02 June 2010

Gold medal for RMIT researcher

RMIT University’s Dr Sharath Sriram has been recognised for his research through a prestigious gold medal awarded by the Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering (AINSE).

A Research Fellow with the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Dr Sriram was honoured with the AINSE Gold Medal for Excellence in Research for his work on high performance piezoelectric thin films.

The research, supported by AINSE, has produced 13 journal articles in three years and has also led to invitations for him to contribute five book chapters and give 13 presentations at international conferences.

Having been awarded his PhD by RMIT only last year, Dr Sriram said he was honoured to receive the gold medal for postgraduate researchers for 2010.

"My research focuses on the synthesis and characterisation of high performance piezoelectric thin films, as well as the study of silicide thin films, ohmic contacts, and optical coatings," he said.

"I have been fortunate to receive great support from AINSE during my doctoral research and I’m thrilled to have my work recognised through such an honour."

Dr Sriram is a key researcher in the Functional Materials and Microsystems research theme of the Microplatforms Research Group, led by Professor Arnan Mitchell.

Through the support of AINSE grants totaling almost $80,000, he was able to access specialised equipment and expertise at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO).

Dr Sriram was a student investigator on the research projects supported by the AINSE grants, which were led by Senior Lecturer, Dr Anthony Holland, in partnership with Research Fellow, Dr Madhu Bhaskaran.

Together with ANSTO researchers, Dr. Sriram developed two new techniques for the quantitative characterisation of piezoelectric thin films.

"These are the first quantitative techniques for the characterisation of piezoelectric thin film, providing the research community with simplified techniques," he said.

"I’ve also had successful preliminary results from using the thin films developed for studies into piezoelectric energy harvesting. I now hope to apply these high performance piezoelectric films to energy harvesting technologies, to power micro and implantable devices."

Following the award ceremony at Lucas Heights last month, Dr Sriram gave a short presentation on his AINSE-funded research outcomes to AINSE Council members and postgraduate research scholars.

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