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					OUTCOMES
Results of research in the real world 2008
FOREWORD: MAKING OUR
OWN LUCK



S     uccessful innovation requires a combination of talent,
skill, ingenuity, encouragement, resources, tenacity, a
favourable environment and much, much more – all
coming together at the right time and in the right place.
It might seem to be a matter of luck, but I believe we
can make our own luck by building a genuine culture of
innovation and a strong national innovation system. We
already have many of the necessary ingredients, but it will take
a deliberate and sustained effort to bring those ingredients
together.
It is essential that we strengthen links between the public
and private sectors, industry and academia, innovators and
venture capitalists, Australia and the world. Businesses and
communities must have access to the new ideas and advances in
technology coming out of our universities and public research
organisations. Networking and collaboration are the key.
They are also the key to building our capacity in basic
research – research focused on answering tomorrow‟s questions,
just as applied research answers today‟s.
We can already claim global leadership in many fields of
science, the humanities, social science and the creative arts. This
book from the Australian Research Council (ARC) showcases
the outstanding real-world results achieved by ARC Federation
Fellows and researchers from ARC-funded centres. Produced
in partnership with Palamedia Ltd, it celebrates the inaugural
Graeme Clark Research Outcomes Forum.
Each of these researchers has added to Australia‟s wellbeing
and advanced our national goals. There is no limit to what we
can achieve by following their example.

Senator the Hon. Kim Carr,
Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research




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Contents

FOREWORDS

01 - Senator the Hon. Kim Carr Making our own luck
04 - Professor Margaret Sheil Delivering outcomes

GRAEME CLARK RESEARCH
OUTCOMES FORUM

06 - Australian Research Council On the way up: Australia‟s global position in
research
08 - The sound of success Graeme Clarke and the bionic ear
10 - Dr David Falvey More than exceptional…

I. OUTCOMES DERIVED FROM
ARC SUPPORT WITHIN THE
PAST FIVE YEARS

12 - Professor Frank Caruso Right on target
14 - Professor Geoff Dromey Taming complexity in large-scale systems
15 - Professor Brian Fitzgerald Managing copyright in the digital age
18 - Professor Paul Haddad A telltale fingerprint
20 - Dr Tristan Perez Optimising the performance of marine vessels
22 - Professor John Quiggin Water falls: Warming to resource management
24 - Professor Jeffrey Shaw A visionary project
26 - Professor Michelle Simmons World‟s smallest wires making big waves
28 - Professor Stephen Simpson Learning diet lessons from locusts
30 - Professor Mark Tester Genomics: Breaking the drought
32 - Professor Howard Wiseman Quantum physics rules




II. OUTCOMES DERIVED FROM
ARC SUPPORT WITHIN THE
PAST FIVE TO 10 YEARS

35 - Dr Gregory Adams Making advances in mineral exploration
37 - Professor John Aitken Improving our reproductive future
39 - Professor John Braithwaite Restorative justice: Healing the hurt
41 - Professor Mark Burry Guiding Gaudí‟s vision into reality
43 - Professor Hilary Charlesworth Human rights: From rhetoric to reality
45 - Professor Hugh Durrant-Whyte Autostrad – A revolution in Australian
ports
46 - Professor Matthew England Rainfall predictions all at sea
48 - Professor Milton Hearn Green chemistry: Waste not



                                                                                 2
50 - Professor Ross Homel AO Developmental prevention: The key to helping
kids
53 - Professor Keith Nugent Opening new windows on the world
55 - Professor Suzanne O‟Reilly Unearthing a wealth of information
57 - Professors Mark Randolph & Mark Cassidy Digging deep offshore
59 - Professor Scott Sloan Putting geostructures on solid ground

III. OUTCOMES DERIVED FROM
ARC SUPPORT WITHIN THE
PAST 20 YEARS

61 - Professor Andrew Blakers Solar energy: An increasingly viable proposition
64 - Professor Graham Goodwin Advanced control: Surmounting complexity
66 - Professors Terence Hughes, Garry Russ & Robert Pressey Preserving the
world‟s coral reefs
69 - Professor Graeme Jameson AO Mining innovation floats to the top
71 - Professors Ross Large & Bruce Gemmell Learning where to dig
73 - Professor John Ralston The Wark: Floating the dollar
75 - Professor Charles Sampford Placing ethics at the heart of good governance

A FINAL WORD

77 - An overview of the Australian Research Council
84 - Credits




                                                                                 3
FOREWORD: DELIVERING
OUTCOMES




T      he Australian Research Council (ARC), in its various
guises, has featured prominently throughout my career
as a scientist, university executive and administrator,
and now as an Australian Government public servant. In fact,
I can‟t imagine even having a career without the ARC, which
provided much of the funding for my own research activities.
The ARC represents excellence in Australian research.
Through its independent, competitive peer review processes,
the ARC commands respect from the academic research
community, while the expert strategic advice it provides is
highly regarded by government.
More and more, business, community organisations, peak
bodies and other public sector agencies are also recognising
the importance of the ARC to Australia‟s innovation system.
For example, since its introduction in 2001, the ARCadministered
National Competitive Grants Program has
facilitated funding arrangements for research projects across
a multitude of disciplines involving more than 6,000 partner
organisations that have contributed in excess of A$1,200
million (cash plus in-kind).
I couldn‟t be more proud to be chief executive of the
ARC, knowing as I do that we support research that delivers
outcomes and provides significant and diverse benefits to
the broader Australian community. Yet, I am astonished
each time I venture out into the „real‟ world, to come across
people for whom the ARC is an unknown quantity. When
this happens, I insist on explaining what we do, how and
why. Inevitably, I am met with an overwhelmingly positive
response to the vital role played by the ARC in all our lives.
Without exception, I am able to mention one or more
Australian achievements familiar to the listener that the ARC
has supported at some stage along the way – the cochlear ear,
of course, but many others as well, such as:
• progress towards the development of a highly advanced
„Quantum computer‟
• development of the VentrAssist™ rotary blood pump,
which assists in the pumping of a failing heart as an
alternative to a heart transplant
• ultra high speed air travel tested on a „Scramjet‟
• development of the anti-influenza drug Relenza™
• the discovery of the Flores „hobbits‟ that lived in Indonesia
up to 13,000 years ago
• the design of robots for use in hazardous applications such
as fire-fighting or search and rescue.
In this book, the ARC, in conjunction with Palamedia
Ltd, celebrates the real-world research outcomes achieved
by a selection of ARC Federation Fellows and researchers
associated with ARC-funded Centres. Through it, we hope
to begin demystifying the ARC; raise awareness in the
wider community of some of the „everyday‟ technologies
that are often taken for granted but which have only been
made possible through ARC funding; encourage support for
Australian research more broadly; and promote the worldclass


                                                                   4
work conducted in public research institutions in our
own backyard.
Our researchers are a valuable resource. Their work has
a profound impact on our wellbeing as individuals and as
a nation. The ARC seeks to foster research talent, support
research training, and provide incentives for outstanding
researchers to build careers in Australia to ensure that we can
all look forward to a bright and prosperous future.
I hope that you will be inspired by the remarkable and
highly innovative research described in this book. The articles
make for fascinating reading. Enjoy!

Professor Margaret Sheil,
CEO, Australian Research Council



AUSTRALIAN RESEARCH
“ON THE UP: AUSTRALIA‟S GLOBAL POSITION IN
RESEARCH”
AUSTRALIA IS WELL KNOWN INTERNATIONALLY FOR ITS RESEARCH STRENGTHS,
BUT WHERE DO WE SIT IN COMPARISON TO THE REST OF THE WORLD?
RECENTLY ANNOUNCED ARC INITIATIVES ARE SET TO BOOST AUSTRALIA‟S
POSITION IN THE GLOBAL RESEARCH MARKETPLACE




I   n its fi rst budget (2008-09), the new Australian
Government has demonstrated its commitment to
fostering research talent that will lead to positive
outcomes for all Australians. The Budget, announced
in May, confi rmed the Labor Party election promise to
establish a Future Fellowships scheme for Australia‟s best
mid-career researchers and outstanding international
researchers.
“Up to 200 Future Fellowships will be awarded each year
from 2009 to 2013,” says Professor Margaret Sheil, Chief
Executive Officer of the Australian Research Council
(ARC). “In addition, A$50,000 a year will be provided to
each Future Fellow‟s host organisation to support related
infrastructure and equipment for research projects, as well
as travel and relocation costs.”
Professor Sheil says there is an extremely high level of
competition for ARC fellowships, “so the introduction
of the Future Fellowships scheme will greatly improve the
opportunities for mid-career researchers, and increase
both research capacity and capabilities within Australia‟s
innovation system”.
As well as attracting and retaining these bright minds,
the objectives of the scheme are to build collaboration
across industry, research institutions and disciplines, support
research in areas of national importance such as renewable
energy, manufacturing technologies, the sciences, medical
research, education and Indigenous health and wellbeing,
and strengthen Australia‟s research capability by supporting



                                                                  5
innovative, internationally competitive research.
The availability of Future Fellowships will also provide a
more transparent career path for high-calibre researchers
in all disciplines across the spectrum of pure basic, strategic
basic and applied research.
“The scheme will encourage, support and nurture
future generations of potentially exceptional Australian
and international researchers and make available to them
real opportunities to build a career here,” Professor Sheil
says. “Federation Fellowships are the most valuable research
fellowships awarded by the ARC; Future Fellowships will be
the second most valuable.”
She says the Future Fellowships scheme will contribute
significantly to the building and sustainability of existing
or emerging research strengths. “The intention is to align
Future Fellows with organisational strategic directions to
ensure the work of the Fellows complements the research
strengths of host organisations and the best achievable
return on investment.”
INTERNATIONAL COLLABORATION
The Australian Government has also announced plans to
encourage greater international research collaboration and
competition in Australia.
“International collaboration is the key to stimulating
Australian innovation,” the Minister for Innovation, Industry,
Science and Research, Senator Kim Carr, said in March 2008,
“and the Rudd Government is committed to facilitating
international partnerships wherever we can find them.”
Opening ARC fellowships, including Future and
Federation Fellowships, to the best Australian and
international researchers is part of a suite of improvements
to ARC funding schemes to create and enhance
international collaboration opportunities.
“It is particularly important during times of global skill
shortages that Australia competes internationally to attract –
and attempt to retain – people who have the skills and talent
that we need,” Professor Sheil says.
“For example, because of skill shortages in engineering,
science and technology, it is sometimes difficult to attract
suitable Australian students to work on these important
projects.
“By allowing international students to apply for
Australian Postgraduate Awards (Industry), I believe that
we will be in a better position to attract the highest calibre
people to undertake research on some of the challenging
research questions facing Australian industry.”
Professor Sheil says that there is substantial evidence
to suggest that international collaboration produces
international co-publications with a greater impact than
other publications. And, more fundamentally, the key
Australian problems such as climate change and security
are global problems that can only be solved through the
interaction of international researchers.
“Australia is finally in a position to participate effectively in
the global competition for research talent, to attract and retain
the world‟s finest minds and to actively pursue partnerships
that will reap truly innovative rewards,” Senator Carr said.
“This new approach to publicly funded research
in Australia will bring ARC schemes into line with
those of overseas counterpart agencies. Other countries



                                                                    6
have increasingly encouraged international mobility of
researchers and international collaborative research.” In
addition, restrictions on the use of ARC funds for travel
for international collaborators will be removed.
STRIVING FOR EXCELLENCE
The Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) initiative,
to be developed by the ARC in consultation with the
Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research
and the National Health and Medical Research Council,
will assess research quality using a combination of metrics
and expert review.
“Australia is about to embark on a transparent, workable
system to assess the quality of home-grown research,” said
Senator Carr. “For the first time we will be able to measure
our achievements against our peers around the world, and
plan the future of research investment.”
Professor Sheil says that the first stage of the ERA
initiative will be developed, and trials conducted, during
2009. “The system will recognise that excellent outcomes,
the different styles of which are illustrated in this book,
occur across the full spectrum of research and in different
ways,” she says. “It will identify research excellence wherever
it is found.”
THE NEXT LEVEL
Australia‟s current standard of excellence in research is
reflected in the high-calibre discoveries that led to the
applications and outcomes filling the pages of this book. The
initiatives outlined here are set to take us to the next level.




                                                                  7
“THE SOUND OF SUCCESS:
GRAEME CLARK AND
THE BIONIC EAR”

HE IS ONE OF AUSTRALIA‟S TOP SCIENTISTS BUT HE ALSO HAS THE GIFT OF THE
GAB. PROFESSOR GRAEME CLARK EXPLAINS WHY COMMUNICATION IS KEY FOR
RESEARCHERS AND GIVES AN UPDATE ON HIS LATEST RESEARCH




H       e may be responsible for one of the world‟s biggest
medical breakthroughs, but Professor Graeme
Clark AC is “a little bit over-awed” at having the
Australian Research Council (ARC) inaugural Graeme
Clark Research Outcomes Forum held in his honour.
“I have been associated with the ARC for a number of
years, both as a funding recipient and also on various
selection committees, so this is a really special and exciting
acknowledgement,” he says.
Clark believes the forum, and the accompanying Outcomes
book, are of critical importance to the research community
because, in his experience, being able to effectively
communicate your work is beneficial to both the public and
the project. “I think there is some excellent science done in
Australia but it‟s not always communicated as well as it might
be to the intelligent layperson. This is a fantastic opportunity
for scientists to present their research in a more user-friendly
way so that people can better grasp what they‟re doing and
also feel part of the scientific community.”
AN EARLY LESSON
One of Clark‟s strengths has always been his ability to
explain his research to the wider public. This was something
he learned many years ago during the very early stages
of his work. “When I started my research I needed about
A$200 for a piece of equipment, which I couldn‟t afford,”
he recalls. “I went around all the hearing aid firms in Sydney
asking for a donation. So for me, having to explain my work
to people has been a way of life because the money was not
there initially from the statutory bodies.”
Since then, he‟s discovered that being able to discuss your
research – and, more importantly, its potential outcomes – in
plain English is essential on many levels. “It‟s important for
the people who may be the beneficiaries of the research
to know what‟s going on, for a start,” he explains. “It‟s also
very important for the politicians and the people who
give money to research to know how it‟s getting on. They
don‟t necessarily know the scientific language, so they need
scientists to be able to translate that in an honest, accurate
way, in their language.”
THE BIONIC BREAKTHROUGH
It‟s been 30 years since Clark created his world-famous
cochlear implant, better known as the bionic ear (a term he
coined during the era of the Six Million Dollar Man to help
sell the concept to the public). In that time, thousands of deaf
adults and children across the world have been given the gift
of near-normal speech and hearing.
It was a medical breakthrough that many in the scientific


                                                                          8
community didn‟t believe could be achieved, but that didn‟t
deter Clark, who says his motivation came from a mix of
curiosity and naivety. “There were two frontiers in medicine,
so to speak, in the 1960s. One was genetic engineering and
the other was restoration of brain function. I suppose I was
naive and a little idealistic as a young person and thought [of
the latter], gee, I‟ll take that challenge.”
STARTING YOUNG
Clark‟s interest in research had developed at an early age.
When he was 10, the budding scientist read The Life and Times
of Louis Pasteur, about the French chemist and biologist, and
was inspired to follow in his footsteps. “I used to do biological
experiments,” he says, “and I also did chemical experiments in
my dad‟s pharmacy.”
In fact, his father, who was severely deaf, was the other
motivating factor behind Clark‟s work. “I was conscious of the
need to try and help deaf people,” he affirms. “But it was only
after I was trained in medicine and surgery – ear surgery – that
I started reading scientific papers and read about an American
surgeon who had implanted some wires in a deaf person.”
THE DEFINING MOMENT
Clark began work on the cochlear implant in 1967. The
goal was to see if electrical stimulation of the brain could
restore hearing in a deaf person. This required the input
of a multitude of disciplines, including electrophysiology,
neuroscience, biology, psychophysics, speech science,
anatomy and more. It was also done in the face of much
resistance, criticism and very little initial funding.
The moment of truth came more than a decade later, in
1978, when Clark‟s first test patient, Melbourne resident
Rod Saunders, was presented with words and sentences
using electrical stimulation alone – and he understood
them. “It was a very moving moment,” says Clark. “I just
simply ran into the next-door lab and burst into tears of
joy. It was a defining moment, for sure.”
THE NEXT STEP
But that wasn‟t the end of the road for Clark. While the
test had shown a person could understand speech using the
implant, “it wasn‟t perfect”, he says, “and therefore I wasn‟t
satisfied until it was as good as it could possibly be”.
He also wanted to help deaf children and at this stage
the implant had only been tested on adults who had once
had their hearing; it wasn‟t yet known if it would also
work on children who were born deaf. Clark had to wait
until 1985, when the US Food and Drug Administration
(FDA) approved the implant for adults, to try it in children.
This was also successful and, in 1990, after a number of
worldwide trials, the FDA approved the device for children
aged two and above.
FURTHER DEVELOPMENTS
The quality of the implant has continued to improve over
the past two decades. “At first, we were very limited in
what we could do because the electronics weren‟t fast
enough and we couldn‟t make the devices as complicated
or sophisticated as we would have liked,” says Clark. “As
more freedom and ability to do more things, and get closer
and closer to the way in which the brain does it normally.
But we‟ve still got a way to go.”
Two further developments from Clark‟s research are
also underway. Using the cochlear technology, scientists



                                                                    9
are working on a bionic eye and also a bionic spinal cord.
“What we‟ve learned in developing the cochlear implant
is applicable to both of these other devices but in different
ways,” explains Clark. “They each have their own inherent
and detailed problems about connecting them up to
electrical currents and stimulating the nerves.”
Clark says the preliminary work that‟s been done with
the bionic eye has so far achieved little bright spots of light.
The aim now is to get enough spots together to make a
picture. The bionic spinal cord brings different challenges
again because a person needs to be able to feel their limbs,
as well as move them.
Clark stresses that because these devices are 30 years
behind the cochlear implant, scientists still aren‟t sure how
usable they will be – “but we‟re hopeful”, he says.
GREATEST SATISFACTION
While Professor Clark has won numerous awards – including
the Zülch Prize from the Max Planck Society, which is the
highest award in Germany for neuroscience, the 2004 Prime
Minister‟s Prize for Science, which recognises outstanding
achievement by Australians in science and technology that
promotes human welfare, and being made a Companion of
the Order of Australia – he says the most satisfying part of
the work is, without question, the appreciation he gets from
people of all ages and all walks of life.
“To be able to feel you are part of their lives and helped
bring them back into the community is a tremendous
experience,” he says. “Adults will say, „You‟ve given me back my
life‟. Parents feel their children have got equal opportunities to
develop their full potential. You wouldn‟t know they were deaf
anymore, which is very moving and really quite amazing.”

“MORE THAN
EXCEPTIONAL…”
BY DR DAVID FALVEY
Note: Dr Falvey is ARC Executive Director for Physics,
Chemistry and Geoscience. He is responsible for the
ARC Centres scheme.


THE QUALITY AND ACKNOWLEDGED EXCELLENCE OF RESEARCH PAPERS, OFTEN
CALLED „OUTPUTS‟, IS UNDOUBTEDLY THE PRINCIPAL DRIVER OF PARTICIPANTS
IN THE GLOBAL RESEARCH COMMUNITY. IN THIS PURSUIT, RESEARCHERS ARE
UNIFIED, CONNECTED AND INTERDEPENDENT




T      he peer-review system offers a benchmark and a
basis for international comparisons. Knowledge is
expanded and transferred, and fi elds of research move
forward, achieving ever greater understanding.
The quality of research carried out across the various
Australian Research Council (ARC) Centres, past and
present, and by our Federation Fellows, is exceptional.
The ARC-supported research achievements showcased at
the inaugural Graeme Clark Research Outcomes Forum and in



                                                                     10
this, the accompanying Outcomes book, however, are more than
exceptional. They demonstrate recognition, beyond the academic
sphere, of the value of research to the broader population.
RESEARCH OUTCOMES
The take-up and application of research by potential end
users, such as government, industry, NGOs, and the public
– who most often pay for the research through their taxes –
extends research outputs into the realm of research outcomes.
That is, the research has usually, but not exclusively, been
used by somebody other than the researcher to deliver,
through the downstream application process, a real and
positive result for the community. The use of research and
new knowledge may lead to changed thinking. And it may
have the potential for application across discipline divides. For
example, a breakthrough in pure mathematics could be applied
to climate modelling, or a fossil discovery might lead to a more
comprehensive understanding of the evolution of life on Earth.
PARADIGM SHIFT
Research outcomes in the wider community are often the
product of paradigm-shifting research. In the examples
above, the climate model could lead to a change of
government policy on carbon dioxide emissions, while the
fossil discovery might link the ancient environments in
two regions and, possibly, lead to a new oil discovery.
As these two examples show, it is not always „applied‟
research that leads directly to research outcomes. Excellent
basic research that expands human knowledge is often just
a single step away from an innovative application.
In the early 1960s, I was told by my physics lecturer that
the laser had no commercial application, but within just a few
months of that ex cathedra statement, it was wrong. Imagine
today‟s world without the CD/DVD player, which uses a tiny
laser „eye‟ to read the dots on a disc to deliver sound and pictures!
Sometimes a highly cited paper can fizzle within a year
or two. In other cases, the application of the research is
21
so immediate that the original paper might be forever
overlooked. Who did publish the first paper on the physics
of light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation –
or, laser? This is not unusual for scientists; my own career is
punctuated by just this kind of volatility.
However, as a young geophysicist in the late 1960s, I
made a small contribution to the then expanding field of
„plate tectonics‟ and work that ultimately led to an important
research outcome. Over a period of a few years, a theory
of how continents are carried around the Earth, as plate
passengers, became a working tool that explained petroleum
and mineral resource formation, and guided exploration
strategies. Plate tectonics explained the long-term evolution
of global climate and provided a framework within which
earthquakes are more predictable than they once were.
In biology, techniques for DNA fingerprinting
developed by Sir Alec Jeffreys, from Leicester University
in the UK, were rapidly taken up by forensic scientists and
are now in widespread use in the criminal justice system.
ARC-SUPPORTED RESEARCH OUTCOMES
The pages of this publication are filled with examples of
research outcomes that cover the full spectrum of creative
human endeavour. They include a study of the composition
and structure of marine volcanic formations that led to the



                                                                        11
discovery of a mineral deposit; research on the dynamics
of traditional cultures that has improved human rights in
emerging democracies; resolution of complex navigation
and movement protocols that has enabled the development
of an autonomous, multi-vehicle cargo handling system; and
recognition of signature characteristics of ocean temperatures
that mean we can better predict periods of wet and drought.
Many more practical and diverse applications of truly
innovative research are highlighted in this book, with
one thing in common – they all illustrate the transition
from excellent research to demonstrated, productive
application. Indeed, there are even examples that show
how „commercialisation‟ has been achieved.
We may not think about it often, but the modern lives
we lead are the result of research outcomes, many of which
stem from work conducted in ARC Centres and/or by ARC
Federation Fellows. The Graeme Clark Research Outcomes
Forum and this book celebrate some of these research outcomes.

OUTCOMES
within the past five years

“RIGHT ON TARGET”
PROFESSOR FRANK CARUSO AND HIS TEAM ARE PIONEERING
THE CREATION OF TARGETED DRUG DELIVERY CAPSULES THAT
COULD ONE DAY REDUCE HARMFUL SIDE EFFECTS AND MORE
EFFECTIVELY COMBAT CANCER, HIV AND HEART DISEASE.




