2020 Research Awards Recipients

Awards for Research Excellence

Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Research Excellence

Professor Magdalena Plebanski

Professor Magdalena Plebanski Professor Magdalena Plebanski

Professor Magdalena Plebanski (PhD, MBA, GradDipPsySt, BScHon) is recipient a prestigious NHMRC Senior Research Fellow LB award, and Head of the Translational Immunology and Nanotechnology Program in the School of Health and Biomedical Sciences at RMIT University. She is also the Biomedical and Health Innovation Enabling Capability Platform (BHI-ECP) Director. Since arriving from Oxford University in the UK 20 years ago, she has held continuous externalNHMRC and other competitive funding for her research. During her career she pioneered concepts on how parasites and cancer cells evade the immune system with research published consistently in top tier journals (Science, Nature, Lancet, Nature Medicine, Immunity amongst others), and international recognition such as the Howard Hughes International Scholar Award (USA). She has >180 full-length peer-reviewed papers, plus published abstracts and book chapters with >11,000 citations (Google Scholar) or >220 publications in total. Additionally, her fundamental insights into how nanoparticles interact with the immune system, led her to practically develop and commercialize nanovaccines and lung nanotherapeutics, with around 50 patents in 10 patent families, supporting the formation of multiple successful biotechnology companies nationally and internationally, in which she played diverse roles as inventor, Director, CSO and CEO. She currently leads research engaging industry partners and hospitals in human clinical trials to deliver much needed innovation in diagnostics, vaccines and immune therapies to vulnerable populations: older adults and women with ovarian cancer.

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

Associate Professor Sefa Awaworyi Churchill

Dr Awaworyi Churchill’s Dr Awaworyi Churchill’s

Dr Awaworyi Churchill’s inter-disciplinary research focuses on development, health, and energy

economics. He has made outstanding contributions to these fields with publications in some of the

most prestigious general interest economics and field journals. His contribution as a leader in the

field of his research is evidenced by the publication of over 80 books, book chapters and articles in

top-ranking journal outlets, and presentations at various international conferences across the US,

Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa. He has also been the recipient of several prestigious academic

research awards including an Endeavour Fellowship Award and Research Excellence Awards at the

School, College and University levels at RMIT University. Awaworyi Churchill has a strong record

for attracting external grants. He serves as managing guest editor for two prestigious field journals

(Energy Economics and Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization) and is an editorial board

member for the Sage Open Journal and the Journal of Economics, Race and Policy.

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

Dr Shruti Nirantar

Dr Shruti Nirantar Dr Shruti Nirantar

Shruti’s PhD work was focused on exploring new class of nanoscale electro-ionic devices based on smart and economic materials. Her work successfully produced prototypes for memory devices, and fundamental electronic component - transistor built with just metal and air. This work contributed in the advancement of efficient silicon-free nanoelectronic technology, with significant relevance to the international scientific community and industry.

Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Research Supervision Excellence

Professor Dayanthi Nugegoda

Professor Dayanthi Nugegoda Professor Dayanthi Nugegoda

Professor Dayanthi Nugegoda is an Ecotoxicologist, with 26 years of research on monitoring,

minimising and remediating pollution in Australia. She has published 4 books, 4 book chapters, 160+

scientific papers and served on expert panels for Governments and Industry. She has graduated 28 HDR (23 PhD) candidates at RMIT (25 as Senior Supervisor) and currently supervises 13 (8 as Senior

Supervisor). Her HDR have first authorship of many publications leading to recognition of RMIT as

the premier University for HDR in ecotoxicology. Since 2017 she graduated 7 PhD candidates as Senior supervisor (2 as associate) and her team published 38 high quality papers. Dayanthi has sustained excellence in research supervision at RMIT, mentored junior supervisors and demonstrated leadership and commitment to diversity and inclusion in research training. Her passion is to guide young scientists in ecotoxicology to be future ambassadors and influence industry, governments and policy; ensuring sustainable development.

Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Research Impact

Dr Charles T. Hunt

Dr Charles T. Hunt Dr Charles T. Hunt

Dr Charles Hunt’s internationally recognised research on United Nations (UN) peace operations has contributed to significant changes in policy and praxis at a national and international level. His work on protecting civilians in conflict-affected societies has paved the way for improvements in practice including the production of a practical field handbook guiding Australian uniformed and civilian personnel during conflict and humanitarian crisis response operations. Dr Hunt’s expertise has significantly influenced the policy-making of multiple governments and contributed to major UN reform initiatives. His work provides a rigorous evidence base for end-users seeking to safeguard civilian life amid some of the deadliest conflicts around the world. Through regular invitations to provide expert commentary in the media, and multiple invited panels and events, Charles’ research has led to increased awareness and understanding of the policies and practices that improve the prospects for civilians caught up in conflict.

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

Associate Professor Shelley Marshall

Associate Professor Shelley Marshall Associate Professor Shelley Marshall

Research-based Collaborative leadership is how Associate Professor Shelley Marshall brings about change. Faced with a seemingly intractable stand-off between business and worker-rights groups in Thailand, Shelley led stakeholders in the Thai Ministry of Labour on a two-year action-research project. It built consensus about the need to enforce laws for Thailand’s most vulnerable workers. Today, labour inspectors around Thailand are assisting homeworkers using the tools Shelley co-designed with those stakeholders. Shelley has also been the driver behind the creation of a world-first network of academics and human rights organisations: the Australian Corporate Accountability Network. It empowers NGOs with much needed evidence and amplifies scholarly research. With over 100 members, ACAN is attaining a policy influence that would not have been possible without this alliance. She has guided RMIT interns to provide advice to ACAN members on human rights and climate change litigation. She now brings this collaborative spirit to RMIT’s new Business and Human Rights Centre.

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

Dr Syed Minhaj Saleem Kazmi

Dr Syed Minhaj Saleem Kazmi Dr Syed Minhaj Saleem Kazmi

Dr Syed Minhaj Saleem Kazmi has been a highly motivated and outstanding individual during his PhD research. His research focuses on the development of innovative materials and technologies for the recycling of different construction and industrial wastes into concrete without compromising the performance of concrete. His research work contributed to the development of novel rubberised concrete processing technology, a pioneering technology, for the efficient utilisation of rubber and construction and demolition wastes in concrete without strength deficiency.

Syed was awarded the RMIT School of Engineering HDR Impact Prize 2020, HDR Publication Prize 2019 and CSIRO On Prime performance bonus during his candidature. He has worked as an international exchange research student at Shenzhen University, China and presented his research at multiple international conferences and industry meetings. Syed has published 29 peer-reviewed articles in prestigious research journals/conferences during his candidature, and his work has been cited 425+ times by the academic community.

Awards for Research Excellence

RMIT Research Excellence and Impact awards and prizes

RMIT Research Excellence – Team Award

The Technology, Communication & Policy Lab, DERC

Distinguished Professor Julian Thomas Distinguished Professor Julian Thomas

The Technology, Communication and Policy (TCP) Lab in the Digital Ethnography Research Centre (DERC) in the School of Media and Communication at RMIT was formed in 2017 and comprises seven staff members, led by Distinguished Professor Julian Thomas. The Lab’s work addresses urgent problems in technological, cultural and social change. The Lab draws on a range of disciplines and methods, and works extensively with partners across universities, government, and the non-government and industry sectors. 

The Lab has made substantial contributions to: 

  • Developing positive solutions to problems in communications and cultural policy and industries; 
  • Providing useful evidence and analysis to inform public debate; 
  • Conceptual and theoretical innovation in media and communication disciplines; and 
  • Training outstanding digital media and communication researchers 

Lab members have secured highly competitive ARC grants totalling almost $39 million, including a Centre of Excellence, three Future Fellowships, one DECRA, one LIEF project, three Linkage Projects, and three Discovery Projects. They have also secured industry funding totalling more than $1.05 million. 

