Western Scientist Wins Coveted Excellence in Leadership Award at Australia’s 2022 Defense Science, Technology and Research Summit


Winner of the ‘Brilliant People – Collaborative Culture Leadership’ award, Professor Sarah Zhang (right) pictured with Chief Defense Scientist Professor Tanya Monro.

Western Sydney University congratulates Professor Sarah Zhang on winning the Brilliant People – Collaborative Culture Leadership Award at the Australian Government’s Department of Defence’more, together‘Prize of excellence.

The award, presented by Australia’s Chief Defense Scientist, Professor Tanya Monro, recognizes high-performing leaders who actively help shape the science and technology environment and enable others to deliver world-class research results for the Australian Defense Force.

Professor Sarah Zhang from the University’s School of Engineering, Design and Built Environment has been recognized as a top researcher and leader in the field of composite materials and structures, focusing on defense applications addressing critical defense needs through innovative research.

The award recognized Professor Zhang’s exemplary performance in leading a team of more than 20 people from six universities and six industry partners to carry out groundbreaking research that had a significant impact on the pharmaceutical industry. defense.

Accepting the award at the first Australian Defense Science, Technology and Research Summit, Professor Zhang said it was an honor to be recognized for leading a great research team to develop and provide innovative and impactful research.

“Our team has developed a high performance nanocomposite adhesive that is having significant impacts on Australia’s defense assets. This adhesive can improve the reliability and durability of structural joints and advance composite manufacturing,” Professor Zhang said.

“We know the ability to quickly repair damaged aircraft is vital, and our nanocomposite is not only more adaptable than current options, but also stronger.”

“This means our hardware could improve the resilience of defense platforms, reduce costs, increase security, and increase the readiness and responsiveness of combat-ready platforms,” ​​she said.

With funding support of $1.1 million from the Department of Defense, the research led by Prof. Zhang was cited as a funding success story by the Hon. Matt Thistlethwaite, MP, Deputy Defense Minister, during his address at the ADSTAR Summit Awards Ceremony.

“I would like to thank our research team for their confidence in my leadership and acknowledge the excellent teamwork and support of all our researchers and industry partners,” said Professor Zhang.

“In particular, I would like to acknowledge the excellent support I received from my long-time research partner, Dr. John Wang of the DST Group, and Professor Richard Yang of Western.”

The 2022 Department of Defense ‘More, Together’ Awards of Excellence took place at the Sydney International Convention Center and brought together over 600 delegates from research and academia, government and industry players from defense.

Sarah Zhang ADSTAR2 Award


September 7, 2022

Danielle Aiken, Media Manager

Photos courtesy of Defense Science and Technology Group


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