Dr Katherine Dean (2002) fell in love with research during her honours year—now she is a research scientist with Green Materials, at CSIRO Manufacturing and Materials Technology.
Katherine’s role allows her to indulge a strong and longstanding interest in both the environment and science.
‘The idea that the science I am involved in may one day make a significant impact on the environmental footprint we make as a society is a key driver for me,’ she says.
Katherine is currently researching biodegradable polymer systems made from wheat, corn and soy.
‘We are working towards improving the mechanical, permeability, degradation properties, so that these renewable materials will have properties comparable to more traditional petroleum-based polymers,’ Katherine says.
‘I’m using all my skills in materials engineering and science to problem solve and truly understand relationships between structures and properties.
‘As well as key strategic research, I am also involved in commercial project development with a number of bio-based companies in Australia and internationally—this includes writing and costing proposals and delivery of the projects.’
One of the highlights of her time in the department was studying for four months in Lyon, France, as part of her PhD. Katherine did a double degree of Materials Science.
‘Studying materials engineering has enabled me to work in a field where I can undertake great science whilst working towards the development of environmentally sound materials and technologies,’ Katherine says.
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