Dr Nikhil Medhekar
Research Field: Materials Science and Engineering
Dr. Medhekar is currently developing materials for three particular applications: rechargeable batteries for renewable energy; membranes to trap polluting gases at their source; and ultra-efficient flexible electronic devices. What links the materials for these diverse applications is their nanoscale size. Discovering the right material out of the thousands possible is like finding a needle in a haystack. Dr. Medhekar has built a virtual environment that mimics millions of atoms to accelerate the process. It predicts the performance of the virtual materials it generates. This has made it possible to create a shortlist of materials for a given application with only this shortlist needing to be tested. This research encompasses materials science, mathematics and engineering.
Nikhil’s research has been featured in mainstream print and online media, including capital city daily newspapers around Australia. He is currently the chair of the Publicity Committee for the Dept of Materials Engineering and key organiser of their Open Day and Immersion Day in which secondary students experience the laboratory for a day. He is also involved in a monthly fun science demonstration at the Monash Community Family Co-op Kinder.