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Plastic Fantastic Melbourne - Polymers in a Material World

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Melbourne Museum

Carlton, VIC 3053

Australia

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Take a journey with the Australian Academy of Science and see how science has twisted and warped what was once the stuff of make-believe to give us the polymers and plastics that now shape our world.

The first in our two part series is all about polymers. This talk explores the use of plastics and polymer materials to build everyday products, engineer innovative solutions, and create emerging technologies. From solar cells to shatter proof mirrors, to water purification or inherently conducting polymers equivalent to metal, plastic is propelling us into the future at an astounding pace.

Our scholars will begin at the beginning, to tell you the tale of how polymers were developed, how they’ve helped us in the past, and what’s yet in store.


ABOUT THE SPEAKERS



Associate Professor Drew Evans

Associate Professor Drew Evans is a passionate advocate for high-tech manufacturing in Australia. After completing his PhD at the Australian National University, he worked for a private R&D company on new digital print technology before returning to academia. His team at the University of South Australia’s Future Industries Institute researches thin film materials science and translates it into commercial reality with industry partners—such as the world’s first plastic automotive mirror, of which more than three million have been exported to the US. Associate Professor Evans holds a Future Fellowship from the Australian Research Council to research plastic that conducts electricity. He has published many scientific papers, holds several patents, and is partnered with industry exploring scale-up manufacturing in commercial products. He is a member of the SA Science Council and executive member of the Early- and Mid-Career Researcher Forum under the Australian Academy of Science, and was awarded the SA Tall Poppy of the Year award in 2013 and the BioSA Young Achiever Award in 2016.



Dr Scott Watkins

Dr Scott Watkins is Chief Marketing Officer with KISCO, a Korean chemical manufacturer. His main role is developing new business outside of Korea and advising on science strategy. Prior to joining KISCO, he worked on flexible electronics for 14 years, initially with Opsys and Cambridge Display Technology in the UK and then with CSIRO in Australia. At CSIRO, he was the Research Leader for Thin Film Photovoltaics in CSIRO’s Manufacturing Flagship. He managed the research directions of the team and planned the commercialisation of the work. Dr Watkins managed projects on both OLEDs and solar cells and coordinated CSIRO’s involvement in a number of national and international consortia aimed at developing applications of flexible electronics by linking industry with research. He is also active in the social enterprise sector and is a non-executive director and chair of the board for both Pollinate Energy and parkrun Australia.



Associate Professor Madhu Bhaskaran

Associate Professor Madhu Bhaskaran is the Co-Leader of the Functional Materials and Microsystems Research Group and an Australian Research Council Fellow. An expert in stretchable and wearable electronics, underpinned by the use of functional oxide thin films and micro-/nano-fabrication, Associate Professor Bhaskaran has more than 120 peer-reviewed publications, including 85 journal articles. She has obtained around $4 million competitive research funding for projects and equipment, and has won several awards and fellowships for her research including a 2015 Victoria Fellowship and the 2014 Phillip Law Postdoctoral Award for Physical Sciences by the Royal Society of Victoria. She was named as one of the Top 10 Innovators under 35 for Asia in MIT Technology Review 2016.

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Melbourne Museum

Carlton, VIC 3053

Australia

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