The Ian Davey Research Thesis Prize fund supports a prize to acknowledge the most outstanding research thesis by a University of South Australia research degree student leading to a Doctor of Philosophy degree. The award aims to encourage the recipient to travel overseas and undertake research. For a list of past awardees, please see below.

Prize criteria

The Ian Davey Research Thesis Prize is awarded to the most outstanding research thesis passed and leading to a Doctor of Philosophy in the preceding calendar year. The prize is a prestigious honour and may not be awarded in a year should the selection committee consider there is no meritorious student.

Students are nominated by Deans of Research, Institute Directors or Directors of research centres by the end of December for the award, for presentation at a graduation ceremony in the following year.

The prize is normally awarded to a thesis of excellence that is:

  • passed without changes or only with minor changes of an editorial nature
  • noted for the quality, international standing and location of the examiners and the content of their reports
  • accepted or most likely to be accepted for publication
  • likely to have a significant impact on communities beyond the University

Selection committee and management of the award

The selection committee consists of the following members who will recommend the winner to the Vice Chancellor and President, and provide a brief report to the Foundation Committee:

  • The Deputy Vice Chancellor Research and Enterprise, or like member of the Senior Management Group
  • The Dean of Graduate Studies, or like member of the University
  • A senior respected University researcher from an external University and/or Industry Partner with engagement with UniSA
  • The selection committee is convened by Research Student Services.

The Ian Davey Research Thesis Prize fund is managed and administered by Research Student Services (Student and Academic Services).


The Ian Davey Research Thesis prize is $5,000.

The Foundation Committee will determine the level of the prize recognising that the intention is for the prize to be awarded in perpetuity.

Contributions to the fund may be accepted from various sources but the name of the prize shall remain unchanged.

About Emeritus Professor Ian Davey

The Ian Davey Research Thesis Prize fund exists thanks to the generosity of late Emeritus Professor Ian Davey.

Emeritus Professor Ian Davey retired from the University of South Australia in 2006, having served as Pro Vice Chancellor (Research & International) from 1994 to 2003 and Pro Vice Chancellor (Research & Innovation) from 2004 to 2006. Prior to joining UniSA, he was the inaugural Dean of Graduate Studies at the University of Adelaide from 1991 to 1994 and Chair of its Research Committee from 1987 to 1990. 

His academic background was in social and demographic history with a particular interest in the impact of industrialisation on childhood experience. He was President of the Australian & New Zealand History of Education Society in 1987, Chair of the Deputy & Pro Vice Chancellors Research Committee in 1997 and a member of the Commonwealth Government's Research Quality Framework Development Advisory Group in 2006.  

Professor Davey was also an inaugural member of the South Australian Premier's Science & Research Council and has served on the boards, of both Luminis and ITEK, the commercial arms of the University of Adelaide and UniSA. He was also on the boards of TGR Biosciences, the Australian Housing & Urban Research Institute, the History Trust of South Australia and numerous Cooperative Research Centres. 

Approved by Research Degrees Committee, 4 May 2006
Approved by Academic Board


Ian Davey Research Thesis Prize awardees


Dr Samuel Fowler

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For his thesis, Dr Samuel Fowler completed a design-based research project that explored how epistemic cognition could deepen teachers’ reasoning as applied to the method and practice of teaching. His innovative approach to the project involved his iterative development of models for teacher professional development. He used each iteration to engage with a different industry partner, with his conclusions enabling real-world improvements for industry partners and students.

Dr Fowler said he was ‘quite surprised’ to hear he was joint winner of the Ian Davey Research Thesis Prize: ‘this was not my aim in completion. Rather, I saw the thesis as a result of my learning process and the impetus for post-doctoral work’. He took a groundbreaking approach to his thesis within his field by including six published papers. Rather than producing a portfolio of publications, he produced a thesis ‘with’ publication. In turn, he used the thesis to stitch together a unifying narrative of an expansive program of research.

Dr Fowler’s PhD project was practical from the outside. As he explained, ‘given my role within a research team that collaborates with a variety of R-12 schools and my background in these contexts, it was logical to implement multiple studies across different locations. While the pandemic did modify the methods slightly, the majority of research conducted in these settings was eventually documented in publications, contributing to the successive phases of the design-based research central to my thesis. I tended to think of the papers as building key building blocks to the design principles I was trying to develop.’