The team members are: 

  • Distinguished Professor Julian Thomas​
  • Associate Professor Ellie Rennie​
  • Associate Professor Rowan Wilken​
  • Associate Professor Ramon Lobato​
  • Associate Professor Haiqing Yu​
  • Dr Jenny Kennedy​
  • Dr James Meese​

RMIT Award for Innovative Research Supervision

Dr Konrad Peszynski

Konrad Peszynski Dr Konrad Peszynski

Dr Konrad Peszynski is a passionate and innovative supervisor who has supervised 20 HDR Candidates to date and has jointly published 25 papers in high-ranking journals, conferences and book chapters. As School HDR Coordinator between 2014 and 2018, Dr Peszynski was an active member of the University Graduate Research Committee (GRC) that oversaw the development and implementation of a range of important HDR policies.  At the School level, 

Dr Peszynski introduced new procedures such as the ‘expression of interest website’, supervision transparency and supervision/candidate quality control. Since implementing these initiatives, HDR candidate engagement and intellectual climate increased not only within the School but across the College of Business and Law, with some initiatives being adopted in other parts of RMIT University. Dr Peszynski was the recipient of the 2018 School of Business IT and Logistics Award for HDR Supervision and the 2018 College Award for Innovative Research Supervision (by School). 

RMIT Award for Excellence – Graduate Research Leadership

Associate Professor Georgina Haydon

Georgina Heydon Associate Professor Georgina Heydon

In her role as the Program Manager of the Higher Degrees by Research Program in the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies, Associate Professor Georgina Heydon has developed protocols and systems that have contributed substantially to excellent research training outcomes, as well as developing the new milestone procedures university-wide. 

Georgina uses her exceptional leadership skills in managing a high number of complex and challenging candidatures whilst maintaining high standards and enhancing student engagement and the intellectual climate in the Higher Degrees by Research programs.

RMIT Award for Excellence – Industry Engagement in Graduate Research

Professor Babak Abbasi

Professor Babak Abbasi Professor Babak Abbasi

Professor Abbasi is a professor of Business Analytics and Decision Sciences. He started a long-term research collaboration with the Australian Red Cross Blood Service (ARCBS) in 2010. This collaboration has resulted in numerous industry projects, joint publications, industry reports, and PhD supported and funded projects. This relationship has provided opportunities for PhD students to work on practical problems in the blood supply chain area. 

The work of his PhD students in the area of improving blood management has been recognised at national and international levels evidenced by winning the ‘Best PhD Project Award’ at the International Conference on Operations Research and Enterprise Systems (ICORES) and the ‘Best Paper Award’ at International Congress on Modelling and Simulation (MODSIM/ASOR). He has co-authored several articles in leading journals with his PhD students. 

RMIT Award for Research Excellence – Technology

Associate Professor Donald Wlodkowic

Associate Professor Donald Wlodkowic Associate Professor Donald Wlodkowic

Associate Professor Donald Wlodkowic, a former Australian Research Council Fellow and Vice Chancellor’s Senior Research Fellow, is a pioneer of next-generation biomicrofluidic technologies for toxicology research on small aquatic model organisms as well as state-of-the-art innovations in digital video-based technologies for high-throughput analysis of animal behaviour. He is one of Australia’s leading experts in experimental behavioural neurotoxicology with interests spanning effects of industrial pollutants, neurotoxins and neuroactive drugs on central nervous systems. 

A highly innovative emphasis of his research is focused on chemical modulation of innate behavioural and cognitive (learning and memory retrieval) functions as well as emerging strategies to develop and evaluate new neuroactive and neuroprotective drugs using alternative proxy biological models.  

His publications have been cited over 4200 times with an h-index of 36. His close collaboration with industry led to a number of co-developed research projects, significant value creation and translation of research for diverse stakeholders.

RMIT Award for Research Excellence – Design

Professor Ellie Rennie

Professor Ellie Rennie Professor Ellie Rennie

Professor Ellie Rennie is known within and beyond academia for research on complex problems related to technology infrastructures. Engagement with communities and industry is a core part of her research methods and has helped her to achieve significant research impact. Over the past five years her research on digital inclusion has been used by policymakers and telecommunication companies to create better products and outcomes for people living in remote communities. She is now pioneering research into the social outcomes of emerging distributed technologies, investigating how these technologies influence cooperation, inclusion and accountability across different domains. Her research is advancing understanding of the capabilities of civil society organisations to undertake social innovation using media and communication technologies. 

