Professor Kourosh Kalantar-Zadeh
Winner: 2020 Robert Boyle Prize for Analytical Science
University of New South Wales
For the development of commercialised ingestible sensors for gut disorders, gas sensors for pollutants and point-of-care biosensors.
Celebrate Professor Kourosh Kalantar-Zadeh
As a multidisciplinary researcher, Professor Kalantar-Zadeh has worked on a variety of different scientific topics that resulted in new, innovative pollution sensors, transistors, medical devices and optical systems. Many of these devices are now commercially available and have impacted the lives of people worldwide, with products using this science including reactors for the deposition of atomically thin electronic materials, highly sensitive immunosensors and new materials for smart windows.
Additionally, several of his innovations are now in the final stages of commercialisation, such as ingestible gas sensing capsules which are used for diagnosing gut disorders. He has always been proud of the students and postdoctoral fellows that he has trained and worked with and is grateful to UNSW for providing the infrastructure and support for establishing a high-profile multidisciplinary research centre to support his group members. With the help of group members, colleagues and the support from the university, Professor Kalantar-Zadeh has always endeavoured to create new innovative concepts to positively impact people’s lives.Read full biography
Professor Kourosh Kalantar-Zadeh is a 2018 SHARP Professor and an Australian Research Council (ARC) Laureate Fellow at UNSW Sydney, Australia. Formerly, he was a Distinguished Professor of Electronic Engineering at RMIT, Melbourne. Kalantar-Zadeh is also the Director of the Centre for Advanced Solid and Liquid based Electronics and Optics (CASLEO) at UNSW.
Professor Kalantar-Zadeh is a scientist involved in research in the fields of materials sciences, electronics, and transducers. He is best known for his works on two-dimensional semiconductors, ingestible sensors and liquid metals. He led his group to the invention of an ingestible chemical sensor - the human gas sensing capsule.
He has co-authored over 425 research articles and reviews and has been named amongst the most highly cited researchers internationally in both 2018 and 2019 by the Clarivate Global Highly Cited Researchers list. In addition, Professor Kalantar-Zadeh is a member of the editorial boards of Applied Materials Today, ACS Applied Nano Materials, ACS Sensors, Advanced Materials Technologies, Nano-Micro Letters and ACS Nano.
Professor Kalantar-Zadeh is nationally and internationally recognised for his work on sensors and liquid metals and has been awarded the 2017 IEEE Sensor Council Achievement Award, 2018 ACS Advances in Measurement Science Lectureship Award (Asia-Pacific region) and 2019 Walter Burfitt Prize from the Royal Society of New South Wales.
How did you first become interested in chemistry?
When I was in primary school I became interested in chemical and physical sciences. I was always enthusiastically watching my brother’s experiments (he is eight years older than me). High school was important too. We had exceptionally well-equipped chemistry laboratories and brilliant teachers.
What motivates you?
Perpetual discoveries and new observations that can be achieved in dealing with chemical reactions.
What has been your biggest challenge?
Establishing a stable and well-funded laboratory that supports the activities of my group members.
What has been a highlight for you?
Seeing the first signals from the ingestible gas sensing capsule that I had swallowed in response to ingredients of an ice cream that I had eaten!
What advice would you give to a young person considering a career in chemistry?
That they should enjoy their lives and experience what they want to. I started my career as an illustrator, then a telecommunications engineer, an electronics engineer and now a chemical engineer. I would do the same again if I could re-start my career journey tomorrow.
What is an exciting scientific development on the horizon?
I truly believe that ingestible sensors will become the fascination of human beings in the next decade.
Why do you think teamwork is important in science?
Fundamentally, new innovations are more multidisciplinary these days. We need the expertise of different backgrounds to closely work together for several years in order to create.
Why do you think international collaboration is important in science?
Science and technology are not limited to a few selected groups anymore. We can find excellence in each and every corner of this planet. To achieve top goals, these scattered talents and knowledge should be used coherently and efficiently.
Why do you think interdisciplinary research and collaboration is important in science?
In my opinion, while focus on solving a problem is very important, having access to interdisciplinary knowledge and talent is the key that leads to new discoveries and technologies.
What is your favourite element?
Gallium for now!