Dr Fowler continues his focus on STEM teaching practices as a lecturer in UniSA Education Futures and as a member of the UniSA Education Futures Outreach team. As part of team of researchers, he is applying his expert knowledge to explore developments in self-regulated learning, metacognition, and spatial reasoning – aiming and testing for significant academic and wellbeing outcomes for students.

Dr Hayley Leake

(More information coming soon)



Dr Emily Miller

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Dr Emily Miller’s PhD research investigated the experiences of South Australian high school students from refugee backgrounds. Close to half of UNHCR-recognised refugees or asylum seekers are under the age of 18 years. Dr Miller’s research addressed a gap in studies about best practice support for high sc

hool students in resettlement. Her research has positively impacted communities and individuals at the local level and has influenced state, federal, and international policymaking. 

In choosing her PhD topic, Dr Miller was motivated to contribute to positive outcomes for people from refugee backgrounds. ‘As a resettlement country,’ she said, ‘Australia has an obligation to support positive settlement outcomes, including through inclusive and responsive educational practice’. Dr Miller’s research found that both school practices and broader socio-ecological factors impacted students’ aspirations, experiences, and identities. 

‘When I found out about receiving the Ian Davey prize I was really humbled and grateful,’ Dr Miller said. She expressed gratitude to the selection co

mmittee, to Emeritus Professor Ian Davey for initiating the award, and to her supervisor, Professor Tahereh Ziaian, ‘for her leadership in this field and for sharing her expertise with me throughout the PhD’.

Dr Miller’s methodology enabled her to engage meaningfully with participants’ communities as well as the service providers that work with these communities. She acknowledged the chance to collaborate with industry experts at Multicultural Youth South Australia (MYSA) and the Australian Migrant Resource Centre (AMRC): ‘I learned so much working with these organisations and through connections to communities.’

Dr Miller continues to work in her chosen field. Currently, she is engaged in several research projects, including ’a large international project investigating settlement of young people and families from refugee and migrant backgrounds’. Her ongoing engagement with key stakeholders will include speaking to the United Nations Committee on Migration in 2023. She said she was excited to consider how winning the Ian Davey prize ‘might help to further promote the research and raise the profile of young people, families and communities from refugee backgrounds in Australia’.


Dr Rosa Virgara

RosaVirgara_Ian Davey Thesis Prize.jpegDr Rosa Virgara’s thesis developed national guidelines for physical activity and screen time for children participating in Outside School Hours Care (OSHC programs – approximately one in ten Australian children. This research is timely and critical because achieving the minimum daily physical activity recommendations is vital to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity, reduced academic achievement, low self-esteem, and behavioural difficulties.

She described returning to UniSA looking for a change in her career, subsequently meeting with Professor Carol Maher to discuss PhD project options: ‘As a mother about to return to the workforce I knew I would be relying on OSHC services more as I now had two of my four children at school – so this project spoke to me on many levels as a researcher, a physiotherapist and a mother.’ Dr Virgara said the direct involvement of OSHC services was pivotal to the success of the PhD and the UniSA research that followed: ‘Throughout all components of the PhD the OSHC industry was involved, giving their feedback, their values and their understanding of how we could make research fit in the real-world setting. ‘

Dr Virgara and her supervisory panel understood that continuing the project past its PhD life to become a national project required publication of research findings throughout candidature. By publishing the contents of the PhD during candidature, ‘we were able to make connections with other experienced researchers who would be able to bring skills and ideas to our plans for a national project. Planning for this was important so that all this valuable work that was done, based in a real-world setting engaging with end-users and stakeholders wouldn’t be wasted.’

Dr Virgara’s PhD research led to UniSA successfully leveraging to national, multi-million-dollar implementation and dissemination grants – allowing this important work to continue. Western Australia and New South Wales being run as a national Randomised Controlled Trial. The project aims to determine if the use of the guidelines and training package helps to improve children’s physical activity in both urban and rural OSHC services.