T      he science of nanotechnology has begun to assume
an increasingly significant role in a range of research
fi elds. Conducting research at the nanoscale level
allows scientists to manipulate the molecular properties of the
material they‟re working on, which in turn can assist them
in developing solutions for some of today‟s most challenging
issues.
A key focus of the research of Professor Frank Caruso and
his team at the Centre for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology,
headquartered at The University of Melbourne, involves
the use of nanotechnology to create targeted drug delivery
vehicles. “We are currently developing nanoengineered
capsules designed to encapsulate a drug and deliver it to
specific areas within the body,” he says. “This will perform the
dual role of protecting the body from any harmful side effects
of the drug, and preventing the degradation of the drug by
the body.”
According to Caruso, this technology has the potential
to improve the effectiveness of treatments for ailments as
diverse as cancer, HIV and cardiovascular disease. As a result,
linkages have been formed with the Ludwig Cancer Institute,
the Baker Heart Research Institute, CSIRO, the Bionic Ear
Institute, the Austin Hospital and Pfizer.
BINDING TO SPECIFIC CELLS
By manipulating particles at the nanoscale level, Caruso and



                                                                   12
his team have been able to introduce new properties to the
nanostructured capsules, to control how the drug is released.
The capsules are functionalised with antibodies, which
cause them to bind to specific cells within the body, such
as cancer cells. When the capsules bind to the cells, they are
phagocytosed (eaten) and the cargo of the capsules is released
using an intracellular degradation mechanism.
To form the capsules, Caruso‟s team pioneered the
development of smart, responsive polymers – materials
that can be serially assembled into various structures with
defined characteristics. For example, capsules with controlled
permeability and biodegradability can be engineered,
providing a means to encapsulate and release encapsulated
drugs using cellular degradation pathways.
“The serial assembly of polymers in this way enables us,
in many instances, to prepare structures we would otherwise
not be able to,” explains Dr Angus Johnston, a Postdoctoral
Research Fellow and member of Caruso‟s team.
“One of the ways we can engineer the assembly of
materials on a nanoscale is to use DNA as an assembly tool,”
he continues. “Aside from being one of the fundamental
building blocks of life, the specific self-assembly properties of
DNA can be exploited to give unprecedented control over
the structure and orientation of polymers in the films we
prepare.”
RANGE OF BENEFITS
The method, which modifies the surface of nano-sized
particles by coating them with layers of other materials, has
a range of benefits not found in other technologies being
developed on the international stage. “Using the layer-bylayer
technology to engineer capsules for drug delivery has
specific advantages,” Caruso says. “It allows for control over
key properties of the capsule, such as the size, wall thickness,
degradability, surface functionality, cargo loading and
biocompatibility. This offers significant advantages in terms of
flexibility over other techniques available.”
The materials developed by the research group may also assist
in the diagnosis of certain diseases. “For diagnostic applications,
nanostructured particles are being developed to contain a
contrast agent that is aimed at improving the quality of MRI
images,” says Caruso. One specific application, in which the
particles will be designed so they bind to cardiovascular plaque,
will aid in the early diagnosis of heart disease.
STARTING TRIALS
At this stage, the technology is in its early stages of
development and the team is about to start the first animal
trials. If these trials show positive results, human trials will
subsequently be investigated. Commercial applications of the
technology are also being explored in collaboration with the
Cooperative Research Centres and Nanotechnology Victoria.
“It will be at least five years before the first human trials are
initiated,” says Caruso. “The ultimate goal is to make the
technology widely available to the public.”
.




                                                                      13
“TAMING COMPLEXITY IN
LARGE-SCALE SYSTEMS”
A NEW METHOD DEVELOPED BY PROFESSOR GEOFF DROMEY
AND HIS TEAM IDENTIFIES DEFECTS IN HIGH-RISK PROJECTS
VERY EARLY IN THE PROCESS, PREVENTING THE ENORMOUS
WASTE OF MONEY INHERENT IN PROJECT FAILURE.




I   nformation and communications technology (ICT)
underpins all modern infrastructure. This has created
the need to construct software-intensive and softwareintegrated
systems of unprecedented scale and complexity.
Two recent international reports suggest existing approaches
to developing such systems are struggling to cope with
this complexity. One report estimates that wastage from
ICT project failures amounts to US$290 billion per annum
across the United States and European Union. A second
report documents recent high-profile project failures.
Proportionally, the level of project wastage and project
failure in Australia is likely to be no better than in Europe
or North America – it must therefore be costing Australia
at least hundreds of millions of dollars each year. Working
to address this problem is Professor Geoff Dromey and his
team at the ARC Centre for Complex Systems (ACCS).
HIGH-RISK PROJECTS
Failure to control complexity poses by far the greatest
risk to project success in building large-scale systems.
Thousands of requirements written in natural language –
meaning ordinary, everyday language – are initially used
to describe the needs of a complex defence system, for
example, or an integrated transportation system for a city.
“Typically these systems cost hundreds of millions of
dollars to implement and carry with them a high risk of
unacceptable project wastage, cost blowouts and schedule
overruns – even outright failure in some cases, such as the
Sydney public transport smartcard project,” says Dromey.
The thousands of requirements used to design such
systems contain many ambiguities, inconsistencies and
other defects simply because no individual has the memory
capacity to see the system as a whole or comprehend all
the potential interactions and problems among such large
sets of requirements. As a consequence, many defects end
up being built into large-scale systems, reducing their
dependability and causing very high development and
maintenance costs.
INTRODUCING BEHAVIOUR ENGINEERING
The Dependable Systems Program research team at ACCS
has developed and been trialling with industry a very
different way of handling this complexity and removing
defects from large sets of requirements, using what it calls
the Behaviour Engineering method. According to Dromey,
the method can best be described using a jigsaw puzzle
metaphor.

System engineers initially focus on formalising the



                                                                  14
individual requirements by turning each into a Behaviour
Tree (see diagram above). “A Behaviour Tree takes what
is described in words and gives it a structure that makes
it easier to comprehend,” says Dromey. “It accurately and
unambiguously describes what we say in natural language.”
PUTTING THE PUZZLE TOGETHER
The system engineers then integrate the Behaviour Trees
in a manner similar to the way a set of jigsaw puzzle
pieces are put together. This creates an integrated picture
of the thousands of requirements for a system and allows
us to understand the behaviour of the system without
overflowing our short-term memory.
As with a jigsaw puzzle, the integrated picture of the
requirements also shows where there are pieces missing
and the pieces that do not fit – these correspond to
defects in the system. Once these problems are corrected,
the integrated picture can be refined to create first a
design and then an implementation that will satisfy the
requirements. Substantial productivity gains flow from this
simpler development method.
WORKING WITH INDUSTRY
Over the past two years, Dromey and his colleague Dr
Dan Powell have collaborated with Raytheon Australia
to apply the method to a number of Australian Defence
Force projects (see case study on previous page). Working
closely with Raytheon‟s chief technical officer Dr Terry
Stevenson and senior project manager Jim Boston, they
have uncovered many major problems with the systems,
above and beyond what conventional systems engineering
methods are able to find.
As a result, Raytheon provided funding to develop an
industrial-strength modelling tool for the method. This
tool became available in January 2008. Raytheon is now
moving to adopt the method as part of its standard process.
“Raytheon Australia‟s parent company, Raytheon
Company, will soon start evaluation trials with the method,
while Raytheon Australia will be employing the method
on a significant Defence project,” says Dromey. “Currently,
we are also conducting trials with other companies and a
Queensland Government department.”

“MANAGING
COPYRIGHT IN
THE DIGITAL AGE”
PROFESSOR BRIAN FITZGERALD HAS ESTABLISHED AND
IMPLEMENTED AN INNOVATIVE LICENSING TOOL TO HELP
AUSTRALIANS NAVIGATE THE MINEFIELD OF COPYRIGHT LAWS




W          e live in an age in which access to digital
content has become a key element in social,
cultural and economic innovation. As much
of this digital content is copyright protected, we are
challenged to fi nd new ways of managing copyright
in order to harness the potential of Web 2.0 and the



                                                              15
Semantic Web. One response has been the rise of open
content licensing, Creative Commons (CC) being the most
well recognised licence. Here in Australia, CC is becoming
more widely used thanks to the work of Professor Brian
Fitzgerald.
GETTING CREATIVE
As the default rule is that copyright material cannot be
used without permission, the key issue is how, if desired,
copyright material can be shared over the Internet. CC
filled this need by providing a generic and automated
process of providing this permission in advance by
labelling content with a badge that linked to a flexible set
of licensing conditions.
Using these conditions while creating content allows
a downstream re-user to work with the material without
fear of being sued. Today, CC is a global cultural and
economic force harnessing the value of social networking
and Internet technologies by giving greater access to
knowledge and culture.
BRINGING CC TO AUSTRALIA
In 2004, working closely with CC founder Professor
Lawrence Lessig of Stanford University, Fitzgerald
introduced the ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative
Industries and Innovation (CCI) Creative Commons
project in Australia. As a chief investigator and program
leader, he has led an outstanding team of researchers
and stakeholders on CC implementation and policy
development in Australia and throughout the world.
“The CCI research program has established Creative
Commons licensing as a tool for Australians to manage
copyright in the digital age,” says Fitzgerald. “We have
built web resources, created the necessary legal documents
and made them available online, written numerous
articles and reports, communicated widely, and provided
training and advice to stakeholders such as the Queensland
Government, Commonwealth Government and the
ABC, as well as numerous community and web-based
organisations.”
AIDING THE ARTS
CCI Creative Commons helped develop the licensing
model for Pool, the recently established ABC social media
service. Manager John Jacobs says, “We have found the
advice from CCI‟s Creative Commons Clinic invaluable in
developing and finetuning our use of CC. They are on the
cutting edge of this fast-growing body of legal knowledge.”
Professor Fitzgerald‟s team also worked with the Open
Channel Screen Resource Centre, a major non-profit
organisation in Melbourne. They advised Open Channel
on a collaborative film project called Video Slam, in which
22 filmmakers came together over 33 hours to create a
10-minute short film using only CC content and original
footage shot on location.
“CCI‟s support and explanations of the possibilities
of CC licenses was crucial to the huge success of Video
Slam,” says former training manager Ness Alexander.
“Subsequently, Open Channel has committed to delivering
this program again in 2008 and has started to implement
CC licensing within the organisation.”
CROWN JEWEL
Fitzgerald realised CC licences could similarly be applied



                                                               16
to Crown Copyright and has led the development of
this worldwide. Australian governments at all levels
hold enormous amounts of material covered by Crown
Copyright, and increasingly citizens want better access
to this huge, publicly funded, yet inactive archive to
improve things like research, education, health outcomes
and environmental planning. The application of generic,
machine-readable, open content licences to government
copyright overcomes licensing roadblocks, which are a key
factor in preventing material being released or reused.
“Professor Fitzgerald is the only academic in Australia
that has taken up this challenge,” says Steve Matheson,
national statistical service leadership branch head at the
Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) in Canberra. “He
has provided a legal framework that can be used by
governments to overcome legal logjams and significantly
improve access and use of government information. At the
ABS we are using his work as a framework for working
out how to better license survey and administrative data
available from us and agencies in the ABS-led National
Data Network Consortium.”
Queensland Government statistician Dr Peter Crossman
adds, “Professor Fitzgerald‟s work on using CC licences has
established a practical and rigorous framework to free up
most government data, and so create value from the use of
that information. Our Government Information Licensing
Framework project based on his work is likely to be used as
a template for governments across Australia and the world.”
HELPING STUDENTS
CCI Creative Commons has also influenced the Australian
education sector, facilitating broader access to content and
allowing students greater creative freedom in making and
distributing their output to the broader community.
Delia Browne, national copyright director for the
Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training
and Youth Affairs, says, “Creative Commons licensing
has revolutionised the way we think about copyright
management. It meets the need within school-level
education for greater flexibility and accessibility by helping
to address issues of copyright cost and compliance, which
can impede access to materials, resources and knowledge.
The CCI group, as the leaders of CC in Australia,
has provided an invaluable resource to the education
community, which will have an enormous impact on the
creativity and productivity of young Australians.”




                                                                 17
“A TELLTALE
FINGERPRINT”
IN A POST-BALI BOMBING ERA OF HOMEMADE EXPLOSIVES,
PROFESSOR PAUL HADDAD AND HIS TEAM ARE HELPING TO
RAPIDLY CAPTURE PERPETRATORS THROUGH A BRIEFCASE.
AND SOON, HE PREDICTS, THROUGH A MICROCHIP




T      he rapid identifi cation of the type of explosive used in
a terrorist attack can be used by forensic investigators
to guide police efforts. This identifi cation can be a
daunting task. Unlike the roadside bombs currently wreaking
havoc in Iraq, homemade „improvised explosive devices‟
(IEDs) – such as those used in the 2002 Bali bombings –
do not utilise high explosives, and instead may contain any
variety of readily available ingredients.
Professor Paul Haddad and his team at the Australian
Centre for Research on Separation Science are tackling
this problem by developing new methods of analysis
using „separation science‟. The Centre defines separation
science as the process of separating complex mixtures into
their sample components, followed by the measurement
of the amounts of individual components present in the
sample. A typical example is determining the amount
of a performance-enhancing drug in an athlete‟s urine.
Separation science is the quintessential enabling science,
finding use in all of the chemical and biological sciences
and in many areas of engineering.
CHALLENGE OF „HOMEMADE EXPLOSIVES‟
Haddad explains that by using two different separation
techniques, a telltale „fingerprint‟ of the IED can be
discovered. IEDs may contain a range of basic ingredients,
including fuels such as sugar, charcoal and fuel oil, and
inorganic oxidizers like potassium perchlorate. After
detonation, each particular formulation leaves residues which
form the fingerprint – chlorate, sulfate and thiosulfate for a
chlorate/sulfur/aluminum device, for instance.
Haddad and his research team focused on two methods to
identify the ingredients present in the residues of common
IEDs. “The reason we developed two approaches to doing
this analysis is because two different methods are needed in
order to attain some confirmatory results,” he says.
A portable briefcase-sized instrument was developed
which could perform the required separation in about
10 minutes. Haddad and team also developed a fielddeployable
instrument, which could perform the same
separations in about 20 minutes. “Initially we tested both
instruments using control ion mixtures,” he says, “and
then we field-tested the instruments on blast residues from
several types of homemade explosives detonated under
controlled conditions.”
SPEED AND PORTABILITY
“The problem is that each bomb has its own mixture of
fingerprint ions, and you have to be able to identify those in
the presence of what‟s normally around in the environment,”



                                                                   18
Haddad continues. “The beauty of our technique is that we
have one separation that enables identification of all of the
commonly used homemade explosives in one run, so that
we do not need to change the separation conditions to suit
any particular explosive. We can do this in about 10 minutes,
meaning we are faster and more comprehensive compared
to other researchers.”
Haddad explains that his research involves the collection of
post-blast residues using metallic „witness plates‟ situated close
to the explosion site. In each deliberate detonation, diagnostic
„fingerprint‟ ions could be identified. For example, following
the detonatation of an ammonium nitrate-fuel oil explosive,
the team could identify the expected presence of ammonium
and nitrate, as well as minor amounts of soil contaminants like
sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium.
The techniques Haddad and his team have developed
are the only methods available that can be used reliably for
all common IEDs, and progress is well underway to further
enhance the efficiency and convenience of the technology.
His project was funded by the ARC and the Department
of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. “Current research is
directed towards the development of a hand-held analyser
in which the separation is performed on a microchip,
which will further increase the portability of the devices,”
he says.
SKY IS THE LIMIT
Haddad‟s research on post-blast explosive analysis has been
conducted in close partnership with the Australian Federal
Police and the National Institute for Forensic Science
– a collaboration that has facilitated the rapid uptake of
the research by stakeholders nationwide. “Despite the
relatively short duration of the project, the new technology
generated in the project has already been implemented by
regulatory authorities in Australia, with instrumentation
being purchased and distributed to appropriate
government laboratories,” says Haddad.
There is also comprehensive scope for application of
this technology – via the „chip-based platform‟ Haddad‟s
team is currently developing – owing to its portability.
Portable methods of chemical analysis are very powerful,
enabling a wide range of applications in fields including
environmental and clinical analysis. “As yet we have
focused on applying this technology to detecting
explosives,” says Haddad, “but really, the sky is the limit.”




                                                                     19
“OPTIMISING THE PERFORMANCE
OF MARINE VESSELS”
WORK BY DR TRISTAN PEREZ IN COLLABORATION WITH
HALCYON INTERNATIONAL HAS PROVIDED KEY UPGRADES
TO THE PATROL BOATS USED BY THE AUSTRALIAN CUSTOMS
SERVICE, THUS CONTRIBUTING TO AUSTRALIA‟S BORDER
SECURITY




M          arine vessels, such as ships, submarines and oil
rigs, all perform missions that require reliability
and economy. This is achieved by a tight
integration of vessel design and sophisticated motion
control systems.
Developing such systems is a strong component of the
research at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Complex
Dynamic Systems and Control (CDSC), where senior
researcher Dr Tristan Perez plays a key role.
DESIGNING ALGORITHMS
“Motion control consists of finding ways to act on an object
so it follows, as closely as possible, a desired motion,” explains
Perez. “Nowadays, this is implemented with computers and
part of my work is designing the computer algorithms.”
The algorithms are based on mathematical equations
that capture the response of the vessel to different
environmental forces, such as waves, wind and current.
They are designed to process information provided by
motion sensors and decide what action needs to be taken
to reduce the overall motion of the boat.
“The control is achieved by moving fins located on the
underwater part of the vessel halfway between the front
and the rear, and also by trim tabs located at the rear of
the vessel. Because these devices act on the system they are
called actuators,” says Perez. “When the actuators move,
they produce forces that affect the motion of the vessel
and thus can be used to counteract and reduce the motion
induced by the waves.”
PITCH AND ROLL MOTION
Passengers and crew in a vessel experiencing pitch and roll
motion can quickly develop motion sickness. In severe seas,
this can also cause cargo damage and prevent the operation
of certain instruments – for example, sonar on a navy ship.
“When the front of the vessel moves down and the rear
moves up and vice-versa, like a see-saw, the vessel is said to
have pitch motion,” explains Perez. “Similarly, when one side
of the vessel moves down and the other side moves up and
vice-versa, like rocking a cradle, the vessel is said to have roll
motion. The motion control system that aims at reducing
both pitch and roll is commonly referred to as „ride control‟.”
IMPROVING RIDE CONTROL
One of CDSC‟s latest projects was aimed at improving the
ride control of high-speed vessels. This research was carried
out to support the product developments of WA-based
naval architecture company Halcyon International, which
in 2007 was contracted by the Australian Customs Service
(ACS) to upgrade its fleet of Bay Class patrol boats.


                                                                     20
“The ACS required a ride control system with a
higher degree of automation and improved reliability
and functionality,” says Perez. “Through discussion with
the crew, Halcyon came up with further requirements
that would bring additional benefits. Some of these were
directly related to the motion control algorithms.”
THREE NEW FEATURES
Halcyon‟s collaboration with CDSC – with additional
engineering work by partner company Elecmec – resulted
in three new functional features of the ride control
system. First, the force allocation of the trim tabs was
automated. “In the system previously installed on the ACS
vessels, the decision on how much of the trim tabs were
used to reduce pitch and how much to reduce roll was
made manually by the pilot,” says Perez. “With the new
algorithms we developed for Halcyon, this decision is
done automatically by the system, based on information
provided by the sensors regarding the prevailing sailing and
environmental conditions.”
The second feature added was a control system to
eliminate the average offset in pitch and roll angles (known
as trim and heel angles), which has a bearing on the fuel
economy of the vessel. And third, a smoothing control
function was added to reduce structural wear and tear as
the system switches between different operational modes.
POSITIVE FEEDBACK
According to Halcyon, feedback from the ACS has been
extremely positive. The new system has brought significant
benefits for the crew by reducing motion sickness and
improving vessel economy. This enables operations in
higher seas and for longer periods, which is particularly
important since the patrol boats operate for weeks at a
time.
The project also won the 2007 Engineers Australia
Western Australia award for excellence in engineering in
the small business section.
“The exciting part of this work is being able to assist
the industry to solve problems that are beyond their
current R&D capabilities, and see how new products and
services can be developed or improved as a result of our
collaboration,” says Perez. “In the particular case of the
collaboration with Halcyon, our work has had impact
beyond improving their product and in-house knowledge.
Indirectly, we have also helped the crew of ACS patrol
vessels to increase their operational effectiveness, and thus
contributed to Australia‟s border control capability.”




                                                                21
“WATER FALLS: WARMING TO
RESOURCE MANAGEMENT”
PROFESSOR JOHN QUIGGIN IS PROVIDING INSIGHTS INTO
THE ECONOMIC AND ECOLOGICAL IMPACT OF DROUGHT AND
CLIMATE CHANGE, INFORMING THE POLICY DECISIONS OF
THOSE RESPONSIBLE FOR OUR PRECIOUS NATURAL RESOURCES




T      he drought that has enveloped many parts of
Australia in recent years has fundamentally changed
the way most Australians consider their water
resources. With climate change also attracting unprecedented
levels of public concern, the concept of „sustainability‟ has
demanded practical application across all levels of industry,
business and politics – „Climate Change and Water‟ is now a
federal government ministerial portfolio.
Perhaps the most powerful demonstration of the
resource management issues confronting Australia is the
water shortage crisis in the Murray-Darling Basin, the
most significant agricultural area in the country. In 2007,
a Commonwealth takeover of the Basin‟s management
was proposed, with the situation for the farmers in the
Murray-Darling irrigation area being deemed “critical”.
Despite initial resistance from Victoria, the Prime Minister,
Kevin Rudd, was able to announce the establishment of
the Murray-Darling Basin Authority in March this year,
having secured the cooperation of all four relevant states.
UNDERSTANDING UNCERTAINTY
Professor John Quiggin and the research team at
The University of Queensland‟s Risk and Sustainable
Management Group (RSMG), created in 2004, understand
the issues that will face the Murray-Darling Authority
– and the potential solutions – as well as anyone in the
country. Established as part of Quiggin‟s first Federation
Fellowship, and funded by the ARC, the RSMG addresses
fundamental issues of environmental sustainability through
policy development and advice, modelling projects and
simulations.
As Quiggin explains, the uncertainty inherent in natural
ecosystems and processes, such as those of the Murray-Darling
Basin, make the effective management of resources a difficult
process. “The core aim of the Group is to show how new
models of uncertainty can be used to improve understanding
of the implications of climate change,” he says.
A MODEL SOLUTION
These developments have been applied to the design,
modelling and evaluation of policies to promote
ecologically, economically, and socially sustainable reform
of the Murray–Darling system. Work conducted by the
RSMG has produced the most comprehensive simulation
model of land and water allocation in the Murray–Darling
Basin currently available.
Development of the model involved several major
tasks, including: using gross margin data to represent a
comprehensive range of agricultural land uses; gathering



                                                                22
and reconciling data regarding existing water flows; and
modelling changes in flows under alternative land uses.
Attention largely focused on the sustainable management
of irrigation water, as well as other issues concerning
groundwater, tree planting and clearance.
“An important research finding has been that an increase
in the frequency of drought is likely to lead to larger losses
in the value of agricultural output, rather than a uniform
reduction in rainfall,” says Quiggin. “This finding implies
the need for more flexible agricultural and irrigation
systems, and a reconsideration of storage and water
allocation policies.”
Results of simulations using this model have been used
by a variety of bodies, including the Murray–Darling Basin
Commission, the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and
Resource Economics, and by state and Commonwealth
governments, in the formulation of water policy. The
RSMG‟s research has been extensively cited in reports
by bodies including the Productivity Commission –
the Australian Government‟s independent research
and advisory body on a range of economic, social and
environmental issues. This work contributed to the
policy debate leading to the decision by the Australian
Government to allocate an initial sum of A$50 million for
the purchase of water rights.
TIME FOR A CHANGE
In addition to its modelling work, the RSMG has played
a major role in the discussion of water policy and climate
change. Quiggin has played an active role in the climate
change debate arising from the 2006 Stern Review on the
Economics of Climate Change (which discussed the effects
of climate change and global warming on the world
economy), particularly in relation to the question of
evaluating costs and benefits over long periods of time.
The RSMG has recently been engaged in Australia‟s
own climate change policy review – that of Professor Ross
Garnaut, commissioned by the Commonwealth, state and
territory governments to examine the impacts, challenges
and opportunities of climate change for Australia.
“We have been modelling the impact of a range of
climate change scenarios on agricultural output and
ecological outcomes in the Murray–Darling Basin,”
Quiggin explains. “This work, drawing on CSIRO
climate modelling, will form part of the input to a largescale
national model of the impacts of climate change,
mitigation and adaptation.”
The analysis shows that both mitigation and adaptation
are needed if serious social, economic and ecological damage is to be prevented.




