RMIT wins $1.8million in ARC linkage funding

RMIT University has been awarded more than $1.8million in Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Project Grants.

Professor Ralph Horne has received an ARC Linkage grant for his research into Housing Outcomes Metrics and Evaluation.

Six RMIT research projects received funding ranging from $152,436 to $466,328.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Innovation and Vice-President, Professor Calum Drummond, said the grants build on the University’s ongoing success in collaborative research partnerships.

“RMIT is renowned for the strength of our national and international industry relationships and our researchers excel at developing new knowledge and technologies for industry applications,” he said.

The Linkage Projects Grants Scheme funds collaborative research and development projects between higher education researchers and partner organisations.

Standout research grants include Professor Ralph Horne, who was awarded $466,328 for his Infill developments: Project HOME (Housing Outcomes Metrics and Evaluation) research.

The research focuses on improving housing outcomes by evaluating housing design in the rapidly growing infill multi-residential sector, which often experiences design quality problems.

It is looking at real urban projects in four contrasting core case study cities: Melbourne, Perth, Barcelona and London.

With different origins and policy and practice contexts for urban multi-residential design, each city has faced the dilemma of how to improve design in the long term.

By evaluating the actual experiences of good design, the project will inform mechanisms to produce improved design outcomes that will enhance health and wellbeing for current and future generations of urban Australians.

The project has attracted researchers from The University of Western Australia, The University of Melbourne, University College of London and Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden.

Melbourne City Council, Mirvac Limited, SJB Urban Unit Trust and the Department of Premier and Cabinet are industry and government collaborators on the project.

Another success story in this round involves Associate Professor Lawrence Cavedon, from the School of Computer Science and Information Technology, who was awarded $394,000 for User-Adaptive search and evaluation for complex information-seeking tasks.

The project brings together a team of world-leading Information Retrieval researchers who have collaborated extensively in the area of evaluation and user analytics.

They will be working with industry partner SEEK LIMITED to develop a new evaluation framework with the potential to reinvent the user experience for complex search tasks.

A recent EU report concluded that billions of dollars are lost annually due to the poor quality of non-web search engines.

This is because there is little understanding of the users; it is anticipated that this project will deliver techniques for identifying user roles and goals and principles for adapting a task-embedded search engine to cater for them.

Other successful projects were:

  • Associate Professor Wayne Rowe from the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering received $280,000 for a project on localisation of a wireless transponder in a vehicle;
  • Associate Professor Jane Burry from the School of Architecture and Design received $223,436 for a project on swarming: micro-flight data capture and analysis in architectural design;
  • Professor Chun-Qing Li from the School of Civil, Environmental and Chemical Engineering received $290,000 for a project on preventing the reoccurance of catastrophic failures of stormwater pipelines; and
  • Dr Sherman Cheung from the School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering  received  $152,436 for a project on the characterisation of fast propagating fires in green buildings.

Originally published on RMIT News.