Two researchers will head overseas to further their work in micro- and nano-technologies after receiving prestigious Churchill Fellowships.
RMIT University's Dr Shiva Balendhran and Dr Amgad Rezk have been awarded fellowships by the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust.
They will travel overseas at the end of the year to undertake scientific research in their fields, which are part of research activities within RMIT's new state-of-the-art MicroNano Research Facility.
Dr Balendhran, from the and the Functional Materials and Microsystems Research Group, will spend eight weeks at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, USA.
His research, which explores ways of combining exotic two-dimensional (2D) materials to make electronic devices, could change the way those devices are made.
"This will re-invent the technology to cater for the next generation of electronic devices, as it will be the first step in developing faster and cheaper electronics with drastically reduced power consumption,'' he said.
"While I have attained significant breakthroughs in devices utilising 2D materials, the Churchill Fellowship will allow me to utilize the state of the art synthesis facilities at MIT, where I will be able to learn the process of making novel structures by growing different 2D materials on top of each other."
Dr Balendhran said he was looking forward to bringing back that knowledge to RMIT and sharing it with the scientific research community.
"This phenomenon of 2D materials was only discovered very recently and there is still a lot to be explored," he said.
On the other side of the world, Dr Rezk from the School of Civil, Environmental and Chemical Engineering, will work with a group of peptide engineering experts at the National University of Singapore.
He aims to create needle-free pulmonary delivery of peptide treatment for osteoporosis patients - an advance that would significantly benefit other patients with chronic disease.
"This development will have a profound impact not just for peptide delivery for osteoporosis patients, but also asthmatic and diabetic patients," he said.
The Churchill Fellowship caps off an exciting year for Dr Rezk.
His recently completed PhD led to a breakthrough discovery, where RMIT researchers harnessed the power of sound waves to enable precision micro- and nano-manufacturing.
Using his work as a base, the researchers were able to show how high-frequency sound waves can accurately control the spread of thin film fluid along a specially-designed chip.
The paper was recently published in Proceedings of the Royal Society A.
The research team behind the breakthrough was led by Professor James Friend, Director of the MicroNano Research Facility, and included Dr Rezk, Professor Leslie Yeo, co-Director of the Micro Nanophysics Research Laboratory, and Ofer Manor, from the Israel Institute of Technology.
Established in 1965 in honour of Sir Winston Churchill, The Churchill Trust awards overseas research fellowships to people with extraordinary goals.
It allows recipients to design their own research project, travel overseas for six to eight weeks to further their knowledge in a chosen field, create networks and return to share their findings.
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