Julie Cairney

Professor Julie Cairney studied Materials Science and Engineering at UNSW under a scholarship from Pasminco Limited (a former mining company based in Broken Hill). In 2002, she was awarded a PhD (Physical Metallurgy) also from UNSW. The next few years were spent working as a researcher at the University of Birmingham, UK and the Max Planck Institute for Metals Research in Stuttgart, Germany, before returning to Australia. She is currently working as a Professor in the School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering, is the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research – Enterprise and Engagement) and is the CEO of Microscopy Australia.

Prof. Cairney studies materials using advanced microscopy techniques that can image matter down to atomic scale. Their microstructure can then be related to their properties, and this knowledge can be used to engineer advanced materials with desirable properties such as superalloys, steels and hard coatings. In this way her work contributes to the development of stronger, lighter materials that require less energy to produce, for applications in industries like aerospace, construction and manufacturing.

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