UNSW rises to fourth among Go8 in list of world’s most influential scientists

The number of researchers recognised for high global impact from UNSW Sydney and its affiliates has more than tripled in this year’s list of Highly Cited Researchers.

The prestigious list is compiled annually by Clarivate Analytics and celebrates contemporary research achievement in 21 fields of the sciences and social sciences, based on the number of citations for papers published over a decade.

This year’s list adds a cross-discipline category and features around 6000 researchers whose citation records position them in the top 1% by citations for their field. Nineteen UNSW researchers were included in the 2018 list, including Professor Liming Dai who is recognised twice, in both the Chemistry and Materials Science categories.

The result brings UNSW Sydney to fourth place among the Group of Eight universities, rising from equal eighth in 2017. Six UNSW researchers and its affiliates were included in the 2017 list.

UNSW’s 19 listed researchers are: Associate Professor Will Cornwell, Dr Stephen Joseph, Professor Lain-Jong Li, Associate Professor Shinichi Nakagawa, Dr Ying-Ping Wang and Professor Chris Turney,  UNSW Science; Professor Cyrille Boyer, Professor Liming Dai, Scientia Professor Martin Green, Professor Kourosh Kalantar-Zadeh, Dr Derrick Wing Kwan Ng, Dr Da-Wei Wang and Associate Professor Thomas Wiedmann, UNSW Engineering; Professor Mattheos Santamouris, UNSW Built Environment; Scientia Professor Louisa Degenhardt,  Professor Bruce Neal, Professor John Mattick, Professor Stuart Tangye and Professor Mark Woodward, UNSW Medicine.

UNSW Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Nicholas Fisk congratulated the top UNSW researchers on making the prestigious list.

“The release of the Highly Cited Researchers list by Clarivate Analytics is a major annual event at UNSW. It is internationally respected, and now even more influential with the new cross-field category embracing interdisciplinary research,” Professor Fisk said.

“HCR status is testimony to the pinnacle of achievement of our 19 selected academics, and such is its prestige, we recognise annually those academics who make the list at our celebration of research excellence.”

Researchers from the US continue to dominate the Clarivate list with more than half of the entries affiliated with US organisations, including research institutes and universities. The United Kingdom and China were second and third in the list of more than 60 nations with HCR representation.

Australian research institutions are also gaining ground, with Australia at fifth on the list of countries. The number of researchers recognised as Highly Cited has more than doubled in four years, from 80 in 2014 to 170 in 2018, among those selected in one or more category.

See the full list here.

Professor Cyrille Boyer, heads the Boyer lab at UNSW and is also co-director of the Australian Centre for Nanomedicine and a member of the Centre for Advanced Macromolecular Design. He has received numerous awards for his work in polymerisation, including UNSW Research Excellence Award and Prime Minister Prize for Science (Malcolm MacIntosh Prize). Cyrille’s research interests cover the use of photoredox catalysts to perform living radical polymerisation, hybrid organic-inorganic nanoparticles for imaging, nanomedicine and energy storage.

Associate Professor William Cornwell, from the School of Biological, Earth, and Environmental Sciences, researches the intersection of plant eco-physiology, community ecology and ecosystem ecology. He is particularly interested in using basic ecological tools, especially functional traits, to understand the effects of climate change on terrestrial biodiversity. His current major research interests are climate change effects on terrestrial vegetation, plant functional variation effects on the carbon cycle, assembly of plant communities, especially considering human impacts via climate change, and tempo and mode of evolution of plant traits.

Professor Liming Dai, from the School of Chemical Engineering is recognised as a pioneer and leading scientist in the research and development of carbon-based metal-free catalysts for renewable energy technologies. His expertise covers the synthesis, functionalisation, and device fabrication of conjugated polymers and carbon nanomaterials for energy-related and biomedical applications.

Scientia Professor Louisa Degenhardt, and NHMRC Principal Research Fellow researches illicit drug use and its health effects at UNSW’s National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC). She conducts diverse epidemiological studies including analysis of large-scale community and clinical population surveys, data linkage studies focusing on people with a history of drug dependence or chronic pain, and cohort studies of young people. She is currently conducting a national prospective cohort study of entrants to pharmaceutical opioid use for the treatment of chronic non-cancer pain. Her research has shaped policy at a global level via advice to WHO, UNAIDS and UNODC.

Scientia Professor Martin Green, from the School of Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering, is a solar pioneer and world leader in the field of photovoltaics. He is director of the Australian Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics (ACAP) and has continued to break records in silicon solar cell efficiency for more than 30 years. In 2018, he became the first Australian to win a prestigious Global Energy Prize.

