Industry Research Fellowships recipients

Program Period Project Location Sector Amount
Industry Research Fellowships 2018
Autonomous microwave inspection systems for civil and marine industry

Dr Adnan Trakic

This project will develop a novel robotically-assisted microwave inspection technology, delivering 50-times more accurate and 300-times faster detection of deep-interior structural defects in Queensland tunnels, buildings, roads, bridges, mining infrastructure and sea facilities. Project aims will be achieved by combining modern microwave systems with the cutting-edge robotic technology and artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms, in order to autonomously image, diagnose and report structural defects remotely to a Queensland based end-user station.


The University of Queensland $300,000
Industry Research Fellowships 2018
RNA vaccines for next generation crop protection against fungal pathogens

Dr Anne Sawyer

This fellowship with strong industry partnerships will deliver BioClay-based RNA vaccines to protect Queensland horticulture from pre- and post-harvest fungal diseases of avocado ($226M), pineapple ($70M) and iconic Australian Myrtaceae species. Conventional fungicides suffer from issues of resistance, run-off, lack of specificity and toxicity to humans and the environment. This fellowship aims to deliver clean green safe produce from pre- to post-harvest, from field to supermarket trolley. These biodegradable RNA vaccines will provide sustainable protection of fruit and native plants from fungal diseases.


The University of Queensland $180,000
Industry Research Fellowships 2018
Biofabrication for orthopaedic and soft tissue implants

Dr Asha Mathew

This fellowship will develop innovative implant materials for musculoskeletal repair. The goal is to utilize advanced 3D composite and metal-printing technology to manufacture personalized orthopaedic implants and geometrically modify the surface to address current challenges. This will allow the design and manufacture of high quality, custom-made implants with low production cost to improve clinical outcomes.


Queensland University of Technology $180,000
Industry Research Fellowships 2018
Achieving commercial antioxidant production in new yeast strains

Dr Carlos Horacio Luna-Flores

Astaxanthin is a natural antioxidant with pink-pigmentation and health promoting properties that is extensively used in the animal feed industry. Currently, astaxanthin is mainly produced from unsustainable petrochemicals. In this project, astaxanthin production will be further increased, explored, and improved to commercial levels through advanced systems biology techniques. This project is strongly aligned with the industry (Bioproton) partner's commercial fermentation project.


Queensland University of Technology $180,000
Industry Research Fellowships 2018
Sustainable enhancement of coal seam gas production in Queensland

Dr Christopher Leonardi

This project will develop a new technique for enhancing the gas transport and productivity in these coals via the exploitation of natural coal fractures and the novel injection of microparticles. This will reduce the need for hydraulic fracturing and associated water requirements, and liberate gas for export and domestic consumption.


The University of Queensland $300,000
Industry Research Fellowships 2018
Development of biorefining technology and commercialisation opportunities in Queensland

Dr Darryn Rackemann

The project aims to assist the development of Mercurius REACH technology commercialisation in Queensland. The technology consists of three steps that breakdown low-value biomass to non-sugar chemicals, modify these chemicals to fuel precursors and upgrade to drop-in hydrocarbon fuels. The project will optimise each key processing step and develop sustainable processing strategies for implementation which include environmental modelling assessment of various Queensland biomass feedstocks.


Queensland University of Technology $300,000
Industry Research Fellowships 2018
Patient-reported outcomes and cost-effectiveness of innovations within Queensland maternity services

Dr Elizabeth Martin

This fellowship will be used to advance innovative maternity services in Queensland, with patient-reported outcomes and cost-effectiveness as key performance criteria. The project will use this new information to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of services or interventions, and create innovative maternity services, release resources for other health service needs and strengthen families in the post-natal phase.


Queensland University of Technology $180,000
Industry Research Fellowships 2018
Next-generation diagnostics for chronic lung disease infections

Dr Erin Price

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) affects ~400,000 Queenslanders and is the 5th most common cause of mortality. Approximately half of COPD exacerbations are attributed to infections with pathogenic microbes (bacteria, viruses, fungi). However, the precise cause of most exacerbations remains unknown, meaning many patients are not receiving effective treatment. This project will use cutting-edge next-generation sequencing to better understand COPD pathogens. Research findings will be translated into novel diagnostic tests to provide more targeted and effective COPD treatment and management strategies for Queensland patients.


