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NHMRC Centre of Excellence: Australian Centre for Electromagnetic Bioeffects Research

Swinburne is a node of the Australian Centre for Electromagnetic Bioeffects Research (ACEBR), an NHMRC Centre of Excellence, 2013-17.

With the sweeping developments of wireless technologies and ever-growing mobile phone subscriptions world-wide, the electromagnetic energy (EME) that powers this technology is now widespread, as is community concern about the possibility of associated health effects. Responding to this concern, the ACEBR has embarked on a multidisciplinary 5-year research program to address the most pressing radiofrequency (RF) radiation exposure questions to better protect the health of the Australian community.

Swinburne Node focus

Swinburne Node will focus on studying three research priorities as outlined by the World Health Organisation:

  • Assess characteristic RF EMF emissions, exposure scenarios and corresponding exposure levels for new and emerging RF technologies; also for changes in the use of established technologies
  • Quantify personal exposures from a range of RF sources and identify the determinants of exposure in the general population
  • Monitoring of personal exposure of RF workers

This involves both mathematical modelling techniques and the use of appropriate measuring and monitoring equipment. Swinburne’s computational modelling team are utilising a number of electromagnetic and thermal modelling software platforms to estimate absorption of electromagnetic energy, using sophisticated models of both the human body and experimental animals at a resolution of approximately 1 mm. Sources studied include the latest technologies for telecommunications and horizon technologies such as THz. The modelling of absorption patterns in persons with metallic implants or prostheses is also being undertaken.

Swinburne’s experimental team are also conducting surveys of exposures in public spaces to technologies such as wi-fi, WiMAX, 3/4G, LTE+ and smart meters. The team is also associated with personal dose monitoring and developing a ‘job matrix’ to identify the level of exposure in specific occupations. Other nodes of the Centre are employing specifically designed exposure systems, for in-vitro and in-vivo work and also for human volunteer experiments. The team are involved in advising and on designing these exposure systems. Find out more about the facilities at Swinburne.

Staff

Dosimetry and modelling team

  • Professor Andrew Wood - Chief Investigator
  • Dr Steve Iskra  – Senior Research Fellow (Adjunct)
  • Dr Robert L McIntosh – Senior Research Fellow (Adjunct)
  • Mr Raymond McKenzie – Senior Research Fellow (Adjunct)
  • Dr Per Line - Investigator

Affiliated investigators

  • Professor Ray Kemp – (Swinburne Adjunct Professor)
  • Dr Steve Bowe – Affiliate Researcher
  • Dr Steve Moore (IBM Australia) – Affiliate Researcher
  • Dr Vitas Anderson (Two Fields Consulting) – Affiliate Researcher

Experimental team

  • Dr Alireza Lajevardipour

Collaborating chief investigators and organisations

  • Professor Rodney J. Croft, University of Wollongong - Director
  • Professor John W. Finnie, IMVS Pathology
  • Professor Andrew W. Wood, Swinburne University of Technology
  • Professor Irene Yarovsky, RMIT University
  • Professor Peter C. Blumbergs, IMVS Pathology
  • Professor Boris Martinac, Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute
  • Professor Elena Ivanova, Swinburne University of Technology
  • Professor Robert Vink, University of Adelaide
  • Associate Professor Nigel A. S. Taylor, University of Wollongong
  • Professor Mark Elwood, University of Auckland

