Monday, 24 September 2018 22:41

Future proofing energy systems a focus for one of UNSW’s new institutes

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 Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Future-proofing global energy systems to ensure reliable, secure, affordable, sustainable energy supplies is one of the research projects to be implemented by the University of NSW in four new institutes it has established.

The four new Futures Institutes are part of the UNSW Futures initiative, a major component of the university’s 2025 Strategy, providing a framework for facilitating cross-faculty and interdisciplinary work, driving new approaches to research, and addressing scientific and social challenges.

As part of the initiative, UNSW will invest up to $200 million in new and emerging areas across faculties, with the virtual Institutes receiving core funding to support operations, seed-funding for new research projects, and a commitment of funding for strategic hires and retention program hires.

UNSW president and vice-chancellor Professor Ian Jacobs and deputy vice-chancellor, Research, Professor Nicholas Fisk, announced the Futures Institutes last week:

  • UNSW Ageing Futures Institute: enabling optimal ageing for individuals and society – led by Professor Kaarin Anstey.
  • NSW Cellular Genomics Futures Institute: inventing technologies to decode individual cell DNA, chromatin, RNA, and protein outputs that will be used for precise diagnosis and precision treatment of human disease – led by Professor Chris Goodnow.
  • NSW Digital Grid Futures Institute: future-proofing global energy systems to ensure reliable, secure, affordable, sustainable energy supply – led by Professor Joe Dong.
  • UNSW Materials & Manufacturing Futures Institute: transforming the future of materials and manufacturing research in energy, transport, information technology, and healthcare – initially led by Professor Sean Li pending a definitive appointment.

The university will formally launch the institutes at an event on 24 October, followed by an opportunity for networking with Futures Institute directors and lead investigators.

Professor Fisk says that the Institutes position UNSW as a “big picture visionary university of the future”.

“The Institutes will enhance UNSW’s focus on innovative interdisciplinary and cross-faculty research that impacts society and policy,” said Professor Fisk.

“The Institutes build on our existing strengths and will act as a drawcard for international recruitment, government and industry links, while harnessing academic excellence to address humanity’s major challenges.”

A second round of UNSW Futures Institutes applications will open in late 2019.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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