                                                                                   23
“A VISIONARY
PROJECT”
PROFESSOR JEFFREY SHAW HAS TAKEN DIGITAL MULTIMEDIA
A LONG WAY FROM TODAY‟S UBIQUITOUS MOBILE PHONE –
USING AN UNPRECEDENTED LEVEL OF TECHNOLOGY TO
CREATE THE WORLD‟S FIRST INTERACTIVE PANORAMIC
VIRTUAL REALITY ENVIRONMENTS

world



V       irtual reality and interactive technology are playing an
increasingly signifi cant role in contemporary society.
And recently, a new era of cinematic experience has
emerged, says Professor Jeffrey Shaw, which has the power to
change the way audiences view and relate to cinema.
Under the auspices of an ARC Federation Fellowship,
Shaw returned to Australia in 2003 after 30 years of
artistic and scientific research in Europe, to direct the
iCinema Centre for Interactive Cinema Research at The
University of New South Wales (UNSW). Founded by
Shaw, Associate Professor Dennis Del Favero and Professor
Neil Brown in 2002, the Centre has become a worldclass
media research facility, committed to researching and
investigating revolutionary technologies and theories of
immersive digital interactivity.
“Interactive cinema is a new form of cinema that integrates
all forms of digital media, allowing the audience to interact
with, and become part of, the cinematic experience,” Shaw
explains. “It plunges audiences into an „immersive reality‟ where
there are no barriers between the virtual and the physical, and
where narrative is created spontaneously and cooperatively.”
BENCHMARK INNOVATION
Shaw and his team have developed the world‟s first „AVIE‟
(Advanced Visualisation and Interaction Environment),
a 360-degree, 120 square metre projection space, which
enables more than 30 people to be completely immersed in
a 3D mixed-reality experience. He also developed „iDOME‟,
a 180-degree hemisphere designed to offer a compact
visualisation environment for smaller groups of people.
 digital media systems, and is committed to the principle
of artistic research leading industrial innovation. “Artists
search for enhanced modalities of communication and
experience, and their achievements are of universal value,”
he says. “The interdisciplinary team at iCinema embodies a
fusion of creative, scientific and technical skills.”
FROM A MOBILE PHONE
According to Shaw, AVIE and iDOME can be further
developed and adapted for a wide range of cultural and
industrial applications. “Interactive virtual environments
are increasingly becoming a powerful resource for a
variety of fields,” he says. “They can be used for education,
training, scientific and architectural visualisation, health,
cultural heritage, data mining, interactive cinema, and both
serious and entertainment gaming.”




                                                                    24
A unique feature of these environments is their ability
to address groups of people who can socially interact with
each other while immersed in large-scale, shared virtual
information spaces. These systems also allow distributed
interaction and content sharing over the internet, “thereby
becoming the real-life socially located experiential hubs of
the Web 2.0 revolution”, adds Shaw.
But the real forte of digital multimedia lies within its scaleability,
he says. “The mobile phone and PDA are at one end of the
spectrum, while at the other end there is iCinema technology,
which offers total physical immersion in intelligent hybrid
spaces that can seamlessly combine the real and the virtual.
AVIE and iDOME are world-leading Australian innovations.”
AVIE and iDOME were projects undertaken in
collaboration with Associate Professor Del Favero, Mr M.
McGinity, Mr A. Hardjono, Mr V. Kuchelmeister, Professor
Brown, Associate Professor Nikos Papastergiadis, Dr Scott
McQuire, Professor Andy Arthurs, and were supported by
the ARC, a UNSW Capital Grant and UNSW School of
Mining Engineering Grant.

Related note:
 VIRTUAL REALITY, REAL SAFETY
A fruitful collaboration involving Professor Jeffrey Shaw‟s interactive technology commenced in 2006,
when iCinema and UNSW‟s School of Mining Engineering joined forces to enhance the effectiveness
of mine safety training. The use of virtual experiences in training (as opposed to more traditional
methods of mine safety training) enables users to visualise and recognise complex mining situations,
build up their knowledge of procedure and skills, and undergo training in a safe and forgiving
environment. Miners are immersed in a three-dimensional virtual mine and taught emergency response
tactics and safety procedures. They navigate via a series of simulated underground emergency drills –
including unaided selfescape, hazard awareness, rib and roof stability, and truck and shovel operations.
The training packages are all tailored to address the core competencies necessary for Australian mine
worker accreditation. Dr Phil Stothard, Chairman of the International Mining VR Group and Senior
Research Fellow at the UNSW School of Mining Engineering, is responsible for creating the
interactive group-based virtual reality training scenarios for Coal Services that will run on the systems.
“UNSW and Coal Services are leading the world in this field,” he says. “There is no question that these
technologies have the potential to save lives and their full potential will be fully realised through
further domestic and international collaboration.” So far, four AVIEs and 12 iDOMES have been
installed into four purpose-built virtual reality training sites operated by Coal Services across NSW.
Coal Services provides critical services to the NSW coal mining industry in the areas of occupational
health and safety, workers compensation, welfare and mines rescue. “Our role is to save lives,” says
Ron Land, Chairman of Coal Services. “This technology enables us to teach and retrain new and
experienced miners safe work procedures in a virtual mine before they are exposed to the hazards of a
real mine environment.” And so, amidst increasing international and commercial interest, the use of
iCinema and Shaw‟s interactive technology holds the promise of enhancing safety training for miners
and, in essence, helping to save lives.




                                                                                                       25
“WORLD‟S
SMALLEST WIRES
MAKING BIG
WAVES”
DESIGN BREAKTHROUGHS BY PROFESSOR MICHELLE SIMMONS AND HER
TEAM ARE PUSHING THE LIMITS OF MICROELECTRONICS, PAVING THE
WAY FOR EVEN FASTER, SMALLER COMPUTERS




T      he driving force behind the microelectronics
industry is a desire to make computers faster and
smaller, packing ever more features onto a silicon
chip – a process achieved by continual miniaturisation of the
individual components. This trend, known as Moore‟s Law,
has continued over the past three decades, with the number
of components on a chip doubling every 18 months. If device
miniaturisation continues at the same rate, commercial device
sizes will reach the sub-nanometre or atomic scale by 2017.
BREAKING WITH CONVENTION
Currently, electronic devices are manufactured using
conventional top-down methods, where the smallest feature
size (typically around 100 nanometres) in integrated circuits
is determined by the tools used to etch away or remove the
semiconductor material. The global semiconductor industry,
however, has become increasingly concerned that the
microelectronics industry is hitting a brick wall, where it is
no longer possible to continue to reduce device sizes further
using this technology. In particular, they have found that as
devices get smaller and smaller they become non-uniform
and difficult to make identical, leading to catastrophic
breakdown when integrated into computer circuits.
One approach to this technological challenge has been
to instigate new areas of research in different material
systems, such as molecular electronics and carbon nanotube
research. By contrast, Professor Michelle Simmons and her
team at The University of New South Wales has been one
of the few groups to attempt to solve these problems in
the established material system (silicon) by pioneering a
completely new fabrication approach.
ADAPTING THE TECHNOLOGY
Fundamental to this approach has been the realisation
that to make functional devices at the atomic level in
silicon, it is ultimately necessary to control and manipulate
single atoms. “We have adapted the only technology that
allows us to observe single atoms – the scanning probe
microscope – in order to fabricate devices with atomic
precision accuracy,” says Simmons.
Over the past five years, working first within the ARC
Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computer Technology,
her team adapted these microscopes for single atom device
engineering to have true control at the atomic level in all
three spatial dimensions. The originality here was at many
levels, from conceptual to technological to the design
of the microscope system, right down to the practical
engineering level of solving how to connect macroscopic



                                                                 26
leads to single atom features.
DOWN TO THE WIRE
The development required a unique combination of skills,
and this young research team, established in 2000, has
brought to Australia from all parts of the world expertise in
quantum device design, scanning probe microscopy, atomic
layer crystal growth, semiconductor processing and low
temperature electrical measurement.
Although not the primary goal for this methodology
– this was and remains an ongoing, long-term initiative
to develop an Australian quantum computer – Simmons
recognised that the unique atomic-scale fabrication
approach developed by her team could also be used in the
near-term to tackle key fundamental limits faced by the
worldwide semiconductor industry.
One of these has been to determine how thin wires
or interconnects can be made in silicon before they stop
conducting. By patterning dopants (impurity elements
added to alter the properties of the semiconductor)
in silicon with the precision of a scanning tunnelling
microscope and using a gas phase dopant source, the group
has been able to fabricate wires down to 2.5 nanometres in
width (only a few atoms wide) that still exhibit conducting
behaviour.
“Due to the unique fabrication process, the wires are
surrounded by crystalline silicon so that the conduction
electrons are not trapped by interface or surface states
found in normal silicon nanowires,” says Simmons. “In
addition to being able to determine the fundamental
conduction mechanisms in these narrow wires and ordered
dopant arrays, it has been possible to „see‟ where the
dopants are in the device, directly linking device behaviour
to dopant positioning. This is a unique result that has
captured the imagination of the semiconductor industry.”
SETTING NEW LIMITS
Despite the fact that these results have only recently
been presented, the research has already had important
potential outcomes in the development of future
transistor technologies. Significantly, the creation of
the world‟s smallest conducting wires in silicon has
allowed a fundamental determination of the limits to
making interconnects in integrated circuits, thus setting a
benchmark for the industrial development of miniaturised
transistors.
A further consequence of the research is that it
highlights gas phase dopant sources can be used in
transistor designs to perpetuate Moore‟s Law.
WORKING WITH IBM
As a result of these developments, computer giant IBM
is now collaborating with Simmons and her team to
explore the design of novel transistor architectures that will
work on a much smaller scale than has previously been
possible. “IBM is modelling new transistor architectures
based on the structures we have achieved,” says Simmons.
“Our group has also begun fabricating these transistors
to provide feedback about how these new transistor
architectures behave.”
A more prospective, future outcome of the research
is that it has also demonstrated the practical possibility
of realising three-dimensional transistor architectures.



                                                                 27
This brings the long-term prospect of higher packing
densities and faster computers into view, which should one
day benefit all societies. At a 2006 industry forum with
representatives from major semiconductor organisations
such as Intel, IBM, and AMD at Stanford University, this
work was described as “truly unique internationally”.

“LEARNING DIET
LESSONS FROM
LOCUSTS”
PROFESSOR STEPHEN SIMPSON AND HIS GROUP‟S DISCOVERY
ABOUT WHY LOCUSTS SWARM IS NOT ONLY HELPING TO
CONTROL THESE PESTS BUT HAS LED TO KEY INSIGHTS INTO HOW
TO PREVENT OBESITY IN HUMANS




H        umans and insects aren‟t so different after all, at
least not when it comes to their diet. Both species
are driven by their innate appetite for protein, a
discovery made by Professor Stephen Simpson and his team
at The University of Sydney‟s School of Biological Sciences.
What‟s more, their research has shown that this
dominant protein appetite is a key factor, not only in
the problem of swarming locusts, but in the seemingly
unrelated issue of human obesity.
A DEVASTATING PEST
Simpson‟s research began with the humble locust, a devastating
pest that differs from other grasshoppers in that it is essentially
two animals packed inside the same genotype. Locusts can
be plain green and live a solitary existence, allowing them to
blend in with vegetation and avoid predation – or they can be
brightly coloured and very active, in which case they tend to
aggregate and form marching bands.
It is in this latter phase that locusts become a problem.
These flying swarms containing billions of locusts migrate
hundreds of kilometres, causing devastation to agriculture
in vast areas of Africa, Asia and Australia.
THE KEY CHANGE
Simpson‟s team found this change from the solitary to the
gregarious phase – known as „density dependent behavioural
phase change‟ – is key to the locust problem. Next, they had to
figure out what it was about being in a crowd that caused the
change. “We discovered that touch is critical,” says Simpson.
“Computer modelling and fieldwork showed that when
solitary locusts are forced to come together at limited patches
of food plants, they jostle with each other. It is this jostling that
causes the change from repulsion to mutual attraction.”
But being touched just anywhere won‟t work. “We
spent many happy hours tickling locusts on various body
parts with paintbrushes and demonstrated that unless you
stimulate hairs on the hind legs of the animal, you don‟t
cause the change from solitary to gregarious behaviour.
This was an important discovery because it allowed us to
delve into the nervous system and to focus our search for
the controlling neural pathways and the molecular changes



                                                                        28
that accompany the process of phase transition.”
THE HUNT FOR PROTEIN
Simpson then turned to statistical physics models (called
„self-propelled particles models‟) to predict when aggregations
of gregarious locusts would decide to start marching. He
found that marching emerges suddenly as a result of locusts
following a simple rule – align with your moving neighbours
– and behind this drive is the hunt for protein.
Through research into a related animal, the Mormon
cricket, Simpson and his colleague Dr Greg Sword
realised locusts have a specific appetite for protein and
are compelled to march to satiate this need. “If they don‟t
keep moving, they not only don‟t find more protein, they
become another locust‟s protein meal,” Simpson explains.
“Conversely, if their appetite for protein is satiated, it stops
them from cannibalising and marching.”
THE HUMAN CONNECTION
It turns out that this dominant protein appetite is not
restricted to insects. Simpson and his colleague Associate
Professor David Raubenheimer showed it is, in fact, found
in most animals – including humans. “We discovered that
protein intake in humans is tightly regulated and takes
priority over intake of other nutrients,” says Simpson.
The consequences of this finding are enormous. Essentially, it
explains why high-protein diets help people to lose weight and,
perhaps more significantly, suggests high-fat or high-carbohydrate
(i.e. low-protein) diets may cause people to gain weight.
THE „PROTEIN LEVERAGE‟ EFFECT
“When there is a shift towards including more high-fat
and high-carbohydrate foods in the diet, this powerful
protein appetite causes people to eat too many calories to
gain what little protein there is in those foods, predisposing
them to obesity and associated metabolic disorders,”
explains Simpson. “This „protein leverage‟ effect, as we
called it, is made worse when the requirement for nonprotein
energy diminishes as a result of doing less exercise.”
In contrast, if the diet shifts towards a higher percentage
of protein, a person‟s body will not let them over-consume
protein to any extent, resulting in under-consumption
of non-protein energy, a negative energy balance and
therefore the potential to lose weight.
TWO-PRONGED OUTCOME
Simpson‟s work has applications in two very different areas.
His initial findings are being used by the Australian Plague
Locust Commission (APLC), state agriculture departments
and international agencies to improve the management and
control of locusts. “We can identify habitat conditions and
locations that will encourage solitary populations of locusts
to become concentrated, hence changing to the gregarious
phase and forming a swarm,” he says. “Once nascent
swarms have been located in these areas, we are helping the
APLC to predict where marching locust bands will move,
so they can apply swaths of insecticide to best effect with
minimal environmental impact.”
His later discoveries have profound implications for
public health. “This has been recognised by my being
invited to speak at key meetings in the field,” he says, “and
in the establishment of three international trials to test our
protein leverage hypothesis.”
Consequently, this work shows the bizarre twists research



                                                                     29
can take. “From locusts to human obesity is a strange
journey,” admits Simpson, “but it provides a compelling
example of the power of pure scientific discovery.”


“GENOMICS:
BREAKING THE
DROUGHT”
THE TEAM AT THE AUSTRALIAN CENTRE FOR PLANT FUNCTIONAL
GENOMICS IS HELPING TO DEVELOP CROPS THAT CAN THRIVE
IN DROUGHT AND SALT-AFFECTED SOIL, WITH THE AIM OF
IMPROVING AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTIVITY AND SUSTAINABILITY
AROUND THE WORLD




A       ustralian crops are frequently exposed to challenging
environmental conditions, and genomics is aiding
in tackling issues that were previously regarded as
intractable – such as drought and salt tolerance. Overseen
by CEO Professor Peter Langridge, the research team at the
Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics (ACPFG)
focuses on improving agricultural resistance to these conditions.
“Our research not only provides benefits to scientific
research, with new and more efficient molecular modelling
and transformation techniques, but the outcomes will
have relevance to the rural and metropolitan community
through hardier crops with improved quality and
nutritional benefits,” Langridge explains.
A DRY NATION
Water is central to plant existence, and so a reduced supply
inevitably affects plant function. Over the past two years,
grain exports have been reduced by more than half due
to drought. These conditions have had a major impact
on plant growth. “Drought has a huge effect on wheat
yields in Australia, and is the biggest single determinant of
yield in this dry continent,” says ACPFG researcher and
Federation Fellow Professor Mark Tester.
Approximately half of the ACPFG‟s research effort is focused
on drought tolerance. The research is conducted mainly via a
„forward genetic‟ approach (a technique that aims to identify
variation in a certain phenotype), using material developed
for high yield by plant breeders over a number of decades.
“The molecular basis for drought tolerance remains largely
obscure, so this work is quite pioneering in nature,” says
Tester. “So this is both exciting and also likely to be of much
utility to plant breeders and thus Australian grain growers.”
SALINITY TOLERANCE
Rising salinity levels represent another environmental
challenge the Centre is intent on confronting. Salinity affects
more than two-thirds of Australia‟s wheat crop and reduces
exports by an estimated A$200 million each year. The
problem is worsening as unsustainable use of our land and
water continues, and as climate change affects rainfall patterns,
reducing water supplies in southern and western Australia.
Increasing the salinity tolerance of crops would have a



                                                                    30
positive impact on agricultural productivity and sustainability
in Australia and across the world. As such, the ACPFG is
facilitating the development of crops with increased salinity
tolerance, contributing to the work of plant breeders and other
scientists to develop plants for the harsh Australian landscape.
The crops involved include those for food, pastures
and even biofuels. The idea is to use both conventional
breeding and genetic modification to boost the
productivity of these crops in salt-affected soil. “High
sodium levels limit growth,” explains Tester. “One of
the aims of our research is to investigate the molecular
mechanisms that enable certain plants to thrive in saline
soils. Once we identify salt tolerance genes in the more
hardy plants, we can then determine how we can most
effectively move them into commercial wheat varieties.”
CREATING HYBRIDS
One way to discover the key genes is to compare the
genomes of plants with different levels of salinity tolerance
and hunt down the genes responsible for the differences.
This is done by making hybrids of two lines with differing
tolerance, then measuring the tolerance in a large number
of offspring.
“In parallel with these measurements, we keep track of
which bits of DNA in each individual plant come from
which parent,” explains Tester. “Each plant has a mix of DNA
shuffled together from the two parents, and each length of
DNA can be identified by some of its characteristic features,
such as the amount of certain types of repetitive DNA.”
This enables the researchers to correlate the trait of
tolerance with the presence of a particular piece of DNA –
and so the gene (or genes) encoding the tolerance must be
somewhere on that stretch of DNA.
FINDING THE KEY GENE
Because several plant genomes are now sequenced, the
ACFPG can usually zoom in quite rapidly to the key gene
responsible for the tolerance. “One of the genes from a
tougher South Australian wheat variety has recently been
identified in work undertaken by a PhD student, Caitlin
Byrt, supervised jointly by our laboratory and CSIRO
Plant Industry,” says Tester. “Similar genes have been
characterised in model plants and, crucially, we are now
developing technologies to manipulate the patterns and
levels of expression of these genes in specific cell types.”
These cell-type-specific manipulations have increased
salinity tolerance in model plants and the ACFPG is now
moving the technology into wheat and barley. Global
recognition of the Centre‟s work is reflected by Tester‟s
membership of the editorial boards of six international
journals, and his election as co-Chair of the next Gordon
Conference on drought and salinity to be held in the
United States in 2008. “Progress is being made – but it
could always be faster,” says Tester. “Every day, though, we
move closer to making a real impact on how to grow our
crops better.”
THE GM DEBATE
As ACFPG research increases knowledge of the molecular
mechanisms affecting salinity tolerance, the work is
actively being applied to commercial crops. “We provide
molecular markers to help plant breeders move the
desirable genes more rapidly into their commercial crops



                                                                   31
by allowing offspring containing the desired gene to be
identified rapidly and accurately,” Tester says. “We also use
new-generation genetic modification (GM) technologies
requiring subtle modifications in the levels and patterns of
expression of some genes.”
This latter application requires significant interaction
with the wider public, due to current unease regarding
the use of GM. Representatives of the ACFPG have been
active in this debate for almost a decade through writing
and talking in public fora and broadcast media – especially
radio. “Engagement with the public debate is essential to
explain the complexity of the issues surrounding GM,”
Tester believes, “and to avoid the polarisation that has
emerged from the very simplified view most have of the
technology.”

“QUANTUM
PHYSICS RULES”
BY TRANSFORMING WHAT WAS ONCE BELIEVED TO BE
SCIENCE FICTION INTO REALITY, PROFESSOR HOWARD
WISEMAN AND TEAM HAVE CREATED THE WORLD‟S MOST
ACCURATE RULER




“N        ever tell a quantum physicist that near enough
is good enough.” So says Professor Howard
Wiseman, Federation Fellow and Director of
Griffi th University‟s Centre for Quantum Dynamics.
Wiseman and co-workers have invented a technique for
making the world‟s most accurate ruler, and subsequently
implemented it in the laboratory of Dr Geoff Pryde.
The experiment measured distances as accurately as the
laws of physics allow, a goal which has eluded quantum
physicists for decades. The result has boosted Australia‟s
global reputation for breakthroughs in this rapidly evolving
frontier science and paved the way for exciting new
discoveries.
“Measurement underpins all science,” explains Wiseman,
who developed the theory in collaboration with Dr
Dominic Berry of Macquarie University and Dr Stephen
Bartlett of The University of Sydney. “Through history
we‟ve seen advances in precision measurement lead to
unexpected scientific discoveries, which in turn lead to
new technologies and applications. For example, oldstyle
interferometers disproved the idea that the Earth is
moving through a mysterious substance called „aether‟.
This ultimately led to Einstein‟s theory of relativity, which
is central to GPS systems, for example. We don‟t know yet
where this new technique will lead.”
USING INDIVIDUAL PHOTONS
Wiseman and his team pushed the limits of current
understanding of quantum theory in order to develop this
technique, the results of which were published in leading
international science journal Nature in 2007. It works by
using individual photons – single particles of light – as a
„ruler‟ for microscopic distances.


                                                                32
“A photon is an incredibly small amount of light,”
says Pryde, who conducted the experiment with his PhD
student Brendon Higgins. “For comparison, scanning a
barcode uses quadrillions of photons. Even the dim standby
light on your DVD player shines out many trillions of
photons a second.”
Each photon passes through the sample being measured
a number of times. Using just 36 photons making a total of
378 passes, the team was able to measure length differences
less than one ten thousandth of the width of a human hair.
BREAKING NEW GROUND
While similar schemes based on interferometry – a
measurement technique that uses waves of electromagnetic
radiation such as light – have been used for centuries with
great accuracy, Wiseman‟s method has broken new ground.
Essentially, a photon can simultaneously take two different
paths to the same destination. Where the photon goes next
depends on the difference between the lengths of the two
paths. If the length of one path is known, scientists can
measure the length of the other path with great accuracy.
“The key difference is we have done it in a way
that gets as much information out of each pass of a
photon through the sample as is allowed by Heisenberg‟s
uncertainty principle,” Wiseman says, referring to a
quantum mechanical principle that states it is impossible to
know both the position and momentum of a particle at the
same time.
The novel feature of Wiseman‟s method is that it
makes each photon retrace the paths many times before
detecting it, which amplifies the effect of the difference
in path lengths. “In this sense,” says Wiseman, “it‟s the best
measurement possible – something that has never been
done before.” The same idea could also be applied to
measuring other quantities, such as speed, frequency and
time.
APPLICATIONS
While some of the outcomes of this new technique won‟t
become apparent until well into the future, there may also
be immediate benefits. One possibility stems from the
fact that accurate measurements can be made using less
light than was previously thought possible. “This could be
particularly important in fields such as medical research, as
passing light through a biological sample can damage it,”
says Pryde.
To increase the usefulness of its research, the team‟s next
goal is to use larger numbers of single photons and more
passes to get an even finer measurement. This is certainly
possible in principle, they believe, but there are some
technological hurdles to overcome.
TURNING FICTION INTO REALITY
Developing this breakthrough measurement is just one of
a number of recent advances made by researchers at the
Centre for Quantum Computer Technology. The Centre
is part of a global effort to build a quantum computer – a
device that would out-perform any possible conventional
computer in problems such as code-breaking. “We‟ve been
able to realise ideas of quantum theory that were once
science fiction, like detecting a single photon without
destroying it and demonstrating elementary quantum
computations,” says Wiseman.



