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Vanessa Peterson

Association award

Prof Vanessa Peterson has received the Australian Neutron Beam Users Group (ANBUG) Neutron Award for her outstanding research in neutron science and leadership in promoting the neutron science community.    

Vanessa Peterson

The award was among the four announced at the ANSTO Users Meeting held in Sydney in early December. The recipient must have more than 10 years of experience in neutron scattering following their PhD.

“Vanessa is an exceptional scientist and leader in the community of neutron users. She has extensive collaborative relationships both in Australia and internationally, that are facilitating advances in materials for energy systems,” said Dr Jamie Schulz, Leader, Australian Centre for Neutron Scattering (ACNS).

She uses neutrons to understand the function of materials at the atomic level; knowledge that is required to make new and better materials.

Over the past two decades, her research has focused on materials for sustainable energy technologies. She established and leads the “Functional Materials for Energy Systems and Devices” research project at ANSTO, which connects materials scientists with powerful neutron scattering instruments. 

“Vanessa is known for her rigorous standards of experimental investigations and data analysis, which has led to impactful research outcomes. She specialises in real-time experiments and pioneered in operando neutron scattering measurements for several energy material systems,” said Schulz.

“This technique allows investigators to acquire atomic-level detail from a material within a whole functioning device,” said Schulz.

The approach yields an unprecedented level of detail into function mechanisms. 

“Her collaborative work has pushed the frontier of our understanding of functional materials. “

The award also recognised her support of PhD candidates and post-doctoral researchers, who used neutron scattering under her supervision. 

She is an Honorary Professorial Fellow Australian Institute for Innovative Materials (AIIM) Institute for Superconducting and Electronic Materials (ISEM)
University of Wollongong,


FacilitiesAustralian Centre for Neutron Scattering