Engaged Research, Enterprising Researchers

To celebrate the University of South Australia’s 25th birthday and our research, the Deputy Vice Chancellor: Research and Innovation is delighted to present the winners and finalists of the 2016 Images of Research: Engaged Research, Enterprising Researchers photography competition.

The competition provided staff and students with an opportunity to showcase compelling images created during their research. These images tell a story about the research we do at UniSA and the people who make it happen.

Congratulations to our first, second and third prize winners, and our highly commended entry!

People's Choice Award - VOTING NOW CLOSED

Thank you to everyone who has participated in this year’s Images of Research Photography Competition, either as an entrant, voter or admirer of these great pieces of work! 

Congratulations to all of our winners above, and to the lucky winner of the voter’s prize, Mr Phil Johnson from the School of Commerce, who receives a $100 Coles Myer Voucher!

Click on the images below to find out more about our exciting research!

Aaron Davis Biological co-creation network
Biological co-creation network

Finalist: Mr Aaron Davis, PhD Candidate, School of Art, Architecture and Design

Image Title:  Biological co-creation network

This image is the underside of an amazon water lily at the Adelaide Botanic Gardens. It is used by the photographer to illustrate the participant network in a co-creative process. The leaf has multiple prominent ribs that radiate from a central stem, and this is a useful way to demonstrate the difference between the co-creation process and a traditional development or consultation process. As the ribs of the lily extend they build strength by forming connections and as the size of the leaf increases, more ribs emerge and more interconnections form. The structure and interaction of the network of participants in a co-creation project is closely aligned with this biological process, relying on interdisciplinary networks and connections to drive the process.

Aleisha Brock Counterfeit medicines
Counterfeit medicines

Finalist: Ms Aleisha Brock, PhD Candidate, School of Nursing and Midwifery

Image Title: Counterfeit medicines – fancy your chances?

The notion of Russian roulette is a metaphor for the dangers of using counterfeit medicines to treat illness. Counterfeit medicines are a major issue in developing countries, making up to 10 to 50 per cent of the pharmaceutical market. They can have an incorrect amount of active ingredient, no active ingredient, or be toxic. In the chamber are six treatments, two of which are counterfeit, indicated by skull and crossbones. The gun is pointed at the mother treating her sick child. Everyday Australians are used in the image to bring the issue into our world, and shed light on the plight faced by the developing world. The photographer's research seeks to mathematically model the impact counterfeit antimalarial medicine has on antimalarial resistance.

Bastian Stoehr Artificial fingerprint contamination
Artificial fingerprint contamination

Finalist: Mr Bastian Stoehr, PhD Candidate, Future Industries Institute

Image Title: Artificial fingerprint contamination on a microfibre cleaning implement

This environmental electron scanning microscope image portrays fibres of a microfibre cleaning implement contaminated with an artificial fingerprint. Firstly, a standard artificial fingerprint was deposited onto a substrate. Then, the standard artificial fingerprint was removed with a standard cleanability test employing the cloth depicted in the image. Consequently, the acquired image was false coloured to highlight the contamination on the fibres. The information obtained is essential to understand the interactions of the contamination of the surface as well as the cleaning implement. This research enables the engineering of the next generation of easy-to-clean coatings for touch screen applications.

Bridgette Minuzzo Little Windows
Little Windows

Finalist: Ms Bridgette Minuzzo, Masters Student, School of Art ,Architecture and Design

Image Title: Little Windows

This image was taken during the photographer’s residency at the South Australian Health and Medical Institute (SAHMRI). It shows photographs taken by the artist, printed onto petri dishes. The photographs were taken through the interface of an item of laboratory glassware in front of the camera lens. This act of viewing the architecture of SAHMRI through another lens, that of the medical equipment utilised in the laboratories on the site, is the artist’s act of interpreting the function and places of SAHMRI. This way of looking at the built environment is a continuing research investigation for the artist.

Carol Tilt Accounting for Environmental Impact
Accounting for Environmental Impact

Finalist: Professor Carol Tilt, Professor of Accounting, School of Commerce

Image Title: Accounting for Environmental Impact

As concerns about the future of our planet increase, the question how and why organisations account for their impact on the natural environment becomes more important. This image juxtaposes the natural with the contrived – the coins represent pursuit of profit, and the dying brown leaf represents gradual loss of natural assets. The attention organisations now give to trying to include environmental impacts into financial statements is growing. Yet, the decline of natural habitats continues. Environmental accounting seeks to challenge organisational thinking away from short term profit, and towards long term, sustainable outcomes, through increasing transparency and accountability.

Daniel Connell Pink veil portrait
Pink veil portrait

Finalist: Mr Daniel Connell, PhD Candidate, School of Art, Architecture and Design

Image Title: Pink veil portrait

This was one of a series of charcoal drawing portraits of Malaysian students in Adelaide, filmed to be projected on a building every night for two weeks during the Oz Asia Festival. Despite the students’ enthusiasm to be projected billboard size, the artist felt increasingly like there needed to be barrier between them and the public gaze, albeit a lively one. He overlaid the drawings with an acetate sheet and painted on it. Now the subjects had an animated, playful but powerful control to give and withhold identity while holding a direct gaze. The resulting image invokes the many nuances of ‘the veil’ and highlights the generosity and vulnerability of presence.

