RMIT professor’s work in stretchable electronics awarded

Photo: RMIT's Professor Madhu Bhaskaran

An RMIT professor has been awarded by the Australian Academy of Science for her contributions to science, her signature advance being in the field of stretchable electronics.

Awarded the Frederick White Medal for early career researchers, Professor Madhu Bhaskaran has developed techniques to stretch devices to an unprecedented level – allowing them to be worn on the skin.

Her work is a precursor to numerous practical devices, which can adapt seamlessly to the human body and deliver significant environmental benefit (portable hazardous gas detection) and community benefit (UV sensors or health management). According to the university her research transforms how we imagine, use and interact with electronic devices.

Bhaskaran’s team – she is co-leader of RMIT’s Functional Materials and Microsystems group – is currently working with industry partner Sleeptite to bring the work out of the laboratory into everyday life, integrating sensors into bedding products for aged care to non-invasively track the health and wellbeing of residents at night.

“I am ecstatic to receive this prestigious medal – especially given the Frederick White Medal recognises the positive impact my research outcomes can have on society and people,” Bhaskaran said.

“As always, I credit the Functional Materials and Microsystems research group for their hard work and positive attitudes.”

The award is just the latest honour for Bhaskaran, who is also Node Director and Chief Investigator in the ARC Centre of Excellence for Transformative Meta-Optical Systems (TMOS) and on the Board of Directors of Women in STEMM Australia.

She has previously been awarded the APEC Science Prize for Innovation, Research and Education (“ASPIRE”), the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering’s Batterham Medal and the Australian Museum Macquarie University Eureka Prize for Outstanding Early Career Researcher.

“Recognising outstanding scientific contributions is important, as award recipients are the STEM role models for the next generation,” president of the Australian Academy of Science, professor John Shine, said.