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Forrest fellowship awarded to rising energy star to study at Curtin

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A leading international sustainable energy researcher has been awarded a prestigious Forrest Research Foundation Fellowship to study at Curtin University next year.

Dr Peter Kraus, currently based at the Fritz Haber Institute in Berlin, will help develop emerging technologies such as semiconductors, batteries and photovoltaics as a way to combat climate change, as part of the fellowship.

Forrest Research Foundation Fellowships are provided to outstanding early career researchers to undertake high quality research at any of the five universities in Western Australia, with Dr Kraus set to embark on a three-year placement at Curtin.

Curtin University Vice-Chancellor Professor Deborah Terry congratulated Dr Kraus on his achievement.

“Curtin is honoured to be hosting this very distinguished researcher who will directly contribute to the development of innovative sustainable energy solutions, and complement Curtin’s existing research strengths,” Professor Terry said.

“The Forrest Research Foundation Fellowships seek to bring the world’s greatest minds to Western Australia and we are delighted to be welcoming an international researcher of Dr Kraus’ calibre to Curtin to investigate sustainable energy technologies.”

Dr Kraus said he was aiming to develop a method for calculating conductivities of materials in real-world conditions during his time at Curtin.

“One of the key challenges in tackling climate change is gathering solar energy and storing it for later use, as current photovoltaic and battery technologies rely on materials that are rare, toxic, unsustainable, or cannot be sourced ethically,” Dr Kraus said.

“As novel materials will be required for developing future technologies, the ability to screen them for conductivity without costly synthesis as well as predicting their performance under operating conditions can help save crucial research time and resources.”

The Forrest Research Foundation was established in 2014 following a donation of $65 million by Andrew and Nicola Forrest through the Minderoo Foundation.

Ms Forrest said she was impressed by the calibre of this year’s Forrest Fellowship applicants.

“These exceptional new Forrest Research Fellows will be a bright addition to our State’s thriving scientific research community,” Ms Forrest said.

“I look forward to following their progress over the next few years.”

The Forrest Research Foundation aims to attract the brightest minds to conduct research in Western Australia. The Foundation provides support to international and domestic students to enrol in a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree at one of the State’s universities and also supports leading researchers who are at the start of their career by providing post-doctoral fellowships.

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