Postdoctoral fellowships bring best and brightest in 2013

Dr Igor Aharanovich, picture supplied by Dr Aharanovich

Dr Igor Aharanovich, picture supplied by Dr Aharanovich

In summary: 
  • Twelve of the world's best and brightest young researchers have been awarded 2013 UTS Chancellor's Postdoctoral Fellowships
  • Their projects will include the characteristics of poor health-related quality of life, the impact of children's smart technology use on family literacy practices and improving the perception and manipulation capabilities of robots

The characteristics of poor health-related quality of life, the impact of children's smart technology use on family literacy practices and improving the perception and manipulation capabilities of robots are just some of the exiting new projects that will be undertaken by the 2013 Chancellor's Postdoctoral (CPD) Fellows at UTS.

Twelve of the world's best and brightest young researchers have been awarded fellowships at UTS next year as part of the CPD scheme. This is a relatively new scheme for UTS where the fellows are appointed to three to four-year positions that will support the UTS research strategy by building capacity within the UTS research community and raising UTS's profile as a research university of note.

According to Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Professor Attila Brungs, the quality of the 2013 intake of CPDs is testament to the growing reputation of the program and its ability to shape the careers of early stage researchers.

"The reach of the CPD program continues to grow, and we are now recruiting top young researchers from some of the most prestigious universities in the world," Professor Brungs said.

"These postdoctoral fellows fill a niche space in our research community, bringing very valuable research experience that will contribute to the body of knowledge we are building here at UTS, and to our reputation as a top quality research institution."

The 2013 intake includes Dr Leonard Tijing, currently engaged at Chonbuk National University in South Korea, who will develop a novel filter for the pre-treatment of wastewater; and Dr Igor Aharanovich, from Harvard University in the USA, who will develop novel bio-markers for the sensing of sub-cellular processes.

The opportunity to conduct research at UTS provides the fellows with an opportunity to launch the next stage in their academic careers.

"The UTS CPD fellowship scheme is a unique opportunity to boost an academic career and achieve new heights in my research," said Dr Aharanovich.

"UTS offers excellent facilities and a vibrant environment with technical and stimulating support from the students and staff.

"Through participating in the CPD scheme, I will have the chance to carry world class research, supervise students and contribute to the teaching program at UTS – all imperative to a young academic scholar." 

The fellows will start arriving at UTS in January next year.

See below for a complete list of the 2013 Chancellor's Postdoctoral Fellows:

  • Dr Igor Aharonovich (Science) – Fluorescent nanodiamonds for biological sensing – supervised by Professor Mike Ford    
  • Dr Zhimin Ao (Science) – Development of high-performance and cost-effective graphene-based hydrogen storage materials – supervised by Professor Guoxiu Wang
  • Dr Wei Bian (FEIT) – Structured dimension reduction for video-based human activity analysis – supervised by Professor Dacheng Tao   
  • Ms Sungwon Chang (Health) – Determinants in health disparities of women with chronic heart failure – supervised by Professor David Sibbritt
  • Dr Jennifer Donelson (Science) – Coping with climate change: acclimation and adaptation of coral reef fishes to global warming – supervised by Professor David Booth
  • Dr Ganesh Naik (FEIT) – Adaptive single channel myoelectric control for prosthetic hand – supervised by Professor Hung Nguyen
  • Mr Richard Norman (Business) – Patterns of health-related quality of life in Australia – supervised by Associate Professor Rosalie Viney
  • Dr Gavin Paul (FEIT) – Human-centred robust and safe robotic manipulation to enable field robots to cooperatively assist with peoples' day-to-day activities – supervised by Professor Dikai Liu
  • Dr Tristan Rawling (GSH) – Development of novel omega-3 fatty acid derived agents for the treatment of breast and brain cancers – supervised by Associate Professor Mary Bebawy
  • Dr Emma Rowden (DAB) – Contested visions of justice: designing the space of law in Australia – supervised by Associate Professor Kirsten Orr
  • Dr Leonard Tijing (FEIT) – Development and fouling assessment of novel multifunctional composite membranes for water treatment: use of electrospinning and physico-chemical techniques – supervised by Dr Hokyong Shon
  • Dr Sumin Zhao (FASS) – Smart technologies and parental roles in preschool children's home­based digital literacy practices – supervised by Professor Alistair Pennycook

Professor Leonard deserves it. He is indeed the most intelligent man I ever met in my life. He is humble, hardworking and most of all, responsible. He is one of the person I truly look up to. I'm sure, he can contribute a lot in UTS's research department. MABUHAY!!!

This news is misleading ...nothing against Dr Igor Aharonovich (Science) – but he is NOT a graduate of harvard university (therefore does not represent that university). He was a graduate of Univ of Melbourne (PhD) and a graduate of Israel Institute of technology. He was a post doctoral fellow ( at Harvard) but not a graduate. So why he decided to transfer to UTS raises questions of his capabilities....
He is NOT an alumnus of Harvard. So please ensure that news like this one leaves no ambiguity. However, having said that, my kudos to UTS for recognising the importance of RESEARCH excellence....through getting the right people. Congratulations to all!



Hi Stephanie, the story makes no reference to Dr Aharonovich being a Harvard graduate. As you note, however, he is a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard, which is why we say he is coming to UTS from that university.

TClinton, my point exactly. The news made no reference to that he came from harvard as a postgraduate fellow ( a post doctoral fellow is NOT nor come near categorised as a distinguished alumnus/alumna which "means" a lot in the industry and the academia).

So it was best to leave no ambiguity in the news.

The title "best and the brightest" moreover, maybe a bit an overstatement --Over the top since I could not find any differentiation that distinguishes any of them to the rest of the PhD holders across Sydney /Australia. But whilst these fellows who are joining UTS no doubt a welcome news they need to prove that they are indeed some of the "world's best and brightest" as the news item claims them to be. But again, congratulations to UTS and goodluck to the fellows:-)

@Mark, don't call someone a professor , if he just a research assistant !

Leonard graduated from an unknown third rate university in Korea.

Mark, if you find him intelligent, I am sure you will be blown away if you meet someone from MIT /Harvard who is way too smarter than Mr Leonard. Stop the hyperbole will ya?

What I have commented above is my personal opinion. It is how I know him. We are entitled with our own opinions anyway. Respect mine and I'll respect yours.

Did I disrespect yours? Read my statement again.


First, I'd like to say that I have no doubt that Dr Aharonovich is one of the best and brightest in the realm of diamond science. He has made substantial contributions during his brief time at Harvard as seen by his publication record.

But, more importantly, I'd like to congratulate UTS for getting such a good looking candidate in Dr Igor Aharonovich. I mean, look at that picture! The quality of science coming from that brain of his is only secondary to the charm of that smile and the brilliance of his style. I, for one, am supremely jealous that the United States will be losing such a good looking fellow. Australia will be enriched by not only the brilliance of his mind but also the stunning splendor of his charming appearance.

First of all - congrats to the recipients, and UTS!

Secondly, to the different commentors (no need to name them - they do stand out on the first glance): guys, take it easy! This is not national TV, nor is it a legal document, carefully composed by lawyers. Plus - the guys just won themselves a bit of a reward for their skill - they deserve a little hype.
Or, on the other hand - don't. Hell, it's like Oprah meets the academy - fun to watch because the participants seem to have degrees. Makes a great study of human character too. I'll definitely be going back to read the juicier comments!

What charm? It only proves that physical attributes are more important than brains?

Only in Australia where good looks matters over grey matter!