Achievements and Announcements

UniSA nanoscientists set to improve human health through new ARC Centre

Colourful nanoparticlesThe launch of a new Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence will see researchers from the Mawson Institute and the Ian Wark Research Institute join forces with a global network of bio-nano scientists to develop new vaccines and improve drug delivery systems.

UniSA is one of four nodes in the ARC Centre of Excellence in Convergent Bio-Nano Science and Technology, headquartered at Monash University. Announced earlier this year, the Centre officially opened on August 28.

UniSA Node leader and Deputy Director of the Mawson Institute, Professor Nico Voelcker says UniSA will bring to the Centre its expertise in nanomaterial design, cell biology and engineering.

“As a leading hub for expertise in materials science in Australia, the Mawson Institute is thrilled to play an important part in this new Centre,” Prof Voelcker says.

Professor Thomas Nann from the Ian Wark Research Institute, who is also part of the Centre of Excellence, defines bio-nano science as a multidisciplinary field that brings together biology and nanotechnology to revolutionise drug delivery systems, vaccine development, imaging technologies and disease detection.

“One of the areas the Centre is working in is developing nanoparticles that can target tumours and immune cells to help image diseased tissues and deliver therapeutics,” he says.

The researchers will also work on creating sensors with new and diverse capabilities, according to Prof Voelcker.

“We are developing sensors capable not only of diagnosing diseases well before conventional methods but that also help us monitor how effective treatments really are,” he says.

While the field of bio-nano science is still in its infancy, Prof Nico Voelcker says it is set to have a huge impact on human health and at same time make a substantial contribution the manufacturing industry and the Australian economy.

Collaborating and partner organisations of the Centre include the University of Melbourne, the University of New South Wales, the University of Queensland, the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, Imperial College London, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Sungkyunkwan University, the University of Nottingham, the University College Dublin, the University of California Santa Barbara, the University of Warwick and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Jeffrey Smart Building recognised in industry awards

Jeffrey Smart Building UniSA’s $85m learning centre at City West campus is already receiving accolades, with the company behind the building – Hindmarsh Construction – picking up an award in the South Australian Master Builders’ Building Excellence Awards.

Announced in August, the Jeffrey Smart Building (JSB) was named the joint winner in the Commercial/Industrial Building $50m to $100m category. Judges praised the building, noting ‘first impressions gave an inkling of an excellent building'.

UniSA Director of Facilities Management, Phil Clatworthy said the award reaffirms the success of the building, which has received positive feedback from students, staff and the wider community.

“JSB has cemented its position as the cornerstone of the revitalised West End and has received high praise from across the community but most importantly from the students it was designed for,” he said.

“Throughout the development of the building, Hindmarsh Construction worked closely with our project team and we extend our congratulations to them for securing this award. The end result is an award-winning building that’s a great place to learn, study and relax in.”

Named in honour of the great Australian artist and UniSA alumnus, JSB has eight floors that contain cutting-edge learning spaces and a number of services, including the Library, Campus Central, Learning and Teaching Unit advice and more.

Eureka Prize finalist

Professor Richard HeadProfessor Richard Head, UniSA’s Deputy Vice Chancellor and Vice President: Research and Innovation, has played an important role as part of a team that has been named as a finalist in the esteemed Australian Museum Eureka Prizes.

CSIRO's Australian Imaging, Biomarkers and Lifestyle (AIBL) research team is a finalist in the University of New South Wales Eureka Prize for Excellence in the Interdisciplinary Scientific Research category. Prof Head made a significant contribution to the initiation of the AIBL in his former role as Director of CSIRO’s Preventative Health National Research Flagship, prior to his appointment at UniSA.

Working together with the National Ageing Research Institute, Howard Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, Austin Health and Edith Cowan University, the AIBL team’s study is one of the largest, well-characterised longitudinal cohorts of healthy ageing and cognitive decline in the world.

“The AILB Study of Ageing aims to discover which biomarkers, cognitive characteristics, and health and lifestyle factors determine subsequent development of Alzheimer’s Disease,” Prof Head says.

“The study has already made significant advances in understanding the progression of the disease, as well as improving strategies for prevention.

“It is exciting that this study, the largest of its kind in Australia, has received recognition in the prestigious Eureka Prizes and I am proud to have played a part in it.”

The winners of the Eureka Prizes will be announced on September 10, 2014.

Port Adelaide and UniSA launch new courses in ‘powerful partnership’

Port Adelaide chairman David Koch, UniSA Vice Chancellor Prof David Lloyd and Port Adelaide high performance manager Darren Burgess. Port Adelaide chairman David Koch, UniSA Vice Chancellor Prof David Lloyd and Port Adelaide high performance manager Darren Burgess.

The Port Adelaide Football Club and UniSA officially launched their high performance partnership last month, at the same time announcing the development of new courses for next year and beyond.

UniSA, in conjunction with Port Adelaide, will introduce two new courses for 2015 – one on pre-season training cycles for high performance athletes and one on in-season competition and recovery strategies – with a view of working towards a Masters in High Performance program in 2016.

Port Adelaide chairman David Koch said the launch of the new curriculum was another exciting step in Port Adelaide’s partnership with UniSA.

“We are delighted to be working closely with UniSA in the development of these courses for 2015 that will provide mutually beneficial opportunities for UniSA students and our club,” Koch said.

Koch reiterated that Port Adelaide had a strong focus on community engagement and was looking forward to working with UniSA in this area.

“Port Adelaide has started working with UniSA in the area of Aboriginal education, in a hope we can encourage more young Aboriginal men and women to pursue a University education,” Koch said.

