Dean’s Award for Outstanding PhD Theses

The Dean’s Award for Outstanding PhD Theses recognises PhD graduates who have been commended by their thesis examiners. 

To be eligible for this award, candidates must produce a thesis that requires only minimal corrections, received outstanding and/or excellent levels of achievement for all examination criteria, and in the opinion of both examiners is in the top 10% of PhD theses examined.


Inaugural Awards

Faculty of Art and Design



Thesis Title

David Eastwood

Studio Afterlife: The Function of the Posthumous Studio in Contemporary Art

Regina Saunders                               

'Vaguely Familiar': haunted identities, contested histories, Indigenous futures

Kynan Tan

Rendering computational conditions: experiencing the relationality of data and algorithm through multisensory digital artworks 

Rewa Wright

Mixed Reality Re-assembled: software assemblages at the edge of control


Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences



Thesis Title

Sophie Adams

The biopolitics of adaptation to a changing climate: Constructions of the adaptive capacity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians

John Apter

Rethinking the Australian Dilemma: Economics and Foreign Policy, 1942-1957

Abraham Bradfield

Decolonising Consciousness: Art, identity and engaging Indigenous artists in far western New South Wales

Anthony Chmiel

Theory, data, and application of psychological principles for music preference

Amy Ireland

Xenopoetics: Time, Matter, Transmission

Xi Luan

Mobilising Pierre Bourdieu's Theory to Understand the Role of Supplementary Education: A Chinese Story

Kate Montague

Tragedy After 1945: Affect and Labor in the American Novel

Thanh Ha Ngo

Developing A Model for Vietnamese Private Higher Education: Lessons from China and Korea

Melissa Rogers

Revisiting Alfred Hill (1869-1960): examining issues of reception and compositional approach

Mahsa Salamati

Transnational Film Circulation in the Iranian Context: From Conjunctural Crisis to Discursive Heterotopia

Zahra Zsuzsanna Luhna Stardust             

Alternative Pornographies, Regulatory Fantasies and Resistance Politics

Sophie Yates

A Critical Frame Analysis of Victoria's Royal Commission into Family Violence

John Zubrzycki

Transnational exchanges in magical knowledge and methodologies between India and the West, 1813-1940


Faculty of Built Environment



Thesis Title

Carlos Bartesaghi Koc  

Assessing the thermal performance of green infrastructure on urban microclimate


UNSW Business School



Thesis Title

Garland Jichao Huang

Institutional Ownership and Technology Spillovers

Eunice Khoo

The Impact of Reputation on a Firm's Financial and Non-Financial Outcomes

Dandan Yu

Three Essays on Household Decision-Making


Faculty of Engineering



Thesis Title

Deepak Dalakoti

Direct numerical simulation of lifted flames in diesel engine conditions

Jinwen Feng

Unified probabilistic and interval analysis of structures with hybrid uncertainties

Alireza Gerami Kaviri Nejad                      

Utilizing microfluidics for visualization of multiphase flow in coal cleats

Xi Gu

Heat Generation in Irradiated Gold Nanoparticle Solutions for Hyperthermia Applications

Ziyuan Gu

Dynamic Congestion Pricing in Urban Networks with the Network Fundamental Diagram and Simulation-Based Dynamic Traffic Assignment

Wei Huang

One- and two-qubit operations in Si-MOS quantum dots

Haiwen Li

Dynamic properties of sand-fiber mixtures

Yifeng Li

Advanced Modelling, Optimisation and Control of Vanadium Redox Flow Battery

Joanna Ng

Biotextilogy - Applications for Research and Development

Alireza Pouraminaein             


Design Optimization of High-Performance Interior Permanent Magnet Machines Using a Fast and Accurate FE-based Technique

Matthew Priestley

Developing fault-tolerant control strategies for a five-phase permanent-magnet machine drive system

Brian Stasak

An Investigation of Acoustic, Linguistic, and Affect Based Methods for Speech Depression Assessment

Haiqiao Wang

Cubosome and Hexosome Microparticles: Shape, Rheology, and Templating

Yuan Wang

Porous Metal Oxides and Supported Noble Metal Catalysts for Methane Oxidation and CO2 Methanation

Changyong Zhang

Selective Abatement and Recovery of Nutrients from Wastewaters using  Electrochemical Technologies

