Mirror mirror on the wall
Victoria Bachelor of Engineering student, Chelsea Miller spent the summer designing and building special mirrors which only reflect certain colours.
Developing new technology that has many uses
The project, part of the Summer Research Scholars programme, saw Chelsea working alongside Dr Ciaran Moore to create tiny film structures of only a few nanometres in size, which she says could be used in a wide range of products in the future.
“The technology has many uses, these structures could be used to stop overhead projectors and other lights from overheating, or for the design of tinted sunglasses.”
Getting on the right wavelength
Chelsea, who is majoring in Electronics and Computer Systems Engineering, employed ground-breaking techniques to control which wavelengths of light were reflected, or ‘bounced off’ a surface, and which travelled through.
“By building stacks of these tiny acrylic glass and silver films on top of a glass layer, and then shining a light on the surface, only certain wavelengths were reflected off the coating, while others were cancelled out.”
Everything at my fingertips
“I had some amazing resources at my disposal,” says Chelsea. “I was able to work in one of Victoria’s ‘clean rooms’, which are dust-free laboratories with cutting-edge equipment, and I also had access to lots of online research databases.”
Changed my learning experience
“The Summer Research Scholarship was an incredible learning experience, taking me from heavily-guided student to self-directed professional. Being able to create a functional product using physical principles was rewarding and inspiring,” says Chelsea.
Combining the best of both worlds
“I love the harmony of analytical skills and creativity present that Engineering offers,” she says. “Mathematics, science and problem-solving all really interest me and Engineering is great because it brings them all together. The pizza and excellent banter are also a definite bonus.”