Dr Deanna D’Alessandro - “The Fellowship was absolutely invaluable to my career”

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05 August 2016

Celebrating 10 years of the Australian L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Fellowships

Dr Deanna D’Alessandro  - “The Fellowship was absolutely invaluable to my career”

For Women in Science Fellow 2010

Imagine if we could clean-up the excess gas that pollutes our environment with an absorbent chemical sponge? This is exactly what Deanna D’Alessandro imagined, and with her expertise in physical sciences she developed a highly absorbent crystal capable of mopping up gases. In 2010 when Deanna was awarded the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science fellowship, this project was only in its initial stages. “The work that the L’Oréal-UNESCO fellowship helped support was really just the start and it gave me the confidence to take it to the next level. It was absolutely invaluable.”

Through collaborations with applied scientists, mathematicians and engineers the design of these molecular sponges has moved from the lab bench to real scale development. With the immense potential of applications for this sophisticated sponge, especially for the remediation of greenhouse gases, the next step for Deanna and her colleagues is looking at international partners and collaborations. In a field where very few women predominate, Deanna is overcoming the barriers that many women face. “Having support within your career is essential to success, I was lucky to have great mentors, many that were male.”


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