She commenced a prestigious ARC Future Fellowship in 2020. 

RMIT Award for Research Excellence – Enterprise

Associate Professor Jeff Shimeta

Associate Professor Jeff Shimeta Associate Professor Jeff Shimeta

Associate Professor Jeff Shimeta leads highly impactful, industry engaged, collaborative research across a wide range of marine environmental problems. He has long-standing research and funding relationships with Australian Defence Science & Technology, state environmental agencies, and water resource industries. His research spans impacts and management of marine invasive species, ecology of marine biofouling and development of technologies for reducing its impact on materials and infrastructure, impacts of chemical pollutants in aquatic habitats, and more. 

The strategic-basic research in his group has led to new solutions in the sectors of environmental management and marine infrastructure and operations. Jeff brings a uniquely multidisciplinary approach to his research and his collaborations, which has facilitated his industry engagement and provides an inspiring model for his research students, who have excelled under his supervision. He has a sustained record of industry funding, high quality research outputs, and recognition as an expert in his field. 

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

Dr Andy Boes

Dr Andy Boes Dr Andy Boes

Dr Andy Boes is a photonics engineer who specialises in photonic integrated circuits and their use for analog photonic systems, such as sensors and signal processing.  

Boes’ unique combination of imagination, methodical approach and  unerring drive to succeed resulted in a PhD that was noted as ‘outstanding’ by his international examiners and resulted in more than 10 collaborative publications (including five as the first author) and nomination to a major team member in the ARC Centre CUDOS. He has collaborated successfully with an Australian SME Advanced Navigation, where he is exploring integrated optical circuit chips for optical gyroscopes aimed at inertial navigation systems that have enabled him to secure a major research grant (CRC-P round 9) with Advanced Navigation.  

Andy is currently the team leader of the defence team at the Integrated Photonics and Applications Centre.

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

Dr Leah Heiss

Dr Leah Heiss Dr Leah Heiss

Dr Leah Heiss is an award‐winning RMIT designer, researcher and academic who works at the nexus of design, health and emerging Technologies. Her research focuses on designing wearable health technologies, services and experiences that aim to improve or save Lives. Her wearable technologies include jewellery to administer insulin, cardiac monitoring jewellery, swallowable devices to detect disease and emergency jewellery for times of medical crisis. 

The Facett hearing aid, that Leah designed for Blamey Saunders hears won many awards including the 2018 Australian Good Design Award of the Year, the CSIRO Design Innovation Award and a Premier’s Design Award. Leah is currently working with RMIT Engineering researchers on the use of stretchable sensors for heart health, pre-diabetes and monitoring COVID-19 symptoms in aged care.  

She is co-director of the RMIT Wearables and Sensing Network that brings together over 75 researchers from 12 RMIT Schools to collaborate and connect.

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

Dr Kate Nguyen

Dr Kate Nguyen Dr Kate Nguyen

Dr Kate Nguyen is an exceptional early career researcher whose progress and innovation in construction has attracted $2.4 million in government funding over the past three years. Following the Discovery Early Career Researchers Award from the Australian Research Council and the 2019 Victoria Fellowship in Physical Sciences, she is RMIT's first winner of the prestigious L'OREAL-UNESCO Women in Science Fellowship award in 2020 for her research excellence. 

Dr Nguyen's work has been recognised nationally thanks to her strong commitment to Engineers Australia and Standards Australia. She has developed international cooperation with the world's leading experts and attracted significant mainstream media attention. At the forefront of research into advanced building materials and technologies, one of her publications was ranked among the most cited articles in the leading journal Composites Part B: Engineering, while her work has already attracted more than 1,400 citations.

