UTS boosts support for young researchers

In summary: 
  • UTS has awarded a record 16 Chancellor's Postdoctoral Fellowships this year to early career researchers
  • Introduced to attract "the very best and brightest" young researchers, this year's fellowship projects range from improving practices in water management to food security, forensics and an advanced thought controlled, semi-autonomous wheelchair

A record number of Chancellor's Postdoctoral Fellowships have been awarded this year to UTS early career researchers – 16 fellowships in a range of research strengths across all faculties.

UTS Chancellor, Professor Vicki Sara said this year's projects range from improving practices in water management to food security, forensics and an advanced thought controlled, semi-autonomous wheelchair.

"These fellowships were introduced to attract the very best and brightest young researchers to UTS and they continue to drive research that will have real benefits for industry and communities," Professor Sara said.

"The breadth of research expertise and talent these fellowship recipients represent is tremendous."

One of the 16 recipients, Dr Xanthe Spindler, aims to develop new methods for recovering fingerprints from forensic evidence as a part of her research.

Dr Xanthe Spindler with Driector of the UTS Research and Innovation Office GeoffDr Xanthe Spindler with Director of the UTS Research and Innovation Office Jeff Francis. Picture by Alexandra Berriman

"A number of fingerprints are still being missed by existing techniques," Dr Spindler said. "Researchers need to focus their attention on the invention of novel techniques for revealing fingerprints rather than redesigns of current reagents.

"My work is looking at ways of developing an antibody reagent to retrieve fingerprints from difficult surfaces including non-porous surfaces and the skin of deceased victims. By combining the antibodies with highly luminescent dyes and nanoparticles, weak fingermarks missed by existing techniques will be able to be visualised for the first time."

There is potential for the development of Dr Spindler's reagent to be done in partnership with the Australian Federal Police (AFP).

Another Chancellor's Postdoctoral Fellowship recipient, Dr Talis Putnins, is an international researcher from Latvia whose research into financial market design is directed to making them more resistant to large shocks, such as the recent financial crisis. The research looks at characteristics of financial market liquidity, in particular its 'commonality', which is the tendency for liquidity to change in a number of financial securities or markets in a similar manner, at the same time.

2012 Chancellor's Postdoctoral Fellowship recipients:

Catherine Burke, Faculty of Science, New perspectives on the role of indigenous microbial communities in diabetic skin conditions. Supervised by Professor Elizabeth Harry.

Dana Cordell, Institute for Sustainable Futures, Investigating food security in Australia: a novel approach to managing critical phosphorus resources from mine to farm to fork. Supervised by Professor Stuart White.

Hsieh Min-Hsiu, Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology, Using entanglement in practical scenarios. Supervised by Professor Mingsheng Ying.

Benjamin Johnston, Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology, Self-configuring cognitive architectures. Supervised by Professor Mary-Anne Williams.

Olivier Laczka, Faculty of Science, Novel biosensors for early detection of pathogens: towards a better use of Australia's water resources. Supervised by Dr Martina Doblin.

Gang Lei, Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology, System level RMDO method and virtual design platform for advanced EDS. Supervised by Professor Jianguo (Joe) Zhu.   

Hao Liu, Faculty of Science, Synthesis of novel mesoporous structured materials and their applications for high power rechargeable lithium batteries. Supervised by Professor Guoxiu Wang.

Trish Luker, Faculty of Law, Reading the archive: use of historical documents as evidence in law. Supervised by Associate Professor Katherine Biber.

Tuan Nghia Nguyen, Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology, Advanced thought control semi-autonomous powered wheelchair system. Supervised by Professor Hung Nguyen.

Franklin Obeng-Odoom, Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building, Africa land rights or land rights in Africa? A study of 'land rights' in development discourse. Supervised by Professor Spike Boydell.

Katherina Petrou, Faculty of Science, The Weathermakers: light-driven control on sulphur production by Australian marine phytoplankton. Supervised by Professor Peter Ralph.

Talis Putnins, Faculty of Business, Financial market liquidity. Supervised by Professor David Michayluk.

Xanthe Spindler, Faculty of Science, Novel immunogenic reagents for the detection of latent fingermarks on non-porous and difficult surfaces. Supervised by Professor Claude Roux.

Hollis Thomas Taylor, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Is birdsong music? Explorations at the intersection of music, nature, and technology. Supervised by Professor Anne Cranny-Francis.

Seet Rui (Simon) Ting, Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology, Enhanced delivery of small interfering RNA and oligonucleotides as therapeutics for gene silencing. Supervised by Associate Professor Gyorgy Hutvagner.

Jonathan  Wardle, Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery and Health,  Examining the primary care and public health impact of CAM practitioners in Australia. Supervised by Professor Jon Adams.