Two University of Newcastle students were celebrated at the Prime Minister’s Australia Asia Awards Presentation Dinner, held at the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra.

The Awards annually support 60 of the best and brightest university students from Australia and Asia to undertake an international research, study and internship experience.  These Awards are building a network of people across the region that have a strong affinity with Australia and develop an internationally-aware, skilled workforce in Australia.

Glen Burton

University of Newcastle PhD candidate, Glen Burton, has been selected as one of 20 Australian postgraduate students to receive a 2013 Prime Minister’s Australia Asia Award.

Glen’s PhD in Civil Engineering is focussed on the development of fundamental soil mechanics principles that can be applied to both saturated and unsaturated soils.

Soil mechanics theory deals with the physical, mechanical and hydraulic behaviour of soils and seeks geotechnical solutions that safeguard the stability and life-long serviceability of structures.

“Classical soil mechanics primarily focuses on soils that are saturated with water,” said Glen.

“In practice, soils are typically unsaturated and exhibit complex deformation, strength and hydraulic behaviours. These complex behaviours can have significant impacts on society, from large destructive landslides triggered by rainfall, to damage to residential house foundations from wetting and drying.”

The Prime Minister’s Australia Asia Award will enable Glen spend 12 months undertaking research at Nagoya Institute of Technology (NIT), which is also actively engaged in both unsaturated soil laboratory testing and constitutive modelling.

Trieu Nguyen Trinh  

Trieu Nguyen Trinh from Vietnam is one of 20 international recipients of a 2012 Prime Minister’s Australia Asia Award.

Prior to commencing his Prime Minister’s Australia Asia Award, Trieu Nguyen was employed as a Research and Development Specialist with Vimedimex Medi-pharma Joint Stock Company in Vietnam.

Thanks to his award, Trieu Nguyen is undertaking a PhD at the University of Newcastle. His doctorate is focused on research and development of unique tools that address fundamental cell and molecular biology issues. It is expected the research will provide fundamental understanding for ongoing research and development of new therapeutics for multiple diseases including cancer.

As a part of his Award, Trieu Nguyen has the option of undertaking an internship or work placement at the completion of his studies in Australia.

As the holder of a full scholarship from the Vietnamese Ministry of Education and Training, Trieu Nguyen completed a Bachelor of Science (Honours) and a Master of Science in Pharmacy at the I.M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University in Russia.