University of the Sunshine Coast $300,000
Industry Research Fellowships 2018
The development of critical components for compact head MRI scanners

Dr Fangfang Tang

A high-performance gradient system will be developed and integrated into a compact magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner for head imaging. The designed gradient system will enable the scanner to enhance imaging speed and resolution, thereby providing better medical images for diagnosis of brain injuries and neurodegenerative diseases.


The University of Queensland $180,000
Industry Research Fellowships 2018
High-precision condition monitoring of critical equipment in modern distribution networks

Dr Feifei Bai

With more solar photovoltaic integration into distribution networks, there has been an acceleration in electrical equipment ageing. The aim is to provide a cost-effective way to monitor ageing equipment. This will provide an online early-warning system to prevent impending failures. The outcome will deliver an innovative condition monitoring tool.


The University of Queensland $180,000
Industry Research Fellowships 2018
Sensor development to push boundaries of fine coal recovery

Dr Hangil Park

This fellowship will address an environmental issue relating to coal mining tailing disposals. This project aims to increase the fine coal recovery and reduce the daily variation by developing three sensors, which will allow operators to monitor fine coal losses, frother concentration, and feed coal slurry quality in real-time.


The University of Queensland $180,000
Industry Research Fellowships 2018
Biological invasions in forestry: drivers & mitigation for industry's biosecurity

Dr Helen Nahrung

This project will (1) work alongside industry to manage current and emerging invasive forest species in Queensland; (2) analyse historical invasions of exotic forest pests to identify drivers of invasion; (3) examine export/import pathways and patterns of insect interceptions and detections across the biosecurity chain; (4) identify biological traits and spatial-temporal factors linked with establishment; (5) use these data to optimise surveillance strategies.


University of the Sunshine Coast $300,000
Industry Research Fellowships 2018
Autonomous remote predation and disease detection of sheep

Dr Jaime Manning

This project will test and evaluate smart sensor ear tags, developed by our industry partner, Australian Wool Innovation (AWI), in Queensland sheep production systems at Longreach to improve production and welfare outcomes. The project will undertake long-term testing of the tag sensor form factor, ear retention, reliability and optimise radio communication for Queensland rangeland environments.


Central Queensland University $180,000
Industry Research Fellowships 2018
A protocol to assess chest pain in the Emergency Department

Dr Jaimi Greenslade

Over 84,000 patients present to Queensland hospitals with chest pain every year. Assessment for these patients takes an average of 34 hours at $3,267 per patient. This process is not sustainable within a system that is overcrowded and trying to meet increasing demand using finite resources. This fellowship will implement an accurate and efficient chest pain assessment strategy. The goal is to realise a safe, and patient focussed chest pain assessment method to free up health resources and improve patient care.


The University of Queensland $300,000
Industry Research Fellowships 2018
Developing a comprehensive pharmacogenomics system to prevent adverse drug reactions

Dr Jonathan Ellis

This fellowship will establish a comprehensive pharmacogenomics testing service that will enable prescribers to identify patients at high risk of toxicity and tailor doses for the wide range of medications where genetics influences response and metabolism. This will initially be deployed within Metro South Hospital and Health Service, including integration with the electronic prescribing system. The service will benefit patients and Queensland Health by reducing adverse drug reactions, which cost Australia $1.2 billion annually.


Queensland University of Technology $300,000
Industry Research Fellowships 2018
Towards the clinic: development of a new cancer therapeutic

Dr Laura Croft

Cancer remains one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide, with numbers still predicted to rise over the next two decades. There currently exists an unmet need for new therapeutics to improve treatment outcomes in cancer patients. This fellowship will continue the development of a new, first in class cancer therapeutic drug and evaluate its potential of use in breast cancer.


