Outstanding academics recognised in 2021 Vice-Chancellor's Researcher Awards

29 November 2021

CQUniversity academics have been recognised in the 2021 Vice-Chancellor's Awards for Outstanding Researchers.

CQUniversity Vice-President of Research Professor Grant Stanley said the Vice-Chancellor's Awards for Outstanding Researchers highlights the talented academics at CQUniversity who have made significant contributions in achieving exceptional research outcomes.

"The awardees have demonstrated exemplary research leadership' mentoring and performance. The awards recognise the outstanding contributions they have made towards advancing knowledge and enhancing research at the University." Prof Stanley said.

In the Vice-Chancellor's Award for Outstanding Research – Early Career Researcher category' two Awards and one Commendation have been presented.

Dr Melanie Hayman (School of Health' Medical and Applied Sciences) received an Early Career Research Award.

Dr Hayman said the award reflects the many long hours and weekends she spent in front of the laptop.

"It is nice to see my hard work and dedication to creating strong research partnerships that have contributed to my achievements to date recognised' especially as a teaching and research academic'" she said.

"Whilst this is an individual award' research (especially mine) is not done in isolation. I am very fortunate to be surrounded by amazing colleagues who continue to support my research endeavours."

Dr Hayman said being passionate about your research makes the journey easier and much more rewarding. She reminds aspiring researchers to take the time to look after themselves and to not be scared to get off the 'treadmill' every now and then to breathe.

Dr Qing Wu (School of Engineering and Technology) also received an Early Career Research Award this year.

Dr Wu has an outstanding research performance as an Early Career Researcher since receiving his PhD in 2016.

Now in his final year of Early Career Research' Dr Wu said this award highlights his achievements and motivates him to continue to produce innovative research.

"As a proud CQUniversity railway researcher' this award is the best recognition of Early Career Research efforts'" he said.

"I am grateful for the Centre for Railway Engineering (CRE) for inspiring me to produce exceptional railway research."

Dr Wu has led two international collaborative research initiatives that have involved research from 12 countries' and he was a winner of an Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award in 2020.

Dr Wu encourages fellow and aspiring researchers to always try their best.

"Regardless of the situation' always try your best. You will not regret it when you see the positive outcomes."

Dr Imran Ali (School of Business and Law) was awarded the Early Career Research commendation.

Dr Ali said he is extremely honoured and delighted to have received the award and that it reflects his hard work and devotion to achieve research excellence' and that the Early Career Research program has greatly supported him in further improving his research profile.

While expanding his network of collaborators' Dr Ali said he experienced some minor disappointments' but after consulting with his mentors' he managed to tackle the issues through effective negotiation and flexibility.

"Numerous mentors have inspired me throughout my research career. I'm latterly inspired by Professor John Rolfe' Professor David Pearson' Associate Professor Delwar Akbar from CQUniversity and Professor Kannan Govindan from the University of Southern Denmark'" he said.

"Being an early career researcher' I've learnt' inter alia' three things that are pertinent to build up your strong research profile: strong connection with industry' collaboration with supportive and active researchers' and a real passion to serve the community and other stakeholders through research and social innovation."

In the Vice-Chancellor's Award for Outstanding Research – Mid Career Researcher category' one Award has been determined.

Dr Xianbo (Bill) Zhao (School of Engineering and Technology) was identified as this year's awardee in the Mid Career Researcher category.

He says while the award is a great honour that will continue to motivate him to continue with his research activities' it is also a recognition of his past research outcomes.

"I have continuously published high-quality journal articles in the past ten years that have received significant citations from peers worldwide'" Dr Zhao explained.

"Research is about collaboration. Over 70 per cent of my journal articles are based on strong and long-term domestic and international collaborations."

Dr Zhao said he has encountered disappointments' but he always insists on trying again and never quitting.

"In the past two years' the COVID-19 pandemic has led to lockdowns in Sydney that impacted my planned overseas and interstate research activities. However' I made use of this period to write several journal articles."

During Dr Zhao's 12-year academic career' he said there have been many people who have consistently inspired and motivated him.

"Professor Steve Hall and Professor Steven Moore have strongly supported my research activities' conference travels and collaborations' and Professor Drew Dawson has generously shared his research experiences with me which transformed my viewpoints on research." he said.

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