Achievements and Announcements
VC Awards for Professional Staff Excellence
The VC Awards for Professional Staff Excellence were held in early November in the Bradley Forum in recognition of outstanding contributions by professional staff.
Gail Jackman, Industry Liaison Manager: ANU Hubs and Spokes Project, won an individual award, in the category ‘Working Across Boundaries’, for her Safe and Sustainable Cambodia Project. To read more about this project, click here.
The School of Pharmacy and Medical Science’s Bill Tyrie and Jane Walford, who work in the Veterans’ MATES Administration Team, won an award for providing quality service, while the School of Nursing and Midwifery’s Practice Based Laboratories team won an award for leading change with team members Tina Jenkins, Deb Surman, Jasmine Hutchison, Sally Pocock, Louise McGee, Teresa Reid, Peter Gregory and Jenny Shepherd.
The Clinical Placement Unit in the School of Health Sciences won a team award for working across boundaries. The team members are Fay Hanns, Carmen Baker, Danealle Swenser-Smith, Deb Hannemann, Lia Nigro, Emma Owens and Bernadette Noonan.
As well as receiving certificates, the recipients will each receive professional development funds to be used for conferences or work-related short courses.
UniSA Vice Chancellor Professor Peter Høj said the awards were established to acknowledge, promote and celebrate the achievements of professional staff.
“At UniSA, we believe that the success of our institution is due to the talents and efforts of our people,” he said.
“Today’s recipients have certainly demonstrated an impressive level of creativity, resourcefulness and dedication, and an aptitude for solving problems and getting the job done.
“Without such skills and commitment, the university will not thrive in, or indeed survive, an increasingly tough educational climate.”
He thanked the winners for their hard work and dedication, and said that he was delighted they were part of the university community.
For more information about the awards, which are held annually, click here.
Celebrating excellent teaching
UniSA’s Celebration of Teaching Awards event was held in early November at the Adelaide Convention Centre.
The special guest speaker was Keith Bartley, Chief Executive of the Department of Education and Children’s Services (pictured right).
Four members of staff won Australian Learning and Teaching Council Citations for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning. They were Dr Jane Warland, Senior Lecturer in the School of Nursing and Midwifery, Dr Mei Lim, Lecturer in Accounting in the School of Commerce, Veronika Kelly, Lecturer in the School of Art, Architecture and Design and Dr Sarah List, Lecturer in Biosciences in the School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences.
Dr Malgorzata Korolkiewicz from the School of Mathematics and Statistics won the UniSA Award for Teaching Excellence, while the Enhancing Learning Award went to David Morris, Lecturer at the School of Art, Architecture and Design.
UniSA Citations for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning went to Vivien Chanana from the School of Marketing, Associate Professor John Fielke from the School of Advanced Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering, and the Ethics and Communication Development and Teaching Team from the School of Health Science.
A further 59 members of staff received UniSA 2011 Supported Teacher Awards, which recognise high levels of performance in teaching.
UniSA Vice Chancellor Professor Peter Høj said that good teaching was at the heart of every successful university.
“Our teachers develop graduates who will become leaders through the professional and intellectual contribution they make in government, industry, business and society,” he said.
“Good undergraduate teaching is also part of a successful research culture. Undergraduate students who are inspired and encouraged appropriately are much more likely to become the next generation of innovators contributing to the development of societies in both big and small ways. So it is important that all of our teaching and learning activities are informed by the most exciting new insights from research.
“We are proudly celebrating staff who contribute at the highest level to fulfilling the ambitions of the university, and I congratulate all the 2011 award winners. Their dedication to excellence in teaching and learning inspires all of us.”
Magic vision lab wins best demo at international symposium
UniSA’s Magic Vision Lab became the first in the country to win the prestigious Best Demo Award at IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality in Switzerland in late October.
Director of the Magic Vision Lab, Dr Chris Sandor, said there was stiff competition for the title.
“Our demo won against 40 other demos from top research labs, such as Georgia Institute of Technology, INRIA, European Space Agency, Monash University, as well as companies like Volkswagen, Bentley, Sony and Nokia, so we’re thrilled,” he said.
“In the demo, a user experiences their own hands interacting with complex graphics simulating smoke and fire effects in the environment. The user looks through a stereo head-worn display at their own hands, which start to smoke and interact with flames.”
“Although similar fire simulations have already been shown in Hollywood movies, the technical achievement of our demo is a one million times speed-up compared to these. For special effects in movies, the computation time for one frame is typically around one hour. In our demo, the computation time is 40ms, as we have to react to the dynamic environment and need to keep a frame-rate of 25 frames per second.”
To see the award-winning demo, click here.
Skills to be shared around the region thanks to scholarship winner
UniSA nursing lecturer Dr Julie Reis (pictured right), become the inaugural winner of a prestigious scholarship which she will use to inject leadership skills into the local Mount Gambier and South East community.
The Grace Benny Award aims to promote women in political leadership positions and is presented by the Australian Local Government Women’s Association.
As well as a lecturer Dr Reis (pictured right) is Councillor for the District Council of Grant where she is able to see the importance of political leadership first hand.
