Deakin University has doubled its number of Research Institutes from two to four, with the move being approved by University Council on Thursday 3 March 2016.
The new Institutes will extend Deakin’s world class research in the former Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research (CPAN) and former Centre for Intelligent Systems Research (CISR).
They join Deakin’s well-established Institute for Frontier Materials and Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation (ADI-CG).
Deakin University Vice-Chancellor Professor Jane den Hollander said that the move reflected Deakin’s progress in growing its global research footprint in recent years.
“Establishment of these new Institutes recognises and rewards our research and the associated outputs which have benefited the communities we serve,” said Professor den Hollander.
“These Institutes will extend our critical mass of world class researchers and strengthen our research leadership in important fields.”
Deakin University’s Interim Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research Professor Peter Hodgson added that “Institute” status had a number of benefits for the two research groups, including: improved retention of high performing researchers, and attractiveness to other high calibre staff; enhanced relationships with industry in Australia and overseas, through the development of research and commercial partnerships; and enhanced capacity to attract and train quality PhD students.
“I am extremely proud of the achievements of our researchers in these Institutes,” said Professor Hodgson.
“Only a few months ago, in a first for Deakin, four CPAN researchers were included in the Thomson Reuters annual list of the world’s best researchers, according to academic citations. Alongside this, CISR is also attracting global recognition for its achievements in the fields of motion simulation, haptics, defence systems, robotics and process modelling.”
Co-Director of the new Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition (IPAN), Professor David Crawford, said that Institute designation represented “the next natural step in the evolution of the work CPAN has been doing for the past 15 years.”
“It will allow us to significantly enhance health in Australia and reduce the rates of chronic disease through innovative, quality research.”
He added that the new designation would allow the group to appoint additional research staff and extend their infrastructure “to further disseminate and communicate our research and increase its impact.”
“The work we do is relevant to the national health agenda and is particularly important, given Australia’s ageing population. We formed over a decade ago, and have grown from just four staff to over 50, with more than 60 PhD students,” he said.
Professor Saeid Nahavandi, Director of the new Institute for Intelligent Systems Research and Innovation, said that establishing CISR as an Institute would allow the group to “put greater emphasis on taking our research and development to the next level - turning our prototypes into commercial reality.”
“We will be able to focus on the delivery of innovative technologies and engineering, so that we can improve and upscale proof-of-concept prototypes into commercial-ready products and services,” said Professor Nahavandi.