                                                                 33
“Our precision ruler was made possible using the
single-photon technology developed for optical quantum
computing, and using ideas from quantum computer
algorithms,” he continues. “Through my Federation
Fellowship we‟ve also been able to recruit top researchers
to work on „ion trap‟ quantum computing, a radically
different but equally promising technology using strings
of single atoms. Interfacing ion trap technology with
single-photon technology could enable us to build
absolutely secure communication networks over long
distances. This would revolutionise the way confidential
information is handled.”




                                                             34
Outcomes: within the past 5 to 10 years.
“MAKING
ADVANCES
IN MINERAL
EXPLORATION “
A NEW SYSTEM THAT USES THE EXPERTISE OF DR GREGORY
ADAMS AND PROFESSOR GRAHAM GOODWIN ALLOWS
FOR FASTER, CHEAPER AND MORE TARGETED MINERAL
EXPLORATION, BRINGING BENEFITS TO AUSTRALIA‟S
EXPORT INDUSTRY




W          hen BHP Billiton was looking to gain a
competitive edge in minerals exploration, it
turned to the ARC Centre of Excellence for
Complex Dynamic Systems and Control (CDSC), at The
University of Newcastle.
A long history of collaboration had seen the research
group rise to a position of high regard with the global
mining giant. This time, under the umbrella of a large,
multidisciplinary research project dubbed Project Falcon,
Dr Gregory Adams (CDSC chief operating officer)
and Professor Graham Goodwin (CDSC director) gave
significant technical support to the development of a
revolutionary airborne minerals exploration system.
TOP-SECRET PROJECT
The University of Newcastle and BHP Billiton carried out
extensive joint research on Project Falcon, which was directed
at building the world‟s first airborne gravity gradiometer
(AGG) system. The idea was devised by a small group of BHP
research and exploration staff in the early 1990s. “Due to the
sensitive nature of the technology, BHP requests that much of
the project details remain confidential,” says Adams, “but our
work did lead to the award of two patents.”
The core technology comprises a gradiometer
– a custom-designed gravity gradient instrument –
incorporated into an inertially stabilised platform built
by leading aerospace manufacturer Lockheed Martin. The
gradiometer measures the extremely small changes in
the Earth‟s gravitational field as the instrument is moved
around an exploration area.
The AGG system also incorporates Post-Mission
Compensation (PMC) algorithms to remove the effect
of aircraft accelerations, which affect gravity gradient
measurements, as well as processes to remove landform effects
from exploration data for a specific area. What remains is the
gravitational effects of underground mineral deposits.
GOING OPERATIONAL
BHP commenced the manufacture of two operational AGG
systems in 1995. The gradiometer BHP adopted, which was
not developed for use in an airborne platform, had to undergo
months of testing to ensure the noise level could be significantly
reduced, otherwise the system would have been impractical.



                                                                     35
In parallel to building and testing the hardware system,
BHP also commenced a significant technical effort to
develop the PMC algorithms, to analyse the data from the
AGG system. This was a complex exercise that required
the expertise of Adams and Goodwin. “Our involvement
started in November 1996 and continued until June 1998,”
says Adams. “Our main tasks were to analyse the AGG
system dynamics and to help develop the signal processing
algorithms.”
The algorithms were integrated into a prototype
software package for conversion of raw signals into
interpretable data. After three years of intensive work, the
system hardware and software were finally merged and the
entire system tested.
The first clear „gravity‟ pictures – which show
underground changes in the Earth‟s gravitational field,
indicating the presence of mineral deposits – were
obtained in mid-1998. Since then, BHP has developed
two more AGG systems under the Falcon™ banner, which
continues to be improved in a commercial setting.
KEY BENEFITS
According to Adams, the main advantages of the Falcon™
system are the ability to explore large areas quickly and
cheaply compared to previous methods, the ability to
explore areas previously inaccessible to ground surveys, and
the non-destructive nature of the exploration compared
with seismic tests.
“In Australia, missions flown with Falcon™ have
detected deposits of coal in the Bowen Basin in
Queensland, iron ore in the Hamersley Basin in WA,
copper and gold at Prominent Hill in SA, diamond bearing
kimberlite at Abner in northern Australia and
oil in Bass Strait, among others,” he says. “This is very
important to Australia due to our current reliance on
minerals and energy exports to the rapidly developing
Asian economies of China and India.”
EXCEEDING EXPECTATIONS
Under Project Falcon, Adams and Goodwin helped
produce technology that was highly advanced, overcame
severe technical problems, and exceeded the original
technical specifications, producing results of great
importance to BHP‟s commercial operations.
Project Falcon manager Edwin van Leeuwen, now
Global Manager, Exploration and Mining Technology,
BHP Billiton Innovation, says, “Over the last decade, BHP
Billiton has enjoyed a productive creative relationship with
the research group under [Professor Graham] Goodwin
at Newcastle University. This relationship has spanned
several important projects that have been critical to the
development of BHP Billiton‟s in-house, world-class
capabilities in exploration and mining technologies.”
Adams adds, “Our contribution helped BHP to
understand the AGG system and improve the AGG
operation, which led to quicker deployment of the final
Falcon™ system. The system is now being used for faster,
broader, cheaper and more targeted exploration of minerals
and energy sources in Australia and overseas, with crucial
benefits for Australia‟s export performance.”




                                                               36
“IMPROVING OUR
REPRODUCTIVE
FUTURE”
IN COLLABORATION WITH AN AUSTRALIAN BIOTECH
COMPANY, PROFESSOR JOHN AITKEN AND HIS TEAM
HAVE DEVELOPED A DEVICE THAT IS RESULTING IN
HEALTHIER PREGNANCIES FOR COUPLES USING ASSISTED
REPRODUCTION THERAPY




B       etween 1989 and 2004, there was a 74 per cent
increase in the number of live births occurring in
Australia and New Zealand as a result of assisted
reproduction therapy (ART). At the present time, one in
35 children born in Australia is the product of this form of
treatment and in some advanced industrial countries this
fi gure is now as high as one in 20. Moreover, there is every
likelihood that increasing numbers of couples will resort
to ART in the future, as it is a biological certainty that the
more such treatment is used in one generation, the more it
will be needed in the next.
INCREASED RISK OF DEFECTS
While this technology is extremely efficient in correcting
human infertility, children born as a result of ART
stand a 30 to 40 per cent increased risk of birth defects,
including major congenital malformations and imprinting
disorders such as Angelman and Beckwith-Wiedemann
syndromes. Although the aetiology of these birth defects is
undoubtedly complex, one of the key contributing factors
is the quality of the DNA introduced into the embryo by
the fertilising spermatozoon.
“Sperm quality in human males is notoriously poor,”
says Professor John Aitken, director of the ARC Centre of
Excellence in Biotechnology and Development (CBD),
who is leading this research. “Indeed, it is a feature of the
human condition, with at least one in 20 Australian men
suffering from some level of infertility.”
Aitken says most men produce sufficient numbers
of spermatozoa to fertilise an egg in vivo, however, the
gametes they generate have lost their biological potential
for fertilisation and the support of normal embryonic
development.
THE ROLE OF SMOKING
An important characteristic of these defective spermatozoa
is a high level of DNA damage. The latter is correlated
with poor fertility, high rates of miscarriage and an
increased incidence of birth defects in the offspring.
“An indication of the clinical significance of DNA
damage in the male germ line is given by smoking,” says
Aitken. “Men who smoke heavily produce spermatozoa
suffering from high levels of DNA damage. This does
not impair the capacity of these cells for fertilisation, but
does impact upon the subsequent ability of the embryo
to develop normally.” As a result, the children of heavy
smokers stand a four- to five-fold increased chance of



                                                                 37
developing childhood cancer.
ISOLATING DAMAGE-FREE DNA
The use of such DNA-damaged spermatozoa in ART
is thought to be a major contributor to the increased
incidence of birth defects seen in children conceived in
vitro. Given the high uptake of assisted conception therapy
in Australia and the risk that this form of treatment poses
to the health and wellbeing of the offspring, techniques
need to be developed that are capable of isolating
spermatozoa that are free from DNA damage for use in
assisted conception procedures.
CBD has addressed this issue and developed a scientific
principle by which this objective could be achieved. “In
essence, the Centre has discovered that the highest quality
spermatozoa, exhibiting the lowest levels of DNA damage,
carry the greatest net negative charge,” says Aitken. “This
property has been used to develop an electrophoretic
system for the rapid, efficient isolation of human
spermatozoa that are relatively free from DNA damage, for
use in ART.”
INDUSTRY COLLABORATION
This program has been conducted in collaboration with
a NSW biotechnology company, NuSep. The company
has expertise in the development of electrophoretic
systems for the separation of complex protein mixtures,
while CBD possesses complementary expertise in the cell
biology of human spermatozoa. The two organisations
were collectively awarded a A$2.1 million Commercial
Ready grant from AusIndustry to take this project from
proof-of-principle scientific validation to a commercial
product that would find application in the assisted
conception industry.
With the aid of this AusIndustry grant, CBD
demonstrated that an electrophoretic system could
be developed that was capable of isolating around 11
million spermatozoa in just five minutes. Moreover, these
spermatozoa were pure, motile, viable and characterised
by high levels of DNA integrity. Both the quality of the
spermatozoa isolated with this procedure, as well as the
ease and speed of the isolation process, were superior to
conventional technologies.
A WORLD FIRST
In light of these encouraging data, a pilot study was
conducted in collaboration with Sydney IVF, involving
a patient exhibiting long-term infertility associated
with severe DNA damage in his spermatozoa. The
electrophoretic sperm isolation system proved capable of
isolating high-quality spermatozoa from this patient that,
when used for ART, generated a viable pregnancy that
carried to term.
The world‟s first pregnancy with electrophoretically
isolated spermatozoa received global recognition in
journals such as Nature and New Scientist and was rapidly
followed by expanded clinical trials at the Westmead
Fertility Centre in Sydney.
“These trials have confirmed the clinical utility of
this system and generated several more pregnancies in
the process,” says Aitken. “This cell isolation device is
an excellent example of what can be achieved by ARC/
industry partnerships in delivering a technology that has



                                                              38
worldwide significance for the reproductive future of our
species.”

“RESTORATIVE
JUSTICE: HEALING
THE HURT”
THE WORK OF PROFESSOR JOHN BRAITHWAITE HAS
CONTRIBUTED TO A WORLDWIDE SHIFT IN THE WAY JUSTICE IS
SERVED, BRINGING PEACE TO THE LIVES OF MANY PEOPLE IN
THE PROCESS




T      he restorative justice research community in
Australia has been at the forefront of transforming
the way justice is delivered in almost every
country in the world, at least to some degree. Just as every
state and territory in Australia has introduced some sort of
restorative justice program in the past decade, so has the
overwhelming majority of jurisdictions around the globe.
According to Professor John Braithwaite, whose
Regulatory Institutions Network (RegNet) research
group is at the forefront of this field, the evidence gets
progressively stronger that restorative justice approaches –
in which the victim plays a major role in the process and
may receive some type of restitution from the offender
– deliver better outcomes than traditional criminal
processing, in terms of preventing re-offending, healing
emotional and financial harm, and delivering fair justice.
“Restorative justice is about the idea that because
crime hurts, justice should heal,” says Braithwaite. “Our
ARC-funded R&D on how to help this happen, both at
ANU and other Australian universities, has made the social
movement for restorative justice an unusually evidencebased
movement. And the evidence is getting stronger
that it reduces re-offending and helps victims of crime –
especially violent crime.”
RESPONSIVE REGULATION
While RegNet‟s research on restorative justice has been
hugely influential around the world, its work on responsive
regulation – which involves a more sophisticated way of
mixing punishment and persuasion in business regulation
– has had the bigger policy impact in Australia. It has
been applied to many areas, including competition policy,
consumer protection, occupational health and safety, food,
the environment and tax.
“We developed ideas for implementing responsive
regulation with the Australian Tax Office between 1998
and 2006,” says Braithwaite. “The Tax Office sat down
with multinational corporations that were shifting
profits out of Australia, often to tax havens, so they
would pay little or no tax here. Together with business,
the Tax Office crafted a responsive regulatory approach
to improving corporate compliance systems to reduce
this profit shifting. Our evaluation showed the program
returned an extra billion dollars in tax for every million



                                                               39
spent on it. This program alone brought a greater increase
in tax dollars to Australia from multinational corporations
that were not paying their way than the annual budget of
the ARC.” As a result, other nations are increasingly looking to
Australia for leadership in this area. For example, a recent
US Treasury analysis urged the US Government to follow
these Australian programs.
BEYOND CRIME AND BUSINESS
Both restorative justice and responsive regulation are
paradigms that are today being used in a wide range of
private and public policy domains beyond crime control
and business regulation. Restorative justice, in particular, is
being used in schools (anti-bullying programs, for example)
and child protection. Furthermore, evidence that this
approach is effective in dealing with these social problems
continues to grow stronger.
Restorative justice is also increasingly being used in
peacebuilding. There are dozens of war-torn regions where
restorative justice approaches are being implemented,
informed by high-quality Australian research. This is
the frontier where Braithwaite is now putting most of
his energy, with work underway on his ARC-funded
„Peacebuilding Compared‟ project, which hopes to look at
60 cases of the peacebuilding process around the world.
PEACE IN PAPUA NEW GUINEA
For example, in Bougainville, which suffered a brutal
civil war from the late 1980s to the late 1990s, many
tribal chiefs and traditional leaders have been trained in
restorative justice. Braithwaite recently nominated the
Peace Foundation Melanesia, which did much of the
training, for the International Restorative Justice Prize.
“Bougainville is remarkable because almost a decade
after the end of the war, Bougainvilleans are still stepping
forward for the first time to confess killings to the families
of those they killed, in the hope of healing the wounds,”
says Braithwaite. “Many of those I have interviewed believe
these reconciliations do solidify the peace.”
IMAGINATIVE IMPLEMENTATION
There have been many prizes awarded to this scholarly
work, but Braithwaite believes the greatest rewards for
the researchers, and for the ARC, are the testimonials of
those who have found safety and justice in lives that were
once precarious, as a result of this evidence-based policy
innovation. “There has been a worldwide shift in the
nature of how justice is being done,” he says.
Yet the professor is quick to point out that while his
research group has been one of the most influential in the
world on restorative justice, it is the imaginative ways in
which it is being implemented that continue to impress
him.
“Different countries apply it in their own distinctive
way,” says Braithwaite. “With both restorative justice and
responsive regulation, it has been other people in other
places who have come up with so many concrete ways of
improving the human condition in ways I could not have
imagined. It has been satisfying and surprising to see that.”




                                                                   40
“GUIDING
GAUDÍ‟S VISION
INTO REALITY”
COMBINING YEARS OF RESEARCH INTO ANTONI GAUDÍ‟S
LIFE AND WORK, WITH STATE-OF-THE-ART DIGITAL TOOLS
NEVER BEFORE USED IN ARCHITECTURE, PROFESSOR
MARK BURRY IS OVERSEEING CRITICAL PARTS OF
THE DESIGN FOR THE COMPLETION OF BARCELONA‟S
„UNFINISHED CATHEDRAL‟




T      he Sagrada Família Church in Barcelona,
colloquially known as the „unfi nished cathedral‟,
is the most complicated construction in the world
today – not only because it is essentially a giant sculpture,
but because it has to accommodate some 2.5 million visitors
a year to the site while it continues to be built around them.
Work on the project, designed by famed Catalan architect
Antoni Gaudí, began in 1882, yet it was less than 10 per cent
complete at the time of his death in 1926. Sluggish progress
was made over the decades as various architects turned their
hand to the building. Then, in 1979, the honour was entrusted
to Professor Mark Burry, director of the RMIT Design
Institute in Melbourne, whose innovative breakthroughs
have seen the project develop in leaps and bounds.
MIXING TRANSDISCIPLINARY DESIGN
An architect by discipline, Burry‟s many years of research
have focused on the design process, European architecture
(particularly from the 19th century), the life and work of
Gaudí and, more recently, mixing transdisciplinary design
and communication. “It is largely through consistent
financial support from the ARC over the last eight years
that I have been able to unpick my Gaudí scholarship and
extend it across a whole host of design disciplines,” he says.
Since arriving at RMIT University in 2001, Burry
has built and led the state-of-the-art Spatial Information
Architecture Laboratory, which promotes the fusion of
digital design with traditional production techniques.
“Spatial information architecture is guided by the principle
that Gaudí himself espoused, which is one of „total
architecture‟,” Burry explains. “It‟s a reflection that today,
to compartmentalise the design disciplines – architecture
as architecture and graphic design as graphic design
– is becoming less and less tenable. As we move into
increasingly sharing the same tools, like printers or 3D
prototypers, the divisions between the design professions
are disappearing. At our lab, we are training people to look
across the disciplines.”
EXTRAORDINARY CHALLENGES
As consulting architect for the Sagrada Família Church
for the past 28 years, Burry has been using these
transdisciplinary design concepts to interpret what remains
of Gaudí‟s plaster models – and it has been no easy task.
Burry has faced extraordinary challenges in completing this
architectural masterpiece, in particular the building being



                                                                 41
too complex to „draw‟ in the conventional sense and too
complex to build using conventional construction methods.
What‟s more, the detailed models Gaudí left to show
his intentions were destroyed during the Spanish Civil War.
Only fragments of the models survived and were yet to be
deciphered. “This was the major part of my role for the first
20 years of my engagement,” says Burry. “To understand
Gaudí‟s intentions sufficiently well to allow the church to be
constructed in such a way that any person in the future will
be able to compare the Gaudí model with the built work and
confirm the veracity of what has been completed in his name.”
THE NEED FOR DIGITAL TOOLS
During that process, Burry learned much about Gaudí‟s
analogue modelling technique and found it to be unviable
– “the proof being that so little of the project was
completed in its first 43 years,” he says.
The need to build it more efficiently was crucial and
digital tools, therefore, essential. “Digital techniques allow
you to rework a design quickly, and as many times as you
need to, to get optimum results,” explains Burry. “They
have enabled us to work on the parts of the building less
well detailed by Gaudí with much greater confidence.”
PARAMETRIC MODELLING
Burry found conventional architectural software to be
inadequate, however, and instead turned to sophisticated
aeronautical design software. Never before used in
architecture, this technology – which uses parametric
modelling, a 3D design technique done on a computer –
allowed Burry to manipulate designs with greater ease.
“As opposed to non-parametric – or „explicit‟ – modelling,
which requires fixed data, in parametric modelling we explain
the relationships between the elements of the model. That
means we can simply change the proportions and the model
automatically readjusts its dimensions accordingly – there
is no erasure and remodelling required,” says Burry. “This
allows the designer to explore options as close to real time as
possible, just as a sculptor does when they manipulate clay.”
TECHNOLOGY SPIN-OFF
Burry‟s pioneering application of parametric modelling
to architecture has gone beyond the construction of the
Sagrada Família. It has also resulted in a collaboration
with leading Los Angeles architectural firm Gehry Partners
to develop customised parametric design software. “I was
formally invited to be one of the original four External
Advisors for their highly successful technology spinoff,
Gehry Technologies,” says Burry. “The company
has evolved into a global service provider of specialist
modelling skills for the architectural design sector.”
RAPID PROTOTYPING
Burry has also been at the forefront of another
revolutionary approach to architectural modelling, known
as rapid prototyping. This process enables a 3D model to
be quickly and accurately made by a machine.
“There are several techniques but the most common
are routers which carve the model out of a solid, or „3D
printing‟ which does just that – prints the model as thin
layers that build up to make the whole piece,” says Burry.
“Because of the spatial complexity of the Sagrada Família,
rapid prototyping has been very useful.”
THE END IN SIGHT



                                                                  42
As a result of Burry‟s breakthroughs and the contributions
of the design team, the completion of the Sagrada Família
is finally in sight, more than 125 years after the project
began. “The intention is to have the whole of the church
interior finished by December 2010. But beyond that,
there is still a significant amount to be done to the
exterior, to complete the entire project,” he says.
And there are more revelations to come. “My ongoing
research into the connection of the towers to the main
body of the church will reveal new insights about Gaudí‟s
design process,” says Burry, “and possibly help us speculate
more concretely on what this master might have done if
he had access to technology more equal to his ambitions.”

“HUMAN RIGHTS:
FROM RHETORIC
TO REALITY”
PROFESSOR HILARY CHARLESWORTH HAS BEEN A KEY
FIGURE IN IMPROVING PROTECTION OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN
AUSTRALIA AND ABROAD




I   nternational human rights standards, which have
been developed over the past 60 years, can provide an
important safety net to prevent abuse of offi cial power.
However, human rights standards are only effective if they
are translated into national legal systems.
Through extensive ARC-funded research, The
Australian National University‟s Professor Hilary
Charlesworth has identified factors that encourage
the adoption of global human rights standards in local
situations, as well as factors that undermine this process.
Her groundbreaking work has influenced government
policy and improved protection of human rights in
Australia and overseas.
ABSTRACT RIGHTS
International human rights standards, typically contained
in treaties, tend to be relatively general in formulation.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by
the United Nations in 1948, for example, sets out a series
of abstract rights, such as the right to life, to freedom of
expression and to non-discrimination.
Charlesworth has examined the way in which a number
of different national systems have translated these standards.
“One aspect of my research focuses on how international
human rights law influences the development of legal
systems in „post-conflict‟ states,” she says. “Findings here
have identified how local expressions of „culture‟ can
trump international standards.”
WOMEN AND NEW GOVERNMENT
According to Charlesworth, this is particularly evident in
the way women are treated in new government systems,
such as in Timor-Leste, Afghanistan and Iraq. “Women,
while often active in independence and self-determination
struggles, are typically relegated to a private realm of home



                                                                 43
and family in new political settlements and their human
rights are given low priority,” she says.
Charlesworth‟s research on this issue has assisted
international government and non-government institutions
in responding to the problems faced by women. Specifically,
her work on the limitations of the notion of „gender
mainstreaming‟ – a concept that international agencies often
use to try to improve women‟s situations, but that has had
little impact on the ground – has influenced the global
debate on its effectiveness, being referred to in studies in the
European Union and the United Nations.
AIDING VANUATU
In 2007, Charlesworth was invited by AusAID to help
prepare two delegations from Vanuatu (one official, one
NGO) to make presentations to the UN Committee on
the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women.
“Vanuatu‟s legal system falls short of international
human rights standards – for example, women are unable
to claim child maintenance from a former spouse until
they have succeeded in obtaining a criminal conviction
for desertion against their former partner,” Charlesworth
explains. “The preparation of the delegations assisted in
identifying the gaps in Vanuatu‟s laws and bringing pressure
on the government to amend them.”
The sessions were filmed by the Secretariat of the
Pacific Commission and are now used for training
governments and NGOs across the Pacific. Charlesworth
has also trained Iraqi, Lao, Indonesian and Cambodian
government officials in human rights law.
A „FAIR GO‟ AT HOME
Human rights are not only relevant to countries in crisis.
Another aspect of Charlesworth‟s research has looked at
the way Australia has dealt with international human rights
standards.
“At the national level, successive Australian governments
have treated international standards warily, implementing
few human rights treaty obligations directly,” she says. “The
assumption has been that human rights are adequately
protected in Australia through the national commitment
to a „fair go‟. This assumption has been challenged by
Australian laws that clearly breach human rights standards,
such as laws depriving prisoners of their right to vote or
hindering the access of refugee applicants to the Australian
legal system.”
In the past four years, the Australian states and
territories have taken the lead in translating human rights
standards into their legal systems, with Charlesworth
playing a key role. When the ACT adopted Australia‟s first
bill of rights, the ACT Human Rights Act 2004, she was
chair of the government‟s community consultation on a
bill of rights (2002-03) and authored the report that led to
the human rights legislation.
RIGHTS BEHIND BARS
This legislation has affected the development and
delivery of policy across government. “For example, it has
influenced the design of the new ACT prison by ensuring
that prisoners have adequate space for exercise and areas
for prayer and religious practices, and that child and adult
offenders are separated,” says Charlesworth.
Victoria has since followed the ACT‟s lead with the



                                                                   44
Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities 2006.
The Western Australian and Tasmanian governments
have also commissioned reports on whether those states
should adopt legislation similar to the ACT. These
developments have been directly informed by the research
of Charlesworth, who was invited to advise all three state
committees.

