In summary

  • The 2023 Vice-Chancellor’s Awards saw members of the Swinburne community come together to celebrate and recognise exceptional individuals and teams
  • This year’s theme is One Swinburne: Celebrating our values in action
  • A new award category, Fail Forward was introduced this year, recognising teams and individuals who have boldly embraced calculated risks and applied learnings from it

Swinburne Vice-Chancellor's Awards recognised and celebrated the remarkable contributions of individuals and teams that are bringing the university’s values to life.

This year, a new award category was introduced, the Fail Forward award. This award recognises teams and individuals who have boldly embraced calculated risks, surmounted challenges and applied the learnings from their experience.

The 11 award categories recognise excellence across Swinburne’s teaching, research and professional areas.

“I am encouraged by the examples of people across Swinburne who embody our values and bring them to life through their work,” says Swinburne Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Pascale Quester.

“The contributions of our nominees and winners were truly representative of our cultural direction and will be critical to achieving our strategic vision,” she adds.

The 2023 winners are as follows:

Vice-Chancellor’s Fail Forward Award

Team: Dare to dream: The Diploma's Launch – Cynthia Aling, Kevin Tee Liang Tan, Brian Kee Mun Wong, Jasmine Kia Miang Ng, Kiat Sing Heng, Rajeswary Sogamaur, Mohd Faizin Bin Zainuddin

Swinburne Sarawak’s Faculty of Business, Design and Arts (FBDA) decided to offer more diploma courses to better capture potential students who were not able to meet the general requirements to enrol for Foundation courses, aligning with the state’s vision of educating and employing more of its Indigenous community.

Vice-Chancellor’s Teaching Excellence Award (Higher Education)

Team: Designing an engaging mixed-reality business simulation for ethics-based student learning – Ryan Jopp, Mark Pickering, Cheree Topple, Melissa Wheeler

The successful implementation of the Mursion simulation program represents an innovative use of mixed reality simulations new to business education and the teaching of ethical decision making. The simulation program provides student the opportunity to exercise their ethical decision-making practice, develop cultural awareness as well as interview and communication skills.

Individual: Faith Kwa

Faith has maintained resilience and determination in developing new and effective pedagogical approaches. This has provided our students an enriching learning environment that accelerates the transformation of life-long learners into work and future-ready Health Science professionals.

Vice-Chancellor’s Teaching Excellence Award (Vocational Education)

Team: The Path from Migrant English student to Health Worker – Jyoti Sharma, Anna Konopcik, Andrea Buckwell, Soumya Josachan Mazhuvanchery, Mariana Berak, Rowena Schmidli, Nicole O’Shanessy

An innovative project to support recently arrived migrants to Australia by providing a contextualised English course Health Services to prepare and support them. The successful outcomes and strong word-of-mouth endorsement from the students have resulted in the project being repeated to a new cohort of Migrant English students.

Individual: Mark Taggart

Mark has been instrumental in the continual improvement and development of the gas work stations to ensure that student assessment is to the current training package and industry standard.

Vice-Chancellor’s Research Excellence Award

Team: Can Robot-Assisted Laparoscopic Surgery Improve Surgeon Ergonomics and Gender Equality – Mats Isaksson, John McCormick, Oren Tirosh, Jaime Hislop, Chrys Hensman, Romesh Nagarajah

Working with industry, the team applied a multidisciplinary approach to establish the benefits of robot-assisted laparoscopic surgery over traditional laparoscopic surgery in regards to surgeon’s injury prevalence and career longevity.

Individual: Saad Mekhilef

Saad has made significant and lasting contributions to improve and increase the use of solar energy in our electricity supply system. He fosters collaborations with other research groups, institutions and industry partners and is ranked first in Australia and eight worldwide in power electronics and is well respected in his area of expertise.

Vice-Chancellor’s Research Excellence Award (Early Career)

Team: Intersecting 6G Technologies and Renewable Innovations – Ali Yavari, Enzo Palombo, Negin Foroughimehr, Ray McKenzie, Andrew Wood, Hamid Bagha, Jen Leong, Siew-Queen Chin, Paul Stoddart, Mahnaz Shafiei, Adriana Mare, Ken Karipidis, Fransisca Indriarini, Kellie Hamilton, Melissa Trousselot, Robyn Watson, Chris Harrison, Mehdi Korki, Philip Branch, Andrew Clayton, Shanthi Joseph, Raffaele Timpano, Walter Chetcuti, Zoltan Vilagosh, Robert Mcintosh, Ben McAllister, Saulius Juodkazis, Jafar Shojaii, Andrea Saputra, Charmaine Chew,

6G Research and Innovation laboratory, a Swinburne initiative, conducts cutting-edge research and innovation utilising higher electromagnetic frequencies, positioning Swinburne at the forefront of next-generation wireless communication networks and ensuring our research leadership in the field.