Yulai Zhang

Multi-scale Characterisation of Diffusion in Shale

Qiancheng Zhao

Investigation of light, thermal and radiation induced effects on the spectral behaviors of BACs in Bi/Er codoped silica-based fibers


Faculty of Medicine



Thesis Title

Jongho Baek

Improvements in super-resolution fluorescence microscopy

Sahar Bajis

Enhancing the care cascade for hepatitis C infection in marginalised populations

Adeniyi Borire

Utility of Ultrasound in Peripheral Neuropathy

Deborah Burnett

Investigation into immune tolerance

Sophie Carter

Novel respiratory phenotyping to determine the effects of zopiclone on obstructive sleep apnoea

Keeming Chia

Targeting the androgen receptor in breast cancer

Qian Du

DNA replication timing: impact on the cancer genome and epigenome

Alex Gavino

Studies on atrial fibrillation and associated risk factors in a rural Australian population

Katherine Giles

BRG1 ATP-Dependent Chromatin Remodelling in Prostate Cancer: Epigenetic Consequences

Simon Hardwick

Designing synthetic spike-in controls for next-generation sequencing and beyond

Tejaswi Kandula

Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy in Children

Erin Kelly

Tackling adolescent bullying head on: Victimisation, perpetration and targeted intervention

William Lee

Improving risk assessment for drugs that cause cardiac arrhythmias: In silico and in vitro insights into acquired long QT syndrome

Chantal Marquez Badilla                                          

Differential modulation of HIV-1 capsid uncoating kinetics revealed by a novel single-particle uncoating assay

Joyce Meiring

Recruitment and Organisation of Tropomyosins in Stress Fibres

Vivienne Moxham-Hall                        

Investigating the Utility of Indexes in Comparative Drug Policy Analysis

Erin Nesbitt-Hawes

The structure, function and treatment of the pelvic floor in women with chronic pelvic pain

Pietro Ridone

Modulation of mechanosensitive channel activity by plasma membrane lipids

Eden Robertson

The development and pilot of 'Delta': Supporting parents and young people deciding whether to enrol in a paediatric oncology clinical trial

Amanda Roxburgh

The epidemiology of opioid overdose mortality in Australia

Neda Seyedsadjadi  

Associations between modifiable lifestyle behaviors and plasma biomarkers of oxidative stress, inflammation and NAD+ metabolism in an apparently healthy human cohort

Rachel Sutherland    

New Psychoactive Substances in Australia

Scott Teasdale

Nutrition Interventions In People Experiencing Severe Mental Illness


Faculty of Science



Thesis Title

Peter Ayre

Hypergraphs: Colourability, Contiguity and Rigidity

Eun A Choi

The role of paraventricular thalamus in motivational conflict

Gustavo Espinoza Vergara                     

Mechanisms of intracellular resistance and the role of the escape of Vibrio cholerae from protist hosts

Gavin Ferguson

Age-related changes of glutathione homeostasis in Caenorhabditis elegans

Georgette Fleming

Internet-delivered parent training for young Australian children with conduct problems: Adapting treatment for non-responders

Franzisca Froreich

Issues of personal control in eating disorders: from theoretical understanding to application in clinical practice

Emma Gibson

Sex Hormones, Tears and Dry Eyes

Nadja Herger

Towards a viable alternative to model democracy using optimal climate model subset selection

Jinghao Huang

Derivations with values into ideals of a semifinite von Neumann algebra

Karina Hudson

Spin Properties of Heavy Holes in Low-Dimensional Quantum Electronic Devices

Zoey Isherwood

A BOLD approach to natural scene statistics

Dohyung Kim

Exploring Nanoscale Properties in Metal Halide Perovskites and Multiferroics via Scanning Probe Microscopy

Huan Lin

Novel likelihood-based inference for symbolic data analysis

Neil Mallo

Visible light-responsive photoswitches

Anna McGann

Derivation Of Fractional-Order Models From A Stochastic Process

James McPherson

Transition metal and lanthanide chemistry of dipyridylpyrrolide ligands

Firouzeh Noghrehchi

Multiple Imputation and Access to Likelihood Based Tools in Missing Data Problems

Gennady Notowidigdo

Rational trigonometry of a tetrahedron over a general metrical framework

Daniel Pearson

Learning to avoid looking: The influence of reward on attentional capture and control

Metaxia Toumbelekis              

The Effect of Secure Attachment Priming on Fear Learning

Uyen Tran

Development of Novel Organic Syntheses Using Sustainable Methods

Hon Lun Wong

Rocking the cradle of life: Illuminating the microbiome of microbial mats from Shark bay using genome-resolved metagenomic analyses