Queensland University of Technology $300,000
Industry Research Fellowships 2018
Development of a novel, rapid and non-invasive malaria diagnostic tool

Dr Maggy Sikulu-Lord

This fellowship will provide scientific data to facilitate the development of a real-time, portable, easy to use device for rapid and non-invasive early malaria diagnosis based on infrared light for the following applications; 1) by the military personnel, particularly front-line medics under operational conditions in malaria endemic countries 2) by Queensland and regional border security personnel at points of entry, such as airports and ports, to screen the general public returning from malarious countries 3) by researchers supporting the whole of Queensland government initiative to assist regional countries in malaria elimination programs.


The University of Queensland $300,000
Industry Research Fellowships 2018
Better tailings dewatering technology for Queensland coal industry

Dr Majid Ejtemaei

The fellowship is aimed to address a significant challenge of coal tailings management in the Queensland mine sites. Current dewatering methods are inefficient and generate tailings with high moisture that are expensive to dispose of. Also, the presence of ultrafine clay minerals in the process water leads to a poor coal washing performance. This project will develop a cost-effective and eco-friendly dewatering technology by a combination of the chemical/centrifugal treatment of tailings using pilot-scale and full-scale dewatering centrifuges.


The University of Queensland $180,000
Industry Research Fellowships 2018
Biofabrication for personalised vascular surgery prognosis, training, and treatment

Dr Mark Allenby

This fellowship will investigate biofabrication approaches to vascular surgery, Queensland's second most expensive surgical program, significantly contributing to the $100B/annum Australian healthcare system and generating a $10B+ global market for vascular surgical devices. The project will design and 3D print optimally-shaped biodegradable and/or antibacterial stents functionalised with graphene.


Queensland University of Technology $180,000
Industry Research Fellowships 2018
Low-cost and printable thin-film batteries for self-powered electronic devices

Dr Miaoqiang Lyu

Thin-film batteries are important for powering various wearable electronics and Internet of Things devices. However, manufacturing cost is one of the key challenges in thin-film battery sector. In close collaboration with Printed Energy Pty, Ltd., this fellowship will investigate printable inks for low-cost, roll-to-roll printed thin-film batteries, and demonstrate self-powered electronic devices integrated by thin-film batteries, flexible photovoltaics and RFID (radio frequency identification device) as one potential application.


The University of Queensland $180,000
Industry Research Fellowships 2018
Exploiting municipal solid waste: towards building waste-based refinery

Dr Muxina Konarova

This project will convert municipal solid waste into liquid fuels through a designed process technology. Municipal solid waste contains impurities (oxygen, sulphur, nitrogen) that need to be removed. Existing waste-to-fuel technologies are not economical; therefore, up to 10 million tonnes of waste is landfilled yearly. This project aims to remove the impurities by using 3D printed advanced catalysts. These catalysts are designed to react with the impurities present in the waste leading to a formation of impurity-free, valuable fuel range intermediates.


The University of Queensland $300,000
Industry Research Fellowships 2018
Advanced molecular design of potent chemotherapeutic agents

Dr Neha Gandhi

Human Single-Stranded DNA binding protein 1 (hSSB1) is associated with the development of a number of cancers including lung, prostate and melanoma, all of which are highly prevalent in Queensland. DKLS02, the first inhibitor of hSSB1 identified shows significant early promise as an anticancer drug. This fellowship seeks to extend the understanding of how DKLS02 functions to kill cancers, systematically design new DKLS02 derivatives using computer simulations that elucidate structures and test the new molecules in experimental cancer models.


Queensland University of Technology $300,000
Industry Research Fellowships 2018
A technology of PFAS remediation for decontaminating surface and ground water

Dr Pradeep Shukla

PFASs (Per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances) are a group of manufactured chemicals that have been used in a range of common household and fire-fighting products since the 1950s, but are now known to be environmentally hazardous and dangerous to human health. This project will develop a process for onsite destruction of PFAS at contaminated sites e.g. Moreton Bay site and Brisbane Airport. Effective remediation permits safeguarding of water/land resource for social and industrial benefits. The proposed technology, which has global market, permits remediation by converting the toxins to CO2 and harmless salts (e.g calcium-fluoride, calcium-sulphates).


