Young Innovator award to DMTC PhD candidate

DMTC sponsored PhD Candidate, Vanessa Lussini from Queensland University of Technology, has won the Aerospace Australia Ltd Young Innovator prize. This award was presented at the Australian International Airshow at Avalon in Victoria and recognises individuals who are leaders in aerospace and aviation technologies and innovation.

Vanessa was presented the award for her outstanding work to improve the safety of aircraft and reduce maintenance costs. Vanessa’s project is focused on using organic compounds to develop sensors that will alert maintenance crews when sections of an aircraft need repainting before mechanical strain, direct sunlight, varying temperatures, water, salt and other pressures cause dangerous corrosion resulting in potentially catastrophic failure. To prevent corrosion, modern aircraft are coated with protective materials. However these protective outer coatings are constantly under physical and chemical stress. If left unchecked, this damage can lead to corrosion, which can result in the deterioration of the aircraft’s structural integrity. Vanessa’s project has developed new sensor molecules, called pro-fluorescent nitroxides (PFNs) which can monitor the breakdown of aircraft coatings that enable a sensitive real time monitor technology within the coating to show the location and extent of the coatings wear.

DMTC researchers have now won the young innovator prize at the past 3 major Defence Platform shows, including Pacific 2013, Land Forces 2014 and now the 2015 Avalon Air Show.

DMTC is delighted with this outcome and congratulates all other winners and shortlisted candidates for the Aerospace Australia Ltd awards.

Posted by DMTC on February 24th, 2015