The Vice-Chancellor’s Research Fellows are researchers with an excellent track record who can make a significant contribution to RMIT's research priority areas.
Dr Megan Nethercote
Dr Nethercote is a researcher and architect who investigates the impacts of urban intensification, and of capitalist political economy in particular, on households and cities. Her current work focuses on high-rise apartment development, and also the functions of housing and households under neoliberal shifts. Dr Nethercote currently manages ARC Linkage Project HOME, which is an empirical study of infill apartment development across four international cities (Melbourne, Perth, London and Barcelona), to understand how we might characterize ‘good’ design for apartment developments and the institutional settings that encourage and impede its delivery. This research involves collaboration with industry partners, the Department of Premier and Cabinet, and the City of Melbourne, and responds to heightened national and international scrutiny surrounding the proliferation of substandard apartments and mounting pressure to better regulate this. Dr Nethercote was awarded Malcolm Moore funding in April 2017 to pursue further research on the political economy of apartment development, and specifically ,attempts to interrupt or contest ongoing housing commodification and financialisation. Conducting a pilot study with social enterprise Nightingale Housing, Dr Nethercote is investigating alternative relationships between land and housing, including understandings of their progressive possibilities to reorientate us towards de-commodification, and its impacts on households and communities. She earned her PhD in December 2013 from RMIT University where she examined Indigenous housing policy reform and tenancy management in town camp communities.
Dr Hannah Badland
Dr Badland examines how the built environment is connected to health, wellbeing and inequities in adults and children internationally. She recently led a program to conceptualise, attempts to interrupt or contest ongoing housing commodification and financialisation. Conducting a pilot study with social enterprise Nightingale Housing, Dr Nethercote is investigating alternative relationships between land and housing, including understandings of their progressive possibilities to reorientate us towards de-commodification, and its impacts on households and communities. She earned her PhD in December 2013 from RMIT University where she examined Indigenous housing policy reform and tenancy management in town camp communities. develop and test urban liveability measures with health and wellbeing. Dr Badland has focused on research programs with end-users such as policy-makers, planners Image: Sarah Foster, Megan Nethercote and Hannah Badland (left to right) New Staff May 2017
Dr Sarah Foster
Dr Foster researches the impact of dwelling and neighbourhood characteristics on health behaviours and outcomes to influence apartment and neighbourhood design policy. Her research focuses on dwelling and neighbourhood characteristics and their impact on a range of health behaviours and outcomes including mental health, fear of crime, sense of community and physical activity. Through her research, she aims to provide evidence to defend, refine or strengthen apartment design and high density housing guidelines which support healthy, equitable and sustainable residential environments that meet the needs of diverse populations. Dr Foster joins RMIT from a series of research-intensive appointments at the Centre for the Built Environment and Health at The University of Western Australia. In 2012, she was awarded a Healthway Health Promotion Research Fellowship to conduct a three-year program examining the influence of built environments on health across
Dr Liang Ma
Dr Ma examines the impact of neighbourhood environments on subjective well-being to facilitate the development of sustainable, equitable and healthy communities. His research focuses on the interactions between transportation planning, travel behaviour, public health, the environment and land use. Dr Ma’s expertise spans active travel analysis and planning; examining the interactions between land-use, transportation and health; and spatial data visualisation and analysis. Dr Ma provides robust empirical evidence which inform policies that address health and environmental problems as well as improve social equity and wellbeing, from urban and transportation planning perspectives. His urban policies promote sustainable, equitable and healthy communities and urban environments. Dr Ma holds a PhD in Urban Studies and Planning from Portland State University. He joins RMIT from the University of Sydney’s Business School where he received an Early Career Research Grant for his postdoctoral fellowship. Dr Ma has researched active travel, physical activity and transit liveability, funded by US Department of Transportation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and City of Portland. He is collaborating on projects with colleagues at Portland State University (US), University of Minnesota (US), University College London (UK) and Peking University (China). Dr Ma is based in the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies.
First published in The Urban Observer