“Being on council is a great opportunity to learn about and be involved in decision-making processes at a local level,” she said.
As a lecturer at UniSA, Dr Reis spends considerable time with future professionals and says she would like to see more young people becoming leaders within regional communities.
“I think there has been apathy from a lot of younger people towards politics which I would like to see change,” she said.
“It would be great to get younger people engaged with political processes. There is an opportunity to learn so much about the ways the community and country is run and if people get involved the community will be enriched by this.”
The forum will be used to build confidence and leadership skills among female councillors and local government staff which Dr Reis hopes will then inspire others to take on leadership roles within their communities.
New book: Making Globalization Work for Women
UniSA’s Associate Professor of Sociology and Gender Studies Dr Suzanne Franzway has collaborated with Dr Valentine M. Moghadam and Dr Mary Margaret Fonow to publish a book titled Making Globalization Work for Women.
Within a global context the publication explores the potential for trade unions to defend the socioeconomic rights of women. It identifies barriers faced by women workers across the world and assesses the progress unions have made in response.
Making Globalization Work for Women also investigates challenges faced by female leadership within unions, laissez-faire governance, and the limited success of organisations working on these issues globally. It brings together the work and ideas of feminists, unions, non-governmental organisations, and other human rights workers.
Rare recognition for UniSA professor
Rare recognition has been given to UniSA’s Professor Nanthi Bolan (pictured right, on the left), who has been awarded a fellowship to the Soil Science Society of America.
Just 0.3 per cent of Soil Science Society members are recognised with a fellowship at any given time. The exceptional recognition for Professor Bolan will allow him to exchange more ideas with scientists around the world.
“It will enable me to achieve greater interaction with international scientists in my research areas – soil remediation and sustainable management of natural resources,” he said.
“For example, I will be actively involved in organising the next World Congress of Soil Science to be held in Korea and the International Conference on Biogeochemistry of Trace Elements to be held at the University of Georgia.”
Professor Bolan is the Research Chair of Environmental Science at the Centre for Environmental Risk Assessment and Remediation (CERAR), which is the only research centre of its kind in Australasia to focus specifically on environmental risk assessment and remediation.
Professor Bolan and his team have been on the cutting edge of soil research into lowering greenhouse gas emissions and enhancing carbon sequestration in soils.
“Our group at CERAR undertakes major research projects on carbon sequestration and wastewater irrigation which have direct impacts/benefits for primary producers,” he said.
“Traditional ways to lower carbon emission while increasing soil fertility include spreading organic wastes, such as composts and manures, on agricultural land – but research has shown that these degrade quickly.
“This results in the release of carbon dioxide; therefore the carbon stabilisation in these organic wastes is achieved by converting them to biochars or composting with novel amendments.”
Emeritus Professor Robin King elected to ATSE
Former Pro Vice Chancellor for Information Technology, Engineering and the Environment, Emeritus Professor Robin King (pictured right), was among the 31 new Fellows elected to the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering last month.
This accolade recognises Emeritus Prof King’s work in engineering education practice, innovation and accreditation and his contributions to several international bodies concerned with accreditation and quality assurance in engineering education.
Since retirement from UniSA in 2007, Emeritus Prof King has been busy. As a consultant, he supports the Australian Council of Engineering Deans as part-time executive officer, and has managed several projects for them, including the 2007-8 review of engineering education in Australia.
He currently runs the ALTC/DEEWR national network for supporting engineering and ICT academics.
As chair of the accreditation board of Engineers Australia he has overseen the development and introduction of new accreditation standards. His international work for Engineers Australia has included election as chair of the international agreement on the accreditation of engineering technologists, the Sydney Accord.
Emeritus Prof King said he does not spend all of his time on engineering education and accreditation.
“My wife Penny and I are now living back in Sydney, and I am playing more golf, and doing more woodwork,” he said.
“Grandchildren take up quite a bit of our time, and we also continue to walk in mountain country. Visiting Tibet this year, with a trip to the Mount Everest north base camp, fulfilled one of our lifetime ambitions.”
Emeritus Prof King counts his time at UniSA as among the best (so far), and he enjoys meeting up with former colleagues on his occasional visits back to Adelaide.
Australian Learning and Teaching Council grant success
Four UniSA researchers have been awarded a $191,000 grant by the former Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC), in conjunction with external academic colleagues, for a project exploring the potential of design as a catalyst for creative problem-solving.
The project team includes UniSA’s Dr Denise Wood (pictured right), Ron Corso, Stuart Gluth and Associate Professor Kazem Abrahary, with academic colleagues from the University of Adelaide, the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, James Cook University, the University of New England and Massey University.
Carolyn Bilsborow, a current PhD candidate and tutor in the School of Communication, International Studies and Languages, has been appointed as research assistant, and Anthony Christou, a postgraduate student and sessional staff member in the School of Art, Architecture and Design has been appointed as the project’s designer. Charles Morris, a programmer who has worked with Dr Wood on previous ALTC funded projects, is the software developer.
The major focus of the project is on curriculum renewal and innovation in development in learning and teaching through the use of new technologies.
