Recipients of the UNSW Dean’s Award for Outstanding PhD Theses announced

17 Nov 2021
Recipients of the UNSW Dean’s Award for Outstanding PhD Theses announced

Fifty-six PhD candidates have been recognised for their high-quality theses.

To receive this award, candidates must produce a thesis that requires only minimal corrections, received outstanding and/or excellent levels of achievement for all examination criteria, and in the opinion of both examiners is in the top 10% 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 faced in 2021, 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

Kaira Zoe Canete

Becoming Resilient: Disaster Recovery in Post-Yolanda Philippines through Women's Eyes

Brenda L. Croft

Kurrwa (stone tool/axehead) to Kartak (container, cup, billycan, pannikin): hand-made/held-ground. An enduring, collaborative, practice-led research journey representing a distinct Australian First Nations Storying/Storywork and First Nations Performative Autoethnography as subalter/N/ative archive and methodology – created from the rememorying, re/imagined standpoint of a Gurindji | Malngin | Mudburra | Anglo-Australian | Chinese | German | Irish woman

Samira Garshasbi

Development and testing of advanced nano-scale fluorescent materials for urban heat mitigation

Jasmine Guffond

Listening Back

Kate Judith

A Material Semiotic Exploration of Interstitiality with Mangroves

Rodney Love

Geniza: An Annotated An /Archive of a Discarded Life

Hong An James Nguyen

Making Chó bò*: Troubling Vietspeak

Luke Vitale

The Chinese of Europe and Pioneer Legends: race, labour and Italians in White Australia, 1888 to 1940


UNSW Business School


Thesis Title

Attila Balogh

Essays on shareholder activism and corporate governance

Bradley Hastings

Mindsets for Change Leaders: A New Leadership Development Approach

Barton Lee

Essays in Political Economics

Zhiwei Tong

Portfolio Risk Analysis: Aggregation and Allocation

Hang Wang

Essays on Information and Capital Markets


Faculty of Engineering


Thesis Title

Prateek Bahl

Respiratory Droplets: Understanding their Dynamics and Limiting the Spread

Lei Bai

Deep Spatial-Temporal Learning in the Correlated Time Series

Noor Adnan Sadik Baktash 

Experimental Investigation of Creep in Unsaturated Soils

Peipei Feng

Gear wear-monitoring using acoustic emission

Suresh Hettiarachchi

Re-imagining urban flood management in a warmer climate through the lens of resilience

Chaoyang Jiang

Noise Generation by Airfoils and Rotors with Porous and Serrated Trailing Edges

Dongchan Kim

In-flame soot particle structures and in-cylinder flow fields in direct-injection spark-ignition engines

Mengyao Li

Enhanced hydrogen evolution reaction of MoS2 based catalysts optimised by feasible approaches

Yiran Liu

CFD study of the combustion of innovative fuels in blast furnaces for sustainable ironmaking

Yanling Qu

Seismic analysis of gravity dam-reservoir-foundation systems using the scaled boundary finite element method

Animesh Sahoo

Improved Hybrid Techniques for Grid Fault Detection and Fault Ride-Through of Power Converters

Mohammed Abdul Qadeer Siddiqui

Theoretical and Experimental Study of Water Loss in Shale Matrix: A Nonequilibrium Thermodynamics-based Two-Phase Flow, Damage Chemo-poroelastic Investigation

Ting Wang

Synthetic methods to enable the formation and stabilisation of borohydride nanoparticles for hydrogen storage

Yixing Yang

Cohesive Subgraph Computation over Large Heterogeneous Information Networks

Zhi Zhang

Software-only Rowhammer Attacks and Countermeasures

Xiaofeng Zhu

Oxygen electrocatalysis study on carbon-based single atomic catalysts for zinc-air batteries


Faculty of Medicine & Health


Thesis Title

Ghamdan Al-Eryani

Development and implementation of multimodal single cell technologies for human immune profiling

Xupeng Bai

Investigation of the mechanisms underlying triple-negative breast cancer radioresistance

Jason Behary

The Rising Burden of Hepatocellular Carcinoma in Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease: Epidemiology, Gut Microbiota and Immunopathogenesis

Xi Chen

The relationship between dietary patterns and cognitive health among older adults

Etienne Farquhar

Understanding gene mutations driving autoimmune disease and lymphoid malignancy

Hamish Fibbins

Promoting physical health within mental health workforce culture through staff-focused exercise interventions

Zerong Ma

Development of siRNA-based Nanomedicines for the Treatment of Lung Cancer

Samuel Macdessi

The Relationship of Alignment and Balance in Total Knee Arthroplasty

Baharak Mahyad

Interrogating T cell activation from molecular to cellular scales via an integrated imaging strategy

Andre Martins Reis

The development of reference standards for genomics

Oliver Skinner

New insights into the link between protein prenylation and inflammation using models of mevalonate kinase deficiency (MKD)

Sunny Wu

Elucidating the functional diversity of stromal cells in breast tumours using single-cell and spatial transcriptomics


Faculty of Science


Thesis Title

Ali Alinezhad Chamazketi

Direct growth of Pt on Ni Nanoparticles as Efficient Electrocatalysts for Hydrogen Evolution Reaction and Oxygen Reduction Reaction

Hsiang-Sheng Chen

The Effect of Degree of Ordering of Alloy Catalyst to Electrocatalysis

Kamran Dastafkan

Modulating Surface and Interface Chemistry for Advancing Electrochemical Water Splitting

Jingyi Ding

Woodland structure and function in response to increasing aridity

Chen Jia

Rational Design of Carbon-based Catalysts for Efficient Electroreduction of Carbon Dioxide

Emily Kahl

High-performance computing and its applications to atomic structure physics

Daniel Keith

Fast measurement and operation of exchange-based precision donor qubits

Yu Liu

The mesolimbic dopamine activity signatures of relapse to alcohol-seeking

Matthew Rendell

Spin dynamics of holes in GaAs and Ge semiconductor nanostructures

Alice Russo

Characterising the endogenous and exogenous virome of invasive amphibians and arthropods

Eileen Stech

Internet-delivered cognitive behavioural therapy for panic disorder: Emphasising exposure to enhance outcomes

Qijing Sun

Development and Characterization of Zr-based Ultrastable Metallic Glasses

Yonatan Vanunu

The underlying mechanism of risky choice under cognitive load


UNSW Canberra


Thesis Title

Ashif Aminulloh Fathnan

Broadband Microwave and Millimetre-wave Metasurfaces

Junpeng Zhang

Moving Object Detection and Tracking for Satellite Video Surveillance