Melbourne welcomes leading Japanese scientists in advanced materials

l-r: Prof Kazue Kurihara, Prof Kazuhito Hashimoto (President of the National Institute for Materials Science, NIMS) and Prof Peter Scales.
l-r: Prof Kazue Kurihara, Prof Kazuhito Hashimoto (President of the National Institute for Materials Science, NIMS) and Prof Peter Scales.

Leading national and international researchers in the field of advanced materials research are meeting in Melbourne for the Advanced Materials: Scientific & Engineering Challenges Conference, being held at the University of Melbourne by the Melbourne School of Engineering and Faculty of Science’s Particulate Fluids Processing Centre (PFPC).

A contingent of the most eminent scientists in the field from Japan are attending, including 2015 Kyoto Prize recipient Professor Toyoki Kunitake and leading scientists from the National Institute of Materials Science (NIMS), including NIMS President Hashimoto, Tsukuba and the Institute of Multidisciplinary Research for Advanced Materials (IMRAM), Tohoku University.

Professor Toyoki Kunitake, from Kyushu University and President of the Kitakyushu Foundation for Advancement Industry, Science and Technology, is the PFPC’s principal collaborator in Japan. The conference, which runs from Sunday May 8 to Wednesday May 11, 2016, is held in honour of his outstanding achievements.

The Kyoto Prize celebrates significant contributions to the scientific, cultural and spiritual advancement of mankind and is a highly prestigious award akin to the Nobel Prize, but recognizing fields of endeavor not traditionally included in the Nobel awards.

Professor Kunitake, will be present the principal plenary lecture on “Synthetic Bilayer Membrane and Giant Nanomembrane”.

His research provides significant new perspectives to the development of controlled molecular architectures for new materials for emerging technologies, such as energy conversion and storage, and biodelivery therapies for chronic diseases.

He was the first scientist to discover synthetic bilayer membranes and to create the new field of chemistry based on molecular self-assembly, which is recognised as one of the most useful concepts in advanced materials design. His pioneering work in advanced materials design will lead to solutions being developed in a range of fields from energy systems to better healthcare outcomes.

Professor Kazue Kurihara, from Tohoku University’s Advanced Institute for Materials Research (AIMR) and Institute of Multidisciplinary Research for Advanced Materials (IMRAM), will present a plenary lecture on “Development of Surface Forces Measurement for Materials Science”.

Professor Kurihara was recipient of the major Japanese Women in Science award in 2014. Her research laboratory at IMRAM investigates the interactions between biological molecules, polyelectrolytes, confined liquids and novel instrumentation.

The conference will not only celebrate the seminal contributions of Professors Kunitake and Kurihara in the field of advanced materials science and engineering but will also serve as a catalyst to leading Australian researchers to further develop their own agendas targeting engineering solutions for sustainable futures.

In addition, the conference will celebrate the supportive collaboration between Japanese and Australian researchers in advanced materials research that has persisted for over 30 years.

Pictured right: Prof Toyoki Kunitake