28 November 2011
ARC grants top $3 million
RMIT University has been awarded 12 grants worth more than $3.1 million in the latest round of Australian Research Council funding.
Professor Paul James.
Professor Peter Fairbrother.
Professor Kathy Horadam.
One of the projects will ask: How did globalisation become the most powerful buzzword of our time?
"Globalisation and the formation of meaning: the career of a key concept" will be led by Chief Investigator Professor Paul James, Director of the Global Cities Research Institute, with $120,000.
He will examine texts and interview prominent globalisation experts in the English-speaking world to develop the first comparative history of the concept.
Another project to receive ARC funding will look at the future of trade unions.
"Trade union futures: purposes, capacities and organisation towards a green transition" will be led by chief investigator Professor Peter Fairbrother from the Centre for Sustainable Organisations and Work, with $125,000.
He said unions faced uncertain futures in the shift to low-carbon economies, especially in the traditional industrial communities.
"While unions are aware of these challenges it is unclear how they will renew themselves to meet the new conditions or what obstacles they will face," Professor Fairbrother said.
"Our research will show how unions can contribute to an environmentally sustainable world."
Also receiving ARC funding from next year will be a project to examine the ways in which the media shapes our thinking and practices around crisis.
"After the apocalypse: the mediasphere, global crisis and violent ecologies" will be led by Professor Jeffrey Lewis from the School of Media and Communication, with $137,000.
He said the study would focus on the evolution of a "crisis consciousness" and the way in which human desires were implicated in the cultural politics of violence.
"The study focuses specifically on Australia's participation in post-9 11 conflicts," Professor Lewis said.
The other nine projects funded and their chief investigators were:
- Professor Peter Daivis, School of Applied Sciences, $315,000, "Accurate transport theory for nanofluidic separation".
- Professor Kathy Horadam, School of Mathematical and Geospatial Sciences, $285,000, "Novel dissimilarity techniques for characterising noisy spatial networks".
- Dr Xiaodong Li, School of Computer Science and Information Technology, $317,000, "Novel decomposition methods for large scale optimisation".
- Dr Sebastian Sardina, School of Computer Science and Information Technology, $300,000, "Optimisation of embedded virtual complex systems by re-using a library of available components".
- Professor Jiyuan Y Tu, School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, $290,000, "An integrated model for assessing health effects of nanoparticle inhalation".
- Professor Chun Hui Wang, School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, $285,000, "Towards autonomous structural safety prognostics: integrating in-situ imaging and predictive modelling".
- Professor Gary Bryant, School of Applied Sciences, $370,000, "Advanced biophysical characterisation centre".
- Professor Arnan Mitchell, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, $470,000, "Thin film processing cluster: precise synthesis and nano-patterning of functional coatings".
- Associate Professor Nick Blismas, School of Property Construction and Project Management, $105,000, "An experimental evaluation of the usefulness of computer-supported argumentation to improve occupational health and safety in construction design".