RMIT Prize for Research Excellence – Higher Degree by Research (Technology)

Dr Mohammad Saberian Boroujeni

Dr Mohammad Saberian Boroujeni Dr Mohammad Saberian Boroujeni

Dr Mohammad Saberian Boroujeni completed his PhD in the field of Civil and Infrastructure Engineering. Mohammad explored new types of sustainable pavements by using recycled waste materials, including construction and demolition wastes, crushed glass and crumb rubber. His innovative research and the testified low-cost, low-carbon-footprint stabilisation technology has attracted increasing attention from local industry including Hiway Stabilizers Australia Pty. Ltd. and Wacker Chemicals Pty. Ltd. His work also received attention from the media Daily Mail Australia, Roads and Infrastructure Magazine, ScienceDaily, Top Stories Today. 

During his PhD study, Mohammad published 32 journal articles, of which 21 were Q1 articles including 15 first-author papers published in well-known top international journals. He was the recipient of the HDR Publication Prize (2020), the APR Intern Impact Prize (2019) and the Ford Publication Prize (2018). 

RMIT Prize for Research Excellence – Higher Degree by Research (Design)

Dr Tullia O'Neil

Dr Tullia O'Neil Dr Tullia O'Neil

Dr O’Neill is a sexual violence researcher with a background in criminology and qualitative research. Her thesis explores how victim-survivors speak out about sexual violence in digital contexts. Her research sheds light on what justice means for victim-survivors - demonstrating how online spaces provide new opportunities to be heard, as well as support healing and connection. An analysis of the #MeToo hashtag movement, which coincidentally unfolded mid-way through the research in September 2017 provided valuable insights into victim-survivors’ understanding of ‘speaking out’ prior, during, and after the onset of #MeToo.  

Central to her research is the importance and impact of the voices of victim-survivors and that through sharing their experiences online they significantly contribute to change.   

O’Neill published a sole authored paper in a top quartile journal in 2018 during her candidature as well as co-authored an article for The Conversation and numerous conference papers.

RMIT Prize for Research Excellence – Higher Degree by Research (Enterprise)

Dr Nitu Syed

Dr Nitu Syed Dr Nitu Syed

Nitu Syed’s research demonstrate a new paradigm in developing ultra-large and atomically thin two-dimensional (2D) material for next-generation electronic applications. She developed facile, low-temperature liquid metal-based synthesis strategies allowing the isolation of centimetre-scale, super thin nanosheets of non-stratified materials, drastically increasing the number of accessible 2D materials. 

Various novel properties of these ultra-thin materials have been unlocked which have provided solutions to numerous technological challenges. The elegance of the developed synthesis process is that it doesn’t require expensive or specialised equipment to create the super thin wafer-scale nanomaterials for various photocatalytic, piezoelectric and optoelectronic applications. Her research will have tremendous environmental impact by eliminating constraints in fabrication techniques and obstacles to scalability. Specifically, her developed industry-compatible procedure to print large surface area 2D piezoelectric films offers tremendous opportunities for developing piezo-sensors and energy harvesters.  

In addition, in future the piezoelectric materials can be used in different medical and healthcare sensors.

Awards for Research Impact

RMIT Award for Impact and Collaboration - Team Award

The Multifunctional Composites Research Group

Distinguished Professor Adrian Mouritz Distinguished Professor Adrian Mouritz

The Multifunctional Composites Research Team is a world-renowned group with the mission to partner with industry and government in the application of multifunctional fibre-reinforced polymer composites. The group collaborates with multiple sectors, including aerospace, automotive and defence, to enable wealth generation and enhanced national security. The multidisciplinary team, which includes engineers, materials scientists, and chemists, applies its diverse skills to undertake computational and experimental research to advance the field of composite materials, which in 2020 is valued globally at about AUD$240 billion. 

The research conducted by the Multifunctional Composites Research Team has created demonstrable impact including patentable advanced manufacturing technologies; the creation of fire structural property databanks and related models that have since been adopted by the Royal Australian Navy and the United States Navy; the diversion of end-of-life polymeric materials from the landfill; the development of shape memory foam that mitigates the risk of bed ulcers due to long-term hospitalisation; the creation of lightweight and structurally efficient composite structures for reducing the carbon footprint of transport vehicles, and the protection of Australian and allied citizens by solving defence problems.

