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Success across the board in latest round of ARC grants


6 November 2012

Professor Bryan Gaensler: "The biggest problems in cosmology can be answered only by seeing the whole sky. The new telescope is the missing half of the equation."
Professor Bryan Gaensler: "The biggest problems in cosmology can be answered only by seeing the whole sky. The new telescope is the missing half of the equation."

The planet's most powerful survey telescope is among the 100-plus University of Sydney projects to receive funding in the latest round of Australian Research Council (ARC) Grants.

When built, the Hawaiian-based PanSTARRS-2 telescope will constantly survey the northern half of the sky, says Professor Bryan Gaensler from the University's Sydney Institute for Astronomy.

"We have a similar telescope in Australia that sees the southern half of the sky," he says. "But the biggest problems in cosmology can be answered only by seeing the whole sky. The new telescope is the missing half of the equation."

PanSTARRS-2 is one of 102 successful Discovery Projects, Discovery Early Career Research and Linkage Infrastructure successful grants received by the University worth total of $37.6 million in this latest round.

Other recipients from the University of Sydney include:

Dr Yazi Ke from the Brain and Mind Research Institute has been awarded $375,000 to better understand the role of the protein tau in dementia. Tau is present in abnormal deposits in brains of individuals with dementia. The main aim of this project is to unravel and understand in detail new roles of tau in neurons, thus shedding light on normal brain function.

Professor Sheila Fitzpatrick from the Department of History has received $477,575 to identify and study post-World War II immigrants to Australia, who came from the Soviet Union via Displaced Persons camps. This project adds a new strand to the story of the making of the Australian people.

Associate Professor Itai Einav and Dr Luming Shen from the School of Civil Engineering will receive $380,000 to better understand and control fragmentation waves in granular systems subject to impact loading. The outcomes will be essential for geosciences including studying earthquakes and meteoric impacts.

"I would like to congratulate our researchers on their success in securing a significant number of grants in these most competitive times," says Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Jill Trewhella.

"Australian Research Council funding is critical for our universities to continue advancing the knowledge frontier across all disciplines and importantly to research translation and innovation that will have far-reaching effects for Australia and beyond. These results will ensure that we continue to be a vibrant centre for disciplinary and cross-disciplinary collaborative research."


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Media enquiries: Jocelyn Prasad, 02 9114 1382, jocelyn.prasad@sydney.edu.au