Gertrud Hatvani-Kovacs House in the urban heat island
House in the urban heat island

Finalist: Ms Gertrud Hatvani-Kovacs, PhD Candidate, School of Information Technology and Mathematical Sciences

Image Title: House in the urban heat island

Extreme heat is on the rise due to both climate change and urban heat island effects (UHIE). UHIEs refer to the discernible temperature difference between urban and rural areas, caused by human activity and the built environment. Appropriate material use, land use and urban forms all play important roles in our microclimate. The high popularity of black roofs gained in the last decade has accelerated significantly the overheating of our built environment. The photo captures a black wall during a heatwave, absorbing solar radiation. The trapped solar gain is emitted back to the microclimate later at night, contributing to the urban heat island effect. The composition and subject of the image are notice that we are responsible for our microclimate.

Greg Donovan Twisting nightlines
Twisting nightlines

Finalist: Mr Greg Donovan, Program Director, School of Art, Architecture and Design

Image Title: Twisting nightlines

These two reconstructed photographs were taken in the Adelaide precinct, one in a backyard of the night sky and the other in a studio setting of the internal workings of a discarded computer. The juxtaposition of these two images generates a tension around past and present, analogue and digital.

Josh McCarthy Saigon: the lights of Tet
Saigon: the lights of Tet

Finalist: Dr Josh McCarthy, Senior Lecturer, School of Communication, International Studies and Languages

Image Title: Saigon: the lights of Tet

This image uses the photographic technique ‘camera painting’ to generate an image thematically consistent with abstract expressionism. The technique involves setting a long exposure time, focusing on a light source, and ‘painting’ with the camera to generate an abstract form. This photograph presents a long exposure capture while walking through the streets of Saigon in the lead up to Tet, the Vietnamese Lunar New Year. The image aims to capture the abstract interpretation of the emotive qualities of Tet and the people who celebrate it.

Kara Squire Come walk with me in red dirt
Come walk with me in red dirt

Finalist: Ms Kara Squire, Undergraduate Student, School of Education

Image Title: Come walk with me in red dirt

This image identifies the red sandy desert that surrounds Pipalyatjara in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands, a small community full of beauty and culture. The dogs and people walk as one in this community. The photographer describes herself as an optimistic pre-service teacher who wishes to teach in the APY Lands and believes Aboriginal culture should be a compulsory component in Australian education.

Maria Alba-Martin Nano-spaghetti

Finalist: Dr Maria Alba-Martin, Research Associate, Future Industries Institute

Image Title: Nano-spaghetti

This image shows porous silicon nanowires created by metal-assisted electrochemical etching of silicon. The usually vertical arrays collapsed and formed this spaghetti-like structure after prolonged exposure to the etching solution. The image was acquired when trying to obtain sharp porous silicon nanoneedles able to penetrate the skin and capture biomarkers for the early detection of cardiovascular diseases. The photographer develops silicon-based nanomaterials for therapy and diagnosis, working towards the use of nanotechnology to provide solutions for important medical challenges.

Mark Stevens Circle of Antarctic life
Circle of Antarctic life

Finalist: Associate Professor Mark Stevens, Research Professor, School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences

Image Title: Circle of Antarctic life

This photograph invokes what Antarctic explorers and researchers go through every time they venture south: while Antarctica is an amazing place, it is also a surreal, harsh and opportunistic environment. The image was taken during a three-year behavioural study of the Adelie Penguin (Pygoscelis adeliae) on Ross Island. A south polar skua (Stercorarius maccormicki) looks for any opportunity for its next meal. The harsh reality is that when the skua has good breeding success, it’s a year of poor survival for the penguin, and vice-versa. Research in this great southern continent often evolves from similar serendipitous moments.

Melanie Macgregor-Ramiasa Healthy podocytes sharing with cancer cells
Healthy podocytes sharing with cancer cells

Finalist: Dr Melanie Macgregor-Ramiasa, Research Associate, Future Industries Institute

Image Title: Healthy podocytes sharing with cancer cells

The photographer researches point of care technology for detection of urothelial cancers. The image shows healthy podocytes, which are kidney epithelial cells, sharing a microscope slide with cancer cells. The cells have been stained for EpCAM, a cell adhesion protein over-expressed in cancerous cells. There is no red staining on the large healthy podocytes, while the small malignant cells all display a distinctive pinkish-red coloration, depicting that EpCAM is only present on the cancerous cell membrane. This research enabled identification of EpCAM as a cancer-specific biomarker.

