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Battery science developments win NSW Premiers Prize

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Two University of Wollongong (UOW) academics have been named as recipients of New South Wales Premier’s Prizes for Science and Engineering in recognition of their pioneering research work.

Distinguished Professor Zaiping Guo will receive the Prize for Excellence in Engineering or Information and Communications Technology and Distinguished Professor Antoine van Oijen will receive the Prize for Excellence in Medical Biological Sciences.

Professor Guo is a materials scientist with an exceptional track record in her field, which focuses on the applications of nanomaterials in energy storage and conversion technologies.

Her accomplishments include developing new nanoscale electrode materials to use in sodium–ion batteries, aqueous rechargeable zinc batteries and lithium ion batteries.

She said: “We’re trying to achieve better batteries with higher energy density, higher power density, better fast-charging capability, long cycle life and high safety.”

Professor Guo is at the forefront internationally of efforts to develop next generation batteries that are safe, clean, high performing and low cost, with the aim of finding the most promising large-scale electrical energy storage solutions for renewable energy.

Professor Guo said: “Batteries are the essential component of most electronic devices.

“We want to achieve high energy density because it can store more energy, (and) fast charging capability so we don’t have to wait for long until we get the battery fully charged.”

Professor Guo’s research offers enormous potential for applications in future green energy use in NSW, reducing our dependence on fossil fuels, and facilitating a more sustainable state and nation.

Professor Guo said: “This is really a big, big honour for me to receive this award.”

Picture: Professor Zaiping Guo

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