Dr Virgara expressed her gratitude and thanks to the Ian Davey Research Thesis Prize selection committee and the family of the late Professor Davey. She also acknowledged her supervisory panel: ‘I am forever grateful for the opportunities, belief and encouragement my supervisory team of Professor Carol Maher, Professor Lucy Lewis, Dr Anna Phillips and Ms Mandy Richardson gave to me. They made the PhD experience not only successful but fulfilling and enriching.’


In 2021, the Ian Davey Thesis Prize selection panel reached a unanimous decision that two graduates were jointly deserving of recognition for the high quality of their research. With the support of Ian and Pene Davey, the prize has been jointly awarded to Dr Hayley Schultz and Dr Amy Parkes.

Dr Hayley Schultz

Dr Hayley Schultz’s PhD thesis described a novel formulation method for improving the absorption of drugs with oral delivery andabsorption challenges, to improve medication efficacy and patient compliance. Notably, Hayley successfully applied her novel formulation method to a first-line drug treatment for prostate cancer. Hayley’s method improved the drug absorption by 40% and is expected to allow patients to take smaller daily doses independently of food, in turn improving patient compliance and quality of life.

Both Hayley’s thesis examiners recognised the breadth of her research, with one of the examiners commenting specifically on the “wide range of experimental approaches applied”, noting these as “highly commendable in the context of a unique PhD experience”. Both examiners also commented on the impact and quality of Hayley’s work, recognised through five publications generated from her thesis; one examiner commented that “the findings make a significant contribution to knowledge in the research field”.

“I was shocked when I received the phone call to be informed that all my hard work during my PhD had been formally recognised through the award of the Ian Davey Thesis Prize. It will do wonders on my CV and allow me to stand out from the crowd of post-doctoral researchers. I look forward to the opportunities that it will present in my future career.”

Hayley’s thesis was supervised by Professor Clive Prestidge and co-supervised by Dr Nicky Thomas (UniSA Clinical & Health Sciences). Since completing her PhD, Hayley has been employed as a post-doctoral research associate at the Quality Use of Medicines Pharmacy Research Centre, in UniSA Clinical & Health Sciences. The new role has enabled Hayley to apply the knowledge and experiences gained during her PhD to inform the optimal use of medicines.

Hayley plans to continue her career in research and to secure funding to drive her own research projects.

“I will never forget my PhD experience at UniSA. I loved the challenge of learning new things every day and pushing myself to achieve the best possible outcomes. My PhD was not only about the research thesis, but all the opportunities that came with it. I made the most of every opportunity that led to amazing experiences, specifically travelling the world to present my research, learn from experts and grow as an individual. Most of all, I appreciate all my colleagues who made my PhD such an enjoyable experience.”

Dr Amy Parkes 

Dr Amy Parkes’ PhD thesis drew on ethnographic and participatory research methods to challenge the perceptions of the “unfit” Aboriginal mother which persist in Australian society. Through her research, Amy developed a deep relationship with a group of Aboriginal women known as the Granny’s Group, who were critical in enabling her to research the experiences and perspectives of Aboriginal mothers and grandmothers. Amy’s work highlighted the persistent problematisation of Aboriginal motherhood and the complex, diverse and individualised factors which influence contemporary Aboriginal mothering practice.

The impact of Amy’s work has been recognised not only through her academic research outputs but by a NAIDOC community service award in 2016, for which Amy was nominated by the Granny’s Group. With a long history of community volunteer w

ork, since completing her PhD Amy has been working in the homelessness and housing sector, noting that “the client is at the centre of everything I do...  having worked within and outside of government it is my plan to continue to be brave and to

advocate for practice excellence that resists the status quo.”

Both Amy’s examiners commented on the invaluable contribution her work has made to this field, with one examiner noting that reading one of the chapters had “compelled me to think critically about my own contributions to work on motherhood”. In both reports, the examiners also noted their support for Amy to extend and develop her work for future publication beyond the published outputs already achieved during her PhD.

Amy reflected on the opportunities presented by her award, to further both her own research and her continuing advocacy for Aboriginal mothers. “It is my hope that the Ian Davey Award will support me to highlight the messages contained within my research, but also in my work as I continue to advocate for changes and improvements in the way that Aboriginal mothers and their families experience systems.”