Dr Stephen Joseph, has been a visiting academic to the School of Materials Science and Engineering for over 10 years and is recognised as a world expert on the development of the use of biochar – a charcoal-type material manufactured through heating waste biomaterials. He has dedicated his entire career to working with disadvantaged communities and was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the 2017 Queen's Birthday Honours List.

Professor Kourosh Kalantar-Zadeh, from the School of Chemical Engineering, is also one of the 2018 Australian Research Council (ARC) Laureate Fellows. He is internationally recognised for his work on sensors, two dimensional semiconductors and liquid metals has received many national and international awards including the 2018 American Chemical Society (ACS) Advances in Measurement Science Lectureship Award (Asia-Pacific region). His research interests include chemical and biochemical sensors, nanotechnology, liquid metals, materials science, electronics, gastroenterology, medical devices and microfluidics.

Professor Lain-Jong Li, from the School of Materials Science and Engineering is currently working on collaborative projects between UNSW and the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) in Taiwan. TSMC is the world’s largest dedicated semiconductor foundry, providing the industry’s leading process technology and foundry’s largest portfolio of process-proven libraries, IPs, design tools and reference flows.

Professor Mattheos Santamouris is UNSW’s first Professor of High Performance Architecture and has a research focus on sustainability, technology and the invention of low energy materials. He has spent the past 15 years mapping urban heat islands in 200 cities and has been focusing recently on the urban heat island effect in Western Sydney.

Professor John Mattick, of the Garvan Institute of Medical Research and St Vincent’s Clinical School, changed the world’s understanding of the human genome, showing how genetic data can control biology and affect disease susceptibility. In 2016 he established a human genome sequencing centre at the Garvan and one of the first clinically accredited genome analysis centres in the world.

Associate Professor Shinichi Nakagawa, at the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences is Deputy Director of Research at Evolution & Ecology Research Centre. His fields of research include evolutionary biology, behavioural ecology, genetics and meta-analysis. His current projects include the transgenerational inheritance of environmentally-induced phenotype in zebrafish, meta-analysis on trans-generational effects of maternal dietary manipulations, ontogenetic effects on 'Greater Male Variability' in human intelligence, maternal and ontogenetic effects on personality, cognition and metabolism in lizards and robust inference and reproducibility in ecology and evolution.

Professor Bruce Neal, a Senior Director at The George Institute for Global Health, has a long-standing research interest in cardiovascular disease and diabetes, including the environmental determinants of high blood pressure and poor cardiovascular health. His research focuses on clinical research in cardiovascular disease and diabetes, and research related to food policy and the dietary determinants of ill health. His food policy research program focuses on dietary salt reduction. 

Dr Derrick Wing Kwan Ng, is from the School of Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications and researches wireless communications, signal processing and communications technologies. He is interested in researching the design of resource allocation algorithms for realising spectral efficient, energy efficient, and secure communication networks.

Professor Stuart Tangye, is head of the Immunology Division at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research. He is particularly interested in human immunology, cellular immunology, primary immunodeficiencies.

Professor Chris Turney, is a recently completed Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow and Professor of Climate Change and Earth Science. Working across the globe, Chris is extending historic records back to 130,000 years ago to improve projections of future climatic and environmental change.

Dr Da-Wei Wang, and his students at the School of Chemical Engineering are working with Baosteel, the largest steel maker in China, to develop high-energy batteries. Dr Wang was also recently awarded an ARC Discovery Project grant to further develop a new breed of economical, high energy batteries. One of his current interests lies in the development of high-energy battery technologies with a long-life for electric vehicles.

Professor Ying-Ping Wang is a long-standing adjunct in the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, and collaborator on two ARC Centres of Excellence, the first in Climate System Science and now in Climate Extremes. His main interests lie in global land modelling and biogeochemical cycles.

Associate Professor Thomas Wiedmann, from the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, has long-standing expertise in integrated sustainability assessment and environmental footprint analysis. His main research question is how to achieve human wellbeing without increasing environmental impacts. He develops and applies environmental input-output analysis as part of a holistic concept to life cycle assessment, industrial ecology and sustainable consumption and production research.

Professor Mark Woodward, from The George Institute for Global Health, is a world recognised expert in meta-analysis and has been involved in high-profile studies including the Blood Pressure Lowering Treatment Trialists Collaboration and the ADVANCE clinical trial in diabetes. He is also a world expert in cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk scoring. Other interests include big data and women’s CVD, where Professor Woodward has demonstrated that diabetes and smoking confer greater additional CVD risk in women than in men.