Summer scholarships

Over the past summer, five students completed summer scholarship projects at IFM. One of these students, Nick Emonson reports on his experience working on a project with Professor Luke Henderson. The project on Surface Modification of Metals to Produce Bacterial Resistant Structures for Orthopaedic Repair particularly appealed to Nick, a final engineering student specialising in biology and chemistry.

I have a keen interest in infection and immunity and the relationship between the chemistry of orthopaedic surfaces and their abilities to be altered and used as a therapeutic as well as a structure in the body.

The problem: Like most operations there is a small chance (2-3%) that a post-surgical infection can occur. In orthopaedics, metal alloys such as titanium are commonly used to support bone repair or even replace entire joints in the body. In some cases, biofilms of bacteria can attach and proliferate on the metal prosthesis and begin to release toxins into the body. When this occurs the patient is taken back into surgery and the prosthesis is removed, the infected area is washed out and the patient is hospital bound until they can fight off the infection using intravenous antibiotics. This can lead to people spending extended periods in hospital without a joint such as a hip or a knee – an emotionally and financially draining experience.

Outcome: I split my time into two parts. The first part was writing and obtaining data for a paper related to this work which is currently out for review. I was also lucky enough to secure a position as a PhD candidate so the second part of my time was dedicated to getting lab inductions and training of instruments that I will be using in the future. This allowed me to hit the ground running when I started my PhD.

Comment: I had a great experience, it allowed me to get to a few things that I was not able to address in my honours work due to a lack of time. It also put me in a position where I was able to plan out the goals I’d like to achieve throughout the year and familiarise myself with the resources that I’ll be using, which created a smooth transition into my next phase of study. 


New role for Cristina

Dr. Cristina Pozo-Gonzalo has recently become part of the editorial board of the international peer-reviewed journal Sustainable Chemistry.

Dr Cristina Pozo-Gonzalo working on recycling rare earth metals from batteries, using ionic liquids.

The journal provides an advanced forum for studies that present significant advances in the development of alternative green and sustainable technologies in chemical engineering. It focuses on the design of products and processes that minimize or eliminate the use and generation of hazardous substances to humans, animals, plants, and the environment.

The aim of this journal is strongly aligned with IFM’s current research and strategic direction in circular economy.

As part of her new role, Cristina will be editing a special issue of the journal on Circular Economy in Energy Storage Materials with a deadline for submission of December 2020. The issue will focus on re-design, re-purpose, and recovery in the area of energy storage materials. Contact Cristina for more information

New publications

IFM’s Dr Jiemin Wang and Dr Weiwei Lei in collaboration with Nanjing University of Science and Technology, and Sichuan University have published a paper on development of highly thermoconductive and thermostable polymer nanocomposite films prepared by engineering 1D nanofiber and 2D nanosheets in Advanced Materials.

This work reported an ultrastrong, flexible, highly thermally conductive, and high-temperature resistive nanocomposite film with a high in-plane thermal conductivity. More importantly, the outstanding mechanical property and thermal durability enable effective high-temperature thermal management, which is promising for potential military and aerospace applications.

Finance team move on

Farewell but not goodbye to our finance team colleagues who are taking up new roles in the University as part of the Finance Business Transformation Program and the centralisation of finance services.

Leanne Costa is moving into the Shared Services team as a Senior Finance Services Officer, providing advice and assistance in relation to a range of financial processes including purchasing.

Simone McDonald will be an Accountant (Research) within the Partnering & Performance team, specialising in accounting for external research grants within SEBE and the Research Portfolio Institutes (including IFM).

Nick Oddy will also work in the Partnering & Performance team as the Research Finance Partner (DVCR) overseeing internal research across the university and managing the financial operations of the Research Portfolio, including IFM.

Adam Coulter has secured a position as the Deakin Portfolio Office Manager within the Strategic and Commercial Finance team.  This role manages the governance framework of major Deakin projects, manages the operations of the Deakin Portfolio Office and seeks to ensure maximisation of benefits to Deakin from its suite of projects.

Thank you to all of them for their hard work, good humour and friendship. Happily, as communicated in Nick’s email yesterday, he and Simone will still be working closely with IFM and you can contact them in the normal way. Likewise, Leanne will still provide support until work gets back to a more normal situation and Adam will still be working on the Waurn Ponds Campus. For general queries, you can contact a new central email address: [email protected]

New Fellowship for Rimma

Congratulations to Honorary Professor Rimma Lapovok who has been appointed as a Fellow of the International Association of Advanced Materials (FIAAM), Sweden for her contribution to strengthening the Advancement of Materials.

IAAM is one of the leading non-profit international scientific organsations to promote Advanced Materials Science, Engineering and Technology. The IAAM has a rich legacy of 6000+ fellow scientists from 70+ countries.

As part of her appointment, Rimma will deliver a ‘Fellow’s lecture’ in a webinar lecture series on Advanced Materials.