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Nano Nano – Deakin's new kids take top prize


 

In the world of Nanotechnology, small things make a big difference. So it's only fitting that the small team of new kids on the block from Deakin University won the Industrial Nanotechnology award in the 2005 NanoVic Prizes for Innovation in Nanotechnology.

The multidisciplinary team took out the award for their work in making particles invisible to the naked eye do some amazing things, and so give the Australian fibre and textile industries a potential edge in the global market.

The team comprises Professor Xungai Wang, Dr Peter Cookson, Dr Tong Lin, Dr Linda Zou and Dr Akif Kaynak and post graduate students Hong Xia Wang and Minoo Naebe. They were recognised for their work in electrospun nanofibres, colour removal with nano-titanium dioxide, conducting polymer nanoparticles and other nano-related research.

They can't quite turn water into wine, but according to Dr Zou, can make chemically contaminated water cleaner than clean. And move over Charlotte – they can make fibres which are finer and stronger than a cobweb that can be used for a number of applications including tissue engineering.

Team leader Xungai Wang said the award was the team's first in this area.

“We were surprised to and delighted to win this award,” he said. “It is a big encouragement for us.”

Professor Wang said the team combined the skills and knowledge of different disciplines with an applied industry focus.

“It makes us flexible and we are able to see the end use much more clearly,” he said.

Professor Wang said the team was less involved in the more fundamental science of ‘manipulating atoms'. “We are much more interested in applying innovative nanotechnology to a traditional sector and making a difference” he said.

Nanotechnology Victoria CEO Dr Peter Binks said the Deakin team was a worthy winner of the industrial award.

“They are very focused on providing leading-edge technologies for some of Australia 's most important industries,” he said.

“The prize recognises not just some important achievements over the last two years, but we believe they will deliver new sources of competitive advantage over the next decade. “In terms of industrial nanotechnology, this is one of the most exciting teams in Australia .”

Contact – Professor Xungai Wang, 3 522 72894, mobile 0419 525 434

email xungai.wang@deakin.edu.au .

 

Nanotechnology Victoria (www.nanovic.com.au) is a consortium of research providers with State government funding, dedicated to commercialising nanotechnologies for the benefit of Victorian industry. The NanoVic Prizes are awarded each year for the best industrial research teams and postgraduate researchers in nanotechnology in Victoria .

 

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