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Posts Tagged ‘University of Newcastle research’

Thursday, April 28th, 2016

Newcastle researchers to study impact of time on higher education students

Professor Penny Jane Burke and Dr Anna Bennett from the University of Newcastle, Australia have successfully secured a grant that will investigate the notion and impact of ‘time’ for students in higher education.

University of Newcastle research

Study at Newcastle!

Funded by the National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education, Professor Burke and Dr Bennett will work with Co-Investigator Dr Jacqueline Stevenson from Sheffield Hallam University, UK.

The project, It’s About Time, will examine how experiences of ‘time’, as well as dominant discourses about ‘time management’ impact on the attraction, retention and performance of students in higher education.

“Higher education experiences are increasingly intensified by competing obligations of study, work and personal commitments. Despite significant change, the assumption still remains that time is a neutral and linear framework in which all students are equally positioned,” said Professor Burke.

“Studies show that one of the main reasons students from equity groups cite for leaving study is ‘lack of time’ and ‘time pressures’. Research is needed to understand how each students’ relation to time plays out across different and intersecting equity groups, particularly those from regional and remote areas,” she added.

The study will engage students from undergraduate Nursing, Law and Engineering programs across two regional universities in Australia and the UK where the student population includes significant cohorts of equity groups.

One of the aims of the project is to develop a platform where embedded assumptions of ‘time’ and ‘time management’ in higher education can be re-configured in response to the needs of students to better support their learning experiences.

A report will be made available upon completion of the project at the end of this year.


Are you interested in research programs at the University of Newcastle? Want to study in Australia? Email OzTREKK’s Australian Research Programs Admissions Officer Adam Smith at adam@oztrekk.com or call toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355.

Tuesday, November 18th, 2014

UON secures $11M research funding

The University of Newcastle was recently awarded almost $11 million in competitive research funding by the Australian Research Council (ARC) in its 2015 Major Grants announcement. The outcome, which places the university 9th in Australia, will deliver funding to support 27 research projects across UON.

UON research

Newcastle is famous for its natural bushland campus

Under the ARC’s Discovery Projects scheme, UON received $9.4 million for 24 projects, up from $8.8 million for 19 projects in 2014. Professor Daichao Sheng, from the Newcastle School of Engineering, secured the university’s largest grant, receiving almost $800,000 to undertake a study on the mechanics of hard soils and soft rocks and their influence on the stability and serviceability of buildings.

In the same scheme, Professor Simon Dennis, Head of UON’s School of Psychology, was awarded $750,000 for a project that aims to develop a model of episodic memory, the category of memory that allows people to recall specific experiences, events and times. Professor Dennis’ project will apply the model to both adult and child development data, enhancing understanding of when episodic memory develops in children and young adults.

Renowned Indigenous historian Professor John Maynard from UON’s Wollotuka Institute attracted $600,000 in funding to examine the history of the NSW Aborigines Protection/Welfare Board during the period 1883–1969. The project will support greater understanding of the impact of the Board, the legacy of which remains highly relevant today.

Conjoint Professor Lyndall Ryan from the School of Humanities and Social Science, received $500,000 to generate new insights into how intimacy and violence impacted on the development of colonial settler cultures, and the legacy of these cultures on contemporary western democracies.

In the Discovery Indigenous scheme, Dr Brett Turner received $570,000 for a project exploring the potential impact of climate change and sea-level rise on Australia’s coastline and its infrastructure. The University of Newcastle was one of only eight universities nationwide to be awarded funding under the Discovery Indigenous scheme in 2015.

Under the Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) scheme, two UON early career researchers were awarded prestigious DECRA Fellowships. Dr Amy Waller, a Research Fellow in the School of Medicine and Public Health, received $360,000 to investigate decision making in older people approaching the end of life. Dr Colin Reid, a Research Associate in the School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences, was awarded $284,000 to study group theory.

Professor Kevin Hall, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) said the award of $11 million was an excellent result given the strong competition for prestigious ARC funding, and recognition of the world-class research and innovation conducted at UON.

