Swinburne awards and achievements

Swinburne University of Technology community members are recognised for excellence in their fields, reflecting the depth and breadth of knowledge, experience and service.

Our international reputation as a leader in research and innovation continues to go from strength to strength, further elevating the cutting-edge technologies, partnerships and expertise for social impact and the benefit of our community. 

We congratulate our staff and students on their success, and we are proud to provide an environment in which excellence can thrive.

Swinburne Online wins 2021 ITNews Benchmark Award for Education

March 2021: Swinburne Online has won the 2021 ITNews Benchmark Award for Education for the HEPP-funded Mursion project that provides simulated classroom experiences for pre-service teachers.

On-campus students in Education and Design also have access to the system, which combines augmented reality with live actors who manipulate the scenario. Students are able to test areas where they are not confident, such as sequencing a lesson or responding to unruly behavior. Students can then debrief with a lecturer and receive feedback and coaching.

In Design, Mursion was used to set up panels for students nearing the end of their degree to practice industry interviews.

Swintopia wins at Festival of Media APAC Awards

March 2021: Swinburne and global media agency, Initiative Media have won two awards at the Festival of Media APAC awards for Swintopia.

Swintopia re-defined the traditional university Open Day experience by providing a gamified, virtual campus in the form of an interactive “open world” experience - a virtual university world accessible to all prospective students, anytime and anywhere.

Swinburne and Initiative were awarded the gold award for Best Response to COVID-19 and the silver award for Best Engagement Strategy.

Swinburne lecturers win Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning  

February 2021: Mark Strachan and Dr Mun Wong from Swinburne’s School of Design have been awarded a Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning through the 2020 Australian Awards for University Teaching implemented by Universities Australia.

One of only 100 citations awarded, the recognition was given for excellence in scaffolding students’ authentic learning experience using a model developed by the two academics – the Authentic Learning Transformation through Immersive Scaffolding (ALTIS) model.

Through the model developed by Mr Strachan and Dr Wong, students studying Design Systems and Services are provided with hands-on learning activities to help them overcome challenging and unfamiliar concepts.  The model accommodates a range of learner abilities and promotes interdisciplinary learning by encouraging diverse perspectives, ways of working, habits of mind and nurturing a strong community of practice.

Since ALTIS was introduced in 2017, student feedback has shown a notable improvement in perceived learning outcomes.

“It’s very rewarding… and gratifying to research, design and contribute to the scholarship of student learning through active classroom participation with our students witnessing how they have progressed in their personal transformative learning experience,” said Mr Strachan and Dr Wong.  

Swinburne astronomers win prestigious American science prize

February 2021: A brief flash of radio waves from a distant galaxy has landed a group of Swinburne astronomers and their international collaborators the prestigious 2020 AAAS Newcomb Cleveland Prize

The Newcomb Cleveland Prize is awarded to the most impactful research paper published in the journal Science. In this year’s winning paper, the authors describe how they were the first to pinpoint the location of a fast radio burst upon discovery. Fast radio bursts are intense pulses of radio emission that last only a fraction of a second and had confounded astronomers for more than a decade.

The Swinburne recipients of the Newcomb Cleveland prize are Associate Professor Ryan Shannon, Associate Professor Adam Deller, Ms Cherie Day, Dr Chris Flynn, Dr Stefan Oslowski and Dr Wael Farah. Read more about the team’s research. 

First Indigenous Australian recognised by IUCN as editor on conservation guidelines

February 2021: The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has invited Dr Emma Lee to be an Indigenous Australian editor in its guidelines for global conservation practice called Cultural and Spiritual Significance of Nature: Guidance for Protected and Conserved Area Governance and Management.

The IUCN is an independent body that advises the United Nations, World Heritage Committee and International Council on Monuments and Sites, among others, on nature conservation including protected and conserved areas.

Dr Emma Lee, a trawlwulwuy woman from Tasmania and an Indigenous Research Fellow at Swinburne, provided one of the seven case studies in the guidelines. Her case study on the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area is an exemplar in new global guidelines for the management and governance for formally listed areas, such as national parks and forest reserves, and other conservation spaces.

Dr Lee congratulated the IUCN for adapting to new ideas and ways for global communities to manage protected areas.

