Insight 11 - June 2014 - page 11

09
Photography: (Top)Bigstock/DoctorKon
GREENALTERNATIVES INCONSTRUCTION
KEEP ITCLEVER
D
rPreDeSilva, chemistry lecturer in the
FacultyofHealthSciences, recently
returned froma research sabbatical
at France’sprestigiousEcoledesMinesde
Douai (School ofCivil andEnvironmental
Engineering).
Her research focusedon thedevelopmentof
technologiesaimedat resourceconservation
andutilising industrialwaste todeliver ‘green’
materialswhicheffectivelyuseAustralia’s
natural resourcecapital.
Oneof thegreenmaterialswhichDrDe
Silva investigated isa ‘geopolymer’. Basedon
silicaandalumina, thismaterial potentially
providesagreenalternative to thecommonly
usedPortlandcement –used inconstruction,
andoneof themajor contributors toCO
2
emissions.
DrDeSilva said thather research in thisarea
hasmultiplebenefits.“Any innovationof
alternativebinders toPortlandcementwith
relativelyvery lowCO
2
emissionwouldbring
enormousbenefits toboth theenvironment
and theeconomy, especiallyat a timewhen
theworld’s leadingnationsare tryingvery
hard tocutdown theCO
2
emissions.”
According toDrDeSilva, geopolymers
havemanyotheruses too,making
A
ustralia’suniversitieshave launched
‘Keep itClever’–anew, innovative
campaign to supportuniversity
educationand research.
ACU supports this campaignaspartof
our commitment tocreatinga specialised,
growingandwell-regarded research
environment.
Ouruniversitiesare thekey tokeeping
Australiaclever andkeepingAustraliaahead.
Asglobal competition intensifies,wemust
ensureAustraliadoesn’tget leftbehind.
Notonlydoouruniversitiesequipour
workforcewith the skilledgraduatesneeded
to remaincompetitive, our researchand
innovationcreatesnew industriesand jobs.
Asothercountriesmakepublic investment in
universitiesa toppriority,wemustdo thesame.
For these reasonsAustralia’suniversitieshave
launched ‘Keep itClever’–acampaignwith
an importantmessagedelivered through
engaginganimation.
Let’sget themessageout: that investing inour
universities is investing inour future.
Visitkeepitclever.com.au, like thecampaignon
Facebookand follow itonTwitter (#keepitclever).
theman important considerationwhen
developinggreen technologiesmorewidely.
“Geopolymers canbe ‘targetmanufactured’ for
useasbiomaterials inmedical applications–
bone regeneration, joint replacements, dental
implants.”
DrDeSilva’sworkbuildsonACU’sprevious
researchongeopolymer technology in
partnershipwithnationaland international
research institutionssuchas theCommonwealth
Scientificand IndustrialResearchOrganisation
(CSIRO),AustralianNuclearScienceand
TechnologyOrganisation (ANSTO)andKhon
KaenUniversity (KKU),Thailand.
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