PhD opening – Clean energy solutions on the Great Barrier Reef

We are looking for a PhD scholar to work as part of a multi-party project on cooling – and thereby saving – the Great Barrier Reef.

The PhD project will contribute to the development of clean energy systems that power the equipment that increases the thickness of marine clouds above the reef. These systems may feature solar photovoltaics, wind power, bio fuels, wave power, batteries and other technologies. The project will assess the technical, economic, and social feasibility of these technologies and design systems to meet the needs of the reef cooling applications.

The student will work closely with the Battery Storage and Grid Integration Program at ANU (, as well as researchers at Southern Cross University and the broader Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program (see

Full application details are here:

Feature on ABC TV Catalyst program – a childhood dream

ABC TV’s Catalyst program was one of my favorite TV shows growing up, so it was a bit of a dream to get to be a part of the recent episode about the transformation of the electricity system.

The episode did a fantastic job, covering a huge range of the interesting developments underway across the system and the country, explaining the crucial facts and trends, and presenting everything in interesting, engaging and understandable ways.

So, I’d highly recommend giving watching here

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ATSE Extreme Science Show

After the success of the Optics in the Outback science outreach tour, Owen and I were hired to run a outreach show as part of the 2013 Australian Academy of Technology & Engineering “Extreme Science” event at the Melbourne Exhibition Center.

I sadly don’t have any footage from our show, but ABC science journalist Bernadette Hobbs had this to say about it:

Light is an area of science that so often ends up in the ghetto of prisms and diagrams, but your team’s workshop was outstanding. The fact that I can still remember most of what you guys did two months ago speaks volumes about how creative and exciting your show was!

You brought light to life – the ‘Survivor’-style flame torch demonstrating wave motion was spectacular. The kids were hooked from that moment. And I’ve got to say the total internal reflection demo with laser light in a stream of water was simple and incredibly effective. You could see the light switch on in those minds.

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Why fair dinkum language is crucial in the energy debate

An OpEd spelling out the loaded terms of Fair dinkum, Baseload, Intermittent, Variable, Dispatchable, and Alternative energy. The article is an antidote to the energybabble that is so often used to confound public energy discussions.

Originally published in the SMH

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