Groundbreaking research into nanotechnology and advanced polymers will be accelerated with $3.6 million in infrastructure funding awarded to The University of Queensland (UQ) today.
UQ was awarded funding for 10 projects under the Australian Research Council's 2011 Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities (LIEF) scheme, including $720,000 for an ultra-high resolution and advanced analytical scanning electron microscope facility.
Project leader, Professor John Drennan, from UQ's Centre for Microscopy & Microanalysis, said the new scanning electron microscope would allow a wider range of materials to be analysed, including nanometre sized particles and polymers.
“The new microscope will fill a gap in scanning electron microscopy facilities in Queensland and make possible advancements in cutting-edge research into advanced polymers and nano particles,” Professor Drennan said.
“This includes research into new-generation circuitry for electronics being conducted by UQ's Australian Institute for Bioengineering Nanotechnology.”
The LIEF grants are aimed at facilitating infrastructure partnerships with other research organisations. Queensland University of Technology is a partner with UQ for the electron microscope grant, which will allow them to replace some equipment in their own microscopy facility.
UQ's Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Max Lu congratulated UQ researchers who had received infrastructure grants - the second largest share of the $30 million awarded to institutions across Australia.
“These grants will allow the development of essential infrastructure and facilities that will benefit research conducted at UQ for many years to come,” Professor Lu said.
“The grants also reflect the strong partnerships that UQ has with other research organisations around Australia to further important research and innovation.”
UQ's 2011 Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities projects and project leaders, announced by the ARC today, are:
Professor David Carter, School of English, Media Studies & Art History
Digital humanities practice in Australian literary studies: data development, structural enhancement and open access innovation - AustLit phase 4 ($600 000)
AustLit is a comprehensive digital resource providing quality, searchable information for researchers, teachers, students and the general public in the broadly defined areas of Australian literature and print culture. This new phase of the database will support enhanced content creation and research capacity and will allow AustLit to change to a completely open access platform.
Professor Paul Alewood, Institute for Molecular Bioscience
High-throughput, high resolution protein-peptide sequencing and quantification facility ($550,000)
This facility will enhance the research capability of scientists at UQ who are using mass spectrometry to elucidate the structures of novel toxins which have the potential to be developed as drugs.
Dr Timothy Bredy, Queensland Brain Institute
Mass spectrometry platform for high throughput genotyping, epigenetic analysis and validation of genome wide sequencing studies ($240,000)
This facility will provide a platform for Australian researchers to quantitatively measure genetic information in a rapid, accurate and cost-efficient manner. This technology will enhance Australia's ability to perform basic research into the genetic and epigenetic mechanisms of cellular function.
Professor John Drennan, Centre for Microscopy & Microanalysis
Ultra-high resolution and advanced analytical scanning electron microscope facility ($720,000)
This scanning electron microscope facility will form an essential part of characterising a broad range of material types, from nanometre sized particles through to cells and their interactions.
Professor Peter Halley, Australian Institute for Bioengineering & Nanotechnology
Green biopolymer nanocomposites facility: supercritical carbon dioxide characterisation and processing for nanomaterials and biopolymers ($150,000)
This facility will house characterisation and processing equipment for developing the next generation biopolymer materials. Novel biopolymers will be developed from natural and renewable resources using improved performance and lower energy supercritical carbon dioxide processing methods.
Professor Jochen Mueller, National Reseach Centre for Environmental Toxicology
Ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography ion trap mass spectrometer to develop new capabilities in environmental and human toxicology ($240,000)
This facility will be dedicated to developing methods and analyses of environmental contaminants and by-products that are currently not well understood. Having this analytical capability will underpin leading research in environmental toxicology and chemistry, and will help to minimise environmental and human exposure to harmful contaminants.
Associate Professor Lianzhou Wang, School of Chemical Engineering
An integrated kinetic measurement system enabling efficient solar energy conversion ($150,000)
This measurement facility will underpin advances in the fundamental understanding of new semiconducting materials for high efficiency light-driven energy conversion systems. The outcomes of the research at the facility will lead to significant economic and environmental benefits for many industries, such as low cost solar cells and water purifications.
Associate Professor Ming-Xing Zhang, Mechanical & Mining Engineering
Vacuum induction furnace for casting titanium alloys ($500,000)
This titanium melting facility will provide a level of investment and national strategic focus necessary to sustain Australian competitive advantage in both titanium research and the global titanium market. The facility will support cutting-edge research and support the development of new titanium products.
Professor John Zhu, School of Chemical Engineering
A novel high-pressure system for multiple gas adsorption ($150,000)
This facility will equip researchers with analytical capabilities for research in the field of multi-gas adsorption. The facility will be of great significance to clean energy research, such as greenhouse gas emission control and hydrogen production and storage.
Professor Jin Zou, Centre for Microscopy & Microanalysis
An integrated system for measuring thermoelectric properties of advanced materials ($300,000)
This facility will establish an integrated measuring system, which will form the key step in developing thermoelectric materials. The instruments will support groundbreaking research in developing advanced materials with significant economic and environmental benefits for many industries, such as materials manufacturing and improving automobile energy efficiency.