“Today’s announcement by the ARC is testament to the exceptional quality and breadth of research at the University of Newcastle, and the excellence of our researchers,” Professor Hall said.

“This funding will allow UON researchers to continue investigating some of the critical challenges facing our world, and seeking the solutions which will make a difference,” Professor Hall said.

Other UON recipients of Discovery Project funding include

  • ARC Laureate Professor Scott Sloan from the Newcastle School of Engineering, $453,900 to develop new computational models and software to simulate ‘fracking’, which will provide information about the risks inherent in this method of natural gas extraction.
  • Professor Phil Hansbro from the School of Biomedical Sciences and Pharmacy, $443,900 to explore the regulation of immune cells
  • Dr Mark Harvey, Senior Lecturer in the School of Humanities and Social Science, $202,135 to examine the Australian language Kaytetye.


Are you interested in learning more about the University of Newcastle? Contact OzTREKK for more information at info@oztrekk.com or 1-866-698-7355. Find out how you can study in Australia!

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

Newcastle academics honoured with Excellence in Science and Engineering Awards

Two University of Newcastle academics have been honoured with prestigious accolades at the 2014 NSW Science and Engineering Awards.

UON’s Professor Nick Talley received the Excellence in Biological Sciences award, while Professor Behdad Moghtaderi was the recipient of the Renewable Energy Innovation award.

University of Newcastle

Study science and engineering at Newcastle

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) Professor Kevin Hall said the impressive results were further evidence of the university’s distinguished research reputation.

“Professor Talley and Professor Moghtaderi are at the forefront of their respective fields, and the university is delighted to see their outstanding contributions acknowledged,” Professor Hall said.

“We are immensely proud of both researchers’ achievements. The university’s continued success in these annual awards demonstrates the high calibre of our academics and their research outcomes.”

The NSW Science and Engineering Awards recognise the achievements of leading researchers and their efforts to generate economic, health, environmental or technological benefits for the state.

Professor Talley is an internationally renowned gastroenterological research leader, who specialises in unexplained disorders affecting nerves and muscles of the gut, including irritable bowel syndrome and severe indigestion. He has been credited with a number of seminal breakthroughs, and his latest work involving the link between the brain and the gut has the potential to revolutionise thinking across the field.

Professor Talley is President of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians. In June last year, he was appointed the University of Newcastle‘s Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research). He is now on sabbatical undertaking further research at the Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI).

Professor Moghtaderi is a world-leader energy technologies research, and was awarded the innovation prize for his GRANEX™ heat engine invention. The engine turns low-grade heat sources that may not otherwise be viably usable into emission-free electricity. It can be applied to a range of diverse heat sources, including renewable energy, process industries, transport systems and commercial and residential buildings.

Professor Moghtaderi is UON’s Head of Discipline of Chemical Engineering, as well as Director of the Frontier Energy Technologies Research Centre at the Newcastle Institute for Energy and Resources (NIER).

University of Newcastle School of Engineering

The University of Newcastle School of Engineering is dedicated to research and training in the disciplines of Chemical, Civil, Environmental, Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering, and Surveying. The engineering school’s programs are underpinned by some of the most exciting research in Australia. In the Australian Research Council 2012 research excellence ratings, the school received a top rating of 5 (well above world standard) for Resources Engineering and Extractive Metallurgy and Civil and Mechanical Engineering.

Science Programs at the University of Newcastle

The Faculty of Science and Information Technology has a strong commitment to fundamental and applied research with equally high international standards. They support a broad-based program over a wide range of research activities. Within the schools they have established international reputations and formed strong, viable research groups and are increasing their industry partnerships in the Hunter region and beyond through applied research and development collaborations.


Learn more about studying science and engineering at the University of Newcastle and at other Australian universities. Contact OzTREKK Admissions Officer Rachel Brady at rachel@oztrekk.com for more information about how you can study in Australia.

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

University of Newcastle Priority Research Centres

The University of Newcastle research ranked equal 7th for being “well above world standard” in the Excellence in Research for Australia assessment (ERA), carried out by the Australian Government’s principal research agency, the Australian Research Council (ARC) in 2012. In the ERA assessment 90% of the university’s research was rated “at world standard” or above. The University of Newcastle has 10 disciplines ranked in the top 200 in the world and is considered 5-star university for research.