The University of Queensland $300,000
Industry Research Fellowships 2018
Biofabrication for advanced burn treatments with next-generation 3D healthcare technology

Dr Sean Powell

This project will develop 3D-scanning, modelling and 3D-printing approaches for burn injury management leading to better, less invasive treatments and improved clinical outcomes.


Queensland University of Technology $180,000
Industry Research Fellowships 2018
Protein-rich feed production from agri-industrial wastewaters by phototrophic bacteria

Dr Tim Huelsen

This fellowship will deliver a world’s first, purple phototrophic bacteria demonstration plant to remove and recover organics, nitrogen and phosphorous from agri-industrial wastewaters while producing protein-rich biomass to substitute fishmeal in conventional aquaculture feeds. The technology will reduce wastewater discharge costs, create additional revenue stream and crosslink Queensland’s primary industries.


The University of Queensland $180,000
Industry Research Fellowships 2018
Developing mineral-gel technology for sustainable and economical bauxite residue management

Dr Tuan Nguyen

Rio Tinto Aluminium and Queensland Alumina Limited annually produce ~ $6 billion dollars of alumina, but have accumulated millions of tons of toxic bauxite residues (red mud - RM) stored across 1500 hectares at central Queensland. This fellowship will develop a new and cost-effective mineral-gel technology that chemically cross-links RM into geochemically and hydraulically stable layers. This technology will accelerate the formation of in situ hardpan cap covering RM dam or liner at dam bottom, for seepage management and RM rehabilitation.


The University of Queensland $180,000
Industry Research Fellowships 2018
Gene edited Cavendish bananas resistant to Fusarium wilt TR4

Dr Upendra Shekhawat

Fusarium wilt tropical race 4 (TR4) is the greatest threat to commercial banana production particularly Cavendish in Australia and worldwide. Genetically modified lines of TR4 resistant Cavendish bananas have been developed, and this project will develop a non-GM version of these lines using gene editing, an approach likely not to be regulated as GM in Australia, the USA, or elsewhere.


Queensland University of Technology $180,000
Industry Research Fellowships 2018
High capacity and low cost rechargeable multivalent metal ion batteries

Dr Xiaodan Huang

This project aims to develop advanced rechargeable multivalent metal ion batteries for renewable energy storage. Battery technologies are critical for the clean energy transformation in Queensland. Aluminium and zinc ion batteries are promising new energy storage systems, due to the natural abundance, high capacity and safety profile of aluminium and zinc. This project, in collaboration with FLEW Solutions - a Brisbane-based advanced manufacturing company, will develop new techniques to develop aluminium/zinc ion batteries.


The University of Queensland $300,000
Industry Research Fellowships 2018
Low-cost compact autonomous satellite terminal for ubiquitous broadband communication

Dr Yifan Wang

This research project aims at designing and building commercial-ready autonomous satellite terminal in collaboration with EM Solutions to deal with digital (high-speed internet access) inequality challenges in the remote regions of Queensland. On the basis of the cutting-edge reconfigurable antenna invented by the proposed fellow in 2017, the proposed autonomous satellite communication terminal can lead to a family-affordable price tag and compact dimension to be installed on a fixed/mobile platform.


The University of Queensland $300,000
Industry Research Fellowships 2018
Innovative process for converting biosolids to a safe hydrochar biofertiliser

Dr Zhanying Zhang

This project will develop an innovative and energy-neutral process for converting biosolids to a safe hydrochar biofertiliser. Biosolids are a nutrient-rich but hazardous waste. High transportation cost and biological safety issues constrain the application of biosolids in agriculture. Co-converting biosolids and agricultural by-products (such as sugarcane bagasse) to a volume-reduced, value-enhanced hydrochar biofertiliser will reduce transportation cost and health risks associated with biosolids, and create a new revenue stream for the biosolids processing industry in Queensland.


Queensland University Of Technology $300,000
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