UNSW's Prestigious ARC Fellows

The University of New South Wales recognises and congratulates the following researchers who have been awarded prestigious Fellowships by the Australian Research Council (ARC)


The Australian Laureates Fellowship Scheme, administered by the ARC, is designed to attract and retain world-class researchers to key positions in Australia. Replacing the previous Federation Fellowships, the Laureates are Australia’s most keenly sought after fellowships, valued at up to $3.1M each over five years.

Our Australian Laureate Fellows

  Scientia Professor Veena Sahajwalla – Laureate awarded 2014
School of Materials Science and Engineering, UNSW
Director, Centre for Sustainable Materials Research and Technology (SMaRT)
Professor Veena Sahajwalla, Director of UNSW’s Centre for Sustainable Materials Research and Technology (SMaRT), has been award $2.37 million for research into microrecycling of e-waste for her 2014 Laureate Fellowship.

Professor Sahajwalla also received a Georgina Sweet Fellowship, which will enable her to undertake an ambassadorial role to promote women in research. She described the awards as a “huge honour and privilege”. Earlier this year, Professor Sahajwalla’s centre was awarded $2.2 million by the federal government to create a ‘green manufacturing’ research hub at UNSW.
  Scientia Professor Rose Amal – Laureate awarded 2014
School of Chemical Engineering, UNSW
Leader, Particle and Catalysis Group

Scientia Professor Rose Amal, leader of the Particle and Catalysis Group in the UNSW School of Chemical Engineering, was awarded $2.38 million for her 2014 Laureate Fellowship to develop technology to transform carbon dioxide into sustainable fuels, a process that could revolutionise the recycling of the greenhouse gas.

Professor Amal, the former director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Functional Nanomaterials, is recognised as a pioneer and leading authority in the fields of fine particle technology, photocatalysis and functional nanomaterials. She has won many awards, including being named in the top 100 most influential engineers by Engineers Australia.

Williams Scientia Professor Michelle Simmons – Laureate awarded 2013
School of Physics, UNSW
ARC Australian Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology
Scientia Professor Michelle Simmons is the Director of the ARC Australian Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology, and a Professor of the School Physics at UNSW. In 2014 she became an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, making her one of only 10 Australian Foreign Honorary Members of the Academy. In 2012, Professor Simmons was named NSW Scientist of the Year, and in 2006 became one of the youngest elected Fellows of the Australian Academy of Science, having previously been awarded the Pawsey Medal by this Academy in 2005.

Since 2000 she has established a large research group dedicated to the fabrication of atomic-scale devices in silicon using the atomic precision of a scanning tunneling microscopy. Her group has developed the world's thinnest conducting doped wires in silicon and the ability to manipulate and electronically measure devices with atomically precise dopant placement.
Keane Professor Mike Keane – Laureate awarded 2011
School of Economics, UNSW
ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research

Mike Keane is a Professor in the School of Economics at the UNSW Australian School of Business and a Chief Investigator with the ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research at UNSW. He is an internationally recognised leader in econometrics and applied microeconomics, including the economics of insurance and health.

Professor Keane’s Laureate research addresses a critical issue for Australian society, population ageing and its implications for the future costs of funding health care, aged care and aged pensions in Australia. The project involves developing new models and designing new policies that can help people make better decisions about health insurance, aged care and superannuation, leading to greater well being in retirement.

 Petersen Scientia Professor Ian Petersen - Laureate awarded 2011
School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, UNSW  Canberra
Scientia Professor Ian Petersen is an ARC Federation Fellow in the School of Engineering and Information Technology at UNSW Canberra and a world-renowned expert in the field of Systems and Control Theory. Feedback control systems are vital in manufacturing, mining, automotive and military applications and are becoming increasingly important in the growing field of quantum technology.

Australia has considerable strengths in quantum technology research and as these technologies advance, the issue of control becomes a critical one. Professor Petersen's Laureate project aims to strengthen Australia's position in quantum technology by developing new methodologies for designing high performance feedback control systems for emerging complex quantum applications.
 Bradford Scientia Professor Mark Bradford – Laureate awarded 2010
School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, UNSW
Centre for Infrastructure Engineering and Safety
Scientia Professor Mark Bradford from the UNSW School of Civil and Environmental Engineering is the Research Director of the Centre for Infrastructure Engineering and Safety (CIES) at UNSW. The Centre, founded by Professor Bradford in 2007, undertakes advanced research in all aspects of civil engineering infrastructure including building structures, bridges, dams, tunnels, roads and pavements.