University of Newcastle

Since 2007, the University of Newcastle has recognized its strongest research groups with designation as Priority Research Centres (PRCs).  The process of assessment for PRC status is highly competitive and is judged by an external panel of national research leaders.

PRCs receive direct funding from the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) and also from the Faculties.  From mid-2013 PRCs that align with NIER or HMRI report through their parent institute.

Chemical Biology
The Centre for Chemical Biology seeks to unravel the causes of disease by identifying crucial biological targets and pioneering the rapid development of novel drugs for the fight against disease.

Complex and Dynamic Systems
The Centre for Complex Dynamic Systems and Control specializes in design, control and analysis and performance optimization for complex dynamic systems.

Computer Assisted Research Mathematics and its Applications
The Centre for Computer Assisted Research Mathematics and its Applications (CARMA) explores the development of techniques and tools for computer-assisted discovery and data-mining including mathematical visualization.

Geotechnical and Materials Modelling
The Centre for Geotechnical and Materials Modelling develops new models and innovative computational methods for predicting the behaviour of geomaterials, metals and composites. Advanced computational methods, coupled with laboratory and field testing are key tools in this pursuit.

Priority Research Centres Aligned to Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI)

Asthma and Respiratory Diseases
The Centre for Asthma and Respiratory Diseases focuses on understanding the cellular and molecular processes that are associated with the development and progression of respiratory diseases, such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Bioinformatics, Biomarker Discovery and Information-Based Medicine
The Centre for Bioinformatics, Biomarker Discovery and Information-Based Medicine (CIBM) is committed to shortening the process of obtaining novel discoveries to achieve distinctively better outcomes in clinical practice and translational individualized medicine.

The Centre for Cancer seeks to reduce the impact of cancer by working to better understand the biology of the disease in order to tailor treatments to its genetic and proteomic profile.

Gender, Health and Ageing
The Centre for Gender, Health and Ageing focuses on the individual and social factors that affect the health and well-being of men and women as they age, and the ways in which communities and organizations respond to an ageing population.

Health Behaviour
The Centre for Health Behaviour (CHB) uses intervention and service delivery to promote healthy behaviours and good-quality health care across communities.

Physical Activity and Nutrition
The Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition investigates physical activity and nutrition for population health, with particular emphasis on education and health promotion strategies for chronic disease prevention, treatment and well-being.

Reproductive Science
The Centre for Reproductive Science works to improve the health of pregnant women and provides key information on the determinants of ‘A Healthy Start to Life’.

Translational Neuroscience and Mental Health
The Centre for Translational Neuroscience and Mental Health (CTNMH) is focused on increasing understanding of brain/mental disorders including schizophrenia, stroke, pain and sensory dysfunction, ageing and cognition, depression, and balance disorders.

Priority Research Centres Aligned to Newcastle Institute for Energy and Resources (NIER)

Advanced Particle Processing and Transport
The Centre for Advanced Particle Processing and Transport seeks to find solutions to important problems facing the mineral industry, including developing innovative processes to maximize the separation of products from waste material, and ways to reduce water and energy usage.

The Centre for Energy develops and commercializes new and innovative technologies to minimize greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions around the world, with a particular focus on carbon dioxide reduction in collaboration with industry, government agencies and international organizations.

Organic Electronics
The Centre for Organic Electronics is focused on the scientific challenges in the development of organic photovoltaics for the next generation of environmentally friendly energy sources, photonics and biosensors.


Are you interested in research opportunities at the University of Newcastle? Contact OzTREKK for more information!


Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

Monash University young researchers recognized

Monash University PhD students Caroline Le and Monique Topp were recognized nationally among talented early career researchers this month.

The university is reporting that the pair was recognized at an awards ceremony of the Cooperative Research Centres Association (CRC) in Melbourne, celebrating exceptional research and communication. They were among six finalists from more than 50 entries in the Showcasing Early Career Researchers competition, with Le taking home the award.

