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Deakin University's Dr Mandy de Souza has been awarded a highly prestigious Victoria Fellowship.
Dr de Souza, who works at the Institute for Technology Research and Innovation (ITRI) on the Waurn Ponds campus, is one just six researchers given the award in 2011.
Each year up to six Victoria Fellowships are awarded to emerging leaders in science, technology and engineering.
Each Fellow receives a travel grant of up to $18,000 to undertake a short-term overseas study mission to assist in developing a commercial idea, undertaking specialist training or career development.
Dr de Souza will be accepting her award at a ball at the Governor’s residence in Melbourne on November 15th.
"The award is a recognition of her international reputation in the field of automotive composite materials," said Associate Professor Bronwyn Fox.
"I congratulate Mandy on winning this highly prestigious award, the first time it has gone to some one from Deakin."
Dr de Souza's research interests include the surface finish of painted carbon fibre composites for the automotive industry, out-of-autoclave processing of carbon fibre composites, automotive composites for Class A surfaces and the aging of painted carbon fibre composites.
She currently holds a Research Fellow position working on an Advanced Manufacturing CRC project investigating the manufacture of a complex composite component with a Class A surface finish using out-of-autoclave technologies. The project involves working with two industry participants: the Victorian Centre for Advanced Materials Manufacturing (VCAMM) and Bellmont Nominees.
She visited both Aston Martin and Bentley Motors in the UK in 2008 to further her knowledge on automotive composites.
Her recently completed thesis studied the effect of varying process parameters such as pressure and heating rates and material selection on the as-moulded, painted and aged surface finish of carbon fibre composites.
She was awarded 3rd place for her poster presentation at the 3rd National Steel Conference in 2005 and the Sri Banyopadhyay 3rd best student paper award at ACUN-5 in 2006.