Dr Kate Nguyen.
Original Published Date: 
Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Full article issued by RMIT university.

ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) recipient, Dr Kate Nguyen from RMIT University, will further advance her pioneering research into a sustainable coating for fire-proofing houses, with the award of a L'Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science fellowship.

The chemical and civil engineer is developing constuction materials for buildings that are greener and bushfire safe, through the development of an advanced and sustainable fire-resistant coating.

“Like millions of Australians I watched with horror the bushfires that ravaged part of the country earlier this year, particularly here in Victoria. I hope my research can protect many homes in fire-stricken areas,” Dr Nguyen says.

“A bushfire can have very high temperature and spread quickly. So, if we can delay the time that construction material burns, we can protect more homes.”

The ceramic-like coating Nguyen has created is made from industrial waste, often from the coal and mining industry, which has high levels of aluminium and silicon.

It’s a way of sustainably reusing waste that would ordinarily go to landfill, to deliver an environment-friendly coating that can provide a protective envelope over a building.

The new fire-resistant coating is also made through a process that emits up to 90% fewer greenhouse gas emissions than conventional manufacturing approaches. 

Founded by L'Oréal and UNESCO in 1998, the For Women in Science program has supported the research careers of more than 3,100 women in over 117 countries.

 

Photo credit: 

Dr Kate Nguyen. Credit: RMIT.