Student and Post-Doctoral Fellow Awards, Prizes and Accomplishments

UTS Students and Post-Doctoral Fellows I supervise in the Magic Lab have been awarded a wide range of Fellowships, Awards and Prizes including the following:


  1. OECD 2019-2020 Fellowship Future of Work: Nik Dawson, PhD Student.
  2. RoboCup Social Robotics @Home UTS Unleashed! First Place. World Champions.
  3. WiseTech Partnership - RoboCup Sponsorship 
  4. NSW Department of Industry, Research Attraction and Acceleration Program (RAAP)
  5. Moving Hackathon: Full-sized Self-driving Car Onsite Challenge, China: Sammy Pfieffer, PhD Student
  6. 2019 Women in Engineering Award: Meg Tonkin, PhD Student and Sarita Herse, PhD Student


  1. The French National Centre for Scientific Research Innovation Medal, Postdoctoral Fellow, Daniel Le Berre - the first computer scientist to win this prestigious medal.
  2. Heidelberg Laureate Fellowship, Australian Academy of Science, PhD Student Chand Gudi.
  3. ASEAN Cybersecurity Challenge Codeathon, Magic Lab Team
  4. Venture Day Winner, PhD Student Mahya Knox
  5. Sponsorship to Conference on Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency (FAT*) in New York City PhD Student Nik Dawson
  6. Atlassian Sponsorship to Singularity University Summit PhD Student Sarita Herse.
  7. Second Place in the Social Robot League, UTS Unleashed!
  8. RoboCup Social Robotics @Home League Qualification, UTS Unleashed!
  9. Open Source Self Driving Platform Hackathon, Top 10 Global Engineers selected, PhD Student Samuel Pfeiffer
  10. United Nations, Research Post PhD StudentNik Dawson
  11. Heidelberg Laureate Forum Fellowship, Australian Academy of Science, Chand Gudi. Invited to attend the Heidelberg Laureate Forum for meeting Nobel Laureates, Germany (top Computer Science Students globally).
  12. OpenFog Hackathon Invitation, Shanghai, China. Chand Gudi
  13. Yara Open Innovation Challenge. Chand Gudi Finalist, Oslo, Norway
  14. UTS HDR Excellence Awards: Runners up in the Team category, for their project, "Commercial applications of social robots" were Margaret Tonkin, Sarita Herse, Jonathan Vitale and Daniel Ebrahimian. In the Individual Category: Siva Leela Krishna Chand GudiFog Robotics for Efficient, Fluent and Robust Human-Robot Interaction; Suman Ojha Computational models of emotion for robots


  1. NASA Space Robotics Challenge Finalist and Third Place: PhD Student Samuel Pfeiffer
  2. European Satellite Navigation Competition, Chand Gudi Winner (prize worth: $20,000),
  3. Nokia Open Innovation Challenge. Finland. Finalist. Chand Gudi.
  4. IBISWorld 3P Innovation Competition First place: PhD Student Mahya Knox
  5. RoboCup Best Human-Robot Interface Award, UTS Unleashed!
  6. Second Place in the Social Robot League, UTS Unleashed!
  7. RoboCup Social Robotics @Home League Qualification, UTS Unleashed!
  8. European Satellite Navigation Competition Prize, First Place, PhD Student Chand Gudi
  9. AMY Student Awards Finalists, PhD Student: Meg Tonkin; Capstone Students: Navi Gunaratne, Jose Gunawarman, Denis Draca; First Class Honours Student: Le Kang.
  10. Start-Up Catalyst's Youth USA Mission, Mahya Knox


  1. Best Social Robot Design, International Conference on Social Robotics, Meg Tonkin
  2. Australian-French Entrepreneurship Challenge Finalist, Mayha Knox
  3. Project Pitch, Mayha Knox
  4. First Class Honours, Le Kang
  5. IBM PhD Fellowship, Mahya Knox
  6. Stocklands Social Robotics Scholarship, Le Kang

Selected Student Prizes and Achievement 2010 - 2016

2015 Valeo €100,000 Innovation Challenge Finalists, UTS Unleashed!
2015 IBM PhD Fellowship, Mahya Knox
2014 First Class Honours, Jenny Lui
2014 Endeavour Leadership PhD Fellowship, Muh. Anshar
2013 First Class Honours, Michelle Youssef
2013 IJCAI Robot Video Prize, The Magic Lab Team
2013 IBM PhD Fellowship, Wei Wang
2012 Chancellor's Prize for the Best UTS PhD Dissertation, Benjamin Johnston
2012 IBM PhD Fellowship, Pramod Parajuli
2012 IBM PhD Fellowship, Jinjiu Li
2011 Endeavour PhD Fellowship, Rony Novianto
2011 Endeavour PhD Fellowship, Salia Raza
2011 IBM PhD Fellowship, Rony Novianto
2010 Endeavour Leadership PhD Fellowship, Pramod Parajuli
2010 First Class Honours, James Horninsky
2010 Ray Kurzweil Prize for the Most Creative Idea in AI, Benjamin Johnston                                           
2010 IBM PhD Fellowship, Xun Wang