Entry for:Queensland Women in STEM Prize 2017
1. Please provide a short summary of your research, project or technology.
I am an early career researcher working in the STEM field of nanomaterials engineering. In 2013 during my PhD, I discovered unique and high-quality fibres (cellulose nanofibers) isolated from Australian spinifex grass using simple, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly methods. These nanofibers are a game-changer for advanced manufacturing. Currently I am working to validate my patented technology in the real world applications of ultra-thin and strong latex membrane for condom and glove applications, water filtration materials, reinforcing recycled cardboard boxes and a green precursor for renewable carbon fibre. My work will deliver social, environmental and economic benefits to Queensland by developing new nanocellulose-based manufacturing industries and exportable high-value raw materials and additives; providing new jobs; and helping to manage our environmental assets by making use of a largely ignored sustainable resource and contributing to climate change adaptation in Australia’s arid zone. Simultaneously, this work will kick-start a new remote indigenous enterprise.