The team members are: 

  • Distinguished Professor Adrian Mouritz​
  • Professor Pier Marzocca​
  • Professor Stuart Bateman​
  • Associate Professor Adrian Orifici​
  • Associate Professor Akbar Khatibi​
  • Associate Professor Everson Kandare​
  • Associate Professor Raj Das​
  • Dr Raj Ladani​
  • Dr Jessirie Dilag​
  • Dr Joel Galos​
  • Dr Katherine Grigoriou​

RMIT Award for Research Impact – Technology

Dr Sarvesh Soni

Dr Sarvesh Soni Dr Sarvesh Soni

Dr Soni is a trained microbiologist and incorporates the principles and methodologies for creating impact from his research in multi-disciplinary fields such as bioresource management and technology, citizen science, diagnostics and nanotherapeutics. The overarching goal of his research in ‘the sustainable mitigation of public health risks’, is achieved through engagement with individuals, communities, and public and private organisations. He is an experienced academician doing highly multidisciplinary research and is skilled in Research and Development (R&D), disruptive innovation, and technology entrepreneurship. 

The potential and impact of his research includes transformation in the way biosolids are managed in Australia which paves the way for improved and more environmentally sustainable practices globally;  inhaled nano-therapeutics for deadly tuberculosis; point of care microbial detection technology for risk mitigation; policy change in regard to the storage and release of recycled water; and optimization of the use of sunscreens in the marine environment. 

RMIT Award for Research Impact – Design

Professor Ingo Karpen

Professor Ingo Karpen Professor Ingo Karpen

Professor Ingo Karpen is a leading international expert in strategic design and service design. Researching and practicing these purposeful approaches to innovation, Ingo continuously engages with the community to initiate, lead, and facilitate transformation of ecosystems to better serve people. In recent years Ingo has been leading multiple projects in business and legal sectors to solve complex legacy problems and reimagine user experiences through a design-led approach. Working with various clients, for example, across legal institutions and bringing together a wide range of interdisciplinary stakeholders, Ingo has been responsible for co-designing socio-cultural, architectural, procedural, technological and strategic changes that directly benefit the wider community and importantly some of the most vulnerable members of society.

RMIT Award for Research Impact – Enterprise

Professor Bronwyn Naylor

Professor Bronwyn Naylor Professor Bronwyn Naylor

Professor Naylor has an extended track record in the areas of criminal law and criminology, and within that framework, her work has focused on violations of human rights in detention and incarceration settings and their impact on social justice. Bronwyn has been a Chief Investigator in several major grant-funded projects in these and other fields and has consulted to the Victorian Law Reform Commission on a range of criminal law reforms. In recognition of her work on human rights in places of detention, she has been appointed to a National Advisory Group to the Commonwealth Ombudsman.  

Professor Naylor and her team were recognised with a 2018 Australian Philanthropy Award for its Criminal Record Discrimination Project, which successfully achieved the expungement of childhood criminal records for members of the Stolen Generation in Victoria.

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

Dr Aaron Elbourne

Dr Aaron Elbourne Dr Aaron Elbourne

Dr Aaron Elbourne’s research is focused on developing antimicrobial surface and particle technologies for the treatment of antimicrobial resistant bacteria and fungi. Antibiotic-resistant bacterial and fungal infections are a significant health concern as conventional antibiotics are slowly losing their efficacy. Dr Elbourne is working on developing novel materials with antimicrobial properties, such as magnetically activated liquid metal nanoparticles, zinc-based nanostructured surfaces, and 2D materials. Dr Elbourne’s expertise is in investigating soft matter systems using atomic force microscopy. He has been applying this technique to understand the interactions between biological entities and nano-materials, with the aim of developing novel technologies that can kill bacteria or prohibit biofilm formation. He has successfully identified a number of materials which exhibit high levels of antimicrobial activity. 

Dr Elbourne is also applying his expertise to develop next-generation vaccine technologies, antimicrobial technologies, and anti-cancer antibodies, as well as new methods for combating antibiotic resistance. 

