ACES researcher funding success in 2021 Discovery Projects

November 17, 2020
Lauren Hood

Congratulations to the ACES researchers who have been successful in securing funding through the Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Projects scheme.

Members of the ACES team from the University of Tasmania, University of Wollongong, Deakin University and Monash University were among 591 teams to receive $255 million in Discovery Projects funding.


ACES Early Career Researcher Dr Vipul Gupta and Associate Investigator Prof Michael Breadmore received $300,000 to explore 3D printed microchemical devices and systems to overcome current research challenges in advanced manufacturing. While 3D printing can create bespoke 3D structures faster and cheaper when compared to traditional fabrication, its scope in chemistry is limited by poor chemical robustness, biotoxicity and low resolution of printed components. The UTAS project will develop novel gold coating techniques and explore high-resolution 3D printing to overcome these issues.


ACES Soft Robotics Theme Leader Prof Gursel Alici was awarded $334,000 to establish non-invasive human-machine interface systems based on multi-modal sensing and machine learning. These novel systems would intuitively command and control robotic and autonomous systems safely when interacting and cooperating with humans. The project will result in a novel human-machine interface methodology, a new multi-purpose wearable data glove, and function and application-specific machine learning methods for cutting-edge applications in assistive robotic devices such as a prosthetic hand, advanced manufacturing, construction and agriculture.


ACES CIs Prof Jennifer Pringle (Deakin University) and Prof Doug MacFarlane (Monash University) and former PhD student Dr Mega Kar (Monash University) received $470,000 to develop new materials that possess optimum properties for targeted clean energy technologies. The team will aim to produce materials that absorb large amounts of thermal energy, to advance technologies that support renewable energy storage and a reduction in energy costs and harmful emissions from refrigeration.


ACES members from Deakin including ACES Associate Director Prof Maria Forsyth, ACES CI Prof Patrick Howlett, Research Fellow Dr Fangfang Chen and Associate Investigator Dr Luke O’Dell were successful in gaining over $650,000 in funding to support their project on sustainable high energy sodium batteries and enhanced safety and life cycle. The project aims to deliver a high specific energy, ambient temperate sodium metal battery that is more sustainable, safer and better performing than existing technologies. Innovative chemistries will be used to replace the current flammable and toxic organic solvent-based systems, while novel tools and capabilities will be forged to retain Australian leadership in this sector.


To read more about the Discovery Projects grants, visit the ARC website


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