It aims to design and develop a creative problem solving framework and associated online system to support academics in the development and redevelopment of curricula in which design is embedded and serves as a catalyst for engaging students in creative problem-solving.
Project Leader, Dr Denise Wood, said the project focuses on issues of emerging and continuing importance by developing strategies to support teachers and learners in ways that foster creativity in the higher education curriculum across a wide range of disciplinary areas.
The team anticipates completing the project by the end of 2012 following a series of trials in courses undertaken in each of the participating partner universities.
Layton named South Australia of the Year
Adjunct Professor at UniSA’s School of Law, Robyn Layton (pictured right), has been named Australian of the Year in South Australia for 2012.
The award acknowledges her outstanding contribution to the legal profession and the justice system.
The former Supreme Court Judge has fought for the rights of the disadvantaged throughout her working life. Her interest began in the late 1960s after she went into partnership with the late Honourable Elliott Johnston, renowned campaigner on behalf of Aboriginal people. There she worked pro bono on behalf of Aboriginal people charged with criminal offences. She was appointed as solicitor for the Central Aboriginal Land Rights team from 1972–74, travelling extensively to see for herself the conditions and issues people had to deal with in remote Aboriginal communities.
Now, as co-chair of Reconciliation South Australia and Adjunct Professor at the University of South Australia School of Law, Prof Layton is a highly respected commentator on Aboriginal issues.
She has also made an important contribution to improving child protection, both during the Child Protection Review and, since 2005, as Chair of the Advisory Committee for the Australian Centre for Protection.
Prof Layton is Patron of the Migrant Resource Centre and International Women’s Day Committee, and is a member of the National Advisory Group of the National Children’s and Youth Law Centre.
Vice Chancellor Professor Peter Høj said the award was a fitting acknowledgment of Professor Layton’s contribution.
He said her dedication to protecting and developing the rights of children and Aboriginal people and her considerable international engagement through the International Labour Organisation and in disadvantaged geographic areas were evidence of values that were strongly resonant with the UniSA mission.
Prof Høj said Prof Layton’s roles on the Law School Advisory Board and the Australian Centre for Child Protection’s National Advisory Council were highly valued by the University.
“We are privileged to benefit from Prof Layton’s experience,” Prof Høj said.
UniSA plays key role in national flagship automotive and environmental research centres
Researchers at the University of South Australia are set to play a major role in building sustainable, innovative and efficient technologies as key contributors to two national Cooperative Research Centres (CRCs) announced in late November.
The Federal Government funding announcement saw the foundation of a new CRC for Low Carbon Living, attracting $28 million and extended support for the AutoCRC with further funding of $26 million over the next five years.
The CRCs are established as collaborations between universities, industry and government and the additional contributions from the partners boosts the research and innovation budget through cash and in kind support to almost $98 million for the AutoCRC and more than $104 million for the Low Carbon Living CRC.
UniSA Vice Chancellor Professor Peter Høj said he was delighted with the announcement and the continued strong support from the Government for the CRC program.
For more information, read a media release about this here.
Barbara Hardy Institute launch
The Barbara Hardy Institute was officially launched at a symposium in late November in the Hilton’s Grand Ballroom.
The launch highlighted the Institute’s activities in research, education and community engagement. It was also the culmination of many months of work by Institute members who contributed to a new multidisciplinary book about sustainability, a video about the Institute and a new website.
Director of the Barbara Hardy Institute, Professor Chris Daniels (pictured right, on the right), said the launch was a great success.
“The event was in three sessions: two sessions of symposium presentations and then a final session including a video launch and an industry presentation,” he said.
“We had more than 300 people at each session, and the event was attended by many industry, government and academic collaborators.
“The event was a great opportunity to showcase the research of the Barbara Hardy Institute and network with collaborators.”
Those who attended were given a copy of a book on sustainable communities, Creating Sustainable Communities in a Changing World, edited by UniSA’s Philip Roetman and Prof Daniels.
The book provides multidisciplinary perspectives on sustainability by 50 authors associated with the Institute. For more information, click here.
CERM celebrates 21 years of partnership
UniSA’s CERM Performance Indicators® Project, (CERM PI) within the Centre for Tourism and Leisure Management, School of Management, celebrated 21 years of partnership with Australasian public aquatic and leisure facilities last month.
The 21-year milestone was celebrated on Friday 11 November at Chloe’s Restaurant and Function Centre, and was attended by Professor Gerry Griffin, Pro Vice Chancellor: Division of Business, Professor John Benson, Head of the School of Management, academic and professional staff, current and past employees of CERM PI, industry colleagues and members of the Centre for Tourism and Leisure Management Advisory Board.
The CERM PI Project started in 1990 to facilitate quality management in the leisure industries.
Initially, collaboration was with local government indoor sports and leisure centres. Subsequent collaboration has included a range of leisure industry segments and university colleagues in Australia, New Zealand, USA, Taiwan and the UK.
CERM PI currently provides reviews for over 200 sports and leisure facilities in Australia and New Zealand.
To find out more about CERM PI, click here.