2022 Dean’s Awards for Outstanding PhD Theses

30 Aug 2022
2022 Dean’s Awards for Outstanding PhD Theses

Fifty-nine UNSW PhD candidates have been honoured in this year’s awards.

The Dean’s Awards for Outstanding PhD Theses recognises high quality PhD theses produced at UNSW. 

To receive this award, candidates must produce a thesis that requires only minimal corrections, receive outstanding and/or excellent levels of achievement for all examination criteria, and in the opinion of both examiners is in the top ten per cent of PhD theses they have examined. Examiners are external to the University and are leaders in their fields.

“UNSW’s PhD candidates are a vital part of our research efforts and these awards recognise the outstanding theses examined in the last year,” said Professor Jonathan Morris, Pro Vice-Chancellor Research Training & Entrepreneurship and Dean of Graduate Research.

“Given the challenges of the past two years, these graduates should be commended for their achievements.”

The awards are listed below by Faculty. Further details about this award have been published on the HDR Hub.


Faculty of Arts, Design & Architecture


Thesis Title

Luise Guest

(In)Visible Ink: enacting gender and Chineseness in contemporary art

Defeng Jin

More than a virus: A study of hepatitis B related stigma and trust in healthcare providers among Chinese immigrants living in Australia

Ann Madden

There But Not There: 'Drug User Representation' in High Level Drug Policy Settings

Gretchen Miller

The Rescue Project

Sujith Prankumar

Navigating Citizenship in the Harbour City: Sexuality, ethnicity and belonging among Lebanese, Indian and Anglo LGBTQ+ young adults in Sydney, Australia

Hao Wang

Density and Urban Housing: A Historical Study of Housing forms in Shanghai from 1843 to 1949

Xiaoqin Wu

Space and practice: A multifaceted understanding of the designs and uses of "Active Learning Classrooms"



UNSW Business School


Thesis Title

Srinwanti Hazra Chaudhury

Insights into the Form and Function of Awe and Related States, and their Impact on Consumer Decisions and Well-Being

Wei Tian

Three Essays on Individual Causal Inference

Nicholas Turner

Essays in Valuation

Huijuan Yu

An Exploration of Co-Creation in the Knowledge Economy: Conceptualization, Measurement, and Consequences


Faculty of Engineering


Thesis Title

Xiao Chen

Mechanical Compaction of Highly Porous Carbonates: Instabilities and Permeability Evolution

Yufan Chen

Mechanism and Application of Iron-Mediated Heterogeneous Fenton Reactions

Guoyu Chu 

Multiphysics Design Optimisation and Analysis of a High-speed (100,000 RPM) Interior Permanent Magnet Machine

Rong Deng

End-of-life Recycling of Silicon Photovoltaic Modules: Towards A Circular Economy

Yuan Feng

Machine Learning Aided Stochastic Elastoplastic and Damage Analysis of Functionally Graded Structures

Ziyi Guo

Engineering of Buoyancy-Propelled Metal-Organic-Framework based Micro/Nanomotors

Zixuan Huang

Radical Based Molecular Design of Discrete and Stereoregulated Oligomers via Photomediated RAFT Single Unit Monomer Insertion (Photo-RAFT SUMI)

Christopher Leaman

Regional-Scale Forecasting for Coastal Storm Hazard Early Warning Systems

Jun Liu

Exploiting PHY for Improving LoRa Based Communication and Localisation System

Zhe Liu

Knowledge Discovery and Transfer on Limited Datasets

Mingyan Lv

A fundamental investigation and ultrasonic characterisation of coal effective stress behaviour

Gervase Ng

Synthesis of Well-defined Macromolecules through Photomediated Reversible Deactivation Radical Polymerization: An Application of Oxygen Tolerant High Throughput Approach

Yufu Niu

Applications of Physically Accurate Deep Learning for Processing Digital Rock Images

