Skip links and keyboard navigation

    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Tourism, Regional Development and Industry
    The Honourable Desley Boyle

    PhD Scholarship recipient to make his mark studying fingerprints

    Minister for Tourism, Regional Development and Industry
    The Honourable Desley Boyle

    Thursday, February 12, 2009

    PhD Scholarship recipient to make his mark studying fingerprints

    University of Queensland student Matthew Thompson and two other research students from Brisbane’s Westside are amongst 27 Australian recipients taking up Smart Futures PhD Scholarships at universities across Queensland this year

    Minister for Tourism, Regional Development and Industry Desley Boyle said the Queensland Government scholarships award each postgraduate $22,500 over three years for full-time research in varied disciplines.

    Matthew Thompson of Auchenflower who will be working with the Queensland Police Service on the psychology of identifying fingerprints.

    “Contrary to popular belief and television shows, fingerprint experts don’t rely on computers to match prints found at a crime scene,” he said.

    “It’s humans that make the final decision about whether a fingerprint belongs to a suspect or not.

    “I will be developing computer tools, training methods and rules of thumb to help fingerprint experts optimise their decision making.”

    Ms Boyle said the two other Brisbane Westside scholarship winners were working on equally important research.

    “Queensland University of Technology student Steven Dargaville from Toowong will look at how to safely store bagasse (sugar cane fibre residue) in larger stockpiles to extend its availability as a high quality feedstock for renewable energy products,” she said.

    “University of Queensland student Esther Lau from Indooroopilly will examine how to control the release of medication using novel delivery systems based on plant proteins.”

    Ms Boyle said other projects undertaken by the 27 PhD scholarship-holders will include climate change on the Great Barrier Reef, skin cancer treatment, obesity intervention, developing new learning methods and the effects of aerosols on rainfall.

    “Brisbane universities will host eighteen of the scholarship-holders, the other ten will study at universities across the state from James Cook University in Townsville to Griffith University on the Gold Coast.

    “Scholarships foster innovation in Queensland’s research and development sector, helping to build the foundations for a sustainable state-wide research community.

    “This in turn plays a key role in our economic prosperity and social advancement,” she said.

    “Queensland has a reputation for building world-class R&D infrastructure and now there is a push to attract leading researchers too.

    “During the past 10 years the Queensland Government has invested $3.4 billion in 36 new research institutes and more than 230 research scholarships and fellowships,” Ms Boyle said.

    “The four-year $120 million Smart State Strategy, launched in 2008 and incorporating the Smart Futures scholarships, will boost science and industry’s capacity to solve problems through research, innovation and key partnerships across public and private sectors.

    “The 28 scholarship-holders are to be congratulated on their success, given the calibre of applications received, and I look forward to the outcome of their research.”

    12 February, 2009

    Media contact: Marcus Taylor 3225 1005/0419 025 326 or Zoe Russell 3224 2007/0437 436 914

    Queensland University of Technology: Astra Dadzis 3138 2361

    University of Queensland: Jan King 3365 1120