Swinburne awards STEM fellowship to water engineering specialist

Swinburne University of Technology has announced Dr Yali Li as the newest recipient of a Vice-Chancellor’s Research Fellowship for women in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) disciplines.

Dr Li’s research specialty is water engineering.

Her research interests and past industry experience include solid waste treatment, industrial wastewater treatment, membrane filtration technology, water sensitive urban design, stormwater management, biofiltration with antimicrobial composite, and biomaterials and biosensors.

Dr Li trained at the National University of Singapore and developed novel and low-cost antifouling membranes for water treatment when she worked as a research fellow at the leading Singapore-based water treatment company Hyflux.

At Monash University, she researched nanomaterials in the context of water sensitive design in the quest to develop an innovative and high-performance soil filtration system for stormwater harvesting.

Her most recent research was to develop biopolymer based low-cost, high-performance and environmentally friendly grouting materials.

“My research strength complements the current research strength in water engineering at Swinburne, and aligns well with Swinburne’s research passion on sustainable infrastructure development,” Dr Li said.

“This three-year fellowship will give me time to understand a broad range of real-world problems and refine my research to find innovative and sustainable solutions using advanced materials science.”

The Swinburne Vice-Chancellor’s Research Fellowships for Women in STEM disciplines are designed to addres underrepresentation of women in STEM research and teaching. This program also supports Swinburne’s gender equity strategy.

“This fellowship scheme is evidence of our commitment and contribution to advancing gender equality in academia through coordinated and aligned research and academic strategy,” said Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Development) Professor Aleksandar Subic.

“Through this scheme we are recruiting not only the best women researchers to support and drive our research strategy, but also we are transforming our academic workforce by establishing a better balance across the portfolio.”

Dr Li will be supported by a fellowship grant as well as through mentorship, research training and personal career development, with underlying on-going positions in the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Technology.