Miles Davis Destroyed lens under a microscope
Destroyed lens under a microscope

Finalist: Mr Miles Davis, Undergraduate Student, School of Information Technology and Mathematical Sciences

Image Title: Destroyed lens under a microscope

The laser cutter is a popular machine allowing students to quickly prototype for research. This once perfectly clear lens of the laser cutter is cracked, filled with colour and fascinating patterns.

Mohannad Al-Malichi Graphene

Finalist: Mr Mohannad Al-Malichi, PhD Candidate, School of Engineering

Image Title: Graphene

This image shows a moment of opening layers of graphite, which will be converted into graphene via further processes. Graphene is a single layer of graphite and is considered the strongest material in the universe, since it possesses a Young’s modulus of 1 TPa and an ultimate strength of 130 GPa, and can elongate to a quarter of its original length. Additionally, it has unique electrical and thermal conductivities. These properties make it an attractive material for use in many fields such as advanced materials manufacturing, medical industries, automobiles and aircraft technology, electronic industries, and so on. Materials such as this will underpin future industry development in Australia and position us within the global market.

Morgan Schebella The nature of health
The nature of health

Finalist: Ms Morgan Schebella, PhD Candidate, School of Natural and Built Environments

Image Title: The nature of health

Far from the sterile setting of the hospital room where she is being treated, this patient explores some of the earth’s most beautiful places in stunning 360 degrees. Across the lake, the sun is sinking behind the mountains, and for a moment she can forget about the blood pressure cuff tightening around her arm. The image depicted will likely become much more common in hospitals, nursing homes and offices around the world as virtual reality technology advances. A growing body of research suggests that viewing natural environments can reduce stress and anxiety, and improve mood and cognitive function. It won’t be long before these benefits are accessible in daily life, whether we are able to go for a walk in the park, or are confined to a hospital bed.

Simon Mills Foot posture analysis
Foot posture analysis

Finalist: Mr Simon Mills, Masters Student, School of Health Sciences

Image Title: Foot posture analysis

The retro-reflective markers shown on the feet are used in the photographer’s kinematic research which is determining how the whole body aligns over its base of support. The markers are used with motion capture cameras to create a 3D image of the body. The reflective surface of the markers allows for use of flash in this photograph to create an appearance of each one being a light source.

Stephanie MacWilliams Creeping liquid layers
Creeping liquid layers

Finalist: Ms Stephanie MacWilliams, Honours Student, Future Industries Institute

Image Title: Creeping liquid layers

One of the best ways to investigate how liquids interact with surfaces is to study their wetting: how droplets of liquid spread on a solid substrate. In some cases of spreading, a molecularly thin layer of liquid extends from droplets – the so-called precursor film. Precursor films give a window into nanoscale interactions between liquids and solids. This is paramount for industrial applications such as electrolytes for energy storage systems and lubrication fluids. The image shows the morphology of a liquid precursor film on a mineral surface. The darkest colour represents the mineral surface. Each liquid layer is represented by two colours; the blue colour is directly in contact with the surface, and the yellow colour is the top layer of liquid.

Tim McGinley Many hands
Many hands

Finalist: Dr Tim McGinley, Lecturer, School of Art, Architecture and Design

Image Title: Many hands

The image shows students assembling the UniSA Agile X Pavilion at the Office for Design + Architecture SA on Leigh Street in the city. The project required a real time interaction between end-users, students and researchers. As a Lecturer in Architecture (Digital), the photographer’s focus is to bring ideas from agile systems and developmental biology into architectural design theory, teaching and practice to support the designers of the future. In 2015, he co-founded the Morphogenetic Prototyping Lab and Agile X Research Group.

Zahied Johan When cancer masquerades as life
When cancer masquerades as life

Finalist: Dr Zahied Johan, Researcher, Centre for Cancer Biology

Image Title: When cancer masquerades as life

This image shows an extensive network of basement membrane (red) infiltrating between melanoma tumour cells. Basement membrane is typically found along blood vessels. In solid tumours however, the vast network of this structure may indicate the ability of tumour cells to line up and form microvascular channels, a process called vasculogenic mimicry. This ingenious process allows tumour cells to channel nutrients from the main blood vessels, so they can proliferate aggressively and survive at distant sites. Using cell lines and knocking down techniques, the Centre is currently studying a protein regulating this event. By knocking down this protein, the researchers hope vasculogenic mimicry can be blocked, thus reducing melanoma aggression.

Zlatko Kopecki Healthy blossom
Healthy blossom

Finalist: Dr Zlatko Kopecki, Research Fellow, Future Industries Institute

Image Title: Healthy blossom

This image portrays a section of human colon tissue, with remarkable resemblance to the bouquet of blossoming flowers. The staining pattern of colon crypts (flowers) and amount of inflammatory cells (dark purple spots) in the tissue surrounding the crypts is indicative of the disease severity, tissue inflammation and effects of therapy on healing of inflamed mucosal wounds. This research has the potential to underpin new systemic medical therapies aimed at helping large numbers of patients with cutaneous and mucosal diseases.

Areas of study and research

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