Dr Joseph Bevitt
Dr Joseph Bevitt completed a Bachelor of Science (Advanced) (Honours) at the University of Sydney, and appreciates the opportunity he had to study with the best and brightest developing scientific minds in the country. “Your choice of university is crucial – it provides your networking framework and support base from which you will call upon throughout your working life,” says Joseph.
Joseph strongly believes that developing skills and knowledge through a Sydney University science degree allows students the freedom to explore the depth and breadth of scientific endeavours, and to find out what really captures their imagination. “The variety of courses and modules on offer, the ability to approach academics for summer vacation research experience, the high quality of teaching and lab support staff are all wonderful reasons to study science at Sydney,” enthuses Joseph.
Joseph obtained his PhD in chemistry from the University of Sydney in 2006 and now works as the Scientific Coordinator of the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) Bragg Institute, managing access to the neutron scattering facilities associated with the OPAL nuclear reactor.
“The OPAL nuclear research reactor is used by ANSTO researchers to make radioactive materials – each year it creates around 60,000 patient doses of radiopharmaceuticals used for radiation therapy and medical imaging of the body’s soft tissues to detect disease,” says Joseph. OPAL also produces the silicon used in the electronic systems of hybrid cars and superfast trains, as well as neutrons used for research into understanding the dynamics of porous materials. “The potential impact of this research into porous materials is profound, and could lead to the development of systems that reduce our need for oil and petrol,” says Bevitt. Other instruments at Bragg are looking at the way atoms move and the propagation of energy through materials.
Joseph has a particular interest in the education and development opportunities for young scientists. “It’s important to transfer your passion for science to the next generation,” he says. Joseph is also passionate about helping students to develop more than just analytical skills. “I think the analytical skills acquired during a science degree are fantastic, but it’s also vital to work on communication and management skills, which are essential for any career. It’s important to be confident in your abilities, to network and go to conferences, to get involved and put yourself forward when you can,” he says.