Jamie Ruprecht

Integrating microbial and nutrient dynamics to improve waterway management

Muhammad Saad Salman

Developing Core-Shell Borohydride Nanoarchitectures and Understanding their Structure-Hydrogen Release/Uptake Relationships

Rostyslav Savytskyy

Coherent electrical control of an electron-nuclear flip-flop qubit in silicon

Sarvesh Kumar Singh

Optimising mobile laser scanning for underground mines

Bruno Vicari Stefani

Understanding light-induced degradation in p-type silicon heterojunction solar cells

Bingqiao Xie

Metal-Oxide Nanostructure Catalysts for Thermal and Photothermal Catalytic CO2 Hydrogenation

Jiangzhou Xie

Anodic Oxidation of Organic Contaminants Using Fixed and Flow Electrodes

Yuting Yuan

Mechanisms of Catalytic Ozonation for the Removal of Low Molecular Weight Acids

Hangbin Zhang

Neural Networks for Personalized Recommender Systems

Hengcheng Zhang

Tracking the severity of naturally developed spalls in rolling element bearings


Faculty of Law & Justice


Thesis Title

Emma Dunlop

Interpreting article 16 of the 1951 Refugee Convention: A study of State obligations to ensure access to courts for asylum seekers and refugees under international law


Faculty of Medicine & Health


Thesis Title

Aria Ahmed-Cox

Cancer Nanomedicine: Quantitative Visualisation and Efficacy of Nanoparticle Delivery

Ohannes Mazigi

Molecular engineering of antibody and superantigen interactions

Hayley North

Discovering links between inflammation, neurogenesis, brain structure and brain function in schizophrenia

Edel O’Hagan

Optimising first-line care for low back pain and new directions

Matthew Paradise

Quantification of diverse cerebrovascular pathologies on MRI in older individuals and their relationships to cognition in a multimodal MRI index

Samuel Ross

Canonical and non-canonical DNA methylome dynamics during vertebrate development

Md Saiful Islam

Tuberculosis infection prevention and control policies, practices, and the risk of TB infection among healthcare workers

Marija Simic

Wnt-Targeted Therapy to Treat Myeloma-Induced Bone Loss and Prevent Disease Relapse

Heather Valerio

Elimination of hepatitis C virus among people who inject drugs in Australia

Lisa Worley

Molecular and Cellular Regulation of Human TH9 Cell Differentiation


Faculty of Science


Thesis Title

Miranda Chilver

Electrophysiological markers of mental wellbeing and ways to promote it

Rishav Goyal

Dynamics of the Southern Hemisphere extratropical atmospheric circulation

Charles Hinchliffe

Distribution and population dynamics of larval fish off eastern Australia

Peter O’Mara

Electrocatalytic cascade reactions by nanoconfinement of intermediates: the case of electrochemical CO2 reduction

Harry Rathbone

Tracing the Evolutionary History of the Cryptophyte Light Harvesting Antenna: A Structural Perspective

Manon Sabot

Trading water for carbon in a changing climate: can optimality theory improve the predictability of land surface models

Marta Sanchez Miranda

Towards Simultaneous Electrical and Optical Studies of Single Biomolecules

Alexander Sentinella

Gradients in global germination and geographical genomics


UNSW Canberra


Thesis Title

Matteo Bordignon

An explicit version of Chen's theorem

Md Nazrul Islam

Multisensory Imagery Cues for Object Separation, Specularity Detection and Deep Learning based Inpainting

Marwa Keshk

Protection of Data Privacy based on Artificial Intelligence in Cyber-Physical Systems

Zhiyong Liu

Stress disturbance on the cyclic behavior of soils and its impact on geotechnical structures

Ross Mackie

More than a Military Force: New Zealand's 1909 Decision to Form a Citizen Soldier Army

Rhiannon Neilsen

Cyber Humanitarian Interventions: The viability and ethics of using cyber-operations to disrupt perpetrators' means and motivations for atrocities in the digital age