Amy’s thesis was supervised by Dr Carole Zufferey and Associate Professor Nicole Moulding (UniSA Justice and Society), and Dr Eva McRae-Williams (Batchelor Institute). “I will always look back on my PhD journey as a special time in my life - I am forever indebted to the women who participated in this research who have enriched my life wholly and completely.  I will never forget the undying efforts of Dr Carole Zufferey and Dr Eva McRae-Williams, as well as Professor Nicole Moulding... they walked alongside me, understood my vision, shared in my passion, and endlessly encouraged me.”


Dr Jessica Day

With clinical training in Rheumatology, Dr Day’s research identified a range of demographic and medical profiles associated with severe forms of the inflammatory muscle disease ‘myositis’, enabling clinicians to diagnose and recognise patients at risk.

Additionally, Dr Day’s research pin pointed unique patterns of an inflammatory protein in patients with these diseases, which may provide future benefit in early diagnosis and treatment.

“I was very pleased and humbled to receive the Ian Davey Thesis Prize; it is such a great honour to have received a prize such as this,” she said.  “You put a lot of heart and soul into your PhD so this is a special recognition.”

Both internationally renowned examiners noted that Dr Day produced a thesis of excellence.

“The discoveries Dr Day made during this PhD have a strong probability of improving the diagnosis and therapeutic outcomes for myositis patients suffering from this debilitating and yet poorly understood disease.”

“Her PhD research is having immediate and meaningful impact on her clinical work and will influence clinical practice and outcomes for patients.”

Dr Day continues her work as a Rheumatologist, now based at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, and also as a recipient of the John T. Reid Centenary Fellowship at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute.  Through her post-doctoral research, Dr Day continues to undertake research in the same area to continue to create impact on patients’ lives in a tangible way.

For the purposes of her research, Dr Day was trained to take muscle biopsies at the patient bedside using a specialised needle, in which few rheumatologists are trained. This procedure allows patients to undergo a diagnostic test without the risks of surgery and a general anaesthetic. She said, “I am now hoping to develop a needle muscle biopsy service at the Royal Melbourne Hospital. As such, the procedural skills I obtained during my PhD are now having a direct impact on patient care.”

Dr Day describes her UniSA PhD experience as ‘enlightening’.

“It is an amazing opportunity to be able to immerse yourself in one specific area and learn as much as you can,” she reflects. “There are not many opportunities where you are able to immerse yourself like this in your learning today.”



Dr Tessa Bailey

Dr Tessa Bailey's PhD thesis investigated a wide range of working conditions and how they impact employee health and productivity. The research utilised the Psychosocial Safety Climate (PSC) Framework, which captures policy, practice, and procedure related to the protection of worker mental health and promotion of wellbeing. The analyses showed that PSC is a significant predictor of job strain, depression, exhaustion, bullying and harassment, worker injury, and organisational turnover. On receiving the award, Dr Bailey said "I'm extremely honoured that the work in my PhD has received such a prestigious award. It gives me confidence to continue my work using science as a driving force behind better practice in the field of work and organisational psychology."

 Described as an "impressive" and "truly outstanding" thesis by her internationally renowned examiners, Dr Bailey's research extended well-known work stress models to deliver a theoretical framework for practical application in organisations who can use the PSC to guide workplace strategies for prevention and implementation. The research has facilitated widespread use of the PSC theory and tool in practice by organisations across Australia and internationally (Malta, Germany, The Netherlands, Canada, France, Malaysia, China, New Zealand, Iran, Ghana, Vietnam).

 Dr Bailey has recently been successful in securing a postdoctoral position, jointly funded by the Victorian Public Service Commission. As part of this she will undertake analysis of PSC, which is now being measured across the Victorian Public Sector. This is alongside her work on a linkage project, which aims to make data from the Australian Workplace Barometer, (including topics such as PSC and productivity outcomes for over 7000 Australian workers) available for  public access through visualised data.

