Outstanding PhD theses recognised in 2014 Chancellor's Prize

June 14 / 139

Brandon MacDonald, David Riglar, Jaclyn Pearson, Jin Shang, Luis Eslava (left to right) and Gary Foley (not pictured) received awards.
Brandon MacDonald, David Riglar, Jaclyn Pearson, Jin Shang, Luis Eslava (left to right) and Gary Foley (not pictured) received awards.

Six PhD graduates have been awarded the 2014 Chancellor’s Prize for Excellence in a PhD Thesis. 

The prestigious award recognises high-achieving candidates and is the only University-wide prize for outstanding theses.

It is awarded annually to two recipients from three faculty groupings – Humanities, Creative Arts and Social Sciences; Science and Engineering; and Medicine Dentistry and Health Sciences.

This year’s winners are:

Luis Eslava (Law) for his thesis investigating the everyday operation and effects of international law and development policies

Gary Foley (Culture and Communication) for his thesis presenting an autobiographical narrative of the Black Power Movement and the 1972 Aboriginal Embassy

Jaclyn Pearson (Microbiology and Immunology) for her thesis investigating how virulent E.coli infects the intestine

David Riglar (Medical Biology) for his thesis investigating the processes critical for human malaria parasite infection of the red blood cell

Jin Shang (Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering) for his thesis studying the separation of carbon dioxide from flue gas and natural gas streams using porous adsorbent materials

Brandon MacDonald (Chemistry) for his thesis developing a new method for making photovoltaic cells to convert sunlight into electricity

Brandon MacDonald said he recognises the hard work that a large number of people put into his project including his advisors, colleagues and friends. 

“A successful PhD is a group effort and I was very fortunate to be surrounded by so many quality people during my time at Melbourne,” he said.

The highlight of winning the award for Jaclyn Pearson was the recognition of her academic achievement. 

“I wanted to work hard, I loved the research and I loved the team I was working in and so to have this outcome is something I feel particularly proud of,” she said.

Luis Eslava said relationships he built over many months of fieldwork in Bogota and the support of his supervisors, colleagues, family and friends enabled him to complete his PhD journey. 

“I conducted my doctoral research as ethnography, which is by definition a collective enterprise,” he said. 

“So for me, this award speaks clearly about this collective effort.”

The Chancellor’s Prize began in 1995 and informs the University’s research community of the outstanding contribution the recipients have made to their research field. 

Candidates are nominated by their supervisors and Heads of Departments, with the winners selected by faculty Deans and then endorsed by the Research Higher Degrees Committee. 

Criteria include the examiners' reports, international recognition of the research work, impact of the research, publications or other research outputs, and any other recognition for the quality of research undertaken for the thesis. 

The prizes will be presented at the Menzies Oration in September. 

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