Entrants were asked to submit a 30-second video demonstrating they could convey the aim of their research clearly and effectively, the university said. Le won the audience over with her inspiring research on how stress can affect the progression of cancer, according to Monash.

“Using glowing tumour cells, my work shows that stress weakens our immune systems and actually helps cancer cells spread throughout the body,” Le told Monash University. “I’ve also shown that the use of some existing drugs may be able to block these stress signals from having their effect.

Le is a PhD student at the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences and is a student member of the Cancer Therapeutics Co-operative Research Centre, the university said.

“The CRC Association showcasing early career researchers is an amazing opportunity to present your work to a wide and diverse audience. Winning the competition was very humbling, even more so because I was up against a group of extremely talented early career researchers,” Le told Monash.

Topp was shortlisted for her research investigating models that can change the way ovarian cancer is treated. According to Monash, she is also a PhD student, pursuing studies in the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences at Monash, as well as being a student member of the Cancer Therapeutics Co-operative Research Centre.

More information about pursuing research degrees in Australia: All eight of OzTREKK’s partner universities offer graduate research degrees, including Bond University, James Cook University, Macquarie University, Monash University, University of Melbourne, University of Newcastle, University of Queensland and University of Sydney.

Canadian university graduates who wish to undertake independent, original research and potentially make a unique contribution to an existing body of knowledge, spend considerable time exploring higher degree research opportunities. Combining an international education experience while undertaking postgraduate research in Australia, can result in academic supervision and teaching from cutting-edge researchers who are world renowned in their fields of study.


Find out more about earning a postgraduate research degree in Australia! Like what you’re reading about Monash University? Look further into Monash!

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

University of Newcastle technology to light up city

The University of Newcastle is helping to tell the tale of Newcastle’s oldest street, including convict gangs and bearded ladies pouring beers. These stories, along with those of local filmmakers, will light up the walls of Watt Street when City Evolutions launches next month. The project is a landmark contemporary art project and features a series of light installations using cutting edge interactive technology developed by students at the University of Newcastle.

City Evolutions will launch with a free street party on Friday, June 21 at 5 p.m. and will continue from sunset to 10 p.m. every night for a year – and students from the university’s School of Design, Communication and Information Technology will be there.

The University of Newcastle was selected from a range of submissions from artists and creative collaborators who were invited to submit proposals that took inspiration from the history of Watt Street – the stories, people and places that have shaped Newcastle as it is today, the university reports.

The University of Newcastle’s City Evolutions Project Leader, Chris Tucker, told the university that more than 20 academics and researchers from the schools of architecture, computer science, design, communications and IT had worked together to develop the technology.

Newcastle is an emerging creative, digital and technological hub and the university is very excited to be working together with the community to transform the city’s cultural and historical precinct,” Tucker told the University of Newcastle.

The art project not only features projected images, but also incorporates multi-media and viewer engagement aspects.

“Visitors will be able to play video games projected on Watt Street structures, such as the David Maddison building, using their smart phones and near field communications. This is similar to pay wave technology. All visitors need to do is tap their phones on the stickers at the site, download a game app and then play against each other,” Tucker told the university.

“People can also enjoy the nocturnal art gallery simply by walking down Watt Street, where motion detection systems will sense movement and trigger historical scenes and artworks in light along the buildings,” he told UoN. “While we reflect on where our city has come from, it’s appropriate that all parts of the community have worked on this project together to transform Newcastle East into a hive of night-time activity.”

Furthering the project’s interactivity, budding film makers are invited to be part of the exhibition and see their short films projected onto the façade of one of the buildings in the city centre, the University of Newcastle said. The theme for the competition is ‘the evolution of Newcastle’ – from how the city has changed over time and historic places to childhood memories or events that shaped the city, according to the university.

To enter, the university said anyone can upload a short film of less than 90 seconds (.mp4 format) to YouTube or Vimeo and email the URL to cityevolutions@ncc.nsw.gov.au and they’re in the running.  Entries close on Monday, June 17, 2013.

