.

RMIT Award for Excellence - Team Award

Centre for Urban Research

Centre for Urban Research Centre for Urban Research

The Centre for Urban Research is a highly successful concentration of RMIT’s urban research capability. The Centre is a multi-disciplinary team of 65 researchers dedicated to improving knowledge and policy for sustainable cities and regions. Formed in 2012, CUR’s scale makes it the largest dedicated urban research Centre in Australia.

The Centre is highly reputed for its national research leadership and collegial multidisciplinary research environment. Sought out as a home for high-performing researchers, CUR has attracted 13 RMIT VC Fellows since 2014 and has achieved more than 20 ARC and AHURI national competitive grants, plus major collaborative bids, such as the $8.8m NESP Clean Air and Urban Landscapes Hub. CUR research income grew 250 per cent during 2015-2018 to $5.4 million, equivalent to 9.2per cent of RMIT’s research income.

RMIT Award for Excellence - Impact and Collaboration Team Award

Sans Forgetica team - Dr Janneke Blijlevens, Mr Stephen Banham, Dr Jo Peryman

Sans Forgetica team - Dr Janneke Blijlevens, Mr Stephen Banham, Dr Jo Peryman Sans Forgetica team - Dr Janneke Blijlevens, Mr Stephen Banham, Dr Jo Peryman

Sans Forgetica is a new typeface designed using psychological principles to improve memory. It is believed to be the world’s first typeface created using psychological and design theories to help retention of information.

Sans Forgetica breaks many of the design principles used in typography, the resultant ‘distinctiveness’ causes the reader to dwell longer on each word, giving the brain more time to engage in deeper cognitive processing, enhancing memory. The typeface was tested across hundreds of students with positive results.

Sans Forgetica has achieved an outstanding level of national and international impact. Covered across media worldwide, it attracted over 200 million views and has since won multiple awards.

Sans Forgetica is a model of true interdisciplinary research collaboration – both between

Schools as well as between academia and industry, offering RMIT substantial status in showing applied interdisciplinary research to a local and international higher education sector.

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. - Artwork created by Louisa Bloomer