Silky skills

Tue, 14 May 2013 14:33:00 +1000

Deakin University researcher Dr Jin Zhang has been awarded a prestigious 2013 Endeavour Research Fellowship from the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education (DIISRTE).

Dr Zhang is a materials scientist who has extensive expertise in fibre-reinforced composites, polymer matrix nano-composites and biological composite materials.  

“It is a pleasure and an honour to accept this award,” Dr Zhang said.

“It will have a positive impact on my career, while also working on a project that can have many positive spin-offs.

“It will help us get a better understanding of the make-up of silkworm cocoons.

“It will also bring Deakin – and Australia – closer together with fellow researchers in Asia, particularly in Singapore.”

Dr Zhang has been with Deakin since 2002. She completed her PhD in 2007 and most recently has been with the Australian Future Fibres Research and Innovation Centre (AFFRIC) at Deakin University, working on an Australian Research Council (ARC)-funded discovery project aimed at gaining a better understanding the composite structures of silkworm cocoons.

Dr Jin Zhang’s research explores the intriguing composite structure of the cocoons which have evolved over millions of years.  A better understanding of this material will provide a solid knowledge base for bio-mimicking this structure in areas like thermal insulation and lightweight protection garments.

The research funded by the Endeavour fellowship between April and August this year will be conducted at the National University of Singapore (NUS) and will allow Dr Zhang to expand her research expertise in biomaterials and strengthen research collaboration between the Biophysics and Micro/Nanostructures group at NUS led by Professor Xiangyang Liu and AFFRIC, led by Professor Xungai Wang.

The Endeavour Awards are a part of the Australia Awards which were established in 2009 to maximise the benefit to Australia of its extensive scholarship programs, and to support enduring ties between Australia and her neighbours.

The Australia Awards brings together the Endeavour Awards administered by the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education (DIISRTE) and AusAID Australia Awards administrated by the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) under a single recognisable brand.

As an Award Holder Dr Zhang will have the opportunity to join the Australia Awards Alumni Network, which is an exciting initiative to support and promote the furthering of important relationships built by Endeavour Award Holders during their award period. The Australia Awards Alumni Network promotes ongoing understanding, cooperation and research amongst its membership base and significantly increases networking opportunities for its members on a global scale.


This award will bring Deakin and Australia closer together with fellow researchers in Asia, particularly in Singapore, says Dr Jin Zhang.
This award will bring Deakin and Australia closer together with fellow researchers in Asia, particularly in Singapore, says Dr Jin Zhang.
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  • This award will bring Deakin and Australia closer together with fellow researchers in Asia, particularly in Singapore.
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20th August 2012