The Malcolm Chaikin Prize for Research Excellence in Engineering
The Malcolm Chaikin Prize for the best PhD thesis in 2011 in Engineering has been awarded to Dr. Fiona Johnson of the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering. This prestigious prize carries with it a Medal and $10,000 in recognition for the excellence demonstrated in course of research by a doctoral student in any field of Engineering.
Fiona is a Civil Engineering graduate and a University Medallist from UNSW, who returned after a stint in consulting to pursue a PhD under Professor Ashish Sharma’s supervision, funded by an ARC Linkage project to develop options for dealing with one of the biggest challenges we face currently – global warming. Fiona’s PhD research focused on developing tools for assessing climate change impacts on water, and more importantly, improving the simulations of sustained anomalies such as droughts in climate model simulations of the future.
Fiona’s PhD was examined as a collection of 7 journal articles in the top ranked journals in Civil Engineering, Water Resources and Climate Science, the three fields most impacted by the research she completed. Fiona now works as a hydrologist with the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, developing design storm estimation guidelines for Australia for specifying design flood values.