The world would have been a cleaner but doubtless a poorer place if Professor Ellis was not imbued with a strong maverick spirit.
After growing up in New Zealand and travelling, Professor Ellis started a cleaning business in Sydney, but the mopped floors and wiped bathrooms lost their sheen after five years.
Graduating with a PhD at 35 and having years more experience than her peers was an advantage for her, enabling her to apply knowledge and experience to successful postdoctoral roles in the US and New Zealand before she found her dream job at Flinders.
“When I was studying my PhD I knew Flinders was the first place in the world to have a nanotechnology degree and I said to myself then, I would really love to teach nanotechnology there. When a job came up here I applied and it’s been a wonderful experience since,” Professor Ellis said.
With maturity also came a drive to make up for lost time, and the nanotechnologist has risen to the rank of Professor relatively quickly through her innovative research, willingness to collaborate and high-powered intellectual capability.
Her research is now breaking ground in a myriad of different areas as diverse as water security and identity theft, and is highly sought-after in both the business world and the broader community.