The Australian Research Council’s College of Experts has announced its largest contingency of experts since 2010. With 99 new appointments this month, including four new members from Macquarie University, the group of 319 highly respected and experienced academics are chosen through a competitive peer review process to help guide the ARC in its investment in Australian research.
The four Macquarie University academics announced this past week, Professor Xuan Duong, Professor Stephen Foley, Professor Richard McDermid and Professor Bronwen Neil were admitted to the College of Experts for 2024, joining the nine Macquarie researchers confirmed to remain on the College:
- Distinguished Professor Michael Gillings
- Associate Professor Yijiao Jiang
- Professor Tiffany Jones
- Professor Fei Guo
- Professor Annabelle McIver
- Distinguished Professor Ingird Piller
- Professor Alison Rodger
- Professor Daniela Traini
- Professor Yuling Wang
We spoke with Professor Duong about his appointment and how he plans to take on the responsibility.
Professor Duong, a theoretical mathematician from the School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences, says that his decision to apply for a College of Experts role comes after many years on the other side as a grant recipient.
“The ARC College of Experts has a decisive role in the direction and development of research in Australia and I wish to contribute to the process of finding and supporting the best research for Australia,” he says.
Professor Duong’s research is in the field of harmonic analysis and its applications to partial differential equations.
“This field of mathematics has a wide range of applications in engineering and technology, for example signal processing, satellite and aviation communications, and medical imaging like CT and MRI scans,” he says.
He was drawn to the area by a number of fascinating long-standing problems of the field – many of which remain unsolved.
Professor Duong completed his PhD at Macquarie University in 1991, and after a few years as a post-doctoral researcher at the University of NSW, returned to Macquarie in 1994.
“In January, I will have been at Macquarie for 30 years,” he says. During that time, he has successfully applied for nine ARC Discovery projects.
Professor Duong says that the main responsibility of the College of Experts is to assess and rank ARC grant applications submitted under the National Competitive Grants Program.
“My experience has all been as an outsider, and after speaking to colleagues who have had a role at the College, I anticipate a steep learning curve and quite intensive work to get up to speed,” he says, adding that he is not fazed by the workload, viewing it both very useful and worthwhile.
“This is an important role, and I take this responsibility very seriously. It is important to do our best in assessing applications which will come from people from all over Australia, many of them from outside my area of research,” he says.
Professor Duong says he hopes to influence the research landscape of mathematics by bringing some balance between pure mathematics – which is classified as basic research, and applied mathematics – which usually addresses specific problems in industry and technology.
“Both are important for Australia’s research success.”