She said, "Once Indigenous peoples were considered environmental vandals and dispossessed of our homelands, now we are beginning to repair those harms and being recognised as contributing to 25% percent of the world’s biodiversity, even though we make up only 3% of the global population. In the wake of the Paris Accord, we need more choices about how we conserve our precious places, this guideline sets a global pathway for valuing Indigenous knowledge."

In 2020, Dr Lee was the inaugural recipient of the Australian Institute of Geographers William Jonas Award and is a current member of the Australian Federal Government’s National Co-Design Group for Indigenous Voice. She is a key architect in 2016 of the Tasmanian Government’s whole-of-government strategy for Aboriginal Affairs, entitled ‘Reset the Relationship’, that ushered in state constitutional recognition and the first joint management plan for a protected area.

Swinburne alumni make the 2021 Australia Day honours list

January 2021: Five members of the Swinburne community have been recognised for their service and achievements in the 2021 Australia Day honours list. These individuals have made an impact in a variety of fields including performing arts, public service, education, medical health research and construction.  Read more...


Professor Nilmini Wickramasinghe awarded prestigious Humboldt Research award

December 2020: Deputy Director of Swinburne’s Iverson Health Innovation Research Institute, Professor in Digital health and Epworth Chair of Health Informatics, Nilmini Wickramasinghe, has been named as recipient of the prestigious Humboldt Research Award. This award is in recognition of Professor Wickramasinghe’s accomplishments in research and teaching.

Named after the late Prussian naturalist and explorer, Alexander von Humboldt, The Humboldt Research Award is awarded to internationally renowned researchers whose theories, discoveries or findings have had a lasting effect on their discipline beyond their immediate research area.

“I am very honoured and humbled to receive this award,” says Professor Wickramasinghe. She recently worked on a health technology project that culminated in the development of DiaMonD (Diabetes Monitoring Device) – a mobile solution for diabetes self-management with a feedback mechanism between patients and clinicians. 

As part of the award, Professor Wickramasinghe has been invited to conduct her research project focussed on the application of blockchain technology for healthcare and the development of a trusted network for the sharing of sensitive healthcare data in collaboration with other researchers and industry partners in Germany. “I look forward to this wonderful opportunity to collaborate with leading international colleagues, to exchange knowledge and ideas that will serve to further advance the digital health field,” Professor Wickramasinghe adds. 

Swinburne researcher honoured for services to multicultural communities

December 2020: Associate Professor at the Centre for Forensic Behavioural ScienceDr Stephane Shepherd, has been named recipient of the 2020 Victorian Multicultural Award for Excellence in Justice by the Victorian Multicultural Commission. Read more.

Swinburne lecturer appointed as MedTech Actuator Menzies Fellow

December 2020: Senior lecturer in the Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering, Dr Chris McCarthy, has been appointed as a MedTech Actuator Menzies Fellow. The fellowship will provide Dr McCarthy with tailored mentoring from commercialisation experts and access to the MedTech Actuator™.

As part of his fellowship, Dr McCarthy will advance CueSleeve, a haptic training device for improving hand-eye coordination in individuals with visual and neuro-cognitive impairments. The prototype was developed as part of the PhD research with Dr McCarthy’s student, Deepa Prabhu. Through the fellowship Dr McCarthy will infuse his research with new commercial expertise from leading minds in the industry.

“As an academic researcher, I love solving problems but get most satisfaction in seeing theoretical solutions translate to real outcomes, this fellowship will give me the mentorship, focus and structured support I need to truly realise this for CueSleeve,” says Dr McCarthy.

The fellowship is a partnership between the Menzies Foundation and the MedTech Actuator as part of the foundation’s Entrepreneurship in Science mission. It unlocks the potential of Australia’s world-class research and researchers, particularly in the areas of human health, medicine and biotechnology. 

Forensicare and CFBS win ACHS Quality Improvement Award

December 2020: Forensicare and Swinburne’s Centre for Forensic Behavioural Science (CFBS) have been awarded the Clinical Excellence and Patient Safety award at the Australian Council on Healthcare Standard (ACHS) 23rd Annual Quality Improvement Awards.

