New research centres sharpen our focus on sustainable futures

30th April 2020

The Institute for Future Environments’ (IFE) focus on creating sustainable environmental, social and economic futures for our planet has been strengthened with the announcement that IFE will host three research centres dedicated to the environment, clean energy and waste.

The Centre for the Environment, the Centre for Clean Energy Technologies and Practices and the Centre for a Waste-Free World are among 10 new research centres unveiled by QUT Vice Chancellor, Professor Margaret Sheil AO, in April.

Each of the centres will have a primary focus on high-quality research and research training, and are designed to support and grow research capability, while reinforcing QUT's reputation for high-impact research.

IFE Executive Director, Professor Kerrie Wilson said the Institute’s three new centres, along with the Centre for Agriculture and the Bioeconomy announced in late 2019, would form a core part of the institute’s research and innovation program in the years ahead.

“In keeping with IFE’s vision to amplify QUT research for real-world impact, our centres will bring together the best and brightest researchers from across the university to create and exchange knowledge that makes our world more sustainable, secure and resilient.

“Collaboration is a crucial part of the operating model for IFE’s research centres, both within QUT and with partners from government, industry and the community.

“Together, we will be striving to develop ideas and innovations to address some of the major challenges facing our planet and our society, and drive change in the real world,” Professor Wilson said.

“IFE’s centres are already fostering research projects in areas such as green hydrogen generation, advanced batteries, sustainable fashion, plastic waste reduction and environmental monitoring. 

“Supported by QUT’s world-class research infrastructure capabilities, our research centres will support these projects and other great ideas along the research and innovation pipeline – from discovery and design through development and demonstration to commercialisation and application.”

The Centre for the Environment will support and promote research-led solutions to a variety of environmental challenges. Led by Professor Jennifer Firn, the centre aims to deliver ground-breaking fundamental and applied research that conserves and restores environmental systems and ensures the sustainability of natural resources in natural, production and built landscapes.

The Centre for Clean Energy Technologies and Practices will develop innovative and sustainable solutions for clean energy generation, distribution and use in Australia and beyond. By bringing together QUT’s established expertise in clean energy research, the centre will help power the world sustainably and develop greener energy from renewable resources. The centre is led by interim director Professor Ian Mackinnon.

The Centre for a Waste-Free World is led by Professor Leonie Barner and will take a coordinated, multi-pronged approach to tackling the growing problem of waste. This includes developing and implementing new waste technologies and processes, finding innovative ways to catalyse social change and reduce barriers to participation and adoption, and creating a circular economy.

The other QUT research centres announced in April are:

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