PhD Support

Meet the Global Challenges PhD Scholars

The Global Challenge PhD Scholars Program nurtures and encourages the careers of PhD students working on projects that are helping us address Global Challenges.

In addition to receiving top-up and research funding support, our Global Challenge PhD Scholars are encouraged to build networks and approaches that cross disciplinary boundaries.

Since it’s inception 17 PhD students have been supported through this program. 

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CURRENT SCHOLARS

Abhijith AnandAbhijith Anand2  

Studying the business value of IT, analytics, and strategic management of information systems

Challenge: Manufacturing Innovation

Started PhD: 2013

Primary Supervisor: Prof. Rajeev Sharma

Email: aas188@uowmail.edu.au

Twitter: @abhijith_anand

Abhijith Anand is a Global Challenges PhD Scholar and a PhD candidate in the Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences, University of Wollongong. He has also received his Master of Information Systems and Technology - Research and Master of Information and Communication Technology from the University of Wollongong. He is currently part of a research program that is collaborating with Statistical Analysis Systems (SAS) Institute Inc. In that research, he is investigating how the use of business analytics influences strategy creation, decision-making processes, resource allocation processes and firm performance. This investigation spans across various industries ranging from manufacturing, government and banking industries.

Learn more about Abhijith

Read his blogposts on joining the Global Challenges team and how data can transform the manufacturing industry.

Rachael BartlettRachael Bartlett

Studying the role of the inflammatory receptor P2X7 in motor neurone disease

Challenge: Living Well, Longer

Started PhD: 2012

Primary Supervisor: Dr. Ronald Sluyter

Email: rb401@uowmail.edu.au

Twitter: @Rachael_Bartlet

My work focuses on the role of an inflammatory molecule, termed P2X7, in the progression of motor neuron disease, a debilitating and incurable disease characterized by the progressive loss of muscle function. The mechanism behind disease progression is currently not understood. I am researching whether inflammation, mediated by P2X7, plays a role in this, and if so, whether P2X7 represents a therapeutic target.

Neurodegenerative diseases such as this are a major global challenge, affecting tens of thousands of people worldwide. Due to the multifaceted nature of these diseases, collaborative and innovative research, such as that facilitated by the Global Challenges Program, is required to find new methods of prevention, management and treatment, allowing us to live well, longer.

Read her blogposts about joining Global Challenges, about her trip to Canada and marching to support research about motor neurone disease.

Amy CarradAmy Carrad 190 by 190

Studying health promotion in sports clubs 

Challenge: Living Well, Longer

Started PhD: 2014

Primary Supervisor: Prof. Heather Yeatman

Email: amc289@uowmail.edu.au

Twitter: @AmyCarrad 

My PhD project is exploring the feasibility of using organisational development and capacity building strategies to facilitate cultural change in community sports clubs. The ultimate goal of this culture change is to shift sports settings to be supportive of holistic wellbeing by stepping away from the historically strong focus on athlete skill development. This process will provide clubs with the skills to become health promoting environments in relation to a range of health areas such as social inclusion, mental health, healthy eating, injury prevention, and sponsorship, so that they may encourage individual behaviours that will sustain health and wellbeing throughout life.

Read her blogposts: her first presentation at Public Health Association of Australia conference in Perth, raising funds for her research through SOUP Illawarra, addressing childhood obesity via the Finish with the Right Stuff campaign, postcard from Alice Springs, postcard from the World Gymnaestrada, postcard from the Baltic States, postcard from Helsinki, and her postcard from Edinburgh.  She also co-authored an opinion piece on eating locally in The Conversation.

Global-Challenges-PhD-Jacob-DonleyJacob Donley

Studying digital signal processing, including spatial audio using innovative directional loudspeakers

Challenge: Manufacturing Innovation

Started PhD: 2014

Primary Supervisor: Assoc. Prof. Christian Ritz

Email: jrd089@uowmail.edu.au

Twitter: @_JacobDonley

Recently there has been new research into the loudspeaker reproduction of sound fields to create multiple zones simultaneously. This can allow multiple listeners to experience their own private listening areas. These existing techniques are based on algorithms designed to optimally match the desired sound field to that reproduced by a set of standard loudspeakers. More recent research has focused on designing new types of loudspeaker arrays that can be used to provide directional sound much more accurately than conventional loudspeaker arrays. My research aims to make these personalised sound zones practical for real world applications to further improve communications and our environment. With the help of Global Challenges I have been able to network with internationally renowned researchers in the field, purchase equipment necessary to test physical implementations and have met some brilliantly minded fellow PhD students.

