In the fourth Faculty Network Talks, around 30 of the Faculty’s Advanced and Dean’s Scholar students met to hear about opportunities for research and mentoring and the latest work of our inspiring young researchers.
Speakers at this EIS Network lunch were Gerardo Montoya, a current Mechatronics PhD student undertaking research in neural interfacing for soft robotic hands and Elette Engels, a PhD student with the Centre for Medical Radiation Physics (CMRP) investigating new nanoparticles for image-guided radiotherapy.
Gerardo spoke about his work as a robotics engineer for Re: Purpose for Good – a team of big thinkers who work on purposeful, practical and educational projects with global potential for amputees and children everywhere. Re: Purpose for Good builds robotic prosthetics which move, grip and respond to their owner. These electronic, robotic limbs (feet, hands) fuse engineering precision with re-purposed 3D printed waste plastic, and upcycled e-waste such as wires and computer motherboards. Precious plastic machines grind down waste plastic and turn it into a valuable commodity – the framework of the prosthetics. Bottle caps, packaging, old toys and marine plastics can be melted and extruded, or 3D printed, into any shape imaginable.
Elette presented her research developing nanoparticles for brain cancer detection and treatment and is currently undertaking pre-clinical trials with the Targeted Nano-Therapies Theme of CMRP at the Australian Synchrotron. Her work in nanoparticle research was IOP publishing’s final Australian pick 2018, and her research in nanoparticle-enhanced Microbeam Radiation Therapy won the Australian Institute of Physics NSW Postgraduate Excellence Medal in 2017 and the Postgraduate Prize at MedPhys2017, among others. Elette spoke about her work collaborating with the Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute, the Institute for Superconducting and Electronic Materials, Prince of Wales Hospital, the Australian Synchrotron, and the opportunities she’s had to travel and work with international collaborators in Université de Versailles, Centre Etudes Nucléaires de Bordeaux Gradignan, Centre National de la recherche scientifique.