PhD Interview: Abuzar Taheri

November 7, 2018
Sam Findlay

Abuzar Taheri is an ACES PhD student at our Deakin University node, who recently submitted his thesis in electromaterial engineering. Before submitting, we caught up with Abuzar to learn more about what his project involved as well as what his experience studying with ACES was like.



What has been your area of research and who have you been working with throughout your PhD?

I’ve been working on thermal energy harvesting using thermocells. For the project, I developed polymer based electrolytes that are both flexible and solid with no leakage problems. I then used those electrolytes in a thermocell device to harvest electricity. Throughout the three years of studying with ACES, I’ve been supervised by A/Prof Jenny Pringle, Dr Cristina Pozo-Gonzalo and Prof Doug MacFarlane.


What do you hope ultimately comes out of your research?

Firstly, to have quality papers in my area of research published, and then for these papers to actually help with the next step forward, which is commercialisation of a thermocell device so that ultimately I see my research put into practice.


What’s next after your PhD?

I’ll be looking for a job [laughs].


Hopefully, that job will be a research position of some kind.


What was your background before joining ACES?

Before coming to Deakin and working with ACES, I was doing research at Eskitis Institute for Drug Discovery at Griffith University as a synthetic chemist.


What does a usual day look like for you here?

It depends… Most days I have meetings, usually with my supervisors, and from those meetings that often determines my day. That could mean reviewing and studying some literature, or it could mean going into the lab to collect data. So I would say every day is very different. There’s a lot of networking and discussions that take place through the day as well.


What’s your favourite aspect of your work?

I can say that my favourite part would be the hands-on research and just being in the lab on a daily basis. Doing experiments is my hobby, so it’s how I’d like to spend my time even if I wasn’t doing a PhD. We have three labs here [at Deakin University] and I’ve been working in all of them. Each is different, which is nice to change it up.


Thanks for your time and good luck with what’s to come.

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