Industry Partner - Sonic Essentials
My name is Tessa Faulks and I have just started my PhD as a part of the ARC training centre. I am ecstatic to be starting my research and have hoped for several years that I would return; however, if you had asked me in school, or even early university… “what do you want to do when you grow up?” … I would have squirmed inside and avoided the reply, not knowing the answer.
I have always loved outdoors and a huge part of life has been spent on the family sheep station in the southern riverina; however, it never occurred to me that I could have a career in the field of Agricultural research. It wasn’t until I undertook a third-year project in Tony Pattis group that I realised how enjoyable research was. The following year, I completed my honours year with the Patti group studying the degradation of herbicide a tank mixture in the soil. From then, I never looked back!
To me, an important part of research is knowing that you are benefiting the greater public in some way, whether it be development of products/methodologies or providing essential knowledge. This is where undertaking further research as apart of the ARC training centre appealed to me. Focussing on green chemistry and manufacture, I can study a topic I am interested in and be supervised by experts in the field at Monash University, while receiving mentoring and experience from my industry partner - Sonic Essentials. Sonic Essentials specialises in manufacture of high analysis suspension micronutrient blends and also has involvement in many research trials and educational opportunities. The company goal is to improve delivery of essential nutrients through providing innovation, sustainable and cost-effective farming strategies and products to agronomists and farmers.
My research will focus on developing novel fertiliser coatings - starting with urea. Urea is the most common source of nitrogen applied to the land, yet up to 70 % of urea applied to the land is lost. Loss of N from the soil occurs through volatilisation and leaching into the subsoil and groundwater. Increasing the nitrogen use efficiency of urea would not only reduce emissions and leaching, but also increase soil and plant health while providing a more economic and beneficial fertiliser. Once a coating is developed, I hope to expand the use of the coating to other fertilisers and possibly even seed coatings. I hope that this research provides a better understanding into possible fertiliser coatings and the essential knowledge required to combat increasing food requirements in a green and sustainable way.
Industry Partner - Micronisers
I’m thrilled to be starting my research journey with Monash, Micronisers and the ARC Training Centre for Green Chemistry in Manufacturing! I’ve always loved the thrill of figuring out and understanding the world around me, so it makes total sense that I’ve turned that desire for knowledge into a career in research.
When I’m not in the lab, you’ll likely find me somewhere in the bush with my friends from Scouts or my incredible family! Being outside and enjoying all that nature has to offer has helped me appreciate the wonderful environment we have here in Australia and the need to ensure that we do our best to preserve these places for generations to come!
I’m lucky enough to be supported by Micronisers, a leader in the manufacture of nano and sub-micron advanced materials. My research will focus on enhancing metal oxide nanoparticles for use in cosmetics and sun protection. Zinc oxide nanoparticles are a broad-spectrum UV filter that are non-irritating and transparent which makes them suitable to be the active ingredient in sunscreen formulations. Enhancing their properties will allow even better formulations to be produced, allowing consumers to enjoy the great outdoors without damaging their skin!
Industry Partner - CSL Behring
My name is Lizzie Phua, and I'm excited to be a part of the ARC training centre as a PhD candidate at Monash University within the Robinson and Pas group, whilst working alongside CSL! My project encompasses my knowledge from organic chemistry and my newly found appreciation for computational chemistry. Recently, I completed my B. Sci (Honours) within the Robinson group, where I worked on the synthesis of bio-inspired peptides using ALTMET polymerisation.
During my undergraduate degree, I gained industry experience at Nufarm within the QC/QA team working on projects to improve analytical methods using GC-MS and AAS instrumentation. Between my B.Sci and Honours year, I worked as Laboratory Technician with the Organics QC team at Envirolab Services where I exercised my laboratory skills through extracted analytes from water and soil samples. On completion of my Honours year, I became a Technical Intern at PPG Clayton working on multiple projects for the durability of coil paint coatings whilst gaining invaluable lab skills and expanded industry networks.
I have been incredibly blessed and given so many great opportunities to work alongside many wonderful mentors and colleagues. I am excited to study at Monash University together with CSL, bringing forward my skills, passion for chemistry and am excited to see what the future holds
Industry Partner - Infineum
My name is WeiNian (William) Wong, currently undertaking a PhD project in polymer chemistry under Professor Tanja Junkers’ group. My research project focuses on the development of a fully automated continuous flow reactor for block copolymer synthesis. Throughout the project, I will design a lab-scale synthesizer and develop a computer program to automate each of the process unit. In addition, I will explore the application of machine learning models to optimize the synthesis parameters, thus making the system to be self-optimizing and can be readily used for generating libraries with a broad range of materials.
Prior to starting my PhD with Monash University, I was working in a specialty chemical industry for two years as a R&D Process Engineer, where I got inspired to dig deeper into advanced polymer science. My background in chemical and environmental engineering motivates me to bring polymer chemistry and innovative technology together for process efficiency improvement, waste reduction, energy consumption reduction, and high polymer synthesis precision, among many other benefits of digitalization.
I’m extremely grateful to be given the opportunity to be part of ARC Training Centre where I get to work with Infineum in my research, bridging the gap between academic research and industry research needs. On the other hand, the training workshops provided by ARC Training Centre and mentorship from industry partner provide a holistic development for my research career through soft skills cultivation and also feedback in the form of valuable industrial insights.
I am a sucker for a good cup of coffee, cultural experience and also outdoor activities, so reach out to me if you share the same interest!