Two Swinburne University of Technology Scientists will place Australia at the forefront of the sustainable production of commodity chemicals and the development of quantum technologies, thanks to $1.75M in Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellowship grants.
Associate Professor Rosalie Hocking is a chemist researching sustainable ways to produce commodity chemicals (like hydrogen and ammonia) from solar powered electricity.
Dr Jia Wang is a quantum physicist who has conducted pioneering research and made significant contributions to the development of quantum technologies.
Swinburne’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research, Professor Karen Hapgood, said the grants were testament to the quality of the work being produced at Swinburne.
“Quantum technologies and sustainability are key global priorities, and it is fantastic to see Swinburne researchers leading the way in addressing key issues and contributing towards a better future,” Professor Hapgood said.
“Swinburne has significant expertise in both quantum experiments and theory, aligning with the National Quantum Strategy, and Dr Wang is a future leader in the field. We have also established a new Innovative Planet Research flagship and Associate Professor Hocking will be able to accelerate her green chemistry contributions for a more sustainable world.”
Swinburne has more than doubled its success rate for ARC grants since 2019, reflecting the high-quality submissions Swinburne researchers are putting forward.
“Our success in this round speaks to the quality of our research and our strong culture of collaboration and co-creation with academia, industry and the community,” Professor Hapgood said.
The Future Fellowships scheme honours recipients’ dedication, hard work, high-quality research and leadership ability.
Innovations in green chemical manufacturing
Associate Professor Hocking’s project will provide significant economic and environmental benefits by placing Australia at the forefront of the sustainable production of commodity chemicals.
This project will explore new synchrotron techniques with the Australian Synchrotron, where Associate Professor Hocking uses X-rays to find out how new materials work, and why sometimes they don’t.
Associate Professor Hocking believes the fellowship will be transformative for her career.
“It will give me time and resources to develop a range of new analytical techniques that will enable us to see what is happening in electrolysers and lead new design concepts for catalysts,” Dr Hocking said.
Associate Professor Hocking was awarded $974,474 for the project.
Harnessing the quantum properties of advanced materials
Dr Jia Wang will develop new approaches to investigate polarons and polaron interactions. A polaron is a phenomenon used to understand the interactions between electrons and atoms in a solid material.
Dr Wang is thrilled about the project, which will describe disturbances to particles when immersed in a quantum environment.
“This project will generate crucial knowledge for harnessing the quantum properties of advanced materials and developing quantum technologies,” Dr Wang said.
“I am eagerly looking forward to seeing my project begin, and I am immensely grateful to my supervisor, colleagues, and the excellent research environment provided by Swinburne.”
Dr Wang was awarded $777,829 for the project.