RMIT scientist and flexible electronics guru Dr Madhu Bhaskaran has been named one of the Top 10 Technology Innovators under 35 in Asia, by the MIT Technology Review.
The accolade follows the recent news of Bhaskaran’s Victoria Fellowship, allowing her to work with international partners and turn her innovations, such as stretchy UV sensors, into commercial products.
Bhaskaran, who is co-leader of the RMIT Functional Materials and Microsystems Research Group, said the MIT honour would allow her to spread her wings even further when it comes to connecting with industry and delivering technology solutions where they are needed the most.
“This is great because while there are a lot of awards that offer recognition at the state and national level, this has an international focus,” she said.
“It opens up the chance to connect and collaborate with partners in other parts of the world.”
Bhaskaran was among 10 young innovators chosen by a panel of international expert judges who assessed each candidate based on their track record of introducing new and better solutions that change the way people live or work.
She will now join fellow members of the elite group at the MIT Technology Review EmTech Asia conference in Singapore, where she will give a short presentation outlining her work.
This has included everything from designing wearable sensor patches that detect harmful UV radiation to characterising the ability of piezoelectric thin films to turn mechanical pressure into electricity, opening the door to innovations such as self-charging, unbreakable mobile phones and gas monitoring safety devices.
“I have spent the past two or three years working on flexible electronics and it’s now coming up to the point where I can see pushing this to a lot of different applications,” Bhaskaran said.
“There has been a strong interest in wearable devices and this has helped me define the path my research will take, based on what people are interested in and what will make a difference to their lives.”
A recipient of an ARC DECRA Fellowship 2016-18, Bhaskaran carries out much of her work at RMIT’s MicroNano Research Facility, a state-of-the-art hub containing nine laboratories that bring together multi-disciplinary research on micro and nano technologies under one roof.
Described as trailblazers in their chosen fields, the 10 young innovators chosen by MIT Technology Review will automatically become candidates and potential finalists for the global TR35 list.
Story: Greg Thom