UniSA Vice Chancellor Professor David Lloyd said the partnership is delivering a rare opportunity for students to be at the heart of sporting competition and to really understand what it takes physically and psychologically to achieve excellence in sport.

For more details on the Port Adelaide and UniSA partnership, read the related media release.

UniSA joins education and research partnership with Seeley International

Man holding representations of mechanical cogs UniSA has partnered with Australia’s largest air conditioning manufacturer Seeley International, signing a Memorandum of Understanding that also includes Flinders University and TAFE SA last month. The new partnership will encourage broad opportunities for students to access direct industry experience.

Under the agreement UniSA students will have access to Seeley International research and manufacturing facilities, including its recently completed $1.5million testing laboratory at Lonsdale. The agreement also makes provision for Seeley International engineering specialists to present guest lectures and workshops for students, boosting their understanding and experience of engineering in the commercial context.

UniSA Vice Chancellor Professor David Lloyd says the agreement will be a boon for engineering students at the University.

“This partnership is important for what it can provide the next generation of engineers,” Prof Lloyd says.

“The practical lessons of the commercial environment are what hone an engineer’s ability to find the right solutions for industry problems.

“This kind of collaboration is vital for South Australia as it seeks to build the technology industries of the future and enterprising graduates who will lead those industries.”

For more information, read the related media release.

From the Great War to the Asian Century

Professor Hugh WhiteCoinciding with the anniversary of Australia’s involvement in WWI, strategic defence expert Professor Hugh White AO delivered the Annual Hawke Lecture in August, highlighting what the Great War can teach us about our place in the world.

In his lecture, the Professor of Strategic Studies in the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre at the Australian National University examined the important parallels between 1914 Europe and 2014 Asia.

“There are similarities between Europe in 1914 and Asia today which need serious examination. Nothing in 1914 made a major European war inevitable, and nothing makes a major Asian war inevitable today,” Prof White said.

“When power shifts – relationships change, creating a situation where new powers become more demanding, and those losing power become more defensive. As power shifts in Asia, the system must change.”

Presented by the Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre, the Annual Hawke Lecture is the University’s premier public event, presenting topics which encourage audiences to reflect on the larger issues of our time, including the future of our nation and our world, and how we can shape it.

A podcast and transcript of the 2014 Annual Hawke Lecture are available on the Hawke Centre website.

Judges sold on UniSA student’s success

Xin Ting Leong receiving her Merdeka Award Xin Ting Leong receiving her Merdeka Award

UniSA property student Xin Ting Leong has won second prize in this year’s Merdeka Awards, the signature event of the state branch of the Australia Malaysia Business Council (AMBC).

One of only three high-performing Malaysian students in South Australia to receive an award, Xin Ting was presented with a trophy and $1000 at the AMBC Gala Dinner held at the Convention Centre last month.

Upon receiving the award, the final year student thanked those who have supported her while she studied a Bachelor of Business (Property) degree at UniSA.

“It was an honour to receive the award. Without the support of my parents, friends and university lecturers and staff, I wouldn’t have been able to get this far,” she said.

“I have really enjoyed my time at UniSA and in Adelaide – there have been lots of opportunities to engage in the local community, to learn and to experience different things.”

The secretary of the International Student Business Society (Malaysia chapter), Xin Ting has also been involved a number of community activities during her studies, such as the UniSA Global Experience program and volunteer work at a number of organisations in Adelaide.

Student recognised in international design competition

The ‘Hide and Seek’ campaign logo

UniSA student Alysha Menzel has received an honourable mention in the global Adobe Design Achievements Awards.

An industry leader in creative software companies, Adobe’s annual Design Achievement Awards attract entries from students around the world.

A Master of Design student in the School of Art, Architecture and Design, Alysha was over the moon when she found out her entry had been acknowledged in the ‘Print Communications’ category. Titled ‘Hide and Seek’, the submission was created for a third-year undergraduate Bachelor of Design (Visual Communication) project last year.

“I was absolutely thrilled when I received the email from Adobe but at the same time I was in denial, thinking they must have sent me the wrong email,” Alysha said.

“I honestly didn't expect to receive any recognition, and at the time I entered the competition I saw it as no more than a personal growth experience.

“My entry ‘Hide & Seek’ is a speculative design response to research into contemporary surveillance and its effect on the average Australian citizen.”

UniSA Visual Communication Program Director, Dr Veronika Kelly congratulated Alysha on her achievement.

“We are delighted that one of our students has been internationally acknowledged with such a prestigious design award,” Dr Kelly said.

“The Adobe Design Achievement Awards receive entries from skilled and promising student designers, photographers and artists from many of the world’s top institutions.

“Alysha's work is a thoughtfully developed design solution that communicates complex information about human surveillance in accessible form and is testament to the contribution that the visual communication design discipline makes to global public discourse.

“Her achievement confirms the high standard of work UniSA visual communication students and graduates produce.”

Another score on the board for unijam

UniSA’s two Awards for Marketing ExcellenceUniSA’s online brainstorming conversation, unijam has continued to receive accolades, taking home two awards at the State’s Australian Marketing Institute (AMI) Awards for Marketing Excellence last month.

Fresh from winning an ABA 100 Award for Innovation at The Australian Business Awards in July, the consultative 'jam' supported by IBM technology took out both the Education and Internal Marketing categories at the marketing industry’s premier awards.

Unijam is now in the running for the national AMI Awards for Marketing Excellence being held in Sydney in October.