Five Monash researchers share $4.6m in Future Fellowship funding

Five Monash research programs awarded $4.6 million for Future Fellowships from the Australian Research Council.

A better understanding of the connection between Australia’s migration system and family violence for Temporary Visa holders, and the development of a tool for more detailed lung analysis are among five Monash research programs awarded $4.6 million for Future Fellowships from the Australian Research Council.

Associate Professor Marie Segrave, Head of the School of Social Sciences, will draw on accounts from former Temporary Visa Holders in Australia and Asia, with an end goal of creating recommendations to policymakers and stakeholders to create better conditions for women’s safety.

Work by Dr Stephen Dubsky, Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering Research Fellow, aims to enable respiratory researchers to investigate lung function in unprecedented detail, leading to new insights into the workings of the organ.

Other Monash projects to receive funding include research into better cycling infrastructure and policy, improved learning in AI graph analysis and improved high precision selective membranes for key Australian industries.

The Federal Government allocated $93 million to 100 researchers under the ARC Future Fellowships, which recognise excellence in research, helping mid-career researchers undertake high quality research in areas of national and international benefit.

Monash University President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Margaret Gardner AC said this latest ARC funding will support the innovative work of Monash researchers in critical areas of science, health and engineering over the next four years.

"This scheme will enable our dedicated researchers to find the necessary solutions to key challenges currently being faced by our communities, and reflects the significant projects we have at Monash," Professor Gardner said.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Rebekah Brown said: "These grants recognise the importance of this outstanding research and its potential for impact both within Australia and overseas. To have such diverse projects recognised shows the overall calibre of the research being done at Monash across faculties, campuses and disciplines."

The Future Fellowship recipients are:

Dr Shirui Pan (Department of Data Science & AI)

Enabling Automatic Graph Learning Pipelines with Limited Human Knowledge


Machine learning for graph data commonly requires significant human knowledge from both domain professionals as well as algorithm experts, rendering existing systems ineffective and unexplainable. This project expects to design novel graph learning techniques which automatically infer graph relations, learn graph models and also adapt existing knowledge to new domains and provide explanations to the graph learning system. The research results should provide benefit to governments and businesses in many critical applications, such as bioassay activity prediction, credit assessment, and drug discovery and vaccine development in response to the pandemic

Dr Ben Beck (School of Public Health & Preventive Medicine)

Advancing cycling as an active transport mode using data driven approaches


This research program aims to provide the critical evidence that is needed to advance cycling as an active and sustainable mode of transport. Through interdisciplinary research and multi-national collaborations, the program will develop a world-leading data platform that will monitor, inform and evaluate cycling, and use this platform to provide the evidence that is needed to enhance cycling participation, safety and infrastructure.

Associate Professor Marie Segrave (School of Social Sciences)

Domestic and Family Violence and Border Related Harm


By drawing on the accounts of former temporary visa holders via interviews in Australia, Thailand, Vietnam and India, and examining the migration system and processes evident in formal accounts including coronial findings and sentencing judgements, the project expects to generate new knowledge about connections between migration systems and domestic and family violence. This should provide significant benefits by laying the ground for reform and recommendations to support policy makers and stakeholders more broadly to create better conditions for women’s safety.

Professor Xiwang Zhang (Department of Chemical Engineering)

Epitaxial Stacking of Nanoporous Nanosheets for Next-generation Membranes


The project aims to develop high-precision selective membranes which are urgently needed in Australian key industries for solute-solute separation by constructing vertically-aligned and chemically-tailorable nanochannels using two-dimensional porous nanosheets as building blocks. The membranes developed in the project should make existing separation processes more effective and sustainable and advance emerging applications in pharmaceutical, dairy and mining industries, providing significant economic and environmental benefits to Australia.

Dr Stephen Dubsky (Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering)

Bridging the gap between global mechanics and regional imaging in the lungs


The detailed mechanics of breathing are not well understood, due to a lack of regional lung measurement techniques. This project aims to develop a powerful analysis tool to image in vivo mechanical properties of the lungs. The image analysis methods developed are intended to enable respiratory researchers to investigate lung function in unprecedented detail, leading to new insights into the workings of this complicated and vital organ.

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