SCU gets hands dirty

SOUTHERN Cross University will soon be getting its many hands dirty, after winning part of $127 million in funding for a research project into soil chemistry.

Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, Kim Carr, said the $127 million of funding is for NSW researchers to conduct 371 research projects that will produce significant national benefit.

Southern Cross University has received $380,000 to support a research project by Dr Andrew Rose in developing a new approach to explain the behaviour of chemical reactions in soils, sediments and waters.

The work will be done through SCU's new research centre GeoScience, with director Professor Leigh Sullivan saying the research would lead to a much-improved understanding of the chemistry of the environment.

“It's aimed at deriving a better understanding of the fundamental behaviour of natural environments - this covers all sorts of problems ranging from soil degradation and environmental contamination through to climate change,” Prof. Sullivan said.

She said the research would increase understanding of issues such as ocean acidification, nanotechnology and environmental contamination.

SCU Pro Vice-Chancellor in research, Professor Neal Ryan, said the funding demonstrates the university's strength in this field of research.

“It is a real indication of the growing reputation of the university and the work we are doing in Australia and around the world,” Prof. Ryan said.

“We are involved in a number of research projects, including acid sulphate soil studies in the Murray-

Darling region, which have a considerable impact on management practices.”

Some of the other projects that will be funded under the government scheme include the impact of post-incident debriefing on psychological wellbeing, risk control of e-commerce transactions, and a study into human and robot interaction.

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