Five University of Wollongong projects have been funded just over $1.7 million in the latest round of Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Project grants.
Federal Minister for Education and Training, Simon Birmingham announced the winners on Wednesday morning.
UOW winners included a project to develop the next generation of lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles, and another that could help make safe, clean nuclear fusion power a reality.
Professor Zaiping Guo, an ARC Future Fellow at UOW’s Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences (EIS) and the Australian Institute of Innovative Materials (AIIM), was awarded $420,000 to develop the next generation of high-energy-density lithium-ion batteries.
Professor Guo said the batteries would ‘’significantly increase the driving range of an electric car’’. She expects the batteries to be ready for commercial use within three to five years.
Professor Willy Susilo, Head of the School of Computing and Information Technology in EIS, was awarded $245,000 to design a highly secure anonymous access system for online businesses in Australia and worldwide that would enable them to take advantage of customer feedback while offering privacy protection to the customers.
Dr Md Shahriar Hossain from UOW’s Australian Institute for Innovative Materials, received $320,000 for a project to develop superconductors for use in nuclear fusion reactors, making widespread uptake of these reactors viable.
Professor Kiet Tieu, also from EIS, was awarded $450,000 in funding for his project to develop an engineering technique that would increase the lifespan of seamless steel pipelines used to convey oil and contaminants.
Professor Brian Monaghan’s project, which received a $270,000 grant, is aimed at overcoming a competitive disadvantage for Australian iron ores in the global market.
These pipelines are currently susceptible to internal erosion-corrosion, which shortens their life.
The Linkage Projects scheme is designed to promote links between universities, industry and the community.
Projects must involve a partner organisation outside the higher education sector and these partners are required to make a significant monetary contribution, in addition to ARC funding.
UOW Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) Professor Judy Raper welcomed the announcement and congratulated the successful applicants.
‘’This funding will allow UOW researchers to work with these businesses to achieve solutions that will have a beneficial long-term impact on a range of industry sectors,’’ Prof Raper said.