ARC Laureate Fellowship for applied physics and surface engineer

23 September 2019
Professor Marcela Bilek honoured by the Australian Research Council
University of Sydney researcher Professor Marcela Bilek has been awarded $3.3 million to engage in innovative biomedical research after being named a recipient of the prestigious Australian Laureate Fellowship scheme, funded by the Australian Research Council.
Professor Marcela Bilek has been honoured by the Australian Research Council

University of Sydney applied physics and surface engineering expert Professor Marcela Bilek will engage in research to create new processes to modify the surfaces of materials known as ‘plasma surface modification’, to resolve challenges with porous and dispersed materials.

Her research aims to develop new plasma surface modification for complex porous structures using a strongly multidisciplinary approach combining plasma physics, materials engineering and expertise from biosciences.

“It is a great privilege to have this level of research funding and it will enable me to focus on the research to an extent that would otherwise not be possible,” said Professor Bilek who oversees the Applied Physics and Surface Engineering Research Group.

“My goal is to develop a fundamental understanding of plasma interactions within complex materials by combining innovations in simulation and experiment, and to work closely with early career researchers and industry partners to build new research capability and provide tangible benefits."

Professor Bilek’s research will have potential significant benefits for diagnostic and therapeutic biomedical applications.

“Expected outcomes will include new research capacity and technologies in the increasingly important field of bioengineering, as well as environmentally friendly plasma processes that enable the creation of robust biologically functional surfaces, providing significant benefits for diagnostic and therapeutic biomedical applications,” said Professor Bilek.

Congratulating Professor Bilek on her fellowship Professor Duncan Ivison, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), said:

"The prestigious Australian Laureate Fellowships are highly competitive, recognising some of the best research in Australia.

“This wonderful recognition is testament to Marcela’s research and leadership within the fields of applied physics and surface engineering."

Professor Bilek was previously awarded the Plasma Surface Engineering Leading Scientist Award in 2018 and elected to the Fellowship of the Institute of Electronic and Electrical Engineers in 2015.

She was the recipient of a 2012 ARC Future Fellowship.

Her other research projects in these areas are a stimulating mix of fundamental physics and practical applications, in areas which include materials physics and engineering, plasma deposition and processing, thin film materials, vacuum glazing, renewable and sustainable energy and cross-disciplinary research in the areas of biointerfaces and medicine.

The ARC Laureate Fellowship scheme recognises the best research in Australia and from around the world. 

It encourages innovative research in the areas of job creation, economic growth and an enhanced quality of life considered essential to Australia's development. 

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