The University of Southern Queensland (USQ) received two ratings of ‘high’ impact (the top rating) in the Australian Research Council’s Engagement and Impact Assessment 2018-19 National Report (EI 2018) for both Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences and Engineering.
The new national assessment evaluates how well researchers in Australian universities engage with end users beyond the academic sector, with a focus on delivering research impacts.
The results follow the ARC’s Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) report released last week, which rated USQ as world standard or better in 30 areas of research strengths, an outstanding result.
USQ Vice-Chancellor Professor Geraldine Mackenzie said the results further highlighted the University’s international standing as a leading research institution.
“USQ is committed to performing research that is not only of academic relevance but engages with industry and our stakeholders whilst contributing to innovation that benefits our communities, the nation and beyond. These results confirm that our research efforts are doing just that,” Professor Mackenzie said.
“It’s particularly encouraging to see that half of our research areas submitted for assessment were rated as having a ‘high’ positive impact which is greater than the national average of 43 per cent.”
Collaborative research with Wagners Composite Fibre Technologies was ranked as having a ‘high’ impact - this pioneering work resulted in the first Australian fibre composite bridge installed in 2002 and since then, $250 million worth of projects involving innovative design and structural concepts using composites for infrastructure applications have been developed.
In Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences, USQ’s development and implementation of irrigation technology was also recognised as having a ‘high’ impact.
The technology has led to significant savings for one of Australia’s largest rural export earners, the cotton industry, and contributed to the conservation of over 170GL water (equivalent to 68,000 Olympic swimming pools) and an economic benefit of over $198 million.
Dr Joseph Foley is part of the USQ team of researchers behind irrigation technology which has led to significant savings for the cotton industry.