Yanfang Wu 

Solid-State Nanopore Blockade Sensors: From Fabrication to Localized Surface Functionalization to Sensing Application

Jenna Zhao                 

Control over emotion-induced blindness: The roles of context, expectation, and motivation


UNSW Canberra



Thesis Title

Peter Job

The Fraser government and the Indonesian occupation of East Timor, 1975-1983

Angeline Lewis

Rajah Brooke and the 'Pirates' of Borneo: A Nineteenth Century Public Debate on Sea Power

Abdullah Salamai               

Intelligent Decision Support System for Risk Management in Supply Chains

2020 Round 1

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences



Thesis Title

Leon Ankersmit

Partnership between birth parents and foster carers: a complex systems framework

Caitlin Buckle

Mapping mobile lives: Explorations of migrants' lived experiences through narrative, visual imagery and virtual visitation

Anthea Compton

The function of "traditional culture" in Australian political discourse, 1963-2007

Kenny Kor

A multi-informant study on practice development and implementation of therapeutic residential care for young people in Out of Home Care

Vicki Likourezos

The Variability Effect: An Instructional Approach to Enhance Mathematics Learning


Faculty of Built Environment



Thesis Title

Malay Dave

High performance prefab housing: towards an evaluation framework for design, sustainability and affordability

Jin Zhu

Pro-growth planning regime and housing outcomes in urbanising China: A case study of Shanghai


UNSW Business School



Thesis Title

David Bell

Three Essays Exploring intertemporal asset allocation

Jonas Heller

Reality re-imagined: How augmented reality redefines decision processes and consumer behaviour in retailing


Faculty of Engineering



Thesis Title

Yara Alzahid

Multi-Dimensional Visualization Methods for Multiphase Flow Characterization of Alkaline-Surfactant-Polymer (ASP) Flooding: Impact of Phase Behavior

Serwan Asaad

Electrical control and quantum chaos with a high-spin nucleus in silicon

Kaixuan Chen

Multi-modal Human Behavior Understanding

Yongyoon Cho

The development of interface engineering for improving stability and efficiency of perovskite solar cells and understanding meta-stability of perovskite solar cells

Chen Deng

Non-Precious Metal-based Electrocatalysts from Prussian Blue Analogues for Energy-Related Reaction

Ali Dorri

A Scalable Lightweight Blockchain-based Framework for IoT Security and Anonymity

Scott Dorrington

The Trajectory Optimization & Space Logistics of Asteroid Mining Missions

Song Gao

Interfacial engineering by meso/microporous materials towards efficient biocatalysis

Maryam Haghighat

Rate-Distortion Driven Overcomplete Decomposition of Imagery for Compression

Tuan Le

Buckling of high-strength steel beams

Da Seul Lee

Solution Process Engineering for Improving Stability and Efficiency  of Perovskite Solar Cells

Aziz Mahmood

Development of a High-density geopolymer concrete for coastal protection applications

Alison McQuillan

A Risk-Based Slope Stability Assessment Methodology (SSAM) for Excavated Coal Mine Slopes

Laura Montano Luna

An experimental study of free-surface dynamics and internal motions in fully aerated hydraulic jumps

Sayidul Morsalin

Diagnostic Measurement and Modelling of Electrical Insulation Based on Very Low Frequency High Voltage Excitation

Lingzhe Rao

In-Cylinder Soot Oxidation in an Optically Accessible Automotive Diesel Engine

Adel Rezaeimotlagh

Non-thermal processing of liquid food products by using Radio Frequency Electric Fields (RFEF) technology

Michael Roberts

The value of co-operation: Opportunities for deployment of rooftop photovoltaics on Australian apartment buildings

Zahra Sadrearhami

The value of co-operation: Opportunities for deployment of rooftop photovoltaics on Australian apartment buildings

Chenyu Wu

Computer-guided design of photocatalyst for PET-RAFT polymerisation

Weiwei Xing

A Scaled Boundary Finite Element Based Node-to-node Scheme for Contact Problems

Yitao Yan

Distributed control of interconnected systems in the behavioural framework

Fan Zhang

Rational design of wearable strain sensors by employing dual-scale fillers and structural engineering

