Academic made Nanofabrication fellow

Abbey La Trobe University's Dr Brian Abbey has been appointed a technology fellow at the Melbourne Centre for Nanofabrication (MCN) along with three others from Victoria.

His appointment adds a wealth of knowledge to the existing group of technology consultants, who provide expertise in areas such as device design, photonics, bio-sensing and solar energy.

They also provide free confidential advice on project design and nanofabrication to MCN clients, whilst undertaking their own research activities within MCN.

Dr Abbey's research focuses on metallic deformation in metals at the nanoscale and will provide new insights into how a materials microstructure influences its strength.

Dr Abbey says he is delighted to be awarded the fellowship, which will greatly enhance the capabilities of his research.  

'My group and I will have free and open access to the Melbourne Centre for Nanofabrication where we will be able to produce samples, engineered at the nanoscale. This precision is necessary to make sensitive measurements of deformed metals at the atomic level using Synchrotron X-rays.

'This will help resolve the fundamental question of how a materials structure, at the sub-micron level, influences it’s response to applied forces. This information can be used to design stronger, more resilient materials in the future for a vast number of different applications, including industrial, military and space technologies.'

The fellowship grants Dr Abbey, along with one post-doc and one student, full access to MCN whilst four or five other students will have access to other MCN facilities such as office and computing facilities, but will be unable to access the nanofabrication equipment free of charge.

'Now that funding for nanofabrication is no longer an issue my group and I can focus on refining our research and carrying it out to the highest quality by using some of the most advanced fabrication equipment currently available in Victoria,' says Dr Abbey who estimates this fellowship to be worth around $100,000.

Associate Professor Paul Pigram, Head of Physics said he was thrilled by Dr Abbey's appointment.

'The award provides a very valuable package of access to MCN's remarkable fabrication capability and represents a significant further return on La Trobe's investment in the Australian National Fabrication Facility (ANFF) and ANFF-Victoria/MCN,' he says.


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