Sachini Pathirannahalage, recipient of SAAFE scholar for 2020

The SAAFE (Scholarship AINSE ANSTO French Embassy) program supports Early Career Researchers at PhD and postdoctoral levels to travel from Australia to France - and from France to Australia - to initiate sustainable research networks and linkages to support Australia and France in research and innovation.

Sachini Pathirannahalage - PhD student at ENS de Lyon and Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, under the supervision of Margarida Costa Gomes and Greaves Tamar - is helping to realise the potential of Ionic Liquids as designer solvents with a wide variety of scientific applications by seeking to understand the behaviour of Ionic Liquids when they are combined with molecular solvents. This work involves a mixture of computational and experimental techniques, including the use of the Small-Angle X-ray Scattering facilities at ANSTO’s Australian Synchrotron to investigate the structural properies of ionic liquid mixtures.

The SAAFE award will support a second visit to the Theoretical Chemistry group at ENS de Lyon, where Sachini Pathirannahalage will use their specialised isothermal titration calorimeters to study the thermodynamics of micelle formation in ionic liquid mixtures.

Since 2017, the SAAFE program has fostered research collaborations between France and Australia by enabling 15 students to undertake international research internships within the research areas of Human Health, Environment, and the Nuclear Fuel Cycle.


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