Australia and New Zealand

Strategic Partnerships, Collaborative Centers, and Initiatives in Australia and New Zealand region.

Monash University

Melbourne, Australia

Penn State Strategic Partnerships Manager: Alexandra Persiko (1-814-867-5941,


Penn State and Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, have enjoyed multi-faceted connectivity between faculty and students for many years. Seeing this level of engagement, the two universities agreed to work toward a true strategic partnership in late 2017.

The goal of this strategic partnership is to identify and facilitate collaborative research, education, and service activities that neither could achieve independently. In essence, making 1 + 1 = 3.

The first significant action towards this vision was a bilateral university workshop at Monash University in April 2018. Afterwards, the two universities launched a large-scale Seed-funded collaboration development program in August 2018.


The Collaboration Development Fund Program, a jointly financed Seed-fund program, was launched to facilitate collaborative research and teaching projects to become sustainable, self-supporting, long-term activities. Upon strong interest by colleges and departments at both universities, 23 projects received funding for the 2018-2019 program. 

Due to the preliminary success of the first round, Penn State and Monash University have announced a new round of RFPs for 2019. the Collaboration Development Fund targeted projects in the Intersection of Health and the Environment.

Key Activities

The partnership with Monash is broad, spanning a number of colleges and departments at Penn State. In 2018/19, these have included the Colleges of Health and Human Development, Liberal Arts, Arts and Architecture, Engineering, Science, Earth and Mineral Sciences, Agricultural Sciences and the Institute for CyberScience. These projects involve both faculty and students and address the missions of the respective universities: research, education and service. 

In 2019, Penn State and Monash University committed seed funds around the Intersection of Health and the Environment.

A list of funded projects:

Project Title

Penn State Lead

Lead Department

Characterizing and Modelling the Impact of Farm Management Practices on Antibiotic Presence and Antimicrobial Resistance in Streams

Heather Gall


Agricultural & Biological Engineering

Self-Powered Wireless Biosensing Networks for Health and Environment Monitoring

Shashank Priya

Materials Science and Engineering

An Engineering-Pulmonary-Pathology Collaboration for Developing Disease-specific, Patient-specific Models of Inhaled Toxicant Susceptibility

Ali Borhan

Chemical Engineering

Reproductive Scaling in Vectors and the Impact on Human Disease under a Changing Climate

Elizabeth McGraw



Understanding Fundamental Processes Governing Bioanalytical Sensors based on Luminescent Carbon Nanomaterials

Slava Rotkin

Engineering Science and Mechanics, Biomedical Engineering

Transformative Resilience in the Context of Climate Change

Paige Castellanos

Office of International Programs, Agricultural Sciences

Developing and Piloting a Mobile App to Assess the Daily Role of Social Networks in the Recovery of Substance-Dependent Individuals

Timothy Brick

Human Development and Family Studies

Developing Ethical, Policy, and Legal Frameworks to Address the Health Effects of Digital Influence

Daniel Susser

Information Sciences and Technology; Rock Ethics Institute

From Health to Sustainable Environments: Connecting Wellbeing, Sustainability and Citizenship: Exploring Ecologies of Influence in Young People

Dana Mitra

Education Policy Studies

Is the Whole Better than the Sum of the Parts? A model for studying interactions among health- and quality-related phytochemicals in plant foods and food ingredients

Helene Hopfer

Food Science

From Local Health to Global Climate: Assessing the air quality co-benefits of climate mitigation strategies in the U.S and China

Wei Peng

Civil and Environmental Engineering & International Affairs

For a list of projects in 2018, please see: Seed Fund Projects

Highlights of the Partnership

The University of Auckland

Auckland, New Zealand

Penn State Strategic Partnerships Manager: Alexandra Persiko (1-814-867-5941,


Penn State and The University of Auckland agreed in the summer of 2018 to pursue a strategic partnership, and subsequently embarked on shared strategic goals and research and teaching opportunities in 2019.  


Penn State and the University of Auckland published a Request for Proposals (RFP) seeking proposals to foster collaborative, sustainable, self-supporting research and education/teaching programs. The 2020 Collaboration Development Fundprovides seed monies to faculty groups for up to 18 months of what is expected to become long-term programs integrating academics and students from both universities. 

The projects focus on both research and education/teaching, leveraging complementary capabilities of the universities to create research and learning opportunities not possible without the partnership.   

The Office of Global Programs has announced that eight projects have been funded and officially commence in June of this year. Grant recipients will have the opportunity to help shape the direction and future investment in the university collaboration at the level of an institutional partnership and contribute to the universities’ vision and strategic goals.   

Funded projects include: 

Project Title 

Penn State Lead 

Lead Department 

New Materials and Electronics for Wearable Energy Harvesting 

Zoubeida Ounaies 

Mechanical Engineering 

A Platform for Advancing Computational Neuromuscular Modelling of Human and Animal Movement 

Jonas Rubenson 


EDGE Collaboration 

Tiffany MacQuarrie 

English, Penn State Beaver 

“Invest in People. Literally”: The Rise of Income Share Agreements as an Alternative to Student Loans in US Higher Education 

Emily Rosenman 


Redesign of Membrane Proteins for Molecular Selection 

Costas Maranas 

Chemical Engineering 

Aeroacoustics of Ducted UAV Propellers 

Eric Greenwood 

Aerospace Engineering 

Re-Engineering Anaerobic Treatment Processes for Novel Functionalities 

Meng Wang 

Energy and Mineral Engineering 

Coupling Low-Cost Sensor Arrays with Micropollutant Analysis for Developing a Robust Surface Water Quality Monitoring Network 

Alandra Kahl 


Civil and Environmental Engineering Penn State Greater Allegheny 

Key Activities

Penn State and the University of Auckland conducted an academic workshop in late November 2019.  The workshop provided an opportunity for academics from both universities to come together to develop cross-university collaborative ideas for joint research proposals.  Penn State Provost Nick Jones welcomed all workshop participants at the event via Zoom.  

Highlights of the Partnership

The University of Auckland and Penn State’s Office of Global Programs organized a joint kick-off workshop in November 2019. Read more here: