Inaugural ARC Graeme Clark Research Outcomes Forum: Sneak preview

Wednesday, 18 June 2008, The Theatre, Parliament House, Canberra

Interviews can be arranged by contacting:

ARC Stakeholder relations           
0412 623 057  



Professor John Aitken

Director, ARC Centre of Excellence in Biotechnology and Development, The University of Newcastle

New horizons in reproductive biotechnology

The use of DNA-damaged sperm in assisted reproduction therapy (ART) is thought to be a major contributor to the increased incidence of birth defects seen in children born as a result of ART (these children stand a 30-40% increased risk of birth defects). Professor Aitken has developed a system for the rapid, efficient separation of human sperm that are relatively free from DNA damage for use in ART.

Professor Hilary Charlesworth

ARC Federation Fellow (2005)

Director, Centre for International Governance and Justice, The AustralianNationalUniversity

Human rights: Translating global standards to the local level

Professor Charlesworth’s groundbreaking work has influenced government policy and improved protection of human rights in Australia and overseas. In particular, she has contributed significantly to the global debate on ‘gender mainstreaming’ and to challenging the assumption that Australia’s commitment to a ‘fair go’ means we are adequately protected when, in fact, there are Australian laws that breach human rights standards.

Professor Graeme Clark AC (keynote speaker)

Pioneer of the Cochlear ‘bionic’ ear implant and founder of the Bionic Ear Institute

The Cochlear implant: A model for bio-medical innovation and industrial development

Professor Clark’s name is almost synonymous with the Cochlear bionic ear implant. From conception to research, development, implementation, commercialisation and beyond, he has led the way. Today, he is continuing his nano-bionics research to develop an implant that can achieve high fidelity sound; and expanding his research in auditory neuroscience to develop the discipline of medical bionics, to look at infection control using implanted devices, the correction of nerve and spinal cord injuries, and the treatment of drug resistant epilepsy.

Professor Hugh Durrant-Whyte

ARC Federation Fellow (2002 & 2007)

Director, ARC Centre of Excellence for Autonomous Systems, The University of Sydney

An autonomous straddle carrier system for shipping container handling

Professor Durrant-Whyte is responsible for a technological revolution in Australian container terminals. His Autostrad system 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.

Professor Matthew England

ARC Federation Fellow (2005)

Co-Director, Climate Change Research Centre, The University of New South Wales

Improving predictions of Australian rainfall extremes using Indian Ocean surface temperatures

Professor England has discovered how West Australian rainfall is controlled by the Indian Ocean, enabling more accurate extreme weather predictions and providing the region’s farming sector, water management and bushfire control better information with which to plan activities.

Professor Brian Fitzgerald

Chief Investigator and Programme Leader for Law, ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation, QueenslandUniversity of Technology

Cultivating the Creative Commons

Successfully managing copyright in the digital age is a tricky ask, but thanks to Professor Fitzgerald, Australia is meeting the challenge using a generic automated process of providing permission for use of copyright material in advance by labelling content with a badge linked to a flexible set of licensing conditions.

Professor Graham Goodwin

ARC Federation Fellow (2001)

Director, ARC Centre of Excellence for Complex Dynamic Systems and Control, The University of Newcastle

Control performance optimiser: Delivering fundamental research in advanced control to industry

All industrial processes depend upon control to keep them operating at desired levels of efficiency. The benefits of appropriate control include reduced energy consumption, reduction in waste material by-products, better product quality and, ultimately, the difference between profitability and non-profitability. Professor Goodwin has developed an advanced software tool to deal with the delicate balance between maximising production and avoiding failure.

Professor Paul Haddad

ARC Federation Fellow (2006)

Director, Australian Centre for Research on Separation Science, University of Tasmania

Catching terrorists using chemical residues from bomb blasts

In a post-Bali bombing era of homemade explosives, Professor Haddad is helping to rapidly capture perpetrators through a briefcase and soon, he predicts, through a microchip.

Professor Ross Homel AO

Director, Social and Behavioural Sciences Strategic Research Program, GriffithUniversity

Pathways to policy change: Transforming how Australia thinks about crime and other social problems

Professor Homel’s internationally renowned Pathways work demonstrates that ‘developmental prevention’ – getting in early, before crime or serious behaviour problems emerge or become entrenched, and modifying social arrangements through the provision of resources – improves child development and family wellbeing in disadvantaged communities and is more cost-effective than remedial programmes.

Professor Terry Hughes

ARC Federation Fellow (2002 & 2006)

Director, ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, JamesCookUniversity

Science for managing coral reefs

Coral reefs are important for the environmental role they play and for their social and economic value. They have long been under threat by fishing and pollution, but one of the biggest threats now is global warming. Professor Hughes is an international leader in scientific research to preserve the world’s coral reefs.