Yan Zhu

Advanced Characterization of Defects in Silicon Wafers and Solar Cells

Yuting Zhuo

Numerical modelling of the pyrolysis of ellipsoidal low-rank coal briquettes and pyrolysis product char combustion in a blast furnace


Faculty of Law



Thesis Title

Bradley Gooding

Plurality in Legal Reasoning - the Place of Value Pluralism in Theories of Law and Adjudication


Faculty of Medicine



Thesis Title

Ilina Bareja

Unravelling the molecular interactions of tropomyosin on actin at the single molecule and single filament level

Yolanda Colino Sanguino

Dissecting the role of histone variant H2A.Z acetylation in transcription regulation

Sophie Hertel

Templated Assembly of the Bacterial Flagella Motor Protein FliG using DNA Nanostructures

Shann Hulme

The diversion and supply of pharmaceutical drugs for non-medical use

Elan Lazuardi

Navigating the social dynamics of HIV care: a qualitative study in urban Indonesia in the era of scaled-up testing and treatment

Robert Lloyd

The Effect of Chiari Malformation Type I on Cerebrospinal Fluid Dynamics

Alastair Loutit

Suitability of the dorsal column nuclei for a neural prosthesis: functional considerations

Richard Mellor

Advancing understandings of remission and approaches to treatment through an examination of untreated remission from alcohol problems

Liza Tilia

Is there a Link Between Oocyte Meiotic Spindle Normality and Embryo Euploidy?

Collin Tran

Investigating the role of sphingosine 1-phosphate in neuroprotective signalling

Anne Wand

Understanding self-harm in the very old: A qualitative study with implications for clinical care and wider society


Faculty of Science



Thesis Title

Erica Barlow

Diversification of early life: Microfossils of the c. 2.45-2.21 Ga Turee Creek Group, Western Australia

Claire Brandenburger

Rapid evolution of an introduced plant

Ngee Kiat Chua

Degron features of the regulatory domain of squalene monooxygenase - a rate limiting enzyme in cholesterol synthesis

Phillip Green

Determinants of Choice in Animal Models of Gambling

Thomas Macdonald

Controlling Molecular Motion

Edward McDonald

Double Operator Integration with applications to Quantised Calculus

James Peak

Investigating the roles of dorsomedial striatal projection neurons in goal-directed action

Angela Soeriyadi

Expression, Characterisation, and Engineering of Cyanobacterial Natural Product Biosynthetic Pathways

Thomas Stindl

Statistical inference for renewal Hawkes self-exciting point processes

Song Tang

Correlation between microstructure and properties of magnesium-lithium-aluminium alloys

Shyam Tummanapalli

Evaluation of corneal nerves and tear neuromediators in diabetic peripheral neuropathy

Gaurav Vats

Investigation of electrical, optical and mechanical control of ferroelectric domains using scanning probe microscopy

Adrian Walker

Learning and earning under uncertaninty: The impact of uncertainty on human choice and attention in the exploration/exploitation trade-off

Daniel Wenholz

Development of Bacterial RNA Polymerase Holoenzyme Inhibitors and Total Synthesis of an Archaea Signalling Molecule


UNSW Canberra



Thesis Title

Ali Abbas Hussein Ameri

Microstructural Evolution of Lean Duplex Stainless Steels under Different Loading Conditions

Binod Aryal

Mechanical Behaviour of Carbon Fibre Reinforced Laminates and Honeycomb Sandwich Panels Subjected to Low-Velocity and High-Velocity Ballistic Impacts

Sumana Biswas

Real-Time Path Planning for a Swarm of Autonomous Systems

Florian Gottwalt

ACNADA: A Contextual Network Anomaly Detection Approach for False Alarms Reduction and Semantic Reasoning Enhancement

Ahsanul Habib

Efficient Algorithms for Computationally Expensive Optimization Problems

Nickolaos Koroniotis

Designing an effective network forensic framework for the investigation of botnets in the Internet of Things

Vu Lam

Intermestic Public Diplomacy in Vietnam: Boosting International Standing and Drumming up Domestic Support

Carlos Macana Morena

Modeling and Control of Inverter Based Microgrids

Awanthika Senarath

Embedding Privacy into Software Systems : A Privacy Engineering Methodology for Data Minimisation

Vu Phi Tran

Formation Control of Multi-Vehicle Systems using Negative-Imaginary-Systems Theory in Uncertain Environments

Yuanlong Wang

New Developments in Quantum Tomography