Materials science at ANSTO

Next big thing

Researchers at ANSTO are developing new materials that can make cars safer and computers faster.

Doing research using amazing technology is what makes Josie Auckett love her career. “It takes tenacity to stick with the challenges of research, and that can only come from really loving what you do,” she says. Following her PhD in chemistry at the University of Sydney, Josie (above) started work with ANSTO (the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation) in the energy materials science team developing porous materials for hydrogen storage and carbon dioxide capture.

Josie’s job is to dig deep into data from their materials science experiments to figure out why they work the way they do. Researching new areas offers scope for a lot of creative problem solving, which she enjoys.

“I like the fact that in research, you never have the same week twice,” Josie says. “You’re learning previously unknown things, and trying to do stuff that few people, if any, have ever done before.”

Grace Causer (right) had a lightbulb moment during a school visit to ANSTO when she realised that science can be an exciting and rewarding career. “It was the first time I was able to see in realtime everything that I had been reading about in textbooks. All of a sudden the science was real, and very attractive to me.”

Grace worked with scientists at ANSTO during her Honours year at the University of Wollongong, where she was involved in conducting an experiment to look at the atomic structure of certain crystals.

She then decided to begin a PhD at the University of Wollongong in collaboration with ANSTO, looking at new materials that are made in the lab and could be used in next-generation electronics to make computers faster.

“A career in science is challenging, rewarding and fun!” Grace says. “I can’t wait to discover the next big thing.”

– Laura Boness  

ANSTO materials science PhD student Grace Causer

“It was the first time I was able to see in realtime everything that I had been reading about in textbooks.”

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