There are not many people who are headhunted to run research projects for IBM Research in New York, or who have 50 worldwide patents on their inventions. Professor David Lewis is one of those talented few.
At a time when most people were just coming to grips with microwaves as cooking devices, Professor Lewis was cooking plastics – he became the first person in the world to identify the kinetic energy changes in polymers when they were cured by microwaves.
His entire career has been full of new discoveries and innovations like this, underpinned by a distinct collaborative philosophy, which he brought to Flinders when he was appointed Chair of Materials Science in 2009.
“I wanted to do research in areas that I couldn’t do before. Universities offer a level of freedom that you don’t find elsewhere,” Professor Lewis said.
He is continuing to break new ground at Flinders University, using his industry experience to build connections between business and the higher education sector for mutual benefit, as well as to enhance broader social outcomes.
“We developed a program called NanoConnect to help companies understand how the best materials and nanotechnology can help them in their processes,” Professor Lewis said.
“We are on the cusp of nanotechnology being useful and used right across the economy – it’s very exciting.”