Professor David Gao

Research Leader

Federation University Australia

Professor David Gao has an impressive reputation in the world of global optimization, applied math and mechanics. His name is among some of the most famous researchers in his multi-disciplinary fields, after he solved a 50-year non-convex variational problem in nonlinear mechanics, conceiving the Gao principal.

This principle lays a foundation for his canonical duality theory, which can be used to model complex systems within a unified framework.

In his groundbreaking work, Professor Gao improved on mathematical and engineering theories relating to large deformed elastic beams, which play a crucial role in engineering structures.

However, despite this achievement, Professor Gao remains modest about his work.

“It is just a small step for understanding and solving challenging real-world problems and we hope that through the CRN, working with our collaborators like Professor Saeid Nahavandi and Professor Peter Hodgson at Deakin, Professor Kate Smith-Miles at Monash, we can have many more.”

In his research with the CRN, Professor Gao, who is heading up a project on regional science and technological innovation, would like to boost FedUni’s profile to attract more funding from ARC, National ICT Australia Ltd (NICTA), Australians Information and Communications Technology Research Centre of Excellence.

“We [Federation University Australia] should be in a position where we are able to apply for serious funding from NICTA and the Australian Research Council, those major funding bodies,” he said.

Professor Gao sees the CRN as part of a global trend towards multi-displinary research, after he saw a similar model, the Multi-Disciplinary Research Initiative (MURI), set up in the United States.