City Evolutions is an initiative of The City of Newcastle and Newcastle Now in partnership with the University of Newcastle, with funding support from the Department of Energy, Resources and Tourism and the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage.

The University of Newcastle School of Design, Communication and Information Technology is at the centre of new developments in delivering information and entertainment content through new means of delivery together with experience in utilizing existing technologies.


Learn more about how the University of Newcastle’s IT programming is emerging as a leader! Apply through OzTREKK today.

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

University of Newcastle researchers question if the shoe fits

University of Newcastle researchers are lining up 11 of the world’s most innovative running shoe designs to compete in a world-first project testing safety and performance, the university is reporting today.

With the help of 2,000 Australian runners, the university said it will assess the running shoes over a 12 month period to determine the safest and fastest designs.

Research project leader, Dr. Craig Richards, told the university that runners are becoming increasingly scientifically astute with regard to their running shoe choices.

“In the past, runners have been content to purchase shoes designed to prevent injury and improve performance – but now they are demanding shoes actually proven to deliver these benefits,” Richards told the University of Newcastle.

“None of the running shoe manufacturers currently provide injury prevention and performance data for their shoes and, as a result, both consumers and health care professionals are currently in the dark as to which shoes they should choose,” the researcher at Newcastle stated to the university. “There has been so little objective testing of running shoes to date that not even experts in the field can tell you which running shoe designs are the best. Even the effects of basic differences in cushioning and heel height on injury rates and performance remain unknown.”

“There is an overwhelming need to establish a systematic testing and ratings system for running shoes similar to existing ANCAP safety ratings for cars. This research is the first step towards achieving this goal,” he told the University of Newcastle.

The university noted that the research program will be testing shoes from nine different manufacturers ranging from barefoot style shoes to ultra-cushioned models. Now the research team is calling on volunteers to test the shoes, by participating in the study.

He told the university that the study required 2,000 altruistic runners to test one shoe model each for 12 months. The University of Newcastle will supply participants with their shoes at cost price, giving runner the opportunity to try some of the world’s most innovative running shoe designs at greatly reduced cost at the same time helping fellow runners to choose the right pair of shoes, the university said.

The university noted that expressions of interest from shoe manufacturers wishing to submit their shoes for future rounds of testing are also being sought.

Canadian university graduates who wish to undertake independent, original research and potentially make a unique contribution to an existing body of knowledge, spend considerable time exploring higher degree research opportunities. Combining an international education experience while undertaking postgraduate research in Australia, can result in academic supervision and teaching from cutting-edge researchers who are world renowned in their fields of study.

Postgraduate research degrees are ideally suited for graduates wishing to enter academic life or to work as a researcher in their chosen field. Under expert academic supervision, postgraduate research students focus on an original, substantial research project. Entry usually requires an Honours year of study, which includes an Honours thesis or major research project. Some degrees may combine research with professional experience and/or coursework.


Learn more about research opportunities at Australian universities like the University of Newcastle! Apply through OzTREKK today!

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

University of Newcastle researchers leapfrog ahead in world-first

University of Newcastle researchers have successfully developed a method to freeze frog embryonic cells in a world-first breakthrough that could slow the threat of extinction to hundreds of frog species.

The researchers have separated, isolated and frozen the embryonic cells of an Australian ground frog (the Striped Marsh Frog, Limnodynastes peronii), using cryopreservation techniques that will now allow for cloning.

This is the first time anyone in the world has successfully used slow-freezing techniques on amphibian cells, project leader at the University of Newcastle, Professor Michael Mahony, said.

“Almost 200 frog species have been lost in the past 30 years due to disease and a further 200 species face imminent threat—this is the worst rate of extinction of any vertebrate group,” he said.

“Amphibian eggs and early embryos, unlike human eggs and embryos, are large in size and have traditionally presented a challenge to researchers attempting to cryo-preserve and store frog genomes, as they would shatter during the freezing process.

“The new technique, developed by our University of Newcastle researchers, will act as an insurance policy to buy us time for species on the edge of extinction, as we search for answers to diseases and other threats.”