Read his blogposts about academic research in the digital age, attending the Quality of Multimedia Experience conference in Singapore and how spatial audio technology can change the way we hear.

Global-Challenges-PhD-Thomas-DoyleThomas Doyle

Studying coastal vulnerability and the role of beach-dune interactions

Challenge: Sustaining Coastal and Marine Zones 

Started PhD: 2014

Primary Supervisor: Prof. Colin Woodroffe

Email: tbd372@uowmail.edu.au

The vast popularity of coastal living and recreation here in Australia, has led to many studies of the coastline… however one area that has been neglected here in Australia are the dynamics and processes surrounding foredunes (the first vegetated dune on the beach) and their vegetation. This is worrying, as foredune research elsewhere around the world, has shown that these features can play an integral part in the coastal scene, both in terms of vulnerability and stability. My PhD project therefore aims to fill this gap and produce a highly detailed investigation into the various roles ecology may play in shaping and stabilising foredunes along the NSW coastline. The majority of this project will be conducted using LiDAR, a new 3D laser technology, to also assess a new way to investigate foredunes and their ecology within Australia.  By coupling both scientific inquiry with community concerns, I am hoping for my research to feed directly back into my community and assist local environmental managers with more effective coastal management schemes.

Read Thomas' blogposts about his adventures as a first year, second year and third year as a PhD Scholar. You can also read about his stay in Portugal attending Coastal Tools School.

HARRIET HARDEN DAVIESHarriet Harden Davies 190 by 190

Studying Marine Genetic Resources in Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction: Meeting Challenges for Global Governance

Challenge: Sustaining Coastal and Marine Zones 

Started PhD: 2014

Primary Supervisor: Prof. Robin Warner

EmailHrhd829@uowmail.edu.au

Twitter: @HHardenDavies

The unique genetic properties of deep-sea marine creatures have many possible applications to humankind, including new pharmaceuticals. With nearly two-thirds of the world’s oceans in areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ), significant gaps in the legal framework for ABNJ have raised concerns about future access to marine genetic resources (MGRs) in ABNJ and the fair and equitable sharing of their benefits. To address this concern, it is necessary to bring together science, business, law and policy. This is a truly global challenge that demands an international interdisciplinary approach. My research applies this approach to investigate global governance approaches to sharing non-monetary benefits of marine genetic resources in areas beyond national jurisdiction.

Read more about Harriet and her publications and research interests.  Read her co-written blog about the challenge of protecting and managing an ocean space greater in area than the surface of the Moon!

MITCHELL JUSTMitchell Just

Studying Virtual-Reality enhanced rehabilitation

Challenge: Living Well, Longer

Started PhD: 2014

Primary Supervisor: Dr David Stirling

Email: maj890@uowmail.edu.au

Virtual-Reality is a rapidly expanding industry, impacting a variety of fields, including media and entertainment, training, and rehabilitation. Traditional motor rehabilitation exercises can be significantly enhanced by utilising VR, with studies showing that patients were more motivated and confident, as well as performing substantially better in movement function tests when compared to traditional rehabilitation. As our population increases and ages, neurological disorders such as stroke become more prevalent. Therefore, it is important that the field of rehabilitation is ever evolving, to ensure that even after stroke, people are able to live independently and happily. Global Challenges has allowed me to travel to a Virtual Rehabilitation conference in 2014, where my work earned me the best student short paper award.  

Read Mitchell's blogpost about the Virtual Rehabilitation conference held in Sweden.  

SOPHIE-MAY KERRSophie-May Kerr

Studying sustainable urban living

Challenge: Transforming Lives and Regions

Started PhD: 2015

Primary Supervisor: Dr Natascha Klocker

Emailsmk534@uowmail.edu.au

Twitter:@SophieMayKerr1

In the context of climate change and urban population growth, social and environmental transformations that address high carbon and space-intensive urban lifestyles demand research attention. My goal is to inform understandings of sustainable urban living by examining sharing as a sustainable practice. My research will focus on the way urban residents share space (for instance, by living in apartments) and material resources (such as vehicles and household items). Responses to the challenges of urban population growth and carbon intensive lifestyles need to be grounded in an understanding of everyday life. Thus, for instance, efforts to increase rates of apartment-living must be informed by an understanding of how this mode of living can become socially sustainable. The research will consider how apartments might be made an attractive long-term residential option for a diverse population, including families.

