Deakin Professors announced as finalists in Engagement Australia Excellence Awards

Media release

22 November 2022

Deakin University is proud to announce two academic staff - Associate Professor Phillip Roös and Professor Richard Tucker - as finalists in the prestigious Engagement Australia 2022 Excellence Awards.

The 2022 awards recognise leaders in research and innovation, leadership, science engagement and school science and identify and celebrate the most exciting engagement activities undertaken by universities that demonstrate far-reaching impact and innovation in the Australian and New Zealand economy and community.

Director of the Live+Smart Research Laboratory and Associate Head of Deakin’s School of Architecture, Associate Professor Phillip Roös is known internationally as a leader in Environmental Design and has been working as a design professional for over 30 years.

Associate Professor Phillip Roös was nominated for the Award for Outstanding Engagement for Research Impact for the Biophilic Design Framework developed and applied to inform design and construction of new Mental Health, Alcohol and Other Drugs (MHAOD) facilities at Barwon Health, that enhance and support the mental health and wellbeing of staff, consumers, and visitors.

Associate Professor Roös said:

"I am honoured to have received the finalist nomination for Excellence in Research Impact Award for our research work in biophilic design for mental health facilities. Supported by an amazing team from Barwon Health, CHIME, the School of Psychology, and the Live+Smart Lab, we implemented the first Australian biophilic design framework in such a facility.

"The significance of this work is that we will be able to provide places that can enhance health and wellbeing right where it is needed the most, and that the outputs directly address the urgent call of the Royal Commission’s report on Victoria’s Mental Health System that requires a major reform of facilities across Victoria."

Professor Richard Tucker is Director of Deakin's HOME Research Hub, a centre that fills a significant gap through focussing on repurposing what we have, to revitalising existing housing, creatively reusing other existing buildings, and better integrating new development.

Professor Tucker also received a finalist nomination for the Outstanding Engagement for Research Impact Award for the HOME Research Hub project: From Microvillage to Transitional Housing for Homeless Men.

"The project was the outcome of a sustained partnership between 20 HOME researchers, 35 community stakeholders, 18 students, philanthropic organisations who funded the research, being the Lord Mayor's Charitable Foundation, the Geelong Community Foundation, and state and local government grants, as well as industry partner FormFlow, housing providers Samaritan House Geelong and The Salvation Army, and seven men experiencing homelessness," said Professor Tucker.

"Through the creation, construction and evaluation of seven compact, prefabricated homes, this team was able to change the housing landscape for disadvantaged communities in Victoria, with applicability nationally and internationally and I am very proud to be a part of this meaningful project."

Deakin's Head of the School of Architecture and Built Environment Professor Sarah McGann said the dual finalists are worthy recipients and great ambassadors to those seeking careers in the field.

"Both Professor Tucker and Associate Professor Phillip Roös represent the many benefits of informed design and the power of collaboration," said Professor McGann. "Both projects delivered applied research and concepts that are grounded in informing healthy, sustainable, adaptive, and resilient outcomes now, and for the future.

On behalf of the Deakin University community, I would like to congratulate Associate Professor Roös and Professor Tucker on their nominations."

Now in its third year after transitioning from the Business-Higher Education Round Table (BHERT) Awards, the Engagement Australia Excellence Awards celebrate the most exciting and impactful engagement activities undertaken by the Australian and New Zealand Higher Education sectors.

Associate Professor Phil Roos - Biophilia Design

Professor Richard Tucker - HOME project

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