Peter Liddicoat

Waterloo, New South Wales

Materials engineer, scientific leader

Peter is helping Australia’s transition to a knowledge economy by bringing a new microscope to the world that could change the way materials are engineered.

This potential game-changer solves a big challenge in science: determining which atoms create properties like high-strength or superconductivity. The new microscope sees and identifies every atom in a material, and the data will enable fast and powerful computational materials design. It could, for example, result in more efficient solar panels, stronger building materials and faster planes. Peter used his grant to pay for an international patent to ensure the microscope remains Australian-owned and controlled.

Peter has since received a US National Science Foundation grant to develop the capabilities for market.

“The microscope reveals the ‘DNA’ of a material and will lead to new discoveries. This grant helped an Aussie invention bridge the ‘chasm of death’ between discovery and getting to market… Had it not been for the grant, I almost certainly would have had to sell, broker or barter the invention.  In these early stages of technology development, it’s really important to maintain control in order to see the change you want in the shortest possible time.”