PhD at Oxford University - finding uses for CO2

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THE PROBLEM - In 2014 36 gigatonnes (36, 000, 000, 000 – thirty six billion tonnes) of carbon dioxide (CO2) were emitted into the atmosphere by industry and fossil fuel energy sectors alone. What keeps me up at night—to keep global warming below 1.5⁰C, by the year 2030 global emissions need to be below 25-30 gigatonnes CO2-equivalents per year. What if this harmful, waste CO2 could be harnessed to try and meet the needs of our growing population?

WHAT I WANT TO DO TO SOLVE IT - I have been awarded a DPhil (PhD) position at the University of Oxford, to try and tackle the growing levels of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere. The idea is to take CO2 and produce renewable polymers for use in a variety of applications in everyday life. By ‘upcycling’ carbon dioxide to a value-added product, the aim is to create a market value for CO2 that will encourage the industrial capture and re-use of this harmful green-house gas, removing it from the atmosphere.

I love science, and I simply want to use my career in science to try and make a positive difference in the world. My passion is the environment, and the area I wish to contribute to is one of the most pressing problems we face today; climate change/global warming and trying to reduce our atmospheric CO2 levels. I want do my best to help reduce our carbon footprint not just here in Australia but around the world, and to hopefully inspire others to do the same along the way.

I know that given the opportunity to learn what I can from my time at Oxford, I can return to try and make a change here in Australia. I am going to work to the utmost of my ability to make whatever difference I can to the future of our planet in my research career.

WHO AM I - I was born and raised in country NSW (Bungendore), moving to Sydney for University, completing a Bachelor in Chemistry (Dean’s/University medalist) and a Masters of Research, both with high distinction (Masters thesis mark of 95%). I have published 14 peer reviewed papers in academic journals and have been included in one text book.

THE BREAKDOWN - I have been fortunate in such hard times to receive an Oxford Australia scholarship as well as generous private sponsorships. I have also been working and saving as much as I can. I would be so incredibly grateful for any donation to assist me with yet to be covered expenses including travel, relocation, start-up costs and university costs and fees.

Please know I will do my utmost to make a positive difference with this opportunity that I am so incredibly grateful to have.
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