News

Sydney academic named as person to watch in 2008


1 February 2008

Dr Harris says that in order to preserve our natural environment we need to fully embrace new and sustainable technologies
Dr Harris says that in order to preserve our natural environment we need to fully embrace new and sustainable technologies

Dr Andrew Harris from the University's School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering has been named as one of 13 'people destined for great things in 2008', in a list which appears in this week's Sydney Magazine.

Compiled by Senior Editor of Sydney Magazine, Mark Chipperfield, the list includes actors, musicians, artists and writers.

Dr Harris is head of the University's Laboratory for Sustainable Technology which looks at developing ways to tackle issues such as drought, pollution and global warming. 'We're trying to invent new technologies that will give us a step-change improvement in the way we live,' he says.

Current projects include a new pulping process to produce paper using straw instead of woodchips and water harvesting system using a technology developed by mimicking the shell of the Stenocara beetle from the Namib Desert in sough-west Africa.

'The tummy of the beetle has microscopic bumps and little valleys. When the droplets are too big, they fall off into the valley and into the beetle's mouth. If you can mimic that on sheets of plastic and string them up on the coast of Australia we could do without dams.'

Dr Harris says that in order to preserve our natural environment we need to fully embrace new and sustainable technologies. 'At some stage in the future, all of our energy will come from the sun,' he predicts.

The list of 13 talents currently breaking ground in their chosen fields appears in this weeks Sydney Magazine in an article entitled 'People to Watch'



Contact: Jake O'Shaughnessy

Phone: +61 2 9351 4312 or 0421 617 861

Email: 191122220b353e1f562d366c21474c0160152c20744a34