School Colloquia Series - A/Prof Drew Evans - Turning industry engagement into fundamental research
Abstract: There is much emphasis being placed on translating fundamental research into commercial opportunities with industry. It can be a tough process to navigate through. On the other hand, some industry problems can generate very interesting fundamental questions to be answered. Through a series of practical examples, A/Prof Drew Evans will discuss his experience in industry engagement and how this has led to exciting fundamental studies. These examples focus on the fundamental materials science that underpins the development of new devices and products with industry. From the world’s first plastic automotive mirror to sensors for agriculture, A/Prof Evans will show how working backwards from product to fundamental science can be a pathway to impact of research.
Bio: Dr. Drew Evans is an Associate Professor of Advanced Manufacturing and research leader in the Future Industries Institute, an Australian Research Council Future Fellow, an Executive member of the Early and Mid-Career Researcher Forum under the Australian Academy of Science, and Member of the South Australian Science Council. He received his B Sc (hons) in chemistry, and Ph.D. in physical chemistry at the Australian National University. He received the 2012 South Australian Science Excellence Early Career STEM Professional award, 2013 South Australian Tall Poppy of the Year, and 2016 BioSA Young Achiever Award. During Dr Drew Evans’ career, he has worked in both private industry and academic research. Currently Dr Drew Evans focusses on enhancing the manufacturability and performance of thin film coatings. Specifically he investigates optical, electrical and optoelectronic materials for use in the automotive, agriculture and renewable energy industries. His research group has linked fundamental materials science with commercial product, including the invention of the world’s first plastic automotive mirror (with over 3 million parts in use in the USA).