Professor Bradford, who was previously an ARC Federation Fellow, has research interests in structures subjected to extreme actions; numerical methods; structural retrofit; design codes; dynamics and elasto-dynamic buckling. The aim of Professor Bradford’s Laureate research is to develop a "green" sustainable composite steel-concrete building frame system that reduces greenhouse gas emissions throughout the life-cycle of building construction, usage and deconstruction. The project will provide solutions to a major contemporary engineering challenge facing Australia
Turneyphoto Professor Chris Turney - Laureate awarded 2010
School of Biological, Earth & Environmental Sciences, UNSW
UNSW Climate Change Research Centre
Chris Turney is a Professor of Climate Change with the UNSW Climate Change Research Centre where he is focussing his efforts on finding lessons from the past. Professor Turney, who is in the UNSW School of Biological, Earth & Environmental Sciences, researches past and future climates, how people respond to change, dating of natural archives, and recent human evolution and migration. Through his Laureate research he is using novel and innovative palaeodata and modelling approaches to quantify and understand the mechanisms and impacts of abrupt climate changes in the Australasian region and place these in a global context on sub-annual to decadal timescales. The outcomes of the project will enable an improved understanding of the mechanisms of both past and future abrupt climate change in Australia and globally.
 England Professor Matthew England - Laureate awarded 2010
UNSW Climate Change Research Centre 
Professor Matthew England, joint Director of the UNSW Climate Change Research Centre and a former ARC Federation Fellow, is a world expert in the ocean's role in the global climate system, climate change, and large-scale climate dynamics. Professor England’s main research activities are in large-scale physical oceanography, ocean modelling, ocean-atmosphere dynamics and climate variability, with a particular focus on the Southern Hemisphere.

Using ocean, atmosphere, and coupled climate models in combination with observations/theory, he studies what controls ocean currents and how these currents affect climate and climate variability on time-scales of seasons to centuries. His Laureate project aims to improve Australia's preparedness for climate change by better quantifying the risk that ocean warming will transform the continent's climate, rainfall, and sea level; as well as the ocean's uptake of carbon and the global ocean circulation. This will ultimately benefit sectors including agriculture, water management, fisheries and tourism.
Bryant Scientia Professor Richard Bryant - Laureate awarded 2009
School of Psychology, UNSW
Traumatic Stress Clinic
Scientia Professor Richard Bryant is the Director of the Traumatic Stress Clinic which operates out of UNSW and Westmead Hospital. Professor Bryant, from UNSW’s School of Psychology, is internationally recognised as the leading authority on early psychological responses after trauma. His research is focused on identification of people at risk of mental health problems after trauma, early intervention strategies, treatment strategies for post-traumatic stress, and complicated grief. 

He also works on many major national and international projects, including developing the Australian NHMRC PTSD treatment guidelines, web treatments for US troops returning from Iraq, tsunami survivors in Thailand, developing counselling programs for disaster survivors in the USA after Hurricane Katrina, and web-based treatments for complicated grief patients in the USA.
Professor Bryant’s Laureate project is a major long-term research program aimed at reducing violence and mental health problems in Aboriginal communities by identifying the specific factors that lead to academic, physical and mental health problems experience by Aboriginal children in remote communities.
George Williams Scientia Professor George Williams - Laureate awarded 2009
Gilbert and Tobin Centre of Public Law 
George Williams  is the Anthony Mason Professor, a Scientia Professor and Foundation Director of the Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law at UNSW’s Faculty of Law. As an ARC Laureate Fellow, he is engaged in a five year international project on anti-terror laws and democracy which aims to answer a question of international importance, that is, how can the law protect the community from terrorism while also maintaining the democratic and human rights values and traditions that underpin good governance and the rule of law?

Professor Williams has written and edited 26 books, including A Charter of Rights for Australia, Australian Constitutional Law and Theory and The Oxford Companion to the High Court of Australia. His latest book is People Power: The History and Future of the Referendum in Australia. As a barrister, George has appeared in the High Court of Australia in cases such as Lange v Australian Broadcasting Corporation on freedom of speech, the Hindmarsh Island Bridge Case on freedom from racial discrimination and Plaintiff S157/2002 v Commonwealth on review of government action and the rule of law. He has also appeared in the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal of Fiji, including in Republic of Fiji v Prasad on the legality of the 2000 coup.