As a result of her research, Dr Bailey has been elected as Secretary of the International Commission of Occupational Health - Work Organisations and Psychosocial Factors (ICOH-WOPS) Scientific Committee, and is the Finance Officer of the Asia Pacific Academy for Psychosocial Factors at Work. "The prize money will assist me to attend important events such as the 6th Regulating for Decent Work Conference, hosted by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in Geneva in July 2019, for which I have an accepted abstract to present on one of the chapters from my thesis."

Speaking of her PhD experience at UniSA, Dr Bailey chose "inspiring" as the key word to describe it. "I was surrounded by some of the most exceptional people within my field that are internationally recognised for their research work, and I was provided the balance of their experience to guide me, as well as the freedom to follow my own passion."



Dr Jessica Wojciechowski

Jessica Wojciechowski's research used computer modelling to track the progress of, and determine optimal treatment for, autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease.

The use of the model-based tools developed through Jessica's research enables the delivery of individualised drug treatment strategies to patients, reducing the likelihood of drug overexposure, to minimise side effects, as well as reducing the probability of underexposure. Through this, medication benefits are maximised, disease management is optimised and quality of life is enhanced.

 "As well as supporting better treatment strategies and outcomes for patients, my research has benefits for the health professional and scientific communities by demonstrating the use of web applications which allow more straightforward use of the model-based tools in clinical and research settings," commented Jessica. Jessica's research led to her being awarded an Australian Government Endeavour Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, funding a six month training program at Pfizer Inc. in the United States, which resulted in a full-time employment offer. She said, "I am enjoying the new experiences that come with starting out as a researcher in a big pharmaceutical company as well as moving overseas. I plan to use the funds provided by the Ian Davey award expand my collaborative networks by including European institutions and to present my work to researchers and clinicians in my pharmacometrics."Jessica's research project was supervised by Professor Richard Upton, Associate Professor David Foster and Associate Professor Michael Wiese in the School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences.



Dr Victoria Madden

Victoria Madden's PhD research examined the idea that the classical conditioning framework can be used to explain pain that persists after damaged bodily tissue has healed.

"During my project, I surveyed healthcare clinicians across the world, and found that the overwhelming majority believe that the classical conditioning framework can be applied to pain in humans, and also believe that there is scientific evidence to support this. However, a systematic review which was also part of my project found that there was no clear supporting experimental evidence for this belief," said Victoria.

Victoria continues to work in this area, to determine whether pain can be a classically conditioned response, and how this knowledge can inform treatment of pain by clinicians.

During her research project, Victoria published 11 scholarly articles, and continues to be a regular contributor as an associate editor of the research group's blog,, which has the widest and most influential reach of any web or social media outlet in the clinical pain sciences, attracting more than 20,000 unique visitors to its site from around the world. The outputs and scientific outreach of Victoria's work was a significant factor considered by the Ian Davey Prize panel. Victoria told us that "winning the Ian Davey prize was a huge honour and a wonderful, encouraging surprise.  I returned home to South Africa after my PhD, and it has been important for me to work on my international collaborative networks while I find my feet in the South African research world.  The Ian Davey prize has supported me to travel to present my work to researchers and clinicians in my field and to maintain and extend international collaborations.  There is so much to be learned from different approaches to research, and travelling to meet others has been an excellent opportunity to learn from them and improve my own research."Victoria's research project was undertaken through the BodyInMind Research Group in the Sansom Institute for Health Research, under the supervision of Professor Lorimer Moseley, and Professor Johan Vlaeyen (University of Leuven, Belgium).



Dr Rebecca Sharp

Rebecca Sharp's PhD research led to changes to international guidelines for infusion therapy, for the benefit of patients around the world.

Rebecca's extensive experience as a clinical practitioner in thoracic medicine informed her project on vascular access devices, leading her to develop guidelines to assist clinicians to identify safe vein sizes to use when inserting tubes into the veins of patients for treatment such as stem cells and chemotherapy. The guidelines will help to minimise blood flow interruption during infusion, therefore minimising the risk of blood clots, as well as discomfort to the patient and interruptions to treatments.