The national awards acknowledge healthcare organisations that show excellence and innovation in clinical care, organisation-wide practice, service delivery and performance measurement. Forensicare and the CFBS received the award for quality improvements achieved following the development and implementation of the eDASA+APP – an electronic instrument and clinical decision support system designed to assess imminent aggression and structure nursing interventions.

“We are absolutely delighted to receive this award,” says Senior Lecturer in Forensic Mental Health Nursing Dr Tessa Maguire, who led the research study.

“It was a very rewarding experience to be part of a multidisciplinary collaboration to develop and test the eDASA+APP. This project has signalled an important step in mental health nursing intervention, which is really exciting.”

“It is really wonderful to see this innovation recognised on a national level. The success of this work highlights the importance of conducting practical and collaborative research. As a result, I feel optimistic that we will continue to see positive improvements in our workplace,” says Chief Executive Officer of Forensicare, Dr Margaret Grigg.

Journalism student wins prestigious international fellowship

December 2020: First-year journalism student Jack Meehan has received a prestigious fellowship to spend a month in Denmark working at the Independent Centre for Constructive Journalism.

Jack is one of two winners who were among hundreds of students across Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific to take part in the collaborative Constructive Journalism: Making a Difference 2020 project. This is a multimedia project, encompassing a three-day television broadcast, radio show and podcast series, as well as published work on The Junction, a national journalism initiative that publishes the best student journalism from 27 universities and colleges across the region. As part of the project, students are guided by academics and seasoned journalists to produce high-quality pieces and gain valuable reporting skills.

Jack’s winning story was about the implications of the Australian Government’s drive for increased gas production. The judges described it as an excellent backgrounder, based on extensive research and complemented by strong multimedia elements.

“It means so much to me to get this opportunity to work with leaders in the constructive journalism movement, learning new skills that will provide a perspective, depth and solutions to critical issues we are facing today,” says Jack. 

2020 Swinburne Vice-Chancellor Awards

December 2020: Swinburne University of Technology’s Vice-Chancellor Awards 2020 recognised a range of achievements amid challenges and disruptions during the year under the theme ‘Celebrating resilience and creativity’. 

Five individual lifetime achievement awards were also celebrated for Professor Matthew Bailes, Mr Chris Goetze, Ms Isabella Chor, Professor Syed Masood and Associate Professor Mary Elizabeth DunkleyRead more...

PAVE staff member honoured with CFA Chief Officer’s Commendation award

November 2020: Pathways and Vocational Education (PAVE) Nursing and Health Technical Officer, Jessica Jacobs has received a CFA Chief Officer's Commensation award for courage in recognition of her actions in saving the life of a fellow firefighter during the 2019 - 2020 bushfire season. Read more...

HESTA Team Excellence (Aged Care) Award 2020

November 2020: Led by Professor Sunil Bhar,  Swinburne’s Wellbeing Clinic for Older Adults  team was recognised with a HESTA Excellence (Aged Care) Award 2020  for providing outstanding mental health care and support for aged care residents.

An Australian first, the National Telehealth Counselling and Support Service provides support to vulnerable aged care residents who may be experiencing mental health issues, including depression, anxiety and loneliness. The service was developed in response to significant restrictions to face-to-face visiting as a result of COVID-19.

The team is passionate about training psychologists, social workers and counsellors on how to provide mental health care to residential aged care populations. 

The team includes Professor Sunil Bhar, Aida Brydon, Rebecca Collins, Sofie Dunkerley, Dr Deborah Koder, Jenny Linossier and Mark Silver.

Dr Emma Lee receives inaugural William Jonas Award 2020

November 2020: Swinburne’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Research Fellow at the Centre for Social Impact  Dr Emma Lee is the inaugural recipient of the William Jonas Award from the Institute of Australian Geographers.  

The award acknowledges Dr Lee’s excellence in significant contributions made to Indigenous geographies and to Australian geography throughout her career. Dr Lee, a trawlwulwuy woman of tebrakunna country in north-eastern Tasmania was nominated by colleagues from across Australia.  

Named for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner Dr William Jonas AM, the award celebrates and remembers Dr Jonas as the discipline’s first Indigenous PhD, paving the way for more than 500 Indigenous PhDs to flourish. 

