Associate Professor Kristian Krabbenhoft, who is exploring ways to predict avalanches and landslides, was one of two University of Newcastle researchers to receive a coveted Australia Research Council (ARC) Future Fellowship.
The highly competitive Future Fellowships scheme acknowledges the best and brightest mid-career researchers and provides incentives for the recipients to conduct their nationally important research in Australia.
A/Professor Krabbenhoft was awarded $813,000 over five years and will use the grant to develop a model to simulate the granular movement of these natural disasters. The model will also assist with predicting the flow of granular materials stored in silos, bins and hoppers.
“Granular materials like sand, dirt and grains can mimic the behaviour of a fluid and in catastrophic events, such as landslides and avalanches, this movement can be devastating,” A/Professor Krabbenhoft said.
“Granular flows contribute to a wide range of problems relating to civil infrastructure and developing a way to predict these flows will allow better preparedness for the possibility of disaster.
“This research has strong application locally and internationally, and developing a prediction model will greatly benefit civil, geotechnical and infrastructure engineering, and the mining and minerals industries.”
A/Professor Krabbenhoft is a chief investigator for the University’s new ARC Centre of Excellence for Geotechnical Science and Engineering, led by Laureate Professor Scott Sloan.
Also receiving a Future Fellowship, Associate Professor Paulette Van Vliet from the Faculty of Health was awarded $659,000 over five years. This will fund her research into improving the quality of life for stroke survivors.
“We aim to identify new treatments by focusing on what type of stroke causes difficulty in coordinating arm movement. The research will allow us to describe the coordination difficulties in detail by using a combination of neuroimaging, biomechanical and clinical measures. It will investigate mechanisms for recovery and treatment and provide an excellent basis for future interventions to improve arm function in stroke survivors,” A/Professor Van Vliet said.
A/Professor Van Vliet will work on her project in the University’s Priority Research Centre for Brain and Mental Health.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Professor Mike Calford, said the ARC’s Future Fellows 2010 announcement brought Newcastle’s total to six since the scheme was introduced in 2009.
“The highly competitive Future Fellowships is the top ranking support scheme for mid-career researchers. This is a great achievement for A/Professor Krabbenhoft and A/Professor Van Vliet,” Professor Calford said.
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