Rebecca commented, "During my project, I worked with nurses at the Royal Adelaide Hospital to measure vein diameter. I then followed patients through their treatment to see if blood clots developed. My research found that the intravenous delivery device shouldn't take up more than 45% of the selected vein width, and more than that can increase the risk of a blood clot forming by more than tenfold". "Winning the Ian Davey prize supported me to travel to the Australian Vascular Access Society Conference in Brisbane, to present my work to researchers and clinicians in my field. I will also be attending the next World Congress on Vascular Access in Copenhagen. Both of these conferences are excellent opportunities for me to disseminate my findings to colleagues. The results of my research have also been published by the Infusion Nurses Society in the international guidelines for infusion therapy, which dictate practice standards for clinicians throughout the world," she said. Rebecca's project, undertaken in the School of Nursing and Midwifery, was supervised by Professor Adrian Esterman, Professor Carol Grech, Dr Antonina Micocka Walus and Dr Andrea Gordon.



Dr Thuc Le

Cutting-edge bioinformatics research into the genetic causes of cancer won Dr Thuc Le the 2015 Ian Davey Research Thesis Prize.

His project combined mathematics, statistics and computer science to investigate how genes interact and lead to cancer.

“We developed a computer model to predict which miRNA will affect which mRNA, and pick top interactions to investigate further. This helps with the design of laboratory experiments,” Thuc says.

“Researchers might have 20,000 genes to look at, one-by-one. My model helps put together a shortlist of genes for further examination.

“Understanding the genetic causes of cancer will lead to more efficient treatment and therapy, and will enable personalised medicine in which the genetic information of the patient will allow the creation of customised drugs.”

Thuc completed his project with the School of Information Technology and Mathematical Sciences, in close collaboration with the Centre for Cancer Biology. He was supervised by Professor Jiuyong Li, Dr Lin Liu and Dr Anna Tsykin.


Dr Reza Arablouei

The 2014 Ian Davey Research Thesis Prize went to Dr Reza Arablouei from the Institute for Telecommunications Research.

The main objective of Reza's PhD was to devise new adaptive estimation techniques with reduced complexity for diverse signal processing applications. These can be applied to any signal processing problem involving adaptive estimation – some typical applications are in communications, econometrics, and control.

"During my PhD studies," Reza says, "I learned how to conduct high-quality academic research. My PhD and the experience coming with it will help me follow my passion for solving problems and discovering new knowledge by working as a researcher in academia or industry."

Reza was supervised by Associate Professor Kutlu Dogancay and Dr Sylvie Perreau.


Dr Adam Loch

Dr Adam Loch won the 2013 Ian Davey Research Thesis Prize with a thesis investigating the use of water markets by irrigators during the Millennium Drought – one of Australia’s worst on record.

Key findings were the importance of timing (eg. early trade behaviour versus late trade behaviour) and the impact of particular trade regulation mechanisms such as the threat of ballot introductions on sales in some areas, which had a significant effect on behaviour and market outcomes at the time. Overall, the study provided useful evidence of the importance of water markets for irrigator survival during this time of water scarcity.

"Winning the Ian Davey Research Thesis Prize has been enormously beneficial," Adam says, "both within the University and outside it."

"It has helped to raise my profile enormously and opened up opportunities for further employment, consultation roles and network extension. It has also meant a lot to me personally that Ian was interested in the research topic and deemed it: first worthy of nomination; and second of practical and national value in its findings. But mostly I believe it played a significant part in allowing me to stay at UniSA – which was a personal goal given the team I work with, the research we conduct and the enjoyment I get out it every day."

Adam was supervised by Associate Professor Henning Bjornlund and Dr Sarah Wheeler.


Dr Katina D'Onise

Dr Katina D'Onise (pictured right with Prof Ian Davey) won the 2012 Ian Davey Research Thesis Prize.

Her thesis, Early childhood education: does preschool attendance reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease?, examined the effects of attendance at a Kindergarten Union preschool in South Australia on the development of cardiovascular disease in later adulthood.

The study found evidence for preschool leading to greater human capital, a reduction of risky health behaviours such as smoking, and a possibly reduced risk of high blood pressure. Together these findings suggest a reduction in the risk of cardiovascular disease for people who attended a Kindergarten Union preschool is likely.

