Christmas comes early for seven higher degree students

Mark BissettFlinders University has awarded its first-ever Best Student Paper Award to seven higher degree research students specialising in a range of fields – from sustainable solar panels to the increasing problem of piracy in Somalia.

Coraline Chapperon, Mark Bissett, Ilka Wallis, Darren Hedley, Emily Bienvenue, Ching Li Chai-Coetzer and Rhianna Lindop have all received a cash prize of $1000 for their research efforts, with an awards ceremony to be held in the new year.

Announced today (Tuesday, December 20), the inaugural award aims to recognise excellence in student research across Flinders University, and will now be offered annually by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research).

Mr Bissett (pictured), a PhD student specialising in nanotechnology, was awarded the prize for his work to find a cheaper and more sustainable solution to silicon solar panels.

“The current silicon solar cells that people have on their roofs are really expensive and the energy cost involved in mining and purifying the silicon is very inefficient,” Mr Bissett said.

“So my PhD has involved developing a new solar cell using carbon nanotubes which are cheaper and more environmentally-friendly.”

Mr Bissett, who will jet-off to Japan next year to undertake a post-doctorate at Kyushu University, said the awards were a great way to showcase the world-class research being carried out at Flinders.

“It’s great to get publicity and exposure for any kind of research, let alone alternative energy which is very important these days,” he said.

Flinders University Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Professor David Day, said all papers submitted for the prize were of extremely high standards, reflecting Flinders consistent approach to quality research.

“I am impressed by the quality of research coming from our higher degree research students, and I wish them all the very best for the remainder of their university studies and future career pursuits,” Professor Day said.

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