Professor Mahony said the development would have wider implications for other species facing extinction.

“Not only will it help us preserve the genetic diversity of frogs, but this discovery could also help in the conservation of other species with large embryonic cells, such as fish.”

The University of Newcastle is leading the world on research into amphibian protection. This latest discovery follows on from recent work with other universities on the Lazarus project, which generated live embryos using cells from an extinct Australian frog.


Science Programs at the University of Newcastle

The School of Environmental and Life Sciences (SELS) at the University of Newcastle is one of the largest schools in the university, and forms part of the Faculty of Science and Information Technology. Specializations offered through the school include

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Development Studies
  • Environmental Science and Management
  • Geography and Environmental Studies
  • Earth Sciences
  • Food Science and Human Nutrition
  • Sustainable Resource Management
  • Exercise and Sports Science
  • Marine Science

This school generates enthusiasm for learning and research training that is unique because of the diverse and integrated specialties of the academics coupled with the availability of an impressive array of analytical equipment, laboratory facilities and field-research support resources.

The research and laboratory facilities are excellent and there are opportunities to develop multidisciplinary skills and build research networks via the nature of the diverse fields of expertise within the disciplines. Field work is a major component of many of the science degree programs and many opportunities exist to develop these skills in areas of geology, geography, ecology and marine biology.


Are you interested in science and research programs at the University of Newcastle? Want to study in Australia?

Contact OzTREKK for more information about science degrees available at Australian universities.

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

University of Newcastle and Monash University researchers bring lost frog DNA back from the dead

Researchers and scientists from several Australian universities, including Monash University and the University of Newcastle, are literally breathing new life into an extinct creature.

The University of Newcastle is reporting that the genome of an extinct Australian frog has been revived and reactivated by a team of scientists using sophisticated cloning technology to implant a “dead” cell nucleus into a fresh egg from another frog species, in what is being called the Lazarus Project.

The bizarre gastric-brooding frog, Rheobatrachus silus – which uniquely swallowed its eggs, brooded its young in its stomach and gave birth through its mouth – became extinct in 1983. But the Lazarus Project research team has been able to recover cell nuclei from tissues collected in the 1970s and kept for 40 years in a conventional deep freezer, the university said. The “de-extinction” project aims to bring the frog back to life.

In repeated experiments over five years, the researchers used a laboratory technique known as somatic cell nuclear transfer, the University of Newcastle said. They took fresh donor eggs from the distantly related great barred frog, Mixophyes fasciolatus, inactivated the egg nuclei and replaced them with dead nuclei from the extinct frog, the university said. Some of the eggs spontaneously began to divide and grow to early embryo stage – a tiny ball of many living cells, the university reports.

The University of Newcastle noted that although none of the embryos survived beyond a few days, genetic tests confirmed that the dividing cells contain the genetic material from the extinct frog. The results are yet to be published.

The scientific team told the University of Newcastle that they’re increasingly confident that the hurdles ahead are technological and not biological and that they will succeed. Importantly, the researchers said they have demonstrated the great promise this has as a conservation tool when hundreds of the world’s amphibian species are in catastrophic decline.

The technical work was led by Dr. Andrew French and Dr. Jitong Guo, of Monash University, in a University of Newcastle laboratory led by frog expert Professor Michael Mahony, along with Mr. Simon and Dr. John Clulow.

The frozen specimens were preserved and provided by another professor who extensively studied both species of gastric-brooding frog – R. silus and R. vitellinus – before they vanished in 1979 and 1985 respectively, the university said.

Archer spoke publicly for the first time about of the Lazarus Project and also about his ongoing interest in cloning the extinct Australian thylacine, or Tasmanian tiger, at the TEDx DeExtinction event in Washington DC hosted by the Long Now Foundation and the National Geographic Society on March 15, the university said.

Research in the Lazarus Project has been funded through the generosity of donors – and by the researchers themselves.


Learn more about exciting research opportunities at Australian universities, including the University of Newcastle and Monash University! OzTREKK is ready to help you take the next step in your education journey.