AINSE - Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering

The Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering (AINSE) is an integral organisation for enhancing Australia’s capability in nuclear science and engineering by facilitating world-class research and education. AINSE offers a range of programs and services to its members including generous conference support, inspiring symposiums, Honours / Postgraduate scholarships and intensive education schools. These benefits aim to foster scientific advancement and promote an effective collaboration between AINSE members and ANSTO.

 Funding opportunities offered by AINSE

AINSE 2017 Honours Scholarships - NOW CLOSED

Applications for AINSE Honours Scholarships - NOW CLOSED

AINSE Winter School 2017

AINSE Winter School 2017 - 17 - 21 July 2017

Post Graduate Research Awards - NOW CLOSED

Applications for 2017 Post Graduate Research Awards - NOW CLOSED. More Information

Scholarship AINSE ANSTO French Embassy (SAAFE) Research Internship Program

SAAFE Research Internship Program- APPLICATIONS NOW OPEN

AINSE Supported Facilities (ASF) Travel Funding 2017 - NOW OPEN

AINSE Supported Facilities (ASF) Travel Funding 2017 - NOW OPEN

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The AINSE Trust

The purpose of the AINSE Trust, established in 2008, is to provide scholarships and fellowships for Australian students and researchers who are participating in AINSE programs.

You can help by providing a donation to the AINSE Trust. More Information


Women in STEM and Entrepreneurship Programme

AINSE WISE School to inspire women in STEM to take on leadership roles
The Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering (AINSE) is to receive funding through the Women in STEM and Entrepreneurship programme under the National Innovation and Science Agenda. AINSE will use this funding to invite a female student from each of its 35 Australian University members to attend a school at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO), Lucas Heights. The school will target 1st year University students, with an emphasis on women in STEM, and promote a range of exciting career opportunities in nuclear science and engineering.
The students will have the opportunity to experience first hand some of the research undertaken with the large infrastructure at ANSTO and see the leadership roles that women are currently undertaking in some of these fields. As part of this school AINSE will be inviting leading women in STEM to provide tours, workshops, talks and panel sessions to help inspire women into considering senior leadership roles in STEM. Mentors will also be arranged to provide a more long-term support network for the students to access as they make key career-defining decisions throughout their undergraduate degrees.
"The team at AINSE are delighted by this opportunity and look forward to encouraging women in STEM to pursue leadership roles in the future. By making connections with students early in their undergraduate degrees we hope to highlight the amazing opportunities that are available to women in nuclear science and engineering.”

Insights from collaborative research may lead to improvements in the production of carbon fibres

Article courtesy of ANSTO Communications

Infrared (IR) imaging technology at the Australian Synchrotron, developed specifically for carbon fibre analysis, has contributed to a better understanding of chemical changes that affect structure in the production of high-performance carbon fibres using a precursor material.

A research collaboration led by Carbon Nexus, a global carbon fibre research facility at Deakin University, Swinburne University of Technology and members of the Infrared Microspectroscopy team at the Australian Synchrotron, has just published a paper in the Journal of Materials Chemistry A that identified and helped to explain important structural changes that occur during the production of carbon fibres.

The research was undertaken to elucidate the exact chemical transformation occurring during the heat treatment of polyacrylonitrile (PAN), which produced structural changes.

The majority of commercial carbon fibres are manufactured from PAN but there has been an imperfection that occurred during production that affected its material properties.

Because the conversion of PAN to carbon fibre did not occur evenly across the fibre, it resulted in a skin-core structure.

Manufacturers want to prevent the formation of the skin-core structure in order to enhance the strength of the fibres.

The research lead by Dr Nishar Hameed provides the first quantitative definition on the chemical structure development along the radial direction of PAN fibres using high-resolution IR imaging.

“Although it has been more than half a century that carbon fibres were first developed, the exact chemical transformations and the actual structure development during heat treatment is still unknown”.

“The most significant scientific outcome of this study is that the critical chemical reactions for structure development were found to be occurring at a faster rate in the core of the fibre during heating, thus disrupting the more than 50-year-old belief that this reaction occurs at the periphery of the fibre due to direct heat.”

A multitude of experimental techniques including IR spectroscopy confirmed that structural differences evolved along the radial direction of the fibres, which produced the imperfection.

The difference between skin and core in stabilised fibres evolved from differences in the cross linking mechanism of molecular chains from the skin to the core.

The information could potentially help manufacturers improve the production process and lead to better fibres.

“Using a technique called Attenuated Total Reflection (ATR) to focus the synchrotron beam, the IR beamline allowed the research team to acquire images across individual fibres, to see where carbon-carbon triple bonds in the PAN were being converted to double bonds,” said Dr Mark Tobin, Principal Scientist, IR, at the Australian Synchrotron, who is a co-author with Dr Pimm Vongsvivut and Dr Keith Bambery.

“Previous IR studies have been conducted on fibre bundles and powdered fibres, while we were able to analyse the cross section of single filaments.”

To acquire detailed images of the fibres, which are only 12 microns across, the IR team modified the beamline for the experiment using a highly polished germanium crystal to focus the IR beam onto the fibres.

High resolution synchrotron based maps confirmed that the concentration of nitrile (C≡N) was higher on the areas where the C=N functional groups were lower.
“The nitrile (C≡N) is replaced by C=N as the PAN goes through the process of converting to carbon fibre. This takes place faster in the middle of the fibres, which is why—part way through the process —you see a “ring” of C≡N. The C=N is a peak in the middle,” explained Tobin.

‘Cup and cone’ chemical characteristics captured by IR imaging, also confirmed that a high degree of the reaction to form cyclic structures occurred in the core compared to the skin.

Other experimental techniques, which were undertaken at Carbon Nexus and Factory of the Future at Swinburne University of Technology, included optical microscopy, Raman microspectroscopy, nanoindentation, thermal analysis and tensile testing.

Lead author Srinivas Nunna received a post graduate research award from the Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering (AINSE) to support the study.

DOI: 039/c7ta01022b

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