Pawsey researchers celebrate ARC funding

Over forty Pawsey users, collectively working on 33 projects received over $13.5 million in Australian Research Council (ARC) funding.

Every year, the Australian Research Council (ARC) administers a National Competitive Grants Program (NCGP); a significant component of Australia’s investment in Australian science, research and development.

In November 2017, Minister for Education and Training the Hon Simon Birmingham announced $333.5 million of funding as part of the NCGP. This investment in Australian science comes with many benefits and Pawsey are gratified to see their researchers reap them.

Pawsey researchers have received funding across the two broad schemes under the NCGP – the Discovery Program, which primarily focuses on supporting individuals and small teams; and the Linkage Program, which creates links outside universities with industry, other partners and stimulates research impacts.

Recipients of these grants come from all walks of sciences undertaken by Pawsey, including earth science, astronomy, energy, computational fluid dynamics, bioinformatics and manufacturing

“This round of grants will increase Australia’s research capacity by expanding our research infrastructure and facilities and support Australia’s most outstanding researchers,” Minister Birmingham said, “the funding would reach across key research areas and that many of the projects would help deliver real outcomes that benefit Australians”.

This Federal government confidence in our researchers lays the foundation of Pawsey truly being a National supercomputing facility.

“The resources and advisory role ARC plays helps our researchers undertake ground-breaking work to make breakthroughs and advancements in Australian big science” said Ugo Varetto, Pawsey’s Acting Executive, “Pawsey and incredibly excited to be a part of this movement”.

Some of Pawsey’s largest HPC users have received funding for their work.

Julio Soria in collaboration with 13 other researchers is investigating fluid dynamics and thermal performance of solar particle receivers using DNS. It is expected to provide unprecedented measurement capabilities with significant benefit to the design, control and modelling of complex fluid flows found in many areas; including jets used for heating, cooling, mixing, and drug delivery in engineering and pharmacy to the kinematics of bio-medicine, and wave-particle flows in geo-physics.

Evatt Hawkes has received over $1.2 million through two grants for his work on the processes of ignition, combustion and pollutants. One project aims to improve fuel economy and reduce emissions harmful to health and the environment. The outcomes from this project will lead to accelerated development of the GCI engine, and more optimal GCI solutions to be found.

The second project establishes innovative capabilities for advanced diagnostics techniques to be applied in reacting, particle-laden flows over a range of pressures. The result of this work will set the framework for more effective predictive methods that assist in the design of cleaner and efficient processes that benefit a range of applications, from engine design to the generation of new fuels, and the flame synthesis of novel materials.

Like Hawke, Simon Driver has received two separate grands for his various projects. These include the growth mapping of integrated stellar mass within galaxy structures over all time, which explores the link between component growth and the mass of the dark matter halo.

His second project aims to double the number of fibres in the spectrograph on the UK Schmidt Telescope, doubling the number of stars and galaxies that it can observe simultaneously.

This would allow rapid and timely completion of two major projects:

  • The Taipan galaxy survey would be first to test a potential discrepancy in the expansion rate of the universe that may signal new physics,
  • The FunnelWeb stellar survey would (in tandem with two space missions) identify potential nearby exoplanets and trace the history of the Milky Way.

Igor Bray is developing a computational approach to atomic collision theory, involving molecular targets with electrons, positrons and heavy particles. This project aims to extend its method to achieve more accurate data for diagnostic tools such as Positron Emission Tomography, and potential advances in particle-based cancer therapy.

Congratulations to everyone who has received funding through the National Competitive Grants Program.

To read more about the Program, grants and recipients, visit the ARC website.