ANU: Electrifying research earns ANU academic top chemistry award

ANU academic Professor Michelle Coote has been awarded the Royal Australian Chemical Institute’s 2021 Leighton Memorial Medal, in recognition of her eminent services to the field in Australia.

Director of the ANU Research School of Chemistry Professor Penny Brothers congratulated Michelle for this top honour.

“Michelle is truly deserving of this – through her research work, her ARC Georgina Sweet Laureate Fellowship, her contributions to the Royal Australian Chemical Institute and advancing the status of women in STEM, her mentorship of students and colleagues, and her editorship of the Journal of the American Chemical Society,” Penny says.

“We are delighted that she has been recognised this way.”

Michelle’s work has shown that electric fields can be used to manipulate chemical reactions. This discovery could enable greener and safer methods for fabricating materials, from drugs to plastics.

Michelle has always been interested in finding new ways to manipulate chemical reactions.

“Whether that was using new tools to study them, which was how I started out, or using alternative energy sources to trigger them. If we can make chemical reactions more efficient, it is a first step to sustainability,” she says.

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