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

Dr Bruno Schivinski

Dr Bruno Schivinski Dr Bruno Schivinski

Dr. Bruno Schivinski’s research has led to major achievements in the development of a cross culturally valid diagnostic tool for Gaming Disorder (GDT) as defined by the World Health Organization. The findings of his research were also used as the scientific foundation for the SMART GAMING Initiative, which was subsequently adopted by ESL Gaming, the largest esports league in the world, as a self-administered test through which gamers can identify whether they are at risk of GDT. The Initiative was widely acknowledged by the media, international press, gaming community, and beyond. The SMART GAMING Initiative has to-date reached and educated more than 250,000 gamers in over 90 countries.

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

Dr Abdulgha Mohamed

Dr Abdulgha Mohamed Dr Abdulgha Mohamed

Dr Abdulghani Mohamed’s research has been substantial and global and resulted from a novel, biomimetic method of minimising the impact of turbulence on aircraft - one of the major causes of aircraft accidents. This has been taken up by RMIT to full patent status and has resulted in significant commercial interest, including two meetings with the Chief Scientist of Lockheed Martin as well as senior staff from Boeing and Airbus. 

Dr Mohamed co-leads the RMIT UAS Research Team which is internationally leading atmospheric turbulence research and received the 2017 RMIT VC Research Excellence Team Award. He was named among Australia’s top defence scientists in 2019 and was awarded a $10K Cash Prize as the 2015 Young Aerospace Innovator for his patented technology. Abdulghani’s research excellence is reflected by his awards and high-quality publications in top aerospace journals in addition to his strong relationships with industry, whereby he received grants (totalling >$1.9M, since 2015). 

RMIT Prize for Research Impact – Higher Degree by Research (Technology)

Mr Muhammad Junaid Munir

Mr Muhammad Junaid Munir Mr Muhammad Junaid Munir

Muhammad is one of the four inventors of a rubberised concrete processing technology, a pioneering technology, for the efficient utilisation of waste rubber in concrete without causing strength deficiency. This is a significant achievement and has the potential impact to solve the problems affiliated with the inferior performance of rubberised concrete, waste rubber tyres landfilling and other environmental and health concerns. Munir has published 29 research articles including 25 peer-reviewed journal articles and 4 peer-reviewed conference publications during his candidature. 

In 2018, Muhammad received an exchange PhD student scholarship of 100,000 RMB at Shenzhen University. Muhammad has also been awarded the HDR Impact Prize 2020 and HDR Intern Prize 2019 by the School of Engineering, RMIT University. 

RMIT Prize for Research Impact – Higher Degree by Research (Design)

Ms Sruthi Kuriakose

Ms Sruthi Kuriakose Ms Sruthi Kuriakose

Sruthi has a passion for designing new material systems for the next generation of smaller and powerful electronics that could one day replace conventional materials. This could lead to fascinating new technologies such as smartdust and autonomous implantable devices for health/environment monitoring. 

Sruthi`s collaborative works have generated technology to create high-density data storage and translate the functionality of a brain on a chip. Sruthi's work has acquired global recognition which is not only evident from the high-impact, highly cited publications (>150 citations and h index of 6). 

Sruthi has been recognised as one of the Most Innovative Engineers (Electronics and Telecommunications) in Australia 2020 by Engineer’s Australia for her research contributions.

RMIT Prize for Research Impact - Higher Degree by Research (Enterprise)

Ms Shahla Teimouri

Ms Shahla Teimouri Ms Shahla Teimouri

Shahla Teimouri is an international PhD candidate in the School of Science in the Food Chemistry & Biophysics Group at RMIT University. Shahla has succeeded in developing a new theoretical framework to predict the dynamics of diffusion in complex systems of swellable food-based biopolymer matrices, which is highly relevant to the field of nutraceutical and functional food design and is a significant development to research in this area. 

Shahla has already published much of her PhD research in top food science journals including Food Hydrocolloids, Food Chemistry and LWT food science and technology (with impact factors of 7.053, 6.306 and 4.006, respectively).

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

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.