Six students will fly in from around the world to accept prestigious 2018 Forrest Scholarships at The University of Western Australia, Curtin University and Edith Cowan University, made possible by the generosity of the Forrest Research Foundation.
The students come from a broad range of academic backgrounds and will research everything from how to reduce the cost of developing drugs to treat illnesses, how to remove contaminants from wastewater, to ways of using nuclear physics to make developments in cancer treatments available.
In addition, a post-doctoral researcher studying the genetics of wheat to find drought and salt resistant genes in ancient wheat varieties will take up a 2018 Forrest Research Foundation Fellowship. A scholarship recipient studying renewable energy who started at UWA in late 2017 will also join the team.
The Forrest Research Foundation aims to attract the brightest minds to conduct postgraduate research in Western Australia, and provides support to international and domestic students to enrol in a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree at one of the State’s universities. The Foundation also supports leading researchers who are at the start of their career by providing post-doctoral fellowships.
The scholarships and fellowships started in 2013 when Andrew and Nicola Forrest made what was believed to be the largest single philanthropic donation in Australian history – $65 million to attract the best minds to Western Australia.
The donation included $50 million for the establishment of the Forrest Research Foundation to fund scholarships and postdoctoral fellowships across all five WA universities. A further $15 million went towards the creation of Forrest Hall, a soon to be opened, state-of-the-art accommodation facility in Crawley for scholars and rising research leaders. The 2018 scholars will be among the first people to occupy this facility.
Andrew and Nicola Forrest said they were delighted to welcome seven new Forrest Scholars, including the first Scholar to undertake research at Edith Cowan University and a third Forrest Fellow, Dr Philipp Bayer.
“The Forrest Research community has been further strengthened by these appointments and we look forward to following their research progress across numerous fields,” Andrew and Nicola Forrest said.
Warden of the Forrest Research Foundation, Professor Paul Johnson said the Forrest Scholarships and Fellowships supported outstanding Australian students.
“The scholarships are bringing to WA the brightest young researchers from around the world to help build Perth into a research and innovation hub of global significance,” Professor Johnson said.
A full list of recipients is below.
2018 FORREST RESEARCH FOUNDATION SCHOLARS
Asja Kroeger – UWA
Asja from Germany is studying chemistry and will be researching how to improve reliability and reduce the cost of developing new drugs.
Quote: “The Forrest Scholarship makes it possible for students to stay together in a residential college. These friendships will allow me to see different perspectives and make me a more open-minded person.”
Xuyen Le – UWA
Xuyen from Vietnam will be researching the molecular process by which plants create fuel for mitochondria – the ‘engine’ of plant growth - to address global food security and supply issues.
Quote: “The Forrest Research Foundation is a contributing factor for why I chose Western Australia to be my future second home. The establishment of the Foundation proves that there is an appreciation of scientists who want to make a difference to the world. The biggest reward of all is to spend time living with exceptional student cohorts coming from different cultures and fields of expertise and to be able to meet with Mr. and Ms. Forrest who care for the future development of Western Australia and the world.”
Sarah Leeson – UWA
Sarah from Mandurah will look at genetic variation and environmental adaptability in dung beetles to help improve performance of Australian pastoral sector and develop improved understanding of species translocation.
Quote: “I have cycled along Mounts Bay Road to UWA almost every day during my Honours year. As I rode by, I watched the foundations of the Forrest Hall being built. I spent the better part of that year pondering the unique experience that a Forrest Scholarship would offer. What excites me is the opportunity to be a part of a community of bright and motivated individuals, with the potential to spark new collaborations and innovations.”
Masnun Naher – UWA
Masnun from Bangladesh will research molecular electronics to help develop the next generation of technology in electronics.
Quote: “Imagine a world in which electronic technology can be made available not only to the advanced nations, but to all people. Imagine a world where electronics is freed from current constraints. The basic science in this area is advancing at great pace, but less is being done to migrate the science to achievable device structures. As a student from a developing country, the Forrest Scholarship will help me to contribute to the economic development of my country and above all my achievements will play a significant role in national development as well.”
Liam Scarlett – Curtin University
Liam from Fremantle will be undertaking a PhD with the Theoretical Physics Group at Curtin, using supercomputers and quantum mechanics to study atomic and molecular collisions.
Quote: “I am honoured to receive this scholarship from the Forrest Research Foundation and I can’t wait to further progress my research while working with the Theoretical Physics Group, a group that holds a very esteemed reputation in the industry. My PhD will focus on molecular collisions which are fundamental processes that play a major role in a diverse range of fields including energy production, medicine and astrophysics.”
Jincheng Wang – Edith Cowan University
Jincheng Wang from China, will be researching how to easily and cheaply remove industrial contaminants from wastewater.
Quote: “The Forrest Research Foundation is a centre for top researchers and scholars that focuses on driving world-class research and innovation in Western Australia. The Forrest Scholarship offers a stimulating, inspiring and unique experience that encourages each Forrest Scholar to make positive change to the world.” 2018 FORREST RESEARCH FOUNDATION FELLOW
Philipp Bayer - UWA
Philipp completed his undergraduate studies in biology at the University of Munster before coming to Australia to undertake a Masters of Information Technology at Bond University and a PhD in Applied Bioinformatics at the University of Queensland. At UWA he is based in the Bioinformatics group in the School of Biological Sciences where he is using computational methods to better understand the genetics of wheat in order to find drought and salt resistant genes in ancient wheat varieties.
Quote: “The Forrest Fellowship will give me the freedom to pursue my goals. What interests me especially is the mentoring aspect. I have always loved to share my knowledge and I believe knowledge that is not shared is lost. The Forrest Fellowship will put me into a position where I can continue to share my knowledge and experience.”
2017 FORREST RESEARCH FOUNDATION SCHOLAR (COMMENCED LATE 2017)
Manou Rosenberg – UWA
Manou from Germany, will be studying renewable energy and power supply infrastructure and how to improve its effectiveness.
Quote: “By becoming a Forrest Research Foundation scholar I will be connected to young, great researchers in different fields of study. This will create an inspiring environment and give me the opportunity to generate and exchange innovative ideas.”
Jess Reid (UWA Media and Public Relations Advisor) (+61 8) 6488 6876
Lauren Sydoruk (Curtin University, Media Officer) (+61 8) 9266 4241 / (+61 4) 01 103 373
David Gear (Edith Cowan University, Corporate Communications Officer) (+61 8) 6404 2288