Individual: Ben McAllister

Ben has significantly expanded Swinburne efforts in dark matter detection. This includes development of a new detection program connecting across several Swinburne Schools, leading Swinburne’s contribution to the internationally renowned ORGAN Experiment Collaboration, and securing ARC funds for the CELLAR program of underground physics, bringing significant new infrastructure to Swinburne.

Vice-Chancellor's Empowered Award

Team: Enrolment Ignition – charting a new path towards full year re-enrolment – Adam Jane, Adriana Karavidas, Alex Troup, Alice Foley, Cheryl Fullwood, Corey O’Connor, Emma Gruppetta, Eric Zhang, Jashwin Harnam, Jemma Hutchins, Jonny Lontayao, Lawrence Hudson, Shiv Shandil, Steff Tan

Various teams came together to look at how we engage students in re-enrolment, leading to strong re-enrolment results, increasing student load earlier through the use of cross-department activities and targeted communications. This initiative also reflects Swinburne’s commitment to improving the student experience.

Vice-Chancellor's Engaged Award

Team: Siemens Swinburne Energy Transition Hub – Mehdi Seyedmahmoudian, Alex Stojcevski, Saad Mekhilef, Jaideep Chandran, Gokul Thirunavukkarasu

The $5.2 million Siemens Swinburne Energy Transition Hub is a recent nationally and internationally recognised major collaboration between Siemens and Swinburne. This advanced hub accelerates Australia's energy transition, offering a space for students, communities, technology providers, researchers, start-ups, and investors to test and shape solutions for the nation's energy sector.

Individual: Jessey Lee

As a practising structural engineer, Jessey’s research is highly-applied and directly adopted into industry practice and new product developments, showcasing Swinburne in the global stage as renowned experts in engineering-technologies.

Vice-Chancellor's Reconciliation Award

Team: Empowering Indigenous Australians knowledge for first-year STEM students to connect People with Technology – Sivachandran Chandrasekaran, Anika Kanwal, Mandeep Dhindsa, Kaberi Naznin, Naveed Ali, Shannon Kilmartin-Lynch, James Hamlym-Harris

The newly designed, developed and implemented unit ‘Technology in an Indigenous Context Project’ engages students through a community project that deepens their understanding of the plurality and diversity of Indigenous Australians knowledge systems, worldviews, standpoints, and culture in relation to STEM technologies.

Vice-Chancellor's Future-Focused Award

Team: The SoDA Professional Identity Launchpad – Kate Bisset-Johnson, Charlie Ranscombe, Emma Fisher, Melinda Bufton, Tash Hobbs, Tina Papadakos

The School of Design and Architecture (SoDA) Professional Identity Launchpad is a collaborative, co-curricular program aimed at helping first to final year students clarify their professional identities, develop communication skills, and build portfolios.

Individual: Sarika Kewalramani

Sarika’s research into the integration of Robotics and AI technologies for STEM education within educationally disadvantaged settings forges Swinburne’s vision to create a STEM literate future workforce. Sarika founded and led a novel all-inclusive robotics play program to nurture the future generations of teachers and children to engage in STEM.

Vice-Chancellor's Accountable Award

Team: Taking Transformative Climate Action: Mobilising Individual and Collective Agency – Chamila Perera, Chandana Hewage, Tim Breitbarth

The team demonstrated accountability for Swinburne’s Net Zero 2025 target by effectively delivering Carbon Literacy Training (CLT) to university students and staff who are empowered to go beyond climate change awareness and pledge impactful climate actions at Swinburne.

Vice-Chancellor's One Swinburne Award

Team: Collaboration and Partnerships creating industry ready learners (Higher and Vocational Education) – Glen Bates, Jason Skues, Kylie Morris, Teagan Burke, Kath Moynihan, Karen Hall, Benedict Williams, Ben Bullock, Roslyn Galligan, Stephen Groves, Jose Hernandez, Steve Goldsmith, Jessica Thompson, Anita Mahoney, Andrew Cookson, Andrew Johnstone, Michelle Treloar, Kathy Prior, Brooke Martell, Sarah Kane Magnisalis, Charlotte Mukamuberwa, Maranda Lemmings

The introduction and success of Certificate IV Mental Health to Psychology students has been a great testament to the collaboration and partnerships between higher and vocational education. This initiative meets the needs of the mental health industry through the delivery of both theoretical and practical skills within the higher and vocational education mental health courses.  

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