The global challenges program recognises the interconnected and interdisciplinary nature of this project. Australian cities will be facing increasing challenges over the coming years and as such, significant transformations will be necessary. The GCP provides an opportunity to collaborate with other disciplines and organisations to share ideas about how we can contribute to creating more socially sustainable urban environments.  Read Sophie-May's article on UOW's The Stand on The future of housing: families in apartments.

Global-Challenges-PhD-Catherine-LucasCATHERINE LUCAS

Studying nutrition in pregnancy and lactation

Challenge: Living Well, Longer

Started PhD: 2014

Primary Supervisor: Assoc. Prof. Karen Charlton

Email: cjl623@uowmail.edu.au

Twitter: @_cathLucasAPD

My PhD is focussed on nutrition education during pregnancy. Nutrition during the first 1000 days of life is critical for foetal development and health; however pregnant women are not receiving adequate nutrition advice to enable them to make informed choices. A key outcome of my PhD will be the development of education modules to upskill health providers in this area. Global Challenges has been an important part of my research so far- it has enabled me to attend conferences and meet leading researchers in my field; funded aspects of my research projects; and is also a great network of PhD students committed to making a difference.

Read an article Catherine had published in The Conversation.

Read her blogposts about joining Global Challenges and why pregnant women could benefit from better nutrition advice.  Read more about her research on The Stand.

GENEVIEVE QUIRKGenevieve Quirk

Studying oceanscape scale governance in the Pacific

Challenge: Sustaining Coastal and Marine Zones 

Started PhD: 2014

Primary Supervisor: Prof. Clive Schofield

Email: gcq691@uowmail.edu.au

Twitter: @genevievequirk

Read more about Genevieve and her co-written blog global efforts mobilise to address key gaps in oceans’ governance and a co-written article in The Conversation.

EMILY RYANEmily Ryan

Studying cluster development for sustainable supply chains

Challenge: Manufacturing Innovation

Started PhD: 2015

Primary Supervisor: Dr. Matthew Pepper

Email: etr710@uowmail.edu.au

My PhD is looking at the long term viability of sustainability-focused supply chains. With sustainability being at the forefront of the building industry, there is a need to identify and examine the drivers of sustainability-focused supply chain clusters, a key outcome of my PhD. Global Challenges provides me with excellent opportunities to engage with industry partners such as the Office of Environment and Heritage, as well as the opportunity to investigate the ways in which other regions develop supply chain clusters. Working with other PhD students provides a strong foundation of knowledge and insight into my research from different perspectives. 

Read more about Emily and read her postcard from Cuba on supply chain management and POMS.

ANDREW SHORTAndrew Short

Studying streamlining robotic automation in Australia

Challenge: Manufacturing Innovation

Started PhD: 2014

Primary Supervisor: Dr. Stephen van Duin

Email: andrewjshort@gmail.com

I have a double degree in Mechatronic Engineering and Computer Science from the University of Wollongong. My research focuses on making robotic automation easier to use by developing new programming techniques and making robots aware of the world around them. Flexible robotic automation is important for streamlining Australian manufacturing, and my research helps address the Manufacturing Innovation Global Challenge.

Read a related blog post on a Robotics Workshop held at UOW that Andrew took part in.

ALUMNI

IRIT ALONYIrit Alony 190 by 190

Studied employment as a relationship looking at emotions and affective indicators of employee retention and engagement.

Challenge: Living Well, Longer

Started PhD: 2011

Primary Supervisor: Assoc. Prof. Helen Hasan

Email: iritalony@gmail.com 

Read her blogpost about finding inspiration on the road in Israel.

Global-Challenges-PhD-Yubing-Shiyubing shi

Studied the regulatory framework for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping

Challenge: Sustaining Coastal and Marine Zones

Started PhD: 2010

Primary Supervisor: Prof. Robin Warner

Email: yubing@uow.edu.au

 

Global-Challenges-PhD-Ming-Xieming xie

Studied the transport of emerging trace organic contaminants in forward osmosis

Challenge: Manufacturing Innovation

Started PhD: 2010

Primary Supervisor: Assoc. Prof. Long Nghiem

Email: mx504@uowmail.edu.au

 

Last reviewed: 13 September, 2017

Transforming Lives
and Regions

GCP TLR Banner Image

Living Well, Longer

Living-Well-Longer

Manufacturing Innovation

Manufacturing-Innovation

Sustaining Coastal and Marine Zones

Sustaining Coastal and Marine Zones