Happy World Science Day for Peace and Development. Today we celebrate the work of students, academics, and alumni of the ANU College of Engineering & Computer Science working to "link science more closely with society" and “build climate-ready communities”.
A hybrid solar power plant, a neighbourhood battery system to support increased electric vehicle usage, and a “solar roller” (a power station on wheels) were three of the many promising innovations emerging from the ANU Engineering Capstone initiative in 2021.
When third year engineering major Nicky Koubouzis learned that the 2021 Young Engineers Australia (YEA) competition would be expanded to include all states and territories, she contacted three friends to see if they'd be interested in entering. Thus began a journey that involves the enlistment of a billion cows in the battle against climate change.
When Hayley Yates and Jack Hill receive their diplomas at the end of Semester 2, 2021, they will be among the first to do so with a minor in Humanitarian engineering. Both say their studies have been guided by life missions to “make the world a better place”.This year, the College of Engineering and Computer Sciences will award the Humanitarian Engineering minor to its first recipients. As part of the course, ANU partners with Engineers without Borders on the Design Summit, which has sent 1200 students to six countries for two-week programs based in local communities. Hear more from three members of the HumEng cohort, and their experiences overseas.
The Global Undergraduate Awards recognised Madeleine Holly’s ENGN4200 final year thesis on the "Highly commended" list of 2021. Part of the first Humanitarian Engineering cohort, Maddie researched the optimal design technology for drying cocoa beans to enhance income for small-hold farmers in Papua New Guinea. The full list of honourees includes other 8 ANU scholars.
Associate Professor Yuerui (Larry) Lu and his team recently won a $654,642 grant from the Australian Research Council (ARC) to continue development of a new approach to high-density hydrogen storage. Hydrogen energy captured in microscopic bubbles will provide for safer, more affordable transport and storage, providing a major boost for the clean energy economy.
Dr Giuseppe Barca and his team have set a new world record for quantum chemical calculations, using a supercomputer to predict the chemical reactions and physical properties of molecular systems with tens of thousands of atoms. This new modelling technology will be used on supercomputers worldwide, leading to new technological leaps in renewable energy, medicine, and advanced manufacturing.
Dr Niraj Lal won a Celestino Eureka Prize for Promoting Understanding of Science. Dr Lal has authored two books and hosts an ABC podcast aimed at inspiring a love of science among children. "Communicating science for me isn't just about highlighting the wonders of our Universe, though that can be pretty great," he said. "It's also about showing how the process of scientific thinking and evidence-based reasoning can help us decide what to believe."
Professor Lindell Bromham and Dr Xia Hua won the Eureka Prize for Excellence in Interdisciplinary Scientific Research, a win they share with colleagues from the University of Queensland and the Karungkarni Art and Culture Aboriginal Corporation.
Afnan Hannan, CEO and co-founder of Okra Solar, has been awarded 2021 ANU Young Alumnus of the Year. Hanan graduated in 2014, from a double Bachelor of Engineering and Bachelor of Commerce degree. Okra Solar is a world-leading company delivering electricity to rural households across countries in Southeast Asia. See Affy's video interview about the award and his important work.
ANU alumnus Dr Elena Kelareva (PhD 2014, ANU) talked about her time as a Product Manager for the Google Maps Web APIs and her recent fresh start in Warragul, to pursue her passion for bringing digital innovation to regional communities.