“AUTOSTRAD –
A REVOLUTION
IN AUSTRALIAN
PORTS”
BREAKTHROUGH INNOVATIONS BY THE AUSTRALIAN
CENTRE FOR FIELD ROBOTICS HAVE VASTLY IMPROVED
TIME AND COST EFFICIENCIES AT AUSTRALIAN CONTAINER
TERMINALS




A       utoStrad is an autonomous robot straddle carrier
designed for automated movement of shipping
containers in a port, and is the largest and
fastest fully autonomous robot in successful commercial
operation anywhere in the world. It integrates a number
of breakthrough innovations in navigation, control and
safety systems design to achieve a high degree of precision,
integrity and reliability in autonomous operation.
The AutoStrad system was developed over a period of
nine years by the Australian Centre for Field Robotics
(ACFR) at The University of Sydney and Patrick
Terminals – Australia‟s leading provider of port-related
services. The Patrick Automated Terminal at the Port of
Brisbane has been in continuous day and night operation
since early 2005 and now consists of a fleet of 30
AutoStrad vehicles.
GROUNDBREAKING RESEARCH
AutoStrad incorporates a series of breakthrough research
innovations developed by the ACFR over the past decade.
The four most important of these are:
* High integrity navigation system design: The navigation
system comprises two independent navigation loops:
one based on 77 GHz mm-wave radar and encoders;
the second on GPS and inertial sensing. A frequency
domain theory (frequency analysis rendered as
mathematical functions or signals) was developed and
implemented to ensure that any single fault or error
in navigation system components can be detected and
compensated for. This has been essential in providing
guarantees of navigation system performance and
reliability.
* MM-wave radar-based technology: A new class of
high-bandwidth, high-resolution, long-range mmwave
radar systems was developed for the AutoStrad.
This radar provides all-weather range and bearing
information for position estimation, which is essential in
environments where GPS is unable to provide reliable


                                                               45
position estimates.
* Large vehicle modelling: A theoretical understanding
of the role of vehicle models in navigation performance
was realised. This enabled the development and
implementation of fast estimation and control
algorithms essential for the operation of large,
autonomous vehicles.
* Safety system design: Formal system engineering methods
were developed and adopted to design the safety systems
for large, fast, autonomous vehicles. This has been essential
in providing quantifiable guarantees of safety for large-scale
field robotics systems.
FROM RESEARCH TO COMMERCIAL
TRIUMPH
The realisation of these research innovations in an integrated
commercial system is itself a major outcome and the same
innovations underpin the future commercial development of
a broad range of field robotics applications.
“When the Autostrad project started, Australia had
some of the least efficient ports in the developed world,”
says Professor Hugh Durrant-Whyte, director of the
ACFR. “AutoStrad incorporates a series of breakthrough
innovations developed by the project partners of the past
decade, and has already had a major impact on the cargo
handling industry in Australia.” As such, he now believes
Australia has some of the most efficient and technically
advanced terminals in operation, and is seen as a global
leader in cargo systems technology.”
Over the nine-year development period, Patrick market
capitalisation increased from A$150 million to more than
A$5 billion. In an independent audit, the automation work
was estimated to have contributed more than A$1 billion
to this valuation. Moreover, in 2007 the Brisbane terminal
set productivity records for any terminal in Australia.
AN EYE TO THE FUTURE
In the next three years, AutoStrad technology will be
rolled out in other Patrick Terminals, which have a 60
per cent share of the Australian port market. Patrick
Technology is developing a plan to market either
individual AutoStrad systems, and potentially full turnkey
(projects where separate entities are involved in setting
up a plant or equipment) automated terminals across the
globe. Outside the container handling industry, Autostrad
technology is being applied in other major Australian
industries, most notably in the mining industry.

“RAINFALL
PREDICTIONS
ALL AT SEA”
PROFESSOR MATTHEW ENGLAND HAS DISCOVERED THAT THE SECRETS
OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA‟S ERRATIC ANNUAL RAINFALL MAY LIE IN THE
INDIAN OCEAN




A        cross Western Australia (WA), as reservoirs dry up,
debate is hotting up as to the cause of the State‟s long


                                                                 46
dry spell. Some analysts have said climate change is
to blame. Others point the fi nger at deforestation. However,
scientists now believe there is another important factor at
play: the oceans. Professor Matthew England, co-Director
of The University of New South Wales Climate Change
Research Centre, has discovered that rainfall over WA is
controlled by sea surface temperatures in the Indian Ocean.
A SHIFT IN FOCUS
England initially focused on WA‟s recent dry spell,
planning to explore the decline in the State‟s rainfall over
the past 30 years. However, it soon emerged that yearto-
year variations were much higher than the observed
decline since the 1970s. As such, the study turned its
attention to these annual rainfall variations instead. It was
discovered that they were huge – as much as 70 per cent
from one year to the next.
With much debate surrounding Australia‟s critical water
shortages, WA is often singled out for its vulnerability to
climate extremes. Perth, the State‟s capital, is one of the
most isolated capital cities on the planet, with an expansive
desert to the east, only sparse population centres to the
north, and vast oceans to the west and south. With the
region‟s freshwater supply so scarce, massive year-to-year
rainfall variations take on a far greater significance.
EMPIRICAL ANALYSIS
Looking at the rainfall cycles, England discovered that
Indian Ocean temperatures seesaw between dry and wet
years. The seesaw pattern involves two massive patches of
cold and warm water sitting next to each other off the WA
coast.
Although working with computer-based climate
models, the study was anchored in observations, using
satellite measurements of ocean temperatures, Australian
Bureau of Meteorology records of rainfall, and observations
of winds, air pressure and air temperature. The aim was to
build up a picture of how the climate system looks during
the wet and dry years.
WA rainfall was found to be part of a large-scale
phenomenon spanning the Indian Ocean. During dry
years, the ocean forces a southward shift of the so-called
„Roaring Forties‟ winds. These winds bring rain-bearing
fronts onto the southern edge of the Australian continent.
As the winds drift south, so too does the rainfall normally
destined for WA, leaving the region dry.
Rainy years see the same process in reverse; the ocean
temperature pattern seesaws, the Roaring Forties and
the rain-bearing fronts move closer to the continent,
and WA gets a much deserved break from the dry spell.
“Discovering a mode of ocean variability that is linked to
extremes in Australian climate is an important finding,”
says England, “and we have shown that this yields a
significant increase in predictive skill, which is a major
discovery.”
BETTER PREDICTIONS FOR FARMERS
The finding is exciting because ocean precursors to climate
extremes are at the heart of improving lead-forecast
times of Australian rainfall. With satellite measurements
of sea temperatures now routinely available, the discovery
has helped improve predictions of WA‟s large rainfall
variations. This is good news for the region‟s farming



                                                                47
sector, water management, and bushfire control.
Dr David Stephens from the WA Department
of Agriculture and Food has been using England‟s
temperature pattern to forecast seasonal rain for farmers
over the past three years. “Farmers who paid attention
to England‟s Indian Ocean index would have saved
considerable money in the 2006-07 droughts by reducing
crop inputs and reducing crop areas each June/July,” he
says. “Collectively, the Indian Ocean index improved
rainfall predictions, potentially enabling farmers to save
hundreds of millions of dollars.”
For years, farming communities in Queensland have
been well aware of climatic fluctuations in the tropical
Pacific Ocean, as their rainfall is strongly controlled by the
now famous El Niño / La Niña cycles. However, awareness
of this Pacific climate mode has provided little assistance to
farmers in WA. Now that an Indian Ocean link has been
established, these farmers are being delivered better leadtime
forecasts.
Certainly, as the State‟s freshwater reservoirs continue to
shrink, interspersed by only the occasional year of aboveaverage
rain, all eyes will now be on the newly discovered
Indian Ocean index.

“GREEN
CHEMISTRY:
WASTE NOT”
PROFESSOR MILTON HEARN IS DESIGNING CHEMICAL
PRODUCTS AND PROCESSES WITH BROAD APPLICATION THAT
REDUCE OR ELIMINATE BY-PRODUCTS AND HAZARDOUS
WASTE, SAVING MONEY AND THE ENVIRONMENT IN THE
PROCESS




A       s the popular proverb goes, prevention is always
better than cure. The same concept applies to
the degradation of our natural resources and the
pollution of our environment. It‟s better to prevent toxic
waste at conception than to treat it or clean it up after the
damage is done.
Such philosophy may appear to be stating the
obvious, but the practical implementation of these ideas
is becoming increasingly relevant. With many current
manufacturing processes, approximately 10 per cent (at
best) of what goes in the supply chain pipe as natural
resources comes out as goods and services. The rest is
waste, pollution and environmental disturbances.
MEETING THE CHALLENGE
The application of benign green chemistry technologies in
sustainable manufacturing aims to reverse this trend, and is
now recognised as a matter of global importance for meeting
the challenge of resource utilisation and sustainability. The
research program of the ARC Special Research Centre
for Green Chemistry at Monash University, Melbourne,
provides leadership in several key fields of this endeavour



                                                                   48
through fundamental investigations, applied research and
developments across a spectrum of chemical, biotechnological
and biomedical sectors and industries.
“In coming decades, human societies will increasingly
expect significant improvements in the variety and
functionality of products and services that enhance the
quality of their lives,” explains the Centre‟s director, Professor
Milton Hearn. “Innovative procedures for the creation of
new chemicals and materials are being sought. Processes
will need to use less energy, generate less waste and employ
more benign precursors that can be readily incorporated
into whole-of-life manufacturing supply chains.”
At Monash, these principles are being realised in research
projects ranging from the development of new anti-cancer
drugs to the elimination of corrosion, the reduction of soil
toxicity, and the development of paints without solvent. The
design of chemical products and processes at the molecular
level to reduce or eliminate by-products and hazardous waste,
can save money, reduce environmental consequences and also
offer a whole new perspective on the concept of toxic waste.
The research focus is associated with the development of
new classes of molecules and materials, such as pharmaceutical
lead compounds and functional polymers; new processes
based on advanced catalysts or new types of host-guest
interactions; and new types of monitoring technologies, such
as chemical nanoarrays and miniaturised electrodes.
PARTNERSHIPS WITH INDUSTRY
The Centre‟s achievements have led to significant industrial
partnerships with Australian and multinational companies
prominent in the chemical, pharmaceutical, biotechnology,
energy and scientific instrumentation fields.
One instructive example is the use of new separation
technologies for the industrial-scale purification of chemicals
and biopharmaceuticals. These processes increase product
yield, greatly reduce solvent, water and reagent usage, improve
atom efficiencies, eliminate the need to dispose of large
volumes of waste, reduce total production time and diminish
the associated energy demands for production.
THE PROTEIN FACTOR
The development of a new technology for process scale
purification of proteins is illustrative of this outcome. The
protein market is currently worth some US$60 billion
and is projected to reach more than US$100 billion by
2010. Over the past decade, it has become increasingly
evident that the technologies required for their recovery
and purification have not kept pace with the „upstream‟
components of their bioprocessing, with the entire
purification train now a major bottleneck.
The Centre‟s pioneering work in discovering new
ways to exploit molecular recognition and biomimicry,
in association with process intensification methods, has
enabled a new manufacturing paradigm to be introduced
to the biopharmaceutical industry that is economically
viable, socially responsible and environmentally sound.
These licensed technologies have provided industry with
the opportunity to achieve significant cost savings and
new product wealth generation in a separation science
marketplace with a projected value of more than
US$2 billion per annum by 2015.
Other illustrative outcomes include:



                                                                     49
* approaches to carbon dioxide and other gas sequestration
through the use of functionalised mesoporous (pores of
2-50 nanometres in diameter) materials, providing new
opportunities for the development of clean coal and
„green‟ oil industries both in Australia and internationally.
* the use of ionic liquids as replacements for traditional
volatile and often toxic organic solvents. The Centre
has been at the forefront of significant advances in their
synthesis and use, and recently has explored „distillable‟
and „reactive‟ versions in collaboration with Australian
industry.
* internationally, energy is another important area of green
chemistry research. The Centre has joined a consortium
of Australian academic and industrial scientists
endeavouring to develop enhanced devices in the area
of photovoltaic (capable of producing voltage when
exposed to light) cells and light-emitting diodes.
BROADER APPLICATIONS
The Centre‟s activities have also had an impact on public,
education, government and industrial policy. Their
implementation has led, in a broader context, to the
visualisation of all chemical or biological products and
methods of their manufacture as part of interlinked supply
chains, whereby the material- and energy-flows through
different sectors can be treated as industrial molecular
ecosystems. „Disruptive‟ sciences and technologies such as
green chemistry allow the best use of these supply chains
and thus enhance wealth generation.
The work of the ARC Special Research Centre for Green
Chemistry is assisting peak Australian organisations such
as the Plastic and Chemical Industries Association in the
implementation of their Sustainability Leadership Framework
for Industry program. It also assists the PCIA‟s counterparts
overseas and is involved in government policy initiatives.
This research is producing solutions that address the
challenges of sustainability, the production and use of
more benign substances and materials, and the needs and
expectations of society.

“DEVELOPMENTAL
PREVENTION:
THE KEY TO
HELPING KIDS”
HAVING CONVINCED AUSTRALIA‟S POLICYMAKERS THAT
PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE, PROFESSOR ROSS
HOMEL‟S RESEARCH IS IMPROVING CHILD DEVELOPMENT
AND FAMILY WELLBEING IN DISADVANTAGED COMMUNITIES




C       hildren‟s development relies on the success with
which a number of systems work together. Where
there are problems, it is imperative that the right
approach is taken to not only defuse the existing situation
but bring about positive outcomes for the children and
families involved. Developmental prevention is about


                                                                50
getting in early, before crime or serious behavioural
problems emerge or become entrenched, and modifying
social arrangements through the organised provision of
resources to individuals, families, schools or communities.
ON THE RIGHT PATH
Pathways to Prevention is a program of research on
developmental prevention that Professor Ross Homel
AO and other members of the Developmental Crime
Prevention Consortium began in 1997. With a grant from
the Commonwealth Government, their task was to review
the international evidence on the effectiveness of this
approach and to assess its policy implications for Australia.
The report, published in 1999, has had a major policy
impact on Australia, in such diverse fields as mental health,
substance abuse, juvenile crime, child protection and special
education. It is increasingly cited overseas, especially in the UK.
DEMONSTRATION PROJECT
Based on the findings of the report, Homel went on to
develop Pathways as a demonstration project in the most
disadvantaged area of Brisbane, in partnership with Mission
Australia, Education Queensland, seven local primary schools
and colleagues at Griffith University (especially Dr Kate
Freiberg). Mission Australia is so keen on the model they are
in the process of replicating it in three other states.
“In its first phase, from 2002 to 2005, Pathways
combined child- and family-focused programs, with an
emphasis on engaging with the major ethnic groups in
the area and understanding how to work effectively with
schools,” Homel explains. “Having achieved many of
our early goals, we have been focusing more recently on
strengthening the connections between families, schools
and social service agencies through a program called
Circles of Care.”
VITAL CONNECTIONS
Pathways operates on the basis that such connections are
vital for successful child development. Child and family
wellbeing is promoted by integrating family-support
and school-based programs that engage individuals in
education and community life. Furthermore, economic
analysis shows that Pathways is cost-effective in comparison
with Education Department remedial programs.
Program participation has demonstrated a range of
positive outcomes, including reduced levels of difficult
child behaviour, increased preschool language skills, higher
ratings of school readiness, improved Grade One school
performance, greater confidence in parenting skills, greater
involvement in children‟s learning among participating
families, and better links to support services. “By
strengthening children‟s adjustment to school, we also aim
to reduce dysfunctional behaviour and criminal activity in
the longer term,” adds Homel.
GOVERNMENT RECOGNITION
Having shared first prize at the 2004 Australian Crime and
Violence Prevention Awards, Pathways became the basis of
a new multimillion dollar federal government program (see
case study), which is strongly influenced by the Pathways
approach.
In December 2006, a report on the first five years of
the project emphasised the importance of the many types
of partnerships that underpin the success of the work.



                                                                      51
An excerpt from page 103 says, “Partnerships operated
at the community level through working relationships
between university and Mission Australia staff and families,
ethnic communities, schools and other agencies… The
partnerships with the federal and state governments and
with the philanthropic foundations created… the overall
positive climate in which the project could flourish.”
PUTTING PREVENTION ON THE MAP
The impact of the work nationally and internationally is
perhaps best summarised by Professor David Farrington
from Cambridge University‟s Institute of Criminology,
internationally renowned in his own right as a prevention
scientist. In a letter to Griffith University dated 22 March
2007, in support of an award nomination, he wrote, “[Homel‟s]
Pathways to Prevention report and the intervention project
that was inspired by it have really put early developmental
prevention on the map in Australia, the UK and other
countries. Professor Homel‟s high-quality research and
comprehensive persuasive reviews of the literature have
convinced politicians that prevention is better than cure.
“He has summarised knowledge about childhood risk
and protective factors for offending, and a wide range of
associated social problems,” the letter continues, “and has
shown that there are evidence-based programs (such as
home visiting, parent training and child skills training) that
can tackle these risk factors and reduce these problems.”

Related note:
COMMUNITIES FOR CHILDREN
Communities for Children is a A$142 million program
established by the Federal Government for the years
2004 to 2009. It aims to achieve better outcomes for
children aged 0-5, and their families, living in more
than 40 socially disadvantaged communities across
Australia. The program is based on the principles
of early intervention and prevention, and has an
emphasis on improving the contexts within which
children live – their family and community, and the
broader social, economic and cultural environments.
Many of the principles underpinning Communities
for Children were developed in discussions between
Professor Ross Homel AO and senior staff from the
Department of Families, Community Services and
Indigenous Affairs in early 2004, drawing on lessons
from the Pathways to Prevention project.
Ideas that link Pathways and Communities for
Children – apart from the fundamental principle of
early intervention and prevention – include a focus
on measurable child outcomes; emphasis on evidencebased
programs addressing key risk factors that affect
children‟s wellbeing and development; recognition of
the importance of working simultaneously in several
contexts, such as the family or classroom; use of
an approach that builds on family and community
strengths; and provision of critical assistance to families
at key developmental transitions, such as starting school
or moving from primary to high school.




                                                                 52
“OPENING NEW
WINDOWS ON
THE WORLD”
FROM X-RAYS TO EYE EXAMS TO FOSSIL STUDIES,
PROFESSOR KEITH NUGENT‟S WORK ON A REVOLUTIONARY
NEW IMAGING TECHNIQUE IS BRINGING TO LIFE NEVERBEFORE-
SEEN IMAGES THAT ARE ENABLING ALL SORTS OF
DISCOVERIES




P     hase-contrast imaging is one of the most sensitive
imaging techniques currently available. It allows
images with large phase differences to be viewed
with high clarity and detail, and without problematic
„halo‟ effects.
Research undertaken by Professor Keith Nugent and his
team led them to realise this type of imaging could also be
applied to X-rays, with far-reaching benefits for fields as
diverse as pathology, ophthalmology and palaeontology.
THE EFFECTS OF PHASE
Light has three major properties: intensity, colour and
phase. The effects of phase can be seen in the way lenses
bend light, such as heat shimmer on a hot road or the
twinkling of stars. “Stars twinkle because small changes in
the density of the atmosphere slightly bend the light from
the star into, and out of, your eye, causing it to apparently
change in its brightness,” says Nugent. “And if you look
at a larger astronomical object, such as the moon or a
planet, it appears to shimmer, making it impossible to see
fine details.”
ADAPTIVE OPTICS
A technique known as adaptive optics enables scientists to
better see these fine details. “The idea here is to sense the
phase of the light entering a telescope and use a flexible
mirror to automatically correct the phase and remove, or
at least reduce, the effect of the turbulent atmosphere,”
Nugent explains. “The same idea has also been adopted by
the ophthalmic community to remove the distorting effects
of a poor quality lens in a diseased eye, so as to permit a
clearer view of the back of the eye, the retina.”
SENSING PHASE IN X-RAYS
In the mid-1990s, Nugent discovered it was not only
possible to sense the effects of phase in light, but also
in X-rays. His team was exploring new ideas in how
to extract phase information from light, with a view to
making a contribution to the development of astronomical
optics. At the same time, new sources of x-rays – thirdgeneration
synchrotrons – were starting to operate.
“To our surprise it was observed that, using these
sources, it was easy to see the very small bending of X-rays
caused by the smooth windows in these sources,” says
Nugent. “It was then realised this was due to refractive



                                                                    53
errors produced by the optics in the beam – like the
refraction of light by the atmosphere – and so it was
possible to sense the effects of phase in X-ray imaging.”
MEASURING THE PHASE
This new approach produced images that were 1,000 times
more sensitive than previously possible. What‟s more, the
method could be used to measure the phase, not just see it.
“We used Australian access to the Photon Factory in Japan
to acquire the first quantitative X-ray phase images,” says
Nugent, “resulting in what is now seen as a seminal paper
in the development of X-ray phase contrast methods.”
Consequently, a new company was formed, IATIA Vision
Sciences, to market the method for optical microscopy,
defence, medical cell assaying and ophthalmology. It has
since been floated on the Australian Stock Exchange.
PROMISING FOR PATHOLOGY
Building on Nugent‟s work, as well as others around the
world, phase contrast X-ray imaging is being used in a
range of fields, and has the potential to benefit even more.
“The one that‟s perhaps the most promising at the
moment is pathology laboratories, where they look at test
samples of cells to see if they‟re healthy or not,” says Nugent.
“The conventional process of testing these cells – by using
a stain on them, for example – effectively kills them. With
phase-contrast microscopy you can rapidly look at these
cells, see them very clearly and not have to kill them.”
It is for this type of work that IATIA has landed
a contract with US multinational General Electric.
IATIA is also in the late stages of negotiation with an
ophthalmology company in Germany for incorporation of
the method into new-generation ophthalmoscopes.
SPOTTING INSECTS IN ROCK
Phase-contrast X-ray imaging is also being used in
palaeontology and the study of insect physiology. “If you‟ve
seen Jurassic Park, you‟ll know there are often insects trapped
inside amber,” says Nugent. “But most of the amber you see
in nature is not transparent like it is in a jewellery shop, so the
only way to see if there‟s an insect inside is to cut it open.”
However, scientists have discovered with phasecontrast
X-ray imaging they can produce spectacular
three-dimensional images of insects trapped in amber
– with the insect still buried in the rock. “And they can
do that because of the vastly increased sensitivity of this
technique,” says Nugent.
FURTHER DEVELOPMENTS
With ongoing ARC funding, Nugent‟s ideas have been
further developed and the methods refined to a point
where the algorithms could be applied to a wide range
of waves, including visible light, electrons and neutrons.
Neutron and electron phase-contrast imaging have now
been widely adopted by facilities around the world. “We
also took out a patent on the algorithms we used and have
developed them as a basis for new forms of optical and
electron microscopy,” says Nugent.
The ideas also directly led to the formation of the ARC
Centre of Excellence for Coherent X-ray Science, a new
multidisciplinary project that aims to develop the use of
phase-sensitive X-ray techniques for biological imaging
and structural biology.
Furthermore, the acknowledged central role Australia



                                                                      54
has played in the development of phase-contrast X-ray
imaging has led to this area becoming a priority for the
Australian Synchrotron research facility in Melbourne.
Adds Nugent, “Our expertise will hopefully allow projects,
such as the analysis of the amber recently discovered
in northern Australia, to be completely analysed using
Australian science, ideas and facilities.”