Publications

  • Kumar, G., McIntosh, R.L., Anderson, V., McKenzie, R.J., Wood, A.W. (2015). A genotoxic analysis on hematopoietic system after mobile phone type radiation exposure in rats. Int J Radiat Biol Early Online: 1-9
  • Moore, S.M., McIntosh, R.L., Iskra, S., Wood, A.W. (2015) Modeling the Effect of Adverse Environmental Conditions and Clothing on Temperature Rise in a Human Body Exposed to Radio Frequency Electromagnetic Fields. IEEE Trans BME 62: 627-637.
  • Kurniawan, T., Wood, A.W., McIntosh, R.L. (2015) Simple Closed-Form Formulae to Estimate Near Fields in Living Tissue Layers due to Dipole Antenna Exposure. IEEE Transactions on Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation. 22:. 619-625.
  • Bermingham, J.F., Chen, Y.Y., McIntosh, R.L. Wood, A.W. (2014) A measurement and modeling study of temperature in living and fixed tissue during and after radiofrequency exposure. Bioelectromagnetics 35: 181-191.
  • McIntosh, R.L., S Iskra, Anderson, V. (2014) Significant RF-EMF and Thermal Levels observed in a Computational Model of a Person with a Tibial Plate for Grounded 40 MHz Exposure. Bioelectromagnetics 35(4):284-295
  • Vijayalaxmi, Reddy, A.B., McKenzie, R.J., McIntosh, R. L., Prihoda, T.J., Wood, A.W. (2013) Incidence of micronuclei in human peripheral blood lymphocytes exposed to modulated and unmodulated 2450 MHz radiofrequency fields. Bioelectromagnetics 34: 542-548.
  • Perentos, N., Iskra, S., Faraone, A., McKenzie, R.J., Bit-Babik G., Anderson V. (2012) Exposure compliance methodologies for multiple input multiple output (MIMO) enabled networks and terminals, IEEE Trans. Antennas Propagat., 60: 644-653.
  • Iskra, S., McKenzie, R.J., Cosic, I. (2011) Monte Carlo simulations of the electric field close to the body in realistic environments for application in personal radiofrequency dosimetry, Radiat. Prot. Dosimetry 147: 517-527; doi: 10.1093/rpd/ncq580
  • Kumar, G, Wood, A.W., Anderson, V., McIntosh, R.L., Chen, Y.Y., McKenzie, R.J. (2011) Evaluation of hematopoietic system effects after in vitro radiofrequency radiation exposure in rats. Int J Radiat Biol 87: 231-40.
  • McIntosh, R.L., Anderson, V. (2011) SAR vs VAR, and the size and shape that provide the most appropriate RF exposure metric in the range of 0.5 – 6 GHz. Bioelectromagnetics 32:312-321
  • Iskra, S., McKenzie, R.J., Cosic, I. (2010) Factors influencing uncertainty in measurement of electric fields close to the body in personal RF dosimetry, Radiat. Prot. Dosimetry 132: 51-56.
  • McIntosh, R.L., Anderson, V. (2010) A Comprehensive Tissue Properties Database Provided for the Thermal Assessment of a Human at Rest. Biophysical Review and Letters 5(3):129-151. Erratum published in Biophysical Review and Letters 8(1):99-100, 2013.
  • McIntosh, R.L., Anderson, V. (2010) SAR vs Sinc: What is the appropriate RF exposure metric in the range 1–10 GHz? Part II: Using complex human body models. Bioelectromagnetics 31(6):467-478
  • Anderson, V., Croft, R., McIntosh, R.L. (2010) SAR vs Sinc: What is the appropriate RF exposure metric in the range 1–10 GHz? Part I: Using planar body models. Bioelectromagnetics 31(6):454-466
  • Kurniawan, T., Wood, A.W., McIntosh, R.L. (2010) Simplified analysis of near electromagnetic fields from a dipole in lossy dielectric. IEEE Trans DEI 17: 1943-49.
  • McIntosh RL, Deppeler L, Oliva M, Parente J, Tambuwala F, Turner S, Winship D, Wood AW. (2010) Comparison of radiofrequency exposure of a mouse dam and foetuses at 900 MHz. Phys Med Biol 55: N111-22
  • Iskra, S., McKenzie, R.J., Cosic, I. (2009) Absorption in a human body at 900 MHz for oblique incidence of a plane wave, Electronics Letters 45: 602.
  • Chen, Y.Y., Wood, A.W. (2009) Application of a temperature-dependent fluorescent dye (Rhodamine B) to the measurement of radiofrequency radiation-induced temperature changes in biological samples. Bioelectromagnetics 30: 583-90