Katina undertook her PhD with the Sansom Institute under the supervision of Prof Adrian Esterman, Prof John Lynch and Prof Robyn McDermott.


Dr Luke Parkinson

Dr Luke Parkinson, graduand of the Ian Wark Research Institute and a Microfluidics Engineer: Scientific Services at UniSA, won the 2011 Ian Davey Research Thesis Prize. He also won the 2010 Ian Wark Research Institute Medal.

Luke undertook his PhD research through an Australian Postgraduate Award - Industry (APAI). Luke's research focused on understanding bubble-particle interactions, a topic of relevance and interest to many industrial processes such as flotation, food processing, foam and froth behaviour. Luke's Principal Supervisor was Prof John Ralston.

He completed his PhD with two excellent examiners' reports. Both examiners (from the University of Bristol and the University of Alberta) are international experts in the field and rated the thesis as first class. The research has been published in high impact journals (five papers in the American Chemical Society - ACS journals) and one more is to be submitted soon, indicating the high standard of the work. The research is of significant scientific merit and broader benefit.


Dr Ben Johnson

No-one could be more surprised than Dr Ben Johnson himself that the thesis has attracted so much positive attention. Just last month his work won him the Mike Miller Medal from UniSA's Institute for Telecommunications Research following hot on the heels of the announcement that the work won the university-wide prize for an outstanding thesis - the Ian Davey Thesis Prize.

'It has been a bit of a surprise to gain all this attention for the thesis but I must say I have enjoyed the whole process and especially the stunningly good relationship I have with my supervisor - Professor Yuri Abramobich from the Defence Science and Technology Organisation and an adjunct professor at UniSA,' he says.

Dr Johnson's research focuses on adaptive signal processing in high frequency radar. His thesis explores and provides a greater understanding of how adaptive systems can be developed to more reliably eliminate extraneous interference.



Dr Georg Grossmann

Dr Georg Grossmann, a Research Fellow in the School of Computer and Information Science (Division of Information Technology, Engineering and the Environment), has been awarded the 2009 Ian Davey Research Thesis Prize.

Dr Grossmann undertook his PhD research through a UniSAPresident's Scholarship. His research was partially funded by an Australian Research Council (ARC) project in the area of Business Process Integration and the Cooperative Research Centre for Integrated Engineering Asset Management (CIEAM).

Dr Grossmann said 'I was in the unique position of having two professors as supervisors who are experts in my area.' Professor Markus Stumptner, Director of the Advanced Computing Research Centre at the School of Computer and Information Science, was Dr Grossmann's primary supervisor. His associate supervisor was Professor Michael Schrefl, Head of the Department of Business Informatics - Data & Knowledge Engineering, Johannes Kepler University of Linz, Austria.



Dr Katrina Jaworski

UniSA's postdoctoral research associate in health sciences, Dr Katrina Jaworski has been awarded the Ian Davey Research Thesis Prize for the most outstanding 2007 PhD thesis, The gender of suicide.

Completed at the School of Communication, Dr Jaworski's thesis looks at how gender plays an important part in the way that society understands suicide.

Dr Jaworski's thesis was supervised by Director Research in the School of Communication, Dr Vicki Crowley, and passed without any changes. Dr Jaworski paid tribute to Dr Crowley, who encouraged her work to be interdisciplinary, to be rigorous and to use different theoretical tools in conducting her research.



Dr Diwakara Halanaik

Water economist Dr Diwakara Halanaik is the winner of the inaugural Ian Davey Research Thesis Prize for the most outstanding PhD thesis. Dr Halanaik undertook his PhD research through a UniSAPresident's Scholarship

'What was particularly good, and particularly interesting for me, about the thesis was that it had very, very complimentary reports indeed,' Prof Davey said. 'There had already been evidence of publication in international journals - which we thought was an indication of quality already. The examiners from the University of Indiana and a very well-established and reputable private research centre in Bangalore, India, were internationally recognised in the field.

'And the thesis topic of water and water policy focuses on a whole set of issues that is so topical today, not only in Australia but throughout the world in terms of how we manage our water resources more effectively.'