ARC Linkage Grants back 19 projects

9 June 2011

These research grants are designed to help produce tangible solutions to real issues.
These research grants are designed to help produce tangible solutions to real issues.

Tumour-targeting cancer technology, mathematics teaching in high schools and energy efficient housing are just three fields which will benefit from University of Sydney research after the latest round of Australian Research Council Linkage Project grants were announced.

The University of Sydney received a total of $6.709 million for the 19 successful applications. Some of the research projects this money will support are outlined below.

Professor Dale Bailey from the Faculty of Health Sciences and Professor Clive Baldock and Associate Professor Zdenka Kuncic, both from the School of Physics, will receive $265,000 over four years for a study into liver cancer treatment.

The treatment uses radioactive microspheres that, when injected, seek out and target tumours directly without harming healthy tissue. It has potential applications for other cancers. Partner organisations include Sirtex Technology Pty Ltd and the Royal North Shore Hospital.

Professor Thomas Maschmeyer and Associate Professor Anthony Masters, both from the School of Chemistry, and Professor Tony Vassallo, from the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering in the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies, have secured $420,000 over four years for a project to research zinc-bromine batteries, a potentially efficient way of storing of renewable energy. Their partner organisations are Alpha Chemicals Pty Ltd and ZBB Technologies Ltd.

Professor Rick Shine from the School of Biological Sciences will receive $530,000 over six years for a study of the cane toad's southern invasion front in NSW and its affect on biodiversity. Partner organisations include the Australian Wildlife Conservancy, Lismore City Council, NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, Northern Rivers Catchment Management Authority and Tweed Shire Council.

The Faculty of Education and Social Work's Associate Professor Janette Bobis, Dr Jennifer Way and Associate Professor Judith Anderson will receive $158,000 for research into how mathematics teaching for middle-year students can be transformed by helping teachers become self-directed learners. The Catholic Schools Office is the partner organisation.

A study of the impact of maritime and marine environmental and cultural change on the Great Barrier Reef and the Torres Strait since 1770 will be led by Professor Iain McCalman from the Department of History in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. The project has received $690,236 in funding, and involves a cross-disciplinary collaboration between university scholars, museum curators, the Australian National Maritime Museum, Queensland Museum and Silentworld Foundation.

Associate Professor Philip Leong from the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies has secured $375,000 to work with Westpac on a project to manage foreign exchange rate variations, enabling banks to better assess their risk, ultimately leading to improved services for Australian companies.

Professor Alexander McBratney and Dr Budiman Minasny from the Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources will work with Tasmania's Department of Primary Industries Parks Water and Environment (TAS) on a soil and sustainable irrigation project.

Dr Gregor Verbic and Professor David Hill, both from the School of Electrical and Information Engineering, have been awarded $425,000 for a smart house energy management system. The collaboration with AUSGRID will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase energy efficiency by smarter use of the resources at household level.

A collaborative project between the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies, the Sydney Medical School and Microsoft Research Australia has secured $386,000 for a 'patient-centric, holistic e-health project'.

Other successful projects include the development of intelligent surveying systems in autonomous underwater vehicles, a cutting edge project in the field of biomedical implants and tissue integration, and an investigation into psychosocial, health and economic outcomes for children and families affected by rare childhood diseases.

ARC Linkage Projects link researchers in higher education with partner organisations outside of the higher education sector to carry out collaborative research in any discipline.

"These partnerships help produce tangible, workable solutions to real issues, like climate change, health and national security," said Senator Kim Carr, Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, on announcing the funding.

This latest round of ARC Linkage Project funding commences in July 2011.

Media enquiries: Kath Kenny, 0478 303 173, 9351 1584,

Victoria Hollick, 0401 711 361, 9351 2579,