Dr Lee was appointed to the National Co-Design Group for Indigenous Voice earlier this year. 

Good Design Gold Award for alum James Chapman

November 2020: Industrial Design alum James Chapman has been recognised in Australia’s 2020 Good Design Awards program for his Honours project, the ‘Kami’ chair. Read more…

Deloitte Australia-UK GRAVITY Challenge

November 2020: A blended team of staff and students from Swinburne University of Technology has won the ‘Delivering a sustainable future through technology’ challenge category in the Deloitte Australia-UK GRAVITY ChallengeRead more…

2020 Phillip Law Postdoctoral Award for Dr Nisa Salim

November 2020: Swinburne University of Technology’s Dr Nisa Salim has been awarded the 2020 Phillip Law Postdoctoral Award for the Physical Sciences by the Royal Society of Victoria. The award is for excellence in scientific research by an early career researcher in the physical sciences within seven years of completing a PhD from a Victorian research institution.  Read more…

Dr Ali Yavari awarded Victoria Fellowship in Physical Sciences  

November 2020: Dr Ali Yavari has been awarded a prestigious Victoria Fellowship to explore opportunities for the Internet of Things (IoT). Dr Yavari is one of six Victorian scientists awarded a prestigious Victoria Fellowship in Physical Sciences announced by the Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy, the Honourable Jaala Pulford. Read more...

Professor Alan Duffy wins Academic of the Year at inaugural Australian Space Awards

November 2020: Swinburne's most recognisable space communicator, Professor Alan Duffy, has been named Academic of the Year at the inaugural Australian Space Awards. Professor Duffy is Project Lead of SpaceTech Applications at Swinburne's Data Science Research Institute, and is also a regular media commentator on astronomy and space. Read more...


Twelve academics on Highly Cited Researchers list 

November 2020: Swinburne is proud to announce that 12 of our academics have been named on the Highly Cited Researchers™ list from Clarivate. They have been ranked in the top one per cent by citations for field and publication year in the Web of Science™ citation index. Read more...

Professor Bronwyn Fox awarded 2020 Medal for Excellence in Scientific Research 

November 2020: Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Enterprise), Professor Bronwyn Fox, has been awarded the prestigious 2020 Medal for Excellence in Scientific Research by the Royal Society of Victoria (RSV). The research medal recognises peak research career achievement and outstanding research leadership. Read more...

Associate Professor Amanda Scardamaglia wins 2020 Victorian Premier’s History Award 

October 2020: Swinburne Law School’s Associate Professor Amanda Scardamaglia has taken out the 2020 Victorian Premier’s History Award for writing the first book that documents the visual history of print advertising in Australia. Read more…

Professor Baohua Jia elected to Optical Society (OSA)

October 2020: Founding Director of the Centre for Translational Atomaterials at Swinburne, Professor Baohua Jia, has been elected one of 118 The Optical Society (OSA) Fellow Members for 2021. The distinction acknowledges significant contributions to the advancement of optics and photonics through education, research, engineering, business leadership and service. Elected by their peers, this year’s fellows include 23 women, the largest number of women ever elected in one year.  Read more…

Dr Dan Golding nominated for ARIA Music Award 

October 2020: Dr Dan Golding, from Swinburne's Media and Communication department, has been nominated for an Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Music Award for his soundtrack for the megahit video game, Untitled Goose Game. It is the first video game soundtrack to be nominated in ARIA Music Award history. Read more…

Interior Graduate of the Year (GOTYA) 2020 

October 2020: Swinburne Design student, Jessica Love has taken out a top prize and two honourable mentions in the Design Institute of Australia’s Graduate of the Year Awards (GOTYA) for 2020. Read more…

Adobe Innovation Grant recipients

October 2020: Ten projects developed by Swinburne staff to support new approaches to learning and teaching have received Adobe Innovation Grants. The projects focus on innovations in digital literacies using the Adobe Creative Cloud suite.  Read more…

Bwe Thay appointed to Victorian Multicultural Commission 

September 2020: Swinburne’s Bwe Thay was appointed Deputy Chairperson of the Victorian Multicultural Commission. As Deputy Chairperson, Mr Thay will help work to identify and address issues faced by Victoria’s multicultural and multifaith communities. Read more…

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