Biofilms grow on all surfaces and environments, from catheters to drinking water pipes and ships. They are complex organisations of cells that grow on both living and inert surfaces and are both viscous and elastic in nature. They can be made up of a single species or comprise several species of different types of microorganisms, including those that pose a threat to either human health or our environment. Biofilm attachment and development cannot be prevented completely thus they cost billions each year to those attempting to eradicate them.
Our centre aims to transform biofouling management strategies for maritime platforms by building on local and international expertise to mentor and train the next generation of interdisciplinary scientists and engineers. Anticipating evolving regulatory stringency, this project expects to establish a dynamic environment for industry partners, students and scientists to collaborate and develop biofilm management strategies.
We are working with industries to develop innovative solutions that meet their needs and alleviate their biofilm related problems.
The Australian Government has committed $4.9 million to the establishment of the ARC Training Centre for biofilm Research and Innovation to tackle one of the biggest issues for the maritime and water industries.
The Flinders University centre will work with industry partners, including ASC Pty Ltd, BAE Systems, Defence Science and Technology Group, Osmoflo, Enware Australia, Sparc Technologies, SA Water, Franmarine Underwater Services, and DMTC Molino-Zhang and Associates. As well as key regulatory and professional bodies including the Environmental Protection Authority, Australian Society for Microbiology and Australasian Corrosion Association.
Research support will include experts from Flinders University, the University of Toulon, France and Ohio State University, US as well as the University of Tasmania and Swinburne University of Technology in Australia.
Developing a new generation of specialists in biofilm monitoring and control, through training, education and mentoring of HDR students and ICPDs. This will be achieved through collaborative research projects and training with the industry partners, intern experience and workshops focused on better managing biofouling issues that meet the requirements of the regulatory bodies
The research projects conducted by HDR students and ICPDs will create new knowledge which will be directly transferred to the industry via training and workshops on how to practically implement modifications to their biofouling management processes. These new management solutions that will enhance the competitiveness of our industry partners.
Fostering close partnerships between academic experts, industry and other end-users to translate research into innovative solutions to benefit industries worldwide. All PIs and POs involved in this ITTC have committed to welcoming HDR students and/or ICPDs within their company in order to facilitate the advancement of knowledge, but also to provide adequate mentorship and in-situ training to these early-career researchers.
We have PhD Scholarships available for the following exciting industry projects:
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Professor Sophie Leterme is the Director of the ARC Training Centre for Biofilm Research and Innovation
Sophie is passionate about solving issues related to biofilms and biofouling for industry applications and ecological restoration.
Professor Leterme's specific focus is on developing collaborations with like-minded academics, industry partners and government agencies to work jointly on these issues. In 2018, the Flinders University Biofilm Research & Innovation Consortium (FUBRIC) was created which was successful in securing external funding support from industry partners. Building on the success of FUBRIC, she is now the Director of an ARC Industrial Transformation Training Centre (ITTC) for Biofilm Research & Innovation. This Centre focuses on the training of PhD students and ECRs in biofilm research in a collaborative environment that actively involves industry partner organisations.
She was the deputy node leader of SA-IMOS (South Australian Node of IMOS (Integrated Marine Observing System)) for 2009-2015, leading the biological program of SA-IMOS. She was promoted to Senior Lecturer (2013) and developed research on the impact of microbial communities in the biofouling of desalination plants which was funded by the National Centre of Excellence in Desalination - Australia (NCEDA).
Harriet Whiley is an Associate Professor in Environmental Health and Deputy Director (Academic) for the ARC Training Centre for Biofilm Research and Innovation.
As a microbiologist and accredited Environmental Health Officer her research is focused on informing the public health profession of best practice to protect human health from pathogens present in the environment. In recognition of her expertise and leadership in the field she is a member of both the Home Affairs Independent Medical Advisor Panel (HAIMAP) and the National Health Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Water Quality Advisory Committee. She actively pursues opportunities to engage with the profession and industry to ensure the translation of her research findings and as such her research has informed changes in industry practice as well as state and federal public health policy and guidelines.
Her research areas include biofilms, water quality, infection control and human health risk assessment.
Prof Mats Andersson (CI)
Prof Karl Sammut (CI)
Prof Melissa Brown (CI)
Prof Claire Lenehan (CI)
|Swinburne University of Technology||
A/Prof Scott Wade (CI)
Dr Andrew Ang (CI)
Prof Enzo Palombo (CI)
|University of Tasmania||
Dr Ehsan Arzaghi (CI)
Dr Til Baalisampang (CI)
Funded by: The Australian Research Council
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