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Inaugural Maitri Scholar to make her mark at UniSQ

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Higher-degree research student Ancy Joseph will move to Australia to undertake her PhD with UniSQ, thanks to the Maitri Scholar program.

The University of Southern Queensland (UniSQ) will welcome Indian student Ancy Joseph later this year after being announced as an inaugural Maitri Scholar of the Centre for Australia-India Relations.

UniSQ was awarded $437,000 from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to host a higher-degree research student under the Maitri Scholars program.

Ms Joseph, who is currently completing a Master of Technology in Polymer Science and Engineering at Mahatma Gandhi University, will be undertaking her PhD with UniSQ under the supervision of Professor Prasad Yarlagadda and Dr Asha Mathew.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Senator the Hon Penny Wong announced the initiative, recognising the value in further strengthening Australia’s links with India.

“Working more closely with our Indian-Australian communities – our fastest growing diaspora – means we can better respond to a diverse and evolving India,” Senator Wong said.

“The Maitri Scholars and Fellows will also contribute to a broader and deeper understanding of the Australia-India relationship, our shared interests and our shared challenges while fostering life-long connections.”

Ms Joseph’s research aims to use nano-technology applications to solve limitations in storing blood, such as its short shelf life, risk of bacterial infection, and harmful chemicals in the blood from storage bags, by making blood transfusions safer and more effective.

The project focuses on developing nano-textured surfaces inside blood bags using advanced methods such as plasma etching, wet etching, reactive ion etching, and UV lithography.

Professor Yarlagadda said the funding would help to take his team's research to new levels, building on the work done during the past five years, which was funded by the Australian Research Council, Australia-India Strategic Research Funding, and other schemes.

The initiative also improves UniSQ’s research collaboration relationship with Mahatma Gandhi University and highlights the University’s world-class research projects, ambition for globalisation, and aptitude for innovation.