“UNEARTHING
A WEALTH OF
INFORMATION”
DEVELOPED BY PROFESSOR SUZANNE O‟REILLY AND HER
TEAM, A NEW WAY OF ANALYSING THE EVOLUTION OF
THE EARTH‟S CRUST HAS REVOLUTIONISED THE MINING
INDUSTRY AND REWRITTEN OUR PLANET‟S HISTORY




F      inding out how the Earth‟s crust has evolved not only
provides a basic understanding of our planet but is
fundamental information for mineral exploration. It
identifi es geological events where ore deposits may have
been formed, so an area can immediately be classifi ed as
„fertile‟ or poor.
Over the past nine years, the ARC National Key
Centre for the Geochemical Evolution and Metallogeny
of Continents (GEMOC) has developed a tool to quickly
and cost-effectively gather this information. Known as
TerraneChron®, it is now being used by major exploration
companies around the world.
NATURE‟S TIME CAPSULE
“TerraneChron® works by using sand samples from rivers
and water courses,” explains Professor Suzanne O‟Reilly,
director of GEMOC. “Grains of zircon are extracted from
the sand, then we integrate several types of laser-sampled
microanalysis to measure the age, origin and composition
of the grains.”
Zircon is a geological time capsule. Every grain carries
information about when it was formed and the composition
and origins of its parent rock. Zircon is also one of the great
mineral survivors and is able to persist through many cycles
of erosion and melting of the Earth‟s crust. It becomes
concentrated in the sediments at the base of rivers and
streams and of intermittent surface drainages by the forces
of nature. These features allow zircon to be used to map the
history of geologic terranes (rock formations) even where
there is limited surface exposure of the actual bedrock.
SPEEDY RESULTS
This fast and cost-effective remote-sampling technique
has been applied to tectonic mapping on a range of scales
(10-10,000 km2) and in terrains ranging from mountains
to alluvial plains.
“We undertook a proof of concept study to determine
the age of geological domains in the Mt Isa region,”
says O‟Reilly. “In collaboration with BHP Billiton, we
were able to replicate in six months the existing age



                                                                  55
information that had taken two decades and several
million dollars to build up. In addition, our results
doubled the knowledge base because of the value-added
component of being able to determine not just the age,
but the origins of the parent rock of the zircon mineral
grains we analysed.”
UNCANNY ACCURACY
By giving a rapid overview of the geology of an area at
a relatively low cost, TerraneChron® helps the industry
to make informed decisions about which areas should be
targeted for more detailed investigation and, conversely,
which areas should no longer be considered or kept in the
portfolio.
“Our industry partners have carried out TerraneChron®
studies in areas that were already reasonably well
understood and concluded that the TerraneChron® data
let them map the tectonic history of complex regions with
„uncanny accuracy‟ at a fraction of the time and cost used
by previous conventional methods,” says O‟Reilly.
TerraneChron® is being used by global mining giants
BHP Billiton, Anglo American, Codelco and Newmont,
and a number of junior companies, and has become a
significant component in forming exploration strategy. In
addition, state and international geological surveys have
adopted TerraneChron® as a tool in regional mapping and
resource assessment.
SPIN-OFF SOFTWARE
The impact of TerraneChron® and its development
process has been multifaceted. A direct spin-off was
GEMOC‟s development of GLITTER, an innovative data
reduction software program for laser-ablation ICPMS
analysis (a method used for trace-element and isotopic
analysis of minerals). GLITTER delivers online, real-time
results and greatly improves the efficiency and reliability of
the analytical process.
The software has been commercialised through
Macquarie University‟s commercial arm AccessMQ,
marketed by leading laser manufacturer Merchantek/New
Wave and supported by GEMOC staff. It has become the
industry standard, with systems operating in more than 110
laboratories worldwide, contributing to the development
of uniform analytical protocols.
Within the past four years, geochemical laboratories
globally have also started to implement the TerraneChron®
approach. The University of Oslo, Nanjing University
and the Tokyo Institute of Technology are among those
applying it to basic research in the geosciences. “We have
provided advice and hands-on training in several cases,”
says O‟Reilly, “and some of our technical staff were
headhunted as a result of their great work.”
REWRITING HISTORY
Possibly the most significant outcome of TerraneChron®
is that it has shown at least twice as much crust was
formed in the early history of the Earth (before 2.5 billion
years) as previously estimated. This means that current
hypotheses about how the Earth differentiated after its
early accretion from the solar nebula, and when and how
the Earth‟s crust was formed, have to be reconsidered.
These discoveries are shaping a better understanding of the
evolution of our Earth and influencing the current global



                                                                 56
scientific dialogue on this topic.
“That such ancient crust still underlies much of the
Earth‟s surface has required a revision of traditional
ideas about how the continents formed and how the
Earth‟s crust, the ultimate source of the commodities that
underpin our society, has evolved – that‟s been the most
exciting outcome of our work for me,” says O‟Reilly.

“DIGGING DEEP
OFFSHORE”
AT THE CENTRE FOR OFFSHORE FOUNDATION SYSTEMS, PROFESSOR MARK
RANDOLPH AND PROFESSOR MARK CASSIDY ARE LITERALLY LAYING THE
FOUNDATIONS FOR THE HYDROCARBON INDUSTRY‟S ONGOING EXPANSION




W          hile the world contends with the challenges
of global warming, the demand for energy
continues to grow. Hydrocarbon resources,
including natural gas and oil, are becoming increasingly
signifi cant sources of energy and chemical fuel in the
21st century. Much of the world‟s oceans remain as yet
unexplored, so it is important to develop offshore systems
in order to discover new resources. However, developing
and utilising hydrocarbon as an energy source demands
complex engineering, design and construction.
The Centre for Offshore Foundation Systems (COFS),
located at The University of Western Australia, is dedicated
to addressing the challenges associated with offshore
geotechnical research. The Centre‟s founder, Professor Mark
Randolph, who also acted as its director from 1997-2005,
and his successor Professor Mark Cassidy, have overseen the
emergence of COFS as an international leader in modelling
facilities that focus on offshore geomechanics.
The COFS team, which also provides consultancy
services, represents one of the world‟s largest
concentrations of expertise in offshore geotechnics,
currently boasting 14 research academics.
FROM COMPLEXITY TO SIMPLICITY
“Over the past 12 years, COFS has developed unparalleled
physical testing facilities used to underpin the structural
foundations of nearly all of Australia‟s offshore oil and gas
facilities,” explains Cassidy. “It has provided analysis models
used by civil engineers in their daily designs and, by
training a new generation of PhD graduates, has enhanced
the sophistication of Australia‟s offshore geotechnical
community.”
According to Randolph, the Centre‟s overriding research
goal is to use physical tests or numerical analysis to turn
the complex modelling of offshore foundation systems into
simple calculation models for use in design. Cassidy says that
physical testing can assist in the development of practical
numerical models that can be used in the engineering,
design and assessment of offshore oil and gas structures –
such as mobile jack-up platforms and on-bottom pipelines.
BREAKING NEW GROUND


                                                                  57
The Centre‟s research is concentrated into three main
streams: the characteristics of seabed soils; foundation
systems; and fluid-structure-soil interaction. Its work across
these streams has combined to make a number of key
breakthroughs in areas such as construction methods.
“With regard to seabed soils, we need to understand, in
a quantitative sense, how the high compressibility of the
carbonate material that predominates Australian waters
leads to poor foundation performance,” explains Randolph.
“This informs decisions reflecting the need for either new
construction methods (such as grouted piles) or alternative
calculation methods (such as for shallow foundations).”
Indeed, the Centre has made substantial progress in
improving calculation models. “Improvement in methods
to measure the strength of very soft seabed sediments
has been achieved through cylindrical and spherical
penetrometers, which are now being applied in other
areas,” Randolph continues. “For example, we have been
able to model pipeline interaction with the seabed, the
penetration of 20-metre diameter „spudcan‟ footings of
mobile drilling rigs, and are now addressing submarine
slides.”
AFTER KATRINA
These developments have had a significant impact on a
national and international scale. For example, the Centre‟s
research found important application in the wake of
Hurricane Katrina, which hit the southern coast of the
USA in August 2005. Katrina destroyed 46 fixed platforms
and six mobile „jack-up‟ structures, leading to an insured
cost of nearly US$6.4 billion.
COFS has undertaken studies to investigate how
offshore structures can be designed to survive such
catastrophic weather events. “Hurricane Katrina added
impetus for the oil and gas industry to continue improving
its understanding of the response of offshore platforms
under extreme storm conditions and to improve their
robustness,” Cassidy explains. “We are calibrating analysis
methods, developed through university research, against
offshore case records provided by industry. We will use the
outcomes of this project, called the InSafe Joint Industry
Project, to develop new guidelines for the installation of
jack-up platforms.”
In addition, COFS has pioneered the use of so-called
„full-flow penetrometers‟ for measuring the strength of soft
sediments in deep water. “The devices themselves, which
are advanced into the seabed, and the analytical solutions
relating to the calculation of the strength of the seabed
soils, are now used as far afield as the North Sea, the coast
of West Africa and the Gulf of Mexico,” says Randolph.
For example, the cyclindrical „T-bar‟ is now regarded as the
de facto tool for assessing pipeline response in deep-water
seabed sediments.
DEEPER WATER
COFS is also integral to the CSIRO Flagship
Collaboration Cluster on Subsea Pipelines, headed by
Cassidy, which combines the research capabilities of
six universities and the CSIRO‟s Wealth from Oceans
Flagship. This substantial endeavour will address the
technical challenges inherent in designing new pipelines
for transporting offshore hydrocarbon resources from deep



                                                                 58
water.
“The challenge for the future is the gradual move into
deeper water, with new fields now being developed off
the coast of Australia in water depths of 1-2 kilometres,”
says Randolph. This move, he explains, will require new
technology. “For example, we will need novel anchoring
systems such as dynamically installed torpedo anchors to
stabilise floating systems; pipelines that must be designed
to withstand high temperature variations without buckling
or „walking‟ across the seabed; and quantitative methods to
assess the risk and consequences of submarine slides that
originate at the outer shelf.”
COFS has been pivotal in the development of frontier
technologies for building and transforming industries and
has, in turn, assisted in the effective utilisation of Australia‟s
extensive hydrocarbon resource.

“PUTTING
GEOSTRUCTURES
ON SOLID GROUND”
CONSTRUCTION COMPANIES ARE BUILDING CHEAPER
AND SAFER ROADS, RAILWAYS AND TUNNELS, THANKS
TO NEW STABILITY ANALYSIS TECHNIQUES DEVELOPED
BY PROFESSOR SCOTT SLOAN AND HIS TEAM AT THE
UNIVERSITY OF NEWCASTLE




A        ustralia spends billions of dollars annually on the
design and construction of new geostructures, such
as roads, structural foundations, tunnels, railways
and dams. In many of these cases, the cost and safety of the
resulting design depends on geotechnical engineers being
able to predict the ultimate load capacity of the supporting
ground – known as the limit load – as accurately as possible.
However, these engineers frequently encounter
problems that make it difficult to predict the limit load
with any confidence, especially if the geostructure is
subjected to repeated loading. This is where the work
of Professor Scott Sloan and his team at the Centre for
Geotechnical and Materials Modelling comes in.
NEW TECHNIQUES
Sloan‟s team has developed new computational techniques
that address the issues commonly faced by engineers, such
as inhomogeneous ground profiles, anisotropic strength
characteristics, soil-structure interaction and threedimensional
geometries. They are able to model realistic
ground profiles, complicated loading conditions and complex
soil-structure interaction, resulting in a more accurate stability
analysis and therefore huge financial benefits.
“With a forecast government and private sector
investment of around A$200 billion in Australia‟s
national infrastructure over the next five years, there is
an unprecedented focus on the need to design and build
geostructures cheaply and safely,” says Sloan. “Because of the
magnitude of the investment involved, even small percentage



                                                                     59
improvements can lead to very large savings overall.”
INDUSTRY APPLICATIONS
These cutting-edge methods are based on finite elements,
limit analysis theory and shakedown theory, adaptive
remeshing and bespoke large-scale optimisation algorithms
that are at the frontier of computational technology. The
methods have been applied to a large number of practical
stability problems in geotechnical engineering and led to
the design of cheaper and safer geostructures.
“Solutions from the software have been used to predict
the tunnel support pressures needed in recent extensions
of the London Underground,” says Sloan. “The software
has also been used to produce new charts and equations
for the design of ground anchors and foundations, which
are used throughout the geotechnical industry. This work
has been recognised with numerous international medals
and prizes from bodies such as the Institution of Civil
Engineers London and the American Society of Civil
Engineers.”
MARKETING THE METHOD
The stability analysis techniques developed by Sloan and
his colleagues have attracted widespread interest from
industry. As a result of this interest, Newcastle Innovation,
the commercial arm of The University of Newcastle, has
formed a division called Geosential Software to develop
and market the methods commercially worldwide (see case
study, below).
“The software runs under the Windows operating
system, so it can be used on desktop machines,” says Sloan.
“It doesn‟t require any special hardware or software and
it is very fast to run.” The initial release will focus on the
static load capacity of geostructures in two dimensions.
This will be followed by software that handles cyclic
loading and three-dimensional geometries. The software
is currently undergoing beta testing and will be released
internationally by the end of 2008.
TECHNICAL TRAINING
This work has also helped train Australian research
engineers in the formulation and development of advanced
computational methods. Three former students – Dr Andrew
Abbo, Dr Richard Merifield and Associate Professor Andrei
Lyamin, who are employed by The University of Newcastle
– have completed PhDs related to the research project and
now collaborate with Sloan. Another student, Daniel Wilson,
is currently undertaking a PhD in this area. Several overseas
PhD students have also worked on the project at MIT and
Purdue under the supervision of Professors Andrew Whittle
and Rodrigo Salgado, respectively.
Sloan anticipates their work will be a boon for
geotechnical engineers, as current methods are both
complex and time consuming. “Designing fast, robust
and accurate stability analysis methods for tackling threedimensional
problems is a very difficult task,” he says, “but
we have already achieved some remarkable results.”

Related note:
GEOSENTIAL SOFTWARE
Geosential Software was set up in July 2006 to
commercialise the new limit analysis techniques
developed by Professor Scott Sloan and his colleagues



                                                                        60
at the Centre for Geotechnical and Materials
Modelling (CGMM). These techniques are used to
estimate the maximum load-carrying capacity of a
wide variety of geostructures, such as dams, road
and rail tunnels, cuttings, road embankments, port
facilities and foundations.
The purpose of the company is to develop and
market the Computer Aided Engineering software
that implements the new techniques. So far, a
„research‟ version of the software has been used
for advanced modelling of a variety of practical
geotechnical problems. This has been upgraded to
have an „industrial strength‟ user interface and is
undergoing beta testing by researchers and students
at CGMM. This undertaking has involved the
development and integration of several hundred
thousand lines of computer code that is designed to
run under the Windows operating system.
Geosential Software is still at the incubator stage and
has yet to be spun off. Over a five-year timeframe, the
company aims to sell several thousand licences of the
software, with a projected revenue from software sales of
several million dollars. Additional revenue is anticipated
through consulting activity with the software.

Outcomes: within the past 20 years
“SOLAR ENERGY: AN
INCREASINGLY VIABLE
PROPOSITION”
RESEARCH IN PHOTOVOLTAICS IS MAKING SOLAR POWER
MORE EFFECTIVE AND MORE AFFORDABLE, PROVIDING A
GENUINE ALTERNATIVE TO TRADITIONAL ENERGY SOURCES




P     hotovoltaics (PV) is the science of converting
sunlight directly into electrical energy via solar cells.
With climate change looming large in the media
and, increasingly, in the public and political consciousness,
it is perhaps little wonder that the PV industry is booming,
doubling in size every 20 months. Renewable energy,
inevitably, must be seen as the energy source of the future.
COMMERCIAL VIABILITY
As impressive as the industry‟s growth may be, a fundamental
challenge still remains: commercial viability. If PV technology
is to become a genuine alternative to more traditional energy
sources, it needs to become equally affordable.
Most solar cells are fabricated from crystalline silicon. However,
just as the utilisation of PV is increasing, a critical shortage of
hyperpure silicon is significantly constraining industry growth.
Moreover, hyperpure silicon is expensive. Silicon used to make
solar cells must be purified in very cost- and energy-intensive
facilities. Whereas the PV industry used to consume 10 per cent of
the world‟s hyperpure silicon, this figure is now 50 per cent. More
than 90 per cent of PV modules use crystalline silicon solar cells.


                                                                      61
Solutions to these problems of supply and expense include
the use of thin solar cells (to reduce silicon consumption);
concentrators (in which mirrors or lenses replace most of
the silicon solar cells); and non-silicon semiconductors.
Two strands of commercially-focused PV research
have therefore been pursued over the past 15 years at
The Australian National University (ANU) by Professor
Andrew Blakers and his team:
* thin crystalline silicon solar cells (thin c-Si cells)
* solar linear concentrator systems and components
(concentrators).
These two strands, which in most technical respects are
different, are now converging in the commercial sphere.
The thin c-Si research has led to the development of
SLIVER solar cells. The concentrator research, meanwhile,
has seen the development of combined heat and power
solar concentrator systems, providing both heat and
electricity from the roofs of commercial buildings and
domestic dwellings.
Over the past 15 years, the ARC, semi-commercial government
grants and private companies have contributed equally to the
research team‟s funding. For both thin c-Si cells and concentrators,
early-stage ARC funding allowed proof of concept to be
completed and led directly to large-scale semi-commercial and
commercial funding. Ongoing support from the ARC has
allowed additional related research themes to be established.
SOLAR IN A SLIVER
Crystalline silicon is an excellent PV material because of its
non-toxicity, and because silicon solar cells have high and
stable efficiencies. Thin crystalline silicon solar cells share the
advantages of conventional silicon solar cells while reducing
silicon consumption by an order of magnitude or more.
The ANU research team‟s initial idea was to grow
a moderate-quality silicon layer on a low-cost multicrystalline
silicon substrate, and fabricate the solar cell in
the grown layer. In 1996, they invented the „Epilift‟ method
of detaching the grown layer from the substrate.
This was followed in 2000 by the development of
SLIVER solar cells, which eliminated the need for
silicon growth. SLIVER solar cells have many attractive
attributes, including a tenfold reduction in hyperpure
silicon consumption, up to a tenfold reduction in the cost
of converting the silicon into a solar cell, 20 per cent stable
cell efficiency, perfect bifaciality (accepting light striking
either surface), low weight, shadow tolerance, physical
flexibility and tolerance of concentrated sunlight.
KEY INDUSTRY INVESTMENT
Origin Energy has expended more than A$50 million on the
construction of a SLIVER pilot plant. Sixty people are currently
employed to undertake pilot production, module accreditation,
process refinement and the design of a SLIVER factory.
They will soon decide on full-scale commercialisation of the
technology, which could entail an investment of A$200 million
into a factory with an annual turnover above A$500 million.
NICHE APPLICATIONS
In addition to their use in mass power modules, SLIVER
cells have attractive attributes for many high-value niche PV
products. These include:
* aerospace (satellites, blimps, UAV, taking advantage of
high efficiency, bifaciality and low weight)



                                                                       62
* micro modules (battery charging in consumer and
defence/security electronic products, taking advantage
of high efficiency, large voltages from small modules and
tolerance of low illumination)
* portable power (for the outdoor recreation and defence
industries, taking advantage of high efficiencies, low
weight and flexibility)
* concentrator systems (see page 109).
The ANU team is systematically exploring each of these
product categories. The concentrator category is the most
commercially advanced, but all have large commercial
potential. Clearly, an important advantage is the team‟s
familiarity with, and access to, SLIVER cells.
HARVESTING ELECTRICITY AND HEAT
With ARC assistance, the ANU research team has
developed sun-tracking reflective trough concentrator
systems and components. The troughs reflect and focus
light onto a receiver lined with solar cells, which „looks
down‟ at the mirrors. About 20 per cent of the sunlight
is converted into electricity with the balance being
converted to heat, which is removed by water flowing in a
pipe behind the cells and stored in an insulated tank until
required. In this way both solar electricity and solar heat
can be harvested, with a combined efficiency above 60 per
cent. Systems designed for the roofs of commercial and
domestic buildings have been developed.
The solar concentrator receivers to be used in these
systems use cells, including SLIVER cells developed
within the ARC Centre of Excellence for Solar Energy
Systems. SLIVER cells are the most important members
of a category of solar cells called „elongates‟. Elongate cells
have many desirable attributes for concentrators, including
high efficiency and shadow tolerance. In this way, the cell
and system strands of the work of the ANU team are being
brought together.
A BRIGHT FUTURE
As costs come down, PV systems are being installed in
cities around the world. PV systems comprise PV modules,
support structures, electrical interconnection, and inverters
that convert Direct Current (DC) electricity to Alternating
Current (AC) electricity.
Low cost PV electricity has the potential to provide
most of the world‟s energy needs in a carbon-constrained
world. Apart from producing clean electricity, PV systems
have other attractive attributes such as distributed
generation and peak load-levelling capabilities.
A DEMOCRATISING ENERGY SOURCE
PV has many social advantages over competing energy
technologies. Not least among these is the fact that there
are very few avenues for diversion of the technology to
military or terrorist uses. The PV industry can provide
a decentralised, democratising energy source, allowing
individuals and groups to control their own energy
production and to make the national energy supply less
vulnerable to war or terrorist activity.
SLIVER and other Australian PV technology could
be the subject of a national effort, facilitated by the
Commonwealth Government, aimed at capturing a large
slice of the worldwide PV industry for Australia. The
international flow-on benefits in a world challenged



                                                                  63
by climate change and finite energy resources are also
substantial, and it is only appropriate that our sunburnt
country should play its part in pushing this valuable
technology to fulfil its potential.

