A unique collaboration between Thailand's Kasetsart University and UTS promises to forge stronger international links and further the field of global materials science. An MOU signed between both Universities covers all faculties from both Universities, but initial partnerships will be in the area of Science. Spearheaded by Dr Greg Heness, Senior Lecturer of Physics and Advanced Materials at UTS, the project revolves around a major ecological problem affecting both Australia and Thailand: water hyacinths.
This free-floating aquatic plant is largely considered the world's worst water weed, with its fast growth and extreme tolerance to pollution problematic for both countries. The student-led project will involve Thai and Australian students working together to investigate the use of this water weed in building materials in rural and remote areas. In addition, the project will involve a student exchange component, where each student will be given the opportunity to study in the other's institution. A scholarship will also be awarded to the participating students, funded by the Australia-Thai Institute, an Australian government body dedicated to promoting bilateral relations with Thailand.
About Dr Greg Heness: Dr Greg has been working closely with Kasetsart University to establish a nanomaterials degree for introduction in 2010. In February this year, Dr Greg was made Adjunct Professor, recognising his contribution and commitment to the nanomaterials program. His valued input cements UTS as a leader in the materials science field, both locally and globally.