Carol will join the Centre from Deakin University in February 2023, bringing with her considerable expertise in the development of metal-organic frameworks as chemical sensors and stimuli responsive materials.
After obtaining her BSc from UNSW and completing a PhD at the University of Sydney, Carol undertook roles as a postdoctoral researcher with the University of Limerick in Ireland and Northwestern University in the United States, supported by Endeavour and American-Australian Fellowships.
She previously worked at the University of Melbourne as a McKenzie Fellow and is looking forward to returning to the School of Chemistry and continuing her work identifying molecular chirality for pharmaceutical and technological applications.
“I'm super excited about taking chiral sensing materials forward,” she said.
“We're also going to be working on stimuli responsive materials, which can change their property in response to light, electrochemical potential or pressure. The idea is to use them in a number of different applications, such as technological applications in screens and displays.”
Metal-Organic frameworks are highly tunable materials that contain internal voids where guest molecules can be incorporated.
“The crystals and structures of metal-organic frameworks are quite aesthetically pleasing,” Carol said.
“There's just an inherent beauty in chemistry.”
After being inspired to pursue chemistry by some eye-catching experiments at school, Carol is looking forward to giving back to the next generation of researchers during the teaching aspect of her new position.
“Something that really motivates me is working with students, just to see their enthusiasm for chemistry especially when they are excited about a new experimental result,” she said.
“My interest in chemistry was inspired by my high school chemistry teacher. She would conduct experiments like dipping cloths into ethanol and then lighting them on fire! It was the fascination and excitement she had about chemistry that really drove my interest and made me realize that chemistry is all around us.”
After previously working as an individual researcher, Carol is enthusiastic about the prospect of amplifying the impact of her research and its commercial potential through her membership of Exciton Science.
“I'm quite excited by the opportunities that being a member of a Centre of Excellence holds in terms of collaboration with other members in the Centre,” she said.
“And I think that's something that can really drive future research directions. We are also interested in investigating how we can translate some of our materials into more applied settings, in partnership with industry.”