Research News

Issue Month: 

  • Jun

Issue Year: 


Major Growth in Materials Science and Engineering Research

UNSW Materials Science and Engineering is currently ranked number one in Australia and the cutting-edge research that happens in our school is among those leading the field across the world. Recently, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was in China with our Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian Jacobs to announce a partnership between the Chinese Government and UNSW Australia to create a new science and technology ‘Torch’ hub on campus. The aim is to boost innovation by allowing the first new Torch Innovation Precinct to be built outside of China to assist in connecting academic research with industry to allow for investments and further collaborative work in research and development. External models show that the torch precinct has the potential to contribute over $1 billion to Australia’s GDP in the next ten years alone.
Our school is positioned as one of the three major contributors to this torch precinct development. Professor Sean Li has been working very hard to bring some of our research to the project with one of the named projects involving a partnership with a Chinese firm Hangzhou Cables. The project aims to improve the efficiency of China’s power grid by 5 per cent using graphene technology developed within our school. This equates to around Australia’s total energy consumption and would mean a huge saving in energy production. The savings are achieved by exploiting the electrical conductivity of graphene and wiring the usually flaky powder together to form a cable. Currently Professor Li and his team are developing a 10 metre long prototype cable, which will then be expanded to a 1km long version once they begin working with their colleagues in China. UNSW will retain 50% intellectual property rights and also have an equity stake in the new company formed in China to manufacture the cables. The deal marks a fantastic way forward to innovation at UNSW and the School of Materials Science and Engineering is excited to be at the forefront of this movement as we attempt to bridge the gap between university research and industry applications.

Industrial Training Poster Night

The summer break from university gives the opportunity for many of undergraduate students to take part in their industrial training component of their degree. All students are required to complete three months of industrial training at some point during their undergraduate degree in order to graduate, with many choosing to do so at the end of their third year to a wide variety of engineering companies related to their interests. Every year the school hosts our annual Industrial Training Poster Evening, where students present a brief summary of their experiences and achievements during their training period. In March this year we had 38 students presenting their posters, with a competition for the best poster to be chosen by our industry guests from ‘Perfect Engineering.’ The winning entries and their posters are:
First Prize - "Medical Devices for Dummies" by Jacqueline Smith
Second Prize - "A Cooperative Catalyst for Sustainable Polymerization" by Jonathan Hopkins
Third Prize - "Modelling Knee Instability and Injury Mechanisms in C57BL/6 Mice