Professor Graeme Jameson AO

Director, Centre for Multiphase Processes, The University of Newcastle


New directions in mineral flotation

Professor Jameson is the researcher behind the Jameson Cell, which is used in the ‘froth flotation’ process to more effectively separate minerals from ore. There are about 90 Cells active in Australian coal operations with a combined annual production capacity of more than 18 million tonnes. At current coal prices (average A$100 per tonne), the contribution to Australia’s exports is around A$1.8 billion a year.


Professor Ross Large

Director, ARC Centre of Excellence in Ore Deposits

University of Tasmania

Professor Bruce Gemmell

Deputy Director, ARC Centre of Excellence in Ore Deposits, University of Tasmania

CODES: Synergy to success in ore discovery – the far-reaching benefits of a cooperative approach to research

Professors Large and Gemmell work closely with Australian and international mining companies and AMIRA International to identify where to dig for new metallic resources. Their research has influenced a change in the exploration practices used in the mining industry and led to the discovery of major zinc, lead, copper, silver and gold deposits.

Professor Keith Nugent

ARC Federation Fellow (2001 & 2006)

Director, ARC Centre of Excellence for Coherent X-ray Science, The University of Melbourne

A phase odyssey

Light can be described by three quantities: its intensity, its colour and its 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. Professor Nugent’s research on x-ray phase contrast methods, which enable exciting new ways of seeing things, has led to applications in optical microscopy, defence, medical cell assaying and ophthalmology.

Professor Suzanne O’Reilly

Director, Geochemical Evolution and Metallogeny of Continents ARC National Key Centre, MacquarieUniversity

TerraneChronÒ: Unearthing a wealth of information

Professor O’Reilly’s TerraneChronÒ tool is able to quickly and cost-effectively gather information about the geology of an area to help industry develop informed exploration strategies. The technology is being used by global mining giants BHP Billiton, Anglo American, Codelco and Newmont.

Professor John Ralston AO

Director, Ian Wark Research Institute

Director, ARC Special Research Centre for Particle and Material Interfaces, University of South Australia

The value of minerals processing research

Professor Ralston, with AMIRA International, has developed a model that describes mathematically the flotation process that separates minerals from ore, allowing an engineer to determine the most effective parameters for flotation based on the type of mineral particle and its size. Incorporation of the model into software enables mineral companies to predict the effect of any changes to the flotation process, inform the design of flotation plants, and reduce the financial risks involved in capital expenditure.

Professor Mark Randolph

ARC Federation Fellow (2005)

ARC Special Research Centre for Offshore Foundation Systems, The University of Western Australia

Professor Mark Cassidy

Co-Director, ARC Special Research Centre for Offshore Foundation Systems, The University of Western Australia

Geotechnical engineering solutions for deep-water oil and gas developments

Professors Randolph and Cassidy are international leaders in modelling facilities that focus on offshore geomechanics to aid in the discovery of new resources and develop better construction methods. For example, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, which destroyed 46 fixed platforms and six mobile ‘jack-up’ structures (at an insured cost of nearly US$6.4 million), their work has been used to investigate how offshore structures can be designed to survive catastrophic weather events.

Professor Charles Sampford

Foundation Director, ARC Key Centre for Ethics, Law, Justice & Governance, GriffithUniversity

Ethics and integrity systems: A key Australian contribution to combating corruption and governance reform

Professor Sampford’s research into the role of ethics in governance reform has been adopted by some of the biggest anti-corruption agencies in the world, such as Transparency International, and funders of reform, such as the World Bank. The ‘Sampford trinity’ is a valued-based approach to combating institutional corruption that involves combining ethical standard setting, legal regulation and institutional reform.

Professor Michelle Simmons

ARC Federation Fellow (2003 & 2008)

Programme Manager, Atomic Fabrication and Crystal Growth, ARC Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computer Technology, The University of New South Wales

Atomic electronics: Pre-competitive research for the global semiconductor industry

Professor Simmons has created the world’s smallest conducting wires in silicon, pushing the limits of microelectronics and paving the way for even faster, smaller computers. She recently brokered a deal with computer giant IBM to design and model transistor architectures using the new approach to fabricating wires.

Professor Stephen Simpson

ARC Federation Fellow (2004)

Behaviour and Physiology Research Group Leader, School of Biological Sciences, The University of Sydney

Biblical swarms, cannibals and human obesity: Lessons from locusts

Professor Simpson’s study of swarming locusts has given him an insight into the powerful human appetite for protein, which can cause us to eat too many calories and predispose us to obesity and associated metabolic disorders.