Professors Terry Flew, Catherine Stampfl and Geordie Williamson were among 17 fellowship recipients nationally. Over their five-year fellowships, the Sydney awardees will conduct world-class research in digital media, materials science and pure mathematics.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Emma Johnston congratulated the recipients on their success.
“These prestigious fellowships not only recognise the excellence of our academics but also highlight the University of Sydney's commitment to fostering cutting-edge research that addresses critical societal challenges and advances knowledge across all disciplines. I congratulate the recipients and eagerly anticipate the remarkable contributions they will make during their Fellowships."
Professor Terry Flew, from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, was awarded more than $3.1m for a project that will investigate the role of digital media in enabling trust or promoting mistrust. With declining confidence in social and political institutions linked to the rise of populism, misinformation and civic disengagement, the project will explore mediated trust at societal, institutional and interpersonal levels.
The research will leverage a novel framework of 'ideas, interests and institutions' applied to case studies from news media, digital platforms, corporations and the World Health Organization; and develop innovative methods for analysing the relationship between communications and trust. The research will deliver world-first integrative approaches for Australian policymakers, industry and regulators to address crises of trust and our digital futures.
Professor Catherine Stampfl, from the Faculty of Science and the University of Sydney Nano Institute, was awarded more than $2.9m as the recipient of the ‘Georgina Sweet Australian Laureate Fellowship’ to establish a new and powerful computational materials research platform that uses artificial intelligence to help in the understanding and design of tailored structures with improved functionalities for tomorrow’s materials.
By enabling the development of novel catalysts needed for the generation of green fuels and chemicals, and developing quantum devices, this project promises timely support for Australia’s commitment to renewable energies, low emissions and our emerging quantum future.
Professor Geordie Williamson, also from the Faculty of Science, was awarded more than $3.3m to increase our understanding of the fundamental symmetries of discrete structures, like those present in computer science and cryptography. Professor Williamson is the Director of the University of Sydney Mathematical Research Institute.
His research will generate transformative new knowledge in pure mathematics concerning the representations of finite groups, problems that have been unsolved for more than a century.
Expected outcomes of this fellowship include the development of new algorithms to compute beyond what is currently possible in this field. Benefits will include the training of Australian scientists in sophisticated mathematical theory and large-scale computation.