Lured back to Australia after an impressive research career in the United Kingdom, Associate Professor Tiffany Walsh has claimed a first for herself and Deakin University's new Institute for Frontier Materials.
Associate Professor Walsh is the first VESKI (Victorian Endowment for Science Knowledge and Innovation) Innovation Fellow to work outside the Melbourne CBD.
Based on Deakin's Waurn Ponds campus, she will use computer simulations to show how nature manufactures strong and durable materials such as shells, teeth and bones using non-toxic ingredients.
Associate Professor Walsh will take advantage of the new super computing capabilities at the Victorian Life Sciences Computation Initiative (VLSCI) located in Carlton, and says it was one of the main draw cards for her return to Victoria.
“It was such a big draw card for me to come and be able to use the VLSCI, and a chance to really invigorate my existing research program and begin to grow my research in a number of directions,” Associate Professor Walsh said.
“I want to learn how we can mimic nature’s manufacturing processes to pave the way for products to be made using these techniques, which could transform manufacturing in Australia and overseas."
Associate Professor Walsh was presented with her award in March at a gala night also attended by Deakin's Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Professor Lee Astheimer.
"On behalf of Deakin, I congratulate Tiffany on this prestigious prize we look forward to following her research in the future," Professor Astheimer said.
Associate Professor Walsh's award maintains a strong record of firsts for IFM, formerly the Insitute for Technology Research and Innovation.
IFM is headed up by Professor Peter Hodgson, the first Victorian to win a prestigious Australian Laureate Fellow.
The Institute recently became home to the first Favimet machine in Australia that can measure carbon fibre in bulk numbers.
Additionally, the only carbon fibre research facility of its type, a project supported by the Victorian Government, is being constructed at Waurn Ponds.
Since 2004, VESKI has awarded 16 Innovation Fellowships worth more than $3.2 million, with matched funding from Victorian host organisations.
VESKI enhances Victoria’s intellectual capital through a dynamic program of fellowships, awards, and international networks including the VESKI Innovation Fellowships.
This established and prestigious program brings Australian expatriates and leading researchers, with outstanding skills in science, innovative technology and design and typically in the top five percent of their respective fields, to Victoria.
VESKI is supported by the State Government of Victoria.