“ADVANCED
CONTROL:
SURMOUNTING
COMPLEXITY”
ADVANCED PROCESS CONTROL SYSTEMS USED TO REQUIRE
HIGHLY QUALIFIED EXPERTS TO MAKE THEM OPERATIONAL.
NOW, THANKS TO UNIVERSITY OF NEWCASTLE RESEARCH,
YOU JUST NEED THE SOFTWARE




A        ll industrial processes depend upon control to keep
them operating at desired levels of effi ciency. The
benefi ts of appropriate control include reduced
energy consumption, reduction in waste material by-products,
better product quality and, ultimately, the difference between
profi tability and non-profi tability. In today‟s competitive
environment, there is ever-increasing pressure to have
better process control in order to maintain market share.
To meet these demands, there has been worldwide
interest in developing advanced control methods to
deal with particular processes and operational issues.
Unfortunately, many of these methods are complex and
require significant background knowledge to understand
and apply them. Professor Graham Goodwin and his team
at the ARC Special Research Centre for Industrial Control
Science (CICS) at The University of Newcastle have played
a world-leading role in finding solutions to address the
challenge of complexity in advanced control.
CONTROL IS KEY
“For a specific example of advanced control, one need only
think about the incredible control systems that would recently
have been required to successfully land the Phoenix spacecraft
on Mars, more than 100 million kilometres from Earth,”
Goodwin explains. “More down-to-earth examples can be
found in cars, aircraft and chemical plants.”
In many processes, for example, temperatures and
pressures must be kept below certain limits to avoid
catastrophic equipment failure. Known as „hard constraints‟,
these limits cannot be violated, even for a short period
of time. Unfortunately, it is also often true that maximal
production occurs near hard constraint boundaries. Hence,
control needs to perform a delicate balancing act between
maximising production (by operating near constraint
boundaries) while avoiding catastrophic failures (when
variables inadvertently cross hard constraint boundaries).
With issues such as these in mind, Goodwin‟s team
decided to develop a software tool allowing easy access to
advanced methods – i.e. methods that, inter alia, deal with
the delicate balance between maximising production and
avoiding failure. The tool was named UNAC (University


                                                                 64
of Newcastle Advanced Controller).
KEEP IT SIMPLE
The core idea was to make the advanced control methods
easy to apply by providing a simple-to-understand graphical
user interface (GUI) that could also fit within pre-existing
control system infrastructures. “A GUI is a picture-orientated
method for interacting with a computer program,” Goodwin
explains. “It includes concepts that most people would be
familiar with through their use of programs such as Microsoft
Office, including data entry, selection of options and the
display of data. The GUI in UNAC has special, in-built
features that aid its use in advanced process control.”
Several years of research followed to develop UNAC,
incorporating a number of innovations. “Principally, detailed
models were incorporated that allowed us to predict the
response of a system when confronted by specific inputs, and
hence achieve the desired operational goals while avoiding
constraint violations,” Goodwin says. The associated software
comprised more than one million lines of code.
UNAC IN ACTION
One company to benefit from UNAC since it became
commercially available in 1997 is sugar giant CSR, which
implemented the system in its northern Queensland sugar
mills. “The company has made extensive use of the UNAC
tool to develop simulations of their sugar milling processes,”
Goodwin explains. “These simulations have a variety of
uses, including the development and testing of new control
algorithms and also in the training of operators. With a
single keyboard stroke a user can connect the control system
to the simulation or process, and vice versa. This approach
has saved many days during control system commissioning,
with an accumulated benefit worth millions of dollars.”
CSR and the CICS team recently turned their attention to
the control of concentration in multi-effect evaporators, used
in the evaporation of cane-sugar juice in sugar production.
The control of sugar content (brix) in the syrup exiting the
final evaporator in a set – three or four evaporation stages
may be used – is of critical importance. In each evaporation
stage, heat given off by condensing steam is used to evaporate
water from the next stage. The pressure and temperature
are progressively reduced from the previous stage, with the
liquid becoming increasingly concentrated. As such, optimal
temperature, pressure and sugar concentration are required at
each stage of evaporation.
“At times, the concentration is observed to undergo
undesirable behaviour,” explains Goodwin. “The question of
interest is to determine the cause of this behaviour and rectify
it. Such a study is easily carried out with UNAC, as different
hypotheses can readily be tested via simulation. Then, once
the source of the problem has been identified, UNAC can
guide the necessary changes to the control system.”
The software tool has been warmly welcomed by
industry, as it has offered easy access to advanced control
methods previously restricted to a few highly qualified
experts. “In comparison to other current control systems
methods, UNAC‟s easy-to-understand GUIs hide the
underlying complexity from users, who essentially need
to focus on the answer rather than how the answer was
obtained,” Goodwin suggests. This is an idea common to all
modern high technology products. “For example, the user of



                                                                   65
a mobile phone typically wants to make a call and certainly
does not want to be confronted with the overwhelming
complexity of modern cellular communication systems.”
A FRUITFUL PARTNERSHIP
UNAC has also been used by various companies across
many industries, including General Motors in the United
States (for engine test cell control), BHP Billiton (for steel
production), and KCMG (for grinding mill control). In
2003, the spin-off company that commercialised UNAC was
purchased by Matrikon – a leading Canada-based control
system vendor. Initially renamed ProcessACT before the
more descriptive „Control Performance Optimizer‟ was
settled upon, UNAC is now one of Matrikon‟s key products.
It won Process Control magazine‟s prestigious Editor‟s Choice
award in the „Process and Advanced Control‟ category in 2004.
The CICS research team (now operating as the ARC
Centre of Excellence for Complex Dynamic Systems and
Control [CDSC]), has formalised an ongoing partnership
with Matrikon to further develop the core technology.
“The potential future practical benefits are manifold,”
says Goodwin. “They include the direct benefit of the sales
revenue arising from the Control Performance Optimizer
software, and indirect benefits arising from improved
productivity and quality enhancement of manufactured
products.” Independent studies have estimated the latter
as being worth more than A$1 billion annually to the
Australian economy.

“PRESERVING
THE WORLD‟S
CORAL REEFS”
LED BY PROFESSOR TERENCE HUGHES, RESEARCHERS
AT THE ARC CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE FOR CORAL REEF
STUDIES ARE PROTECTING JOBS, THE ECONOMY AND THE
ENVIRONMENT WITH THEIR KEY FINDINGS ABOUT CORAL
REEF MANAGEMENT




C       oral reefs are not only important for the
environmental role they play, but for their social
and economic value. Globally, the welfare of more
than 200 million people is intricately linked to the goods
and services provided by coral reefs. In Australia, tourism
and fi sheries on the Great Barrier Reef alone contribute
A$6 billion annually to the nation‟s economy and provide
employment for 60,000 people.
The ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies
(CoECRS), led by director Professor Terence Hughes, is
providing the scientific knowledge necessary to preserve
the world‟s coral reefs. As a result, Australia has become an
international leader is this field and is playing a key role in
protecting reefs on a global scale.
THE PROBLEM OF „PHASE-SHIFTS‟
Reefs have long been under threat by fishing and
pollution, but one of the biggest threats now is global



                                                                  66
warming. When water temperatures rise, coral bleaching
occurs (a stress reaction that causes the coral to expel the
algae that lives within its tissues) and the coral is overtaken
by seaweed. “Once corals are replaced by weed – a process
known as a „phase-shift‟ – it is extraordinarily difficult, if
not impossible, to bring them back again,” says Hughes.
During a major heating event in the late 1990s, onesixth
of the world‟s corals were affected by coral bleaching,
pointing to the potential scale of the impact of climate
change on the natural environment. According to Hughes,
it‟s only a matter of time before the next major bleaching
event occurs. “For reefs to be able to withstand such
events, they need to be resilient,” he says. “A key focus of
our work has been to determine ways of achieving this.”
FISH ARE VITAL
Hughes and his team conducted an experiment in the Great
Barrier Reef and discovered that healthy fish populations are
vital to successfully managing coral reef resilience.
“We followed the recovery of corals that had been
severely damaged by bleaching,” he explains. “The corals
were on a reef where fish populations were very abundant.
We also fenced the fish out of some areas, and compared
coral recovery with and without lots of fish. The result was
dramatic. The coral cover virtually doubled where the fish
had access, while the fenced-off areas became overgrown
with slimy weed and the corals failed to recover.”
The team discovered the larger herbivorous fish –
such as parrot fish and surgeon fish – were particularly
important. “Our experiment showed that one way to
prevent a phase-shift from taking place is to have an intact
population of herbivores ready to pounce on any weeds
that may sprout before the corals can regenerate,” says
Hughes. “This research indicates it is important to avoid
overfishing of these herbivores at all costs.”
BUILDING RESILIENCE
The team‟s findings have prompted reef management
agencies around the world to build the resilience of
reefs through initiatives such as „no-take‟ zoning – the
permanent closure of a designated marine area to all forms
of extractive activity, including fishing – and policies for
reducing water pollution.
It has also had an impact on policy and legislation
worldwide. For example, in the US, Hughes was asked by
Congressional advisors to provide a definition of „coral reef
resilience‟. This has been incorporated into the Coral Reef
Conservation Amendments Act, which was passed by Congress
on 22 October 2007.
REZONING THE GREAT BARRIER REEF
One of the most significant outcomes has been the
rezoning of the Great Barrier Reef. In late 2002, Hughes
convened an international working group of researchers
and reef managers in Townsville, Queensland, to discuss
ways to minimise the impact of climate change on coral
reefs. In particular, participants provided scientific input
into the public debate surrounding proposed legislative
changes to the management of the Great Barrier Reef.
The group produced a major synthesis paper to develop
the concept of ecological resilience, which was published
as a cover article in Science in mid-2003. A press conference
to release these findings was broadcast to more than four



                                                                  67
million viewers around Australia. The recommendations
were further highlighted in a public meeting broadcast
nationally by ABC Radio National.
“The dissemination of our results to managers and the
media contributed to the emergence of a consensus that
at least 30 per cent of the Great Barrier Reef should be
designated as no-take,” says Hughes, who has since also
contributed to the rezoning of Ningaloo reef in Western
Australia.
REEF FISHERIES MANAGEMENT
No-take zones have also been important for reef fisheries
management, another key focus of the CoECRS. Professor
Garry Russ and his team have shown no-take reserves are
critical for replenishing fish stocks, which in turn protects
industry and the economy.
“History has shown if we don‟t manage marine resources,
we inevitably over-exploit them,” says Russ. “But if you
have a network of reserves where you can‟t go fishing, the
fish build up in abundance in those areas, they spawn more
effectively and tend to produce more larvae, and they export
a lot of those new extra larvae out into the fished areas. So
it‟s important for the conservation of the reef, but it‟s also
important for the fisheries on the reef.”
NEW TAGGING TECHNOLOGY
Russ‟s colleague Professor Geoff Jones has developed a
revolutionary new tagging technology for tracking larvae,
which is helping to design more effective networks of
no-take reserves. The tag – a chemical stain made from
stable isotopes of barium – is injected into the female fish,
passing through to the egg and then to the new babies.
“For the first time, this allows marine ecologists to track
larvae from where they were spawned to where they end
up,” says Russ. “If you know how far the larvae go, you can
then work out the best size, placement and spacing of the
reserves, and you can start to design proper networks so that
the reserves are doing the job you want them to do.”
SYSTEMATIC CONSERVATION PLANNING
The CoECRS also conducts research into the relatively new field
of systematic conservation planning, and has produced a number
of outcomes in this area. “Systematic conservation planning is a
process of resolving conflicts between the conservation and use of
natural resources,” says Professor Robert Pressey.
In 1996, Pressey and his team developed a software
tool called C-Plan, which allows practitioners to explore
 different options for achieving conservation objectives.
“The software shows them, on a map, the „irreplaceability‟
of each area being considered,” Pressey explains. “This
is a measure of its relative importance for achieving
objectives, or the number of other areas that could replace
it. Effectively, this shows them where they have room to
manoeuvre and where they don‟t. The system also allows
them to develop alternative conservation and development
scenarios, and to assess the trade-offs between them.”
WORLDWIDE INFLUENCE
C-Plan has been used by hundreds of people around the
world for conservation planning in terrestrial, marine and
freshwater environments. In Australia alone, it has led to
the establishment of around one million hectares of new
reserves in eastern New South Wales.
Pressey is also leading the development of a guide to



                                                                     68
conservation planning, which will be published by the
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
“The motivation for the guide was to cut through the
confusion produced by the many alternative approaches to
conservation planning being developed and promoted,” he
says. “It will be distributed to hundreds of IUCN members
around the world and therefore influence their thinking
about conservation planning, lead to follow-up case studies
and workshops, and generally lift the effectiveness of
planning worldwide.”

Related note:

HELPING VILLAGERS IN THE
PHILIPPINES
Professor Garry Russ‟s research into reef fisheries
management has not only contributed to the establishment
of no-take reserves in Australia, but also in
small fishing villages in the southern Philippines. Since
the early 1970s, he has collaborated with a local scientist,
Dr Angel C. Alcala, to give the villagers some control
over the way their marine resources are managed.
“Fisheries management used to be centralised in the
big cities, so fishing companies would come to these
villages, take all their fish and leave,” says Russ. “Our
work helped to set up no-take reserves and eventually
led to legislation which gave villagers the power to
co-manage their marine resources up to 15 kilometres
from the shore.”
Protecting the local coral reefs has also helped
attract tourism, which is now bringing income into the
villages. In a country where such a huge percentage
of people live below the poverty line, this is of great
economic benefit – an outcome of which Russ is very
proud. “It‟s not often as a biologist that you get a
chance to change the laws of a country for the benefit
of local fishing communities and for the benefit of
people who are disadvantaged,” he says.

“MINING INNOVATION
FLOATS TO THE TOP”
PROFESSOR GRAEME JAMESON AO HAS TAKEN HIS EPONYMOUS
FLOTATION CELL TO THE WORLD, BOOSTING COAL AND
MINERAL YIELD, AND AUSTRALIAN EXPORTS, IN THE PROCESS




W          hen Professor Graeme Jameson AO returned
to Australia in 1978 after a period overseas,
he was looking for a new challenge. He had
established himself in the fi eld of applied fl uid mechanics –
the study of how fl uids move, and the forces that act upon
them. He searched for industry problems to solve, fi nding
an outlet for his specialised skills in the minerals industry.
His research philosophy is straightforward: identify
unresolved problems; carry out leading-edge research to
throw light on these problems, pointing to ways in which


                                                                  69
they may be solved; and, having arrived at a possible
solution, develop a process to the pilot scale level, and seek
industry funding to get it developed commercially.
These were the steps he followed in developing a new
version of an old Australian mining innovation that would
eventually take his name: the „Jameson Cell‟.
FLOATING AN IDEA
„Froth flotation‟ is a process used internationally in the
separation of minerals from ores. Mineral ores are ground
into small particles and put into chemical baths, called
cells. The mineral particles adhere to air bubbles that are
forced up through the cell, forming a rich froth of minerals
on the surface, which can subsequently be scraped off.
The Jameson Cell improved on this by feeding crushed
ore, in a liquid slurry, through the top of a vertical pipe,
drawing air down with it. Mixing and adhesion occur
more quickly and in a smaller space than conventional
cells. Further, a higher percentage of mineral is recovered,
and less mineral is left in the „tailings‟ to potentially leach
into the soil and cause an environmental hazard.
The Cell came at a crucial time. The industry was
looking for new technology to create economic benefits
from fine coal that was otherwise going to waste.
EXPORT SUCCESS
The Jameson Cell was licensed to MIM Technology and
quickly became established in the early 1990s. There are
now almost 90 Cells active in Australian coal operations
with a combined annual production capacity of more than
18 million tonnes. At current coal prices – on average,
A$100 per tonne – the contribution to Australia‟s exports
is in the order of A$1.8 billion a year.
From recent press reports, it appears that the new
contract prices for thermal and metallurgical coal will
double this year. As such, the value will rise to some
A$3.6 billion a year during 2009.
The Cell is now used worldwide in the production of
copper, nickel, lead, zinc and other metals, and also for
fine coal recovery and treatment of waste water for algae
removal. It even features in undergraduate textbooks as a
standard item of equipment.
FLIGHT OF THE CONCORDE
With the success of the Jameson Cell, Jameson has moved
on to tackle other more difficult areas of flotation. He has
developed a new device that he calls the „Concorde Cell‟
for the flotation of previously elusive ultrafine particles
– those less than 10 micrometres in diameter. This work
is also supported by ARC funding, and the technology is
currently undergoing evaluation at the Mount Keith nickel
operation of BHP in Western Australia, and at a platinum
mine at Rustenburg, South Africa.
A BEAUTIFUL DISCOVERY
In late 2006, Jameson made what he calls a “beautiful
discovery” relating to the flotation of particles at the other
end of the size spectrum – above about 150 micrometres
for minerals and 500 micrometres for coal. These particles
cannot be recovered by existing flotation technologies,
so ores have to be crushed and ground to a particle size
below 150 micrometres before they can be processed. The
new discovery may in fact extend the range of flotability
up to 1 millimetre or beyond.



                                                                  70
“If it realises its potential, the new process will be of
enormous significance to the world economy, through
savings in energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions
and water use,” Jameson says. “In Australia, 14 per cent of
energy generated goes into crushing minerals; worldwide
the figure is about 6 per cent. Savings of between 20 and
50 per cent in these areas are not unrealistic.”

“LEARNING
WHERE TO
DIG”
RESEARCHERS FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF TASMANIA HAVE DEVISED NEW
METHODOLOGIES FOR THE DISCOVERY OF VALUABLE ORE DEPOSITS,
PRODUCING
ECONOMIC BENEFITS AT HOME AND ABROAD




T      o the uninitiated, mining would appear to be a
rather curious business. How, to put it somewhat
crudely, do those miners know where to dig? Sure
enough, there is a science to it, and given the value of
the resources industry to the national economy, it‟s little
wonder that the contributions of our leading researchers
are highly valued by government and industry alike.
Professor Ross Large and his team at the ARC Centre
of Excellence in Ore Deposits (CODES) at the University
of Tasmania (UTAS) have a long history of interacting
closely with the Australian and international mining
industries to produce research outcomes directly relevant
to the discovery of new metallic resources. This symbiotic
relationship has played a pivotal role in numerous
breakthroughs, including the discovery of new ore bodies,
improved recovery methods and the development of
advanced analytical techniques used right across the
mining industry.
The international application of this research to the
discovery of new ore bodies has benefits that extend well
beyond the industry itself. Such discoveries can create vast
new employment opportunities, often in impoverished
developing countries with struggling economies. Further,
newly available resources of strategically important
minerals have played a crucial role in fuelling the growth
of world economies, particularly in burgeoning countries
such as China, India and Brazil.
LIFEBLOOD OF THE COMMUNITY
Closer to home, the work of CODES is delivering
similar wide-ranging benefits. Research conducted at the
underground Rosebery Mine on Tasmania‟s north-west
coast provides a prime example.
Before the CODES research project, the Zinifexowned
Rosebery mine had a somewhat chequered past.
Nonetheless, it stood as the lifeblood of the adjacent town
of Rosebery, with the local community and businesses
heavily reliant on the employment and commerce that it
generated, having operated continuously since 1936.



                                                               71
“The Rosebery mine plays an important role in the
local community and Tasmania more broadly,” a Zinifex
spokesperson says. “In 2006-07 a sustainability report
stated that the mine spent more than A$2.354 million
on suppliers, goods and services – the majority of this
being spent in Tasmania. Over this period 186 people
were employed at the mine, together with 57 contractors,
all of whom were drawn from around the north-west of
Tasmania.”
ORE INSPIRING
Research conducted at the mine, aimed at shoring up its
future prospects, was part of a broader program jointly
funded by the ARC and AMIRA International Ltd.
“In technical terms, the project focused on identifying
and understanding the different known ore deposit types,
the environments and textures of the original volcanic
rocks that now host those ore body types, „alteration halos‟
and models of how rock characteristics point to new ore
bodies,” Large explains. An alteration halo is a border of
minerals produced by hydrothermal alteration in the rock
surrounding the ore body, extending sometimes many
kilometres. “In simple terms, we were investigating the
geology and geochemistry of the area with the aim of
providing a suite of ore body indicators and developing
new ways to find more ore.”
Beginning in 1989, the research took place over 15 years,
and the results speak for themselves. The project ultimately
led to the discovery of a major zinc, lead, copper, silver and
gold ore lens (so called because of the „shape‟ of the ore
deposit – thick in the centre and thinner towards the edges)
worth A$358 million at current exchange rates.
BENEFITS AND BEST PRACTICE
The mine‟s success, resulting in good measure from
CODES research, has provided a significant boost to the
State Government‟s campaign to invigorate regional areas
of Tasmania, like Rosebery, and helped turn the tide of
population flow away from rural areas towards the cities.
On a larger scale, the discovery contributed to Gross
Domestic Product (GDP) at both state and national
levels, boosted export earnings and provided additional
resources to support key industries worldwide. Perhaps most
enduringly, however, the CODES research has influenced a
change in the exploration practices of many Australian and
international companies exploring for similar ore deposits.
CODES research and exploration manuals have assumed
 textbook status in their field, selling more than 5,500 copies
– a clear indication of the degree to which the scientific
approach outlined in the manuals has been adopted. Many
more miners, it would seem, now know where to dig.

Related note:

GOLDEN OPPORTUNITIES
CODES
Masters student, Dan Olberg, has been employed as a senior exploration geologist for Newcrest Mining
Limited, Australia‟s largest gold producer and one of the world‟s top 10 gold-mining companies.
Olberg was based at the Gosowong Vein Zone on Halmahera Island, Indonesia – a classic example of a
volcanic-hosted, epithermal quartz deposit. Working closely with the ARC-AMIRA research team, he
completed his thesis, „Ore shoot targeting in the Gosowong Vein Zone‟, in late 2001, under the




                                                                                                 72
guidance of Professor Bruce Gemmell. Olberg‟s work ultimately led to the exciting discovery of a new
mineral deposit.

ACCURATE TO A FAULT
During 2000-02, mineral resources were dwindling at Gosowong, so Olberg‟s research aimed to
identify additional high-grade ore shoots along the Gosowong fault zone. “We implemented a
multifaceted approach, incorporating structure, stratigraphy, vein textures, alteration zoning, fluid
inclusions and metal zoning,” he says. “The ultimate aim was to construct a model for predictive
targeting of high-grade ore shoots along the Gosowong fault line.” In his thesis, Olberg created a
locale-specific „prospectivity matrix‟, based on the sum total of the relative prospectivities of each of
the components analysed in his study. This matrix indicated that the most prospective area of the
Gosowong fault zone was deep and to the south of the deposit.
 RICH REWARDS
 In May 2003, Newcrest Mining Limited announced that drilling had resulted in the discovery of a
significant zone of mineralisation at the Kencana prospect, south of the original Gosowong mine. The
discovery hole at Kencana was targeted on the southern zone of the Gosowong structure that Olberg
had identified as highly prospective. Olberg, understandably, was elated. “I‟m ecstatic that my thesis
actually turned out to be useful in discovering an ore deposit, which was really my whole objective in
writing it,” he says.
His research ultimately led to the discovery of a rich gold and silver deposit at Kencana. Mining of the
deposit began in 2005, and Newcrest reports that the current resource for the gold deposit is 2.44
million tonnes, returning 39.05 grams of gold per tonne. This equates to approximately 3.1 million
ounces of gold. At current gold prices (February 2008), the in-ground value of the discovery is A$2.7
billion. Kencana has since become one of the highestgrade underground gold mines in the world.

“THE WARK:
FLOATING THE
DOLLAR”
ACCORDING TO A RECENT BENEFITS ANALYSIS STUDY, THE AUSTRALIAN
MINERALS INDUSTRY HAS TRANSLATED RESEARCH CONDUCTED
AT THE IAN WARK RESEARCH INSTITUTE INTO OUTCOMES WORTH
HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS




F     or more than a decade, the University of South
Australia‟s Ian Wark Research Institute, affectionately
known as The Wark™, has been fi nding solutions
for minerals industry leaders such as Rio Tinto and BHP
Billiton.
“The Wark is one of only three institutes in the world
we are working with that is positioned for breakthroughs
in science relevant to several industries,” says Dr Megan
Clark, BHP Billiton‟s Vice President Technology.
Little wonder, then, that the Australian Academy of
Science has dubbed The Wark “a national treasure”.
ONE INSTITUTE, MANY ROLES
The Wark is the lead partner for the Australian Mineral
Science Research Institute (AMSRI), supported by
the largest amount of funding ever awarded to a single
Linkage Projects research project by the ARC. AMSRI is
backed by A$26 million from industry, state and federal
governments and four participating universities. It also has
24 international collaborating partners, including the Max
Planck Institute for Metal Research in Germany.
The Wark has also been home to the ARC Special
Research Centre (SRC) for Particle and Materials


                                                                                                       73
Interfaces since 2000. The SRC funds fundamental
research programs that „inform‟ the applied research
programs. In its six-year ARC review, the SRC‟s
achievement in forging valuable international research
relationships was described as „exceptional‟.
Founding Director, Laureate Professor John Ralston,
who was named as South Australia‟s Scientist of the
Year and was the first scientist named South Australian
of the Year in 2007, believes the strength of The Wark‟s
achievements, and its global networks, foster genuine
international collaboration. “It‟s the ability to explore new
realms to create knowledge and then turn those ideas into
effective industrial outcomes that is our distinguishing
feature,” he says.
DEGREES OF SEPARATION
Since 1988, The Wark has participated in an AMIRA
International project known as P260, which has been
conducted with the aim of improving flotation of minerals
in the mineral processing industry. AMIRA International
is an independent association of minerals companies that
 brokers and facilitates collaborative research between
industry and research providers.
Flotation is the most extensively used method
worldwide to separate minerals from mineral ores. More
efficient flotation enables the extraction of more valuable
minerals from the ore, with even small improvements of
one or two per cent potentially equating to millions of
dollars in savings and profits, depending on the size of the
operation and the value of the mineral recovered.
However, the flotation process is generally restricted to the
recovery of a limited range of ore particles, in terms of their
size. P260 aimed to optimise the recovery from both fine
and coarse particles outside of that range, and to enhance
the ability to selectively recover minerals during flotation.
The efficient recovery of minerals from coarse particles, for
example, could significantly cut costs for mining companies
by reducing the necessity for ore grinding – a process that is
both costly and a huge drain on energy resources.
The flotation model that has emerged from P260 is a
mathematical description of the separation process, allowing
an engineer to determine the most effective parameters
for flotation, given the type of mineral particle and its size.
Flotation parameters include slurry flow rate, turbulence
level and bubble size, which can be manipulated to optimise
the selective attachment of particles to rising bubbles as they
collide in the flotation cell. The incorporation of the model
into software can enable mineral companies to predict the
effect of any changes to their flotation processes, and can
also inform the design of flotation plants in the first instance,
reducing the financial risks involved in capital expenditure.
A VALUABLE PROCESS
To evaluate the benefits of this project since its inception
up until 2006, AMIRA International and the University
of South Australia, through The Wark, commissioned
RMDStem Limited, an
independent resource
management and consulting
specialist with an extensive
track record and proven
experience in the minerals industry, to conduct a



                                                                    74
comprehensive benefits analysis study.
The RMDStem study demonstrated that the industry
end-users, who had sponsored the research, were very
effective in transferring the AMIRA P260 research outputs
into useful outcomes. The financial value derived by endusers
was estimated to be A$318 million in direct benefits,
from an outlay of only A$9.95 million. This was primarily
derived through improved recovery, price realisation (by
improving grade and quality of concentrates), reduced
operating costs and improved throughput.
Better still, the sponsor companies identified a further
A$118 million of expected benefits still to flow through,
bringing the total return to A$436 million (all figures adjusted
to net present value).This represents a benefits to cost ratio
of 21.5 to 1 for industry and 18.5 to 1 for The Wark.
ONGOING IMPACT
The P260 project continues through 2006-2010, supported
by ARC funding and industry cash investments to the
value of A$3.42 million.
This ongoing work has a significant impact on
two Australian Government research priorities. First,
through its optimisation of processing and minimal use
of energy, the project contributes to the maintenance of
an „Environmentally Sustainable Australia‟. And second,
the process improvements quantified in the RMDStem
study emphasise the fact that the outcomes of The Wark‟s
research belong among „Frontier Technologies for Building
and Transforming Australian Industries‟.


