Aus researchers recognised for synchrotron science

ANSTO

Friday, 13 November, 2020


Aus researchers recognised for synchrotron science

The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) has announced accolades for Professor Peter Lay and Dr Wei Kong Pang, in recognition of their contributions to synchrotron research.

Prof Lay is the Director of Sydney Analytical at The University of Sydney, which has extensive links with ANSTO. He will receive the Australian Synchrotron Lifetime Contribution Award, judged by the Australian Synchrotron user community and granted every two years for outstanding contributions to synchrotron science in Australia.

Prof Lay uses X-ray absorption spectroscopy, X-ray fluorescence microscopy and infrared microscopy to study changes in the biodistribution and concentrations of elements and biochemicals in cells and tissues as a result of disease processes and their treatment with drugs. According to Australian Synchrotron Director Professor Andrew Peele, Prof Lay’s work has harnessed the power of synchrotron techniques to gain insights at the nanoscale to benefit human health.

“His contribution has been exceptional over many years and he is recognised internationally as a pioneer in using spectroscopic techniques to study anti-cancer and anti-diabetic drugs,” he said.

Prof Lay said, “I feel very privileged to receive this award for my involvement in the development of Australian synchrotron science in Australia and overseas. This has been made possible through generous programs of the Australian Synchrotron and, previously, the Australian Synchrotron Research Program.

“Continued support from the Australian Research Council through LIEF grants and Discovery grants have also been invaluable in enabling this cutting-edge synchrotron science.”

Dr Pang, meanwhile, is an ARC Future Fellow and Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Superconducting and Electronic Materials (ISEM) at the University of Wollongong (UOW). He is set to receive the Australian Synchrotron Research Award for early-career researchers, given every year to an emerging leader in synchrotron research with less than 10 years of post-PhD experience.

Dr Pang’s research focuses on understanding and developing rechargeable metal-ion battery technologies, including the atomic-scale characterisation of electrode materials. Prof Peele said Dr Pang has made significant advances in understanding the relationship of structure to chemistry in metal-ion battery technologies using a variety of X-ray scattering methods and other techniques.

“I am absolutely delighted that we were able to recognise Dr Pang for his outstanding work using our powder diffraction beamline,” Prof Peele said. “We are all aware of the enormous potential of metal-ion batteries and Dr Pang has been a powerhouse in this area.”

“I am excited to receive the Australian Synchrotron Research Award for my work,” Dr Pang said. “I would not have been able to achieve this recognition without the great support of ANSTO, ISEM and UOW.

“Mechanistic studies offer an in-depth understanding of battery materials, with the application of synchrotron techniques playing an important role and allowing rational improvement, stimulating the development of next-generation energy storage.”

The awards will be formally presented to both recipients at the Australian Synchrotron User Meeting 2020, to be held online on 20 November. Prof Lay will deliver an acceptance address at the meeting.

Top image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/fotobieshutterb

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