“PLACING ETHICS
AT THE HEART
OF GOOD
GOVERNANCE”
PROFESSOR CHARLES SAMPFORD‟S INSIGHT INTO THE ROLE OF ETHICS
IN
SYSTEMATIC GOVERNANCE REFORM HAS NOT ONLY INTRODUCED
KEY NEW CONCEPTS, BUT HAS BEEN ADOPTED BY SOME OF THE
BIGGEST ANTI-CORRUPTION AGENCIES IN THE WORLD




E      fforts to combat institutional corruption have in
the past generated one of three responses – ethical
standard setting, legal regulation or institutional
reform. However, a series of research projects conducted
by Professor Charles Sampford, director of the Institute
for Ethics, Governance and Law at Griffi th University, has
shown that effective governance regimes require all three
responses together, with ethics providing the means of
integrating the three.
This conclusion produced what others have called the
„Sampford trinity‟, but which Sampford calls „values-based
governance‟. His approach has been adopted by various
reformers, including global anti-corruption organisation
Transparency International, and funders of reform, such as



                                                                   75
the World Bank.
GOVERNANCE REFORM
While Sampford‟s work initially applied the trinity to
business, several legal professional bodies encouraged
him to apply it to the law. An opportunity to do this
presented itself when he moved to Queensland to take
up the position of Foundation Dean of Law at Griffith
University. “I became heavily involved in governance
reform in Queensland, where the Fitzgerald Enquiry
had recommended a thorough overhaul of the existing
regime through the Electoral and Administrative Reform
Commission (EARC),” says Sampford.
The professor and his team provided significant inputs
to the EARC reforms, especially in the areas of public
sector ethics, codes of conduct and improvement of ethical
standards; scrutiny of legislation; recognition of Indigenous
law; human rights; and administrative law reform. In
1998, they also argued for the creation of an integrity
commissioner – a recommendation that was adopted.
More importantly, the team conceptualised the process
and the result. In 1991, the Hong Kong Independent
Commission Against Corruption model was the blueprint
for reform; the EARC reforms made two significant
advances on this model. First, it introduced a range of
complementary legal and institutional reforms, instead of
providing reliance on a single body that might be a threat
in itself and would be subject to regulatory capture or
 government control. Second, it involved a clear articulation
and institutionalisation of the ethical values underlying
– indeed justifying – the reforms. These EARC reforms
established what Sampford calls an „ethics regime‟.
INTERNATIONAL IMPACT
Despite its Queensland origins, this work has been most
influential overseas. Lord Nolan, chair of the UK Committee
on Standards in Public Life, adopted the approach and
also recommended it to the Organisation for Economic
Co-operation and Development (OECD), which in 1997
renamed it an „ethics infrastructure‟.
Transparency International was also impressed by the work
upon visiting Queensland in 1994. It chose the name „national
integrity system‟ and promoted it as the key to governance
reform and the fight against corruption. “This led to an enduring
research partnership to improve Transparency International‟s
measurement of corruption and its understanding of
integrity systems, which are designed to promote integrity
and combat corruption,” says Sampford. “One outcome of
this research was a new methodology for assessing integrity
systems, which has since been trialled in three Australian and
two foreign jurisdictions – Georgia and Indonesia.”
Furthermore, the research has influenced attempts to build
governance capacity in developing nations, with Sampford
being invited to participate in World Bank and Asia-Pacific
Economic Cooperation (APEC) governance missions and
AusAID-supported governance work in South Pacific and the
Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries.
In turn, this work has helped place ethics at the heart of
the good governance agenda at major practitioner-driven
conferences, such as the International Anti-Corruption
Conferences, Global Forums Against Corruption and
symposia/conferences held by the OECD, World Bank,



                                                                    76
World Council of Churches, the Coalition of Democracies,
the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural
Organization (UNESCO) and the Earth Institute.
RESEARCH INITIATIVES
Sampford‟s work has contributed to the development of new
research methodologies in the humanities and social sciences
that are team-based, interdisciplinary and much copied. He
led the teams that established the ARC Key Centre for Ethics,
Law, Justice and Governance in 1999 and the Governance
Research Network in 2004, both funded by the ARC.
Also in 2004, the United Nations University (UNU)
embraced the work by establishing the Institute for Ethics,
Governance and Law, a joint initiative with Griffith
University. One of 23 centres within the UNU system, it
now comprises the Key Centre at Griffith, the Centre for
Law and Justice at Queensland University of Technology,
and the Centre for International and Public Law at The
Australian National University.
NEW DEVELOPMENTS
Sampford‟s work continues to develop both in substance
and impact. His emphasis on leadership (the „human capital
of governance reform‟) culminated in the inaugural World
Ethics Forum held at University of Oxford in April 2006,
with more than US$500,000 in support coordinated by the
World Bank. The forum emphasised ethics and leadership
coalitions as the missing elements of governance reform
and endorsed the creation of a global integrity alliance to
help support ethical, accountable and effective leadership
coalitions.
The professor and his team are currently applying the
integrity systems approach to a range of institutional
settings and are also focusing on corruption systems, which
are often far more effective than, and routinely disrupt,
national integrity systems.

AN OVERVIEW OF THE AUSTRALIAN RESEARCH COUNCIL
“The ARC mission is to advance Australia’s research excellence to be globally competitive and deliver
benefits to the community”

A SNAPSHOT
The Australian Research Council (ARC) is a statutory
authority within the Australian Government‟s Innovation,
Industry, Science and Research portfolio. The ARC
advises the Government on research matters and manages
the National Competitive Grants Program (NCGP), a
significant component of Australia‟s investment in research
and development.
The ARC mission is to advance Australia’s research excellence
to be globally competitive and deliver benefits to the community.
In seeking to achieve its mission, the ARC supports
the highest quality fundamental and applied research and
research training through national competition across
all disciplines, with the exception of clinical medicine
and dentistry. In addition, the ARC brokers partnerships
between researchers and industry, government, community
organisations and the international community.
The outcomes of ARC-funded research deliver
economic, social, cultural and environmental benefits to all
Australians. In 2008-09, the ARC will administer a budget


                                                                                                  77
of $605.3 million for the NCGP. It will also develop the
first phase of the Government‟s new Excellence in Research
for Australia evaluation initiative.
THE ARC TEAM
The people of the ARC are a mix of academics, including
the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Professor Margaret Sheil,
and several professorial-level Executive Directors (EDs)
with strong research backgrounds, and about 100 career
public servants, including the Chief Operating Officer.
The EDs are among the most respected researchers in
their fields and have extensive Australian and international
research networks with whom they interact. They are well
placed to assist researchers and research users to understand
the Government‟s research objectives. They are also able to
provide high-quality advice to Government, through the
ARC, to help ensure that its approaches to research are
aligned with the realities of the research environment and
can respond flexibly to changes in those conditions.
The ARC Advisory Council provides non-binding
strategic and policy advice on issues relating to the mission
of the ARC; policy matters relating to innovation, research
and research training; and matters relating to the evaluation
of the quality and outcomes of research and research
training in an international context.
The ARC Advisory Council is chaired by the ARC CEO
and comprises six members whose backgrounds encompass
academia and/or industry and represent a broad crosssection
of research disciplines. Members are appointed for
up to three years. The Council currently comprises:
• Professor Margaret Sheil (Chair), ARC CEO
• Professor Terry Hughes, Director, ARC Centre of
Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University
• Dr Elizabeth Jazwinska, Johnson & Johnson Research Pty Ltd
• Professor Stuart Macintyre, Ernst Scott Professor of
History, The University of Melbourne
• Professor John Ralston, Director, Ian Wark Research
Institute, University of South Australia
• Professor Margaret Seares AO, Senior Deputy Vice-
Chancellor, The University of Western Australia
• Professor Arun Sharma, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research/
Commercialisation), Queensland University of Technology.
The ARC College of Experts supports the advancement
of knowledge and contributes to national innovation
through its role in assessing and ranking funding proposals,
making funding recommendations, and providing strategic
advice on emerging disciplines and cross-disciplinary
developments.
The College‟s 77 members are drawn from a multitude
of disciplines in the Australian research community – from
higher education, industry and public sector research
organisations. They are drawn together flexibly to form
groupings of expertise to meet particular needs at different
times. Members of the College of Experts are appointed
for periods of between one and three years.
The College of Experts is supported by thousands of
highly credentialled Australian and international referees
whose expert reviews underpin the peer review processes
of the ARC.
NATIONAL COMPETITIVE GRANTS
PROGRAM (NCGP)



                                                                78
The ARC funds research and researchers under the NCGP,
which is designed to nurture the creative abilities and skills
of Australia‟s most promising researchers.
The NCGP comprises two main elements – Discovery
and Linkage – under which the ARC funds a range of
complementary schemes to support researchers at different
stages of their careers, build Australia‟s research capability,
expand and enhance research networks and collaborations,
and develop centres of research excellence.
NCGP schemes aim to support research and research
training in the four National Research Priority areas of:
an environmentally sustainable Australia; promoting and
maintaining good health; frontier technologies for building
and transforming Australian industries; and safeguarding
Australia.
Administration of the NCGP is usually scheme-based
and across the following inter-disciplinary groupings:
• Biological Sciences and Biotechnology
• Engineering and Environmental Science
• Humanities and Creative Arts
• Mathematics, Information and Communication Sciences
• Physics, Chemistry and Geoscience
• Social, Behavioural and Economic Sciences.
Funding recommendations are made to the Minister for
Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, Senator Kim
Carr, by ARC CEO Professor Margaret Sheil following
independent and extensive peer review of proposals by
Australian and international experts.
NATIONAL INNOVATION SYSTEM REVIEW
The Australian Government is conducting a wideranging
review of Australia‟s national innovation system,
with a focus on finding new ways to increase innovation
performance across the economy, ensure that business
has better access to new ideas and new technologies, and
bridge the divide between industry and research. The ARC
has provided a submission to the review, which will be
considered in the development of a Green Paper scheduled
to be delivered to the Government by the end of July 2008.
EXCELLENCE IN RESEARCH FOR
AUSTRALIA (ERA)
The ARC has responsibility for developing, in consultation
with the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and
Research and the National Health and Medical Research
Council, the ERA initiative.
ERA is intended to recognise excellence across the
range of research conducted in Australia‟s higher education
institutions, from fundamental to applied research. It will
identify the quality and activity of research across the full
spectrum of disciplines in which research is undertaken, using
a combination of metrics and expert review by committees
comprising experienced, internationally-recognised experts.
DISCOVERY
ARC Discovery schemes recognise the importance of
fundamental research to the national innovation system.
The national innovation system includes the people (for
example, in government, higher education and business),
processes and relationships involved in „new‟ knowledge in
a knowledge-based economy.
A strong capability in fundamental research (sometimes
called discovery, basic or „blue sky‟ research) will result



                                                                  79
in the development of new ideas, the creation of jobs,
economic growth and an enhanced quality of life in
Australia.
The main Discovery schemes are: Discovery Projects;
Discovery Indigenous Researchers Development; Future
Fellowships; and Federation Fellowships.
FEDERATION FELLOWSHIPS
ARC Federation Fellowships are highly prestigious awards
designed to attract to Australia and retain outstanding
researchers, build and strengthen Australia‟s world-class
research capacity, support ground-breaking internationally
competitive research, and develop strong links among
researchers, industry and the international research
community.
Open to outstanding international researchers, Federation
Fellowships encourage proposals from Australian and non-
Australian researchers working in Australia or overseas,
especially from early- to mid-career researchers who will
play a leadership role in building Australia‟s internationally
competitive research capacity. The research outcomes of a
selection of ARC Federation Fellows are featured in this
book.
LINKAGE
ARC Linkage schemes aim to encourage and extend
cooperative approaches to research and improve the
use of research outcomes by strengthening links within
Australia‟s innovation system and with innovation systems
internationally.
Linkage promotes national and international research
partnerships between researchers and business, industry,
community organisations and other publicly funded
research agencies to encourage the transfer of skills,
knowledge and ideas as a basis for securing commercial
and other benefits of research.
The main Linkage schemes are: Linkage Projects; Linkage
International; Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities;
ARC Research Centres; and Special Research Initiatives.
ARC RESEARCH CENTRES
ARC-funded research centres support large teams to
undertake focused and sustained investigations into, and
find solutions to, challenging and important problems. The
funding enables groups of first-class researchers to come
together to work on problems and to leverage additional
research funding from other sources.
ARC Centres of Excellence are prestigious hubs of
expertise through which high-quality researchers maintain
and develop Australia‟s international standing in research
areas of national priority. Through them, a high level
of collaboration occurs between universities and other
organisations in Australia and overseas.
There are three co-funded Centres of Excellence:
• the Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics, with
the Grains Research and Development Corporation
• the Australian Stem Cell Centre, with the Department of
Innovation, Industry, Science and Research
• National ICT Australia, also called NICTA, with the
Department of Broadband, Communications and the
Digital Economy.
In addition, there are currently 35 ARC-funded Centres
in universities around the country. ARC Federation



                                                                   80
Fellows are often associated with ARC Centres. The
research outcomes of several researchers from currentlyfunded
and former ARC Centres are featured in this book.

CURRENTLY-FUNDED ARC CENTRES

CHARLES STURT UNIVERSITY
Centre: ARC Special Research Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics
Partners: The Australian National University; The University of Melbourne

GRIFFITH UNIVERSITY
Centre: ARC Centre of Excellence in Policing and Security
Partners: The Australian National University; The University of Queensland; University
of Liverpool; State University of New York at Albany; Rutgers University;
University of Montreal; University of Maryland; University College London;
University of Cape Town; University of Pennsylvania; University of California,
Santa Barbara; The Hebrew University; Victoria Police; Australian Federal
Police; Queensland Police Service; Australian Institute of Criminology;
National Institute of Forensic Science; Tasmania Police; NSW Police Forensic
Services Group; Charles Sturt University; Forensic Science South Australia;
Australian Federal Police Forensic Services; NICTA

JAMES COOK UNIVERSITY
Centre: ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies
Partners: The University of Queensland; Stockholm University; University of Delaware;
Australian Institute of Marine Science; The Australian National University;
University of Perpignan; University of Maine; Great Barrier Reef Marine
Park Authority

MACQUARIE UNIVERSITY
Centre: ARC Special Research Centre for Cognitive Science and Cognitive
Neuropsychology

MONASH UNIVERSITY
Centre: ARC Centre of Excellence for Design in Light Metals
Partners: Deakin University; The University of Queensland; The University of New
South Wales; The University of Sydney; The University of Melbourne;
Australian Magnesium Corporation; Comalco Research and Technical
Support; McMaster University; University of Birmingham; Manchester
University and UMIST; Norwegian Institute of Technology, Trondheim;
The Ohio State University; Institute National Polytechnique de Grenoble;
Victorian Department of Innovation, Industry and Regional Development
Centre: ARC Centre of Excellence in Structural and Functional Microbial
Genomics
Partners: Australian Genome Research Facility Ltd; Australian Proteome Analysis
Facility; CSIRO – Livestock Industries; Victorian Department of Innovation,
Industry and Regional Development; Department of Primary Industries,
Victoria; Pfizer Australia; The University of Queensland; The University
of Sydney; Victorian Bioinformatics Consortium; Victorian Partnership for
Advanced Computing
Centre: ARC Special Research Centre for Green Chemistry

QUEENSLAND UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
Centre: ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation
Partners: University of Wollongong; Swinburne University of Technology; Edith
Cowan University; Australasian Cooperative Research Centre for Interaction
Design; Australian Film, Television and Radio School

THE AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL UNIVERSITY
Centre: ARC Centre for Solar Energy Systems



                                                                                         81
Centre: ARC Centre of Excellence for Antimatter-Matter Studies
Partners: Murdoch University; Flinders University; The University of Adelaide; The
University of Western Australia; Charles Darwin University; James Cook
University; Australian National Science and Technology Organisation; The
Open University; University of California, San Diego; Lawrence Berkeley
National Laboratory; University of California, Davis; University of Nebraska-
Lincoln; Tohoku University; Drake University; University of Münster
Centre: ARC Centre of Excellence for Kangaroo Genomics
Partners: The University of Melbourne; The University of New South Wales; Walter
& Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research; Australian Genome Research
Facility Ltd
Centre: ARC Centre of Excellence for Quantum-Atom Optics
Partners: The University of Queensland; Swinburne University of Technology;
Universitaet Erlanger; Universitat Hannover; Universite Pierre et Marie
Curie; Vrije Universiteit Brussel; University of Otago; University of Auckland;
Imperial College
Centre: ARC Centre of Excellence in Vision Science
Partners: The University of Western Australia; The University of Queensland;
The University of Sydney; University of L‟Aquila; CSIRO – ICT Centre;
The Canberra Hospital; Universität Bielefeld; Swiss Federal Institute of
Technology (EPFL); Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute; ObjectiVision;
Emory University; Center for Information Science; Helsinki University of
Technology; Royal Holloway University of London; Seeing Machines Pty
Ltd

THE UNIVERSITY OF ADELAIDE
Centre: ARC Special Research Centre for Molecular Genetics of Development
Partner: The Australian National University

THE UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE
Centre: ARC Centre of Excellence for Coherent X-ray Science
Partners: La Trobe University; Swinburne University of Technology; Monash University;
CSIRO – Health Sciences and Nutrition; CSIRO – Manufacturing and
Infrastructure Technology; Walter & Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research;
Harima Institute, RIKEN; National University of Singapore; Australian
National Science and Technology Organisation; Argonne National Laboratory;
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory; University of California; Advanced
Photon Source; Australian Synchrotron Research Program; Victorian
Department of Innovation, Industry and Regional Development
Centre: ARC Centre of Excellence for Free Radical Chemistry and Biotechnology
Partners: The Australian National University; The University of Sydney; Monash
University; Queensland University of Technology; BlueScope Steel; CSIRO
– Molecular Science; Howard Florey Institute; Orica Australia Pty Ltd;
Carlton & United Breweries; Dulux/Orica Pty Ltd; Victorian Institute for
Chemical Sciences
Centre: ARC Centre of Excellence for Mathematical and Statistical Modelling of
Complex Systems
Partners: The Australian National University; The University of New South Wales;
The University of Queensland; La Trobe University; Columbia University,
New York
Centre: ARC Special Research Centre for Environmental Stress and Adaptation
Research
Partner: Monash University
Centre: ARC Special Research Centre for Particulate Fluids Processing
Centre: ARC Special Research Centre for Ultra-Broadband Information Networks

THE UNIVERSITY OF NEWCASTLE
Centre: ARC Centre of Excellence for Complex Dynamic Systems and Control
Partners: Queensland University of Technology; Matrikon Pty Ltd; BHP Billiton
Innovation



                                                                                        82
Centre: ARC Centre of Excellence in Biotechnology and Development
Partners: The University of Melbourne; Monash University; The University of
Queensland

THE UNIVERSITY OF NEW SOUTH WALES
Centre: ARC Centre of Excellence for Advanced Silicon Photovoltaics and
Photonics
Partners: CSG Solar Pty Limited; Suntech Power Co. Limited; JingAo Solar Co. Ltd
Centre: ARC Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computer Technology
Partners: The University of Queensland; The University of Melbourne; Griffith
University; Macquarie University; The University of Sydney; The University
of New South Wales (Australian Defence Force Academy); Defence Science
and Technology Organisation; Purdue University; University of Calgary

THE UNIVERSITY OF QUEENSLAND
Centre: ARC Centre for Complex Systems
Partners: The University of New South Wales; Griffith University; Monash University;
Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur; Boeing Australia Limited; Centre
National de la Recherche Scientifique
Centre: ARC Centre of Excellence for Functional Nanomaterials
Partners: The University of New South Wales; The Australian National University; The
University of Western Sydney
Centre: ARC Centre of Excellence for Integrative Legume Research
Partners: The University of Melbourne; The Australian National University; The
University of Newcastle
Centre: ARC Centre of Excellence in Bioinformatics
Partners: Deakin University; The University of Newcastle; The Australian National
University; Macquarie University; University of Tennessee, USA; IBM
Thomas J. Watson Research Centre; The University of Auckland
Centre: ARC Special Research Centre for Functional and Applied Genomics

THE UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY
Centre: ARC Centre of Excellence for Autonomous Systems
Partners: The University of New South Wales; The University of Technology, Sydney
Centre: ARC Centre of Excellence for Ultrahigh Bandwidth Devices for Optical
Systems
Partners: The Australian National University; The University of Technology, Sydney;
Macquarie University; Swinburne University of Technology; RMIT
University; The University of California, San Diego; Clemson University; The
University of Auckland; Osaka University; The University of St. Andrews;
FOM Institute for Atomic and Molecular Physics; NICTA; Vrije Universiteit
Brussel; University of Southern California; University of Oxford

THE UNIVERSITY OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA
Centre: ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology
Partner: The Australian National University

UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA
Centre: ARC Special Research Centre for Particle and Material Interfaces

UNIVERSITY OF TASMANIA
Centre: ARC Centre of Excellence in Ore Deposits
Partners: The Australian National University; RMIT University; Fullagar Geophysics
Pty Ltd; University of British Columbia; Colorado School of Mines;
The University of Queensland; The University of Melbourne; CSIRO –
Exploration & Mining; Monash University

UNIVERSITY OF WOLLONGONG
Centre: ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science
Partners: Massey University; Monash University; The Bionic Ear Institute; St Vincent‟s



                                                                                         83
Health; New South Wales Department of State and Regional Development

Credits



T      he ARC is extremely grateful to Professor Graeme
Clark AC for lending his name to the Graeme
Clark Research Outcomes Forum, participating in
the Forum and contributing to this publication. Professor
Clark is an inspiring role model to researchers and the
broader Australian community alike, and his generosity and
enthusiasm know no bounds.
The ARC is also obliged to Dr Alan Finkel AM, who
graciously gave his time to open the Graeme Clark
Research Outcomes Forum and launch Outcomes: Results of
research in the real world.
The ARC recognises the time, effort and support of all
the researchers who made submissions to the Forum and
the Outcomes book, and appreciates the additional work
required of those researchers whose work was selected.
The level and diversity of research conducted in Australia
today is highly impressive.
The ARC thanks all the staff at Palamedia Ltd who
worked on this publication. In particular, the ARC
acknowledges Mr David Collett and Mr Graham Turner
for their strong leadership in making the project a success.
In addition, the ARC thanks Ms Alex Godfrey, Fusebox
Design, for her conceptual advice and assistance.




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