Australian Science Superheroes – Tim Dargaville
During National Science Week in August 2016, Australia’s Chief Scientist launched the #5ScientistPledge to recognise Australian Scientists. Now, we’re shining a light on some of these Australian science superheroes with a new tag – #AusScienceHeroes.
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Dr Tim Dargaville, ARC Future Fellow, Queensland University of Technology, QLD
1) What is your science superpower?
I can join millions of molecules together to make plastics using just my hands (wearing gloves of course). These plastics have superpowers of their own, including the ability to be molded into 3D shapes to be used as implantable devices into the body.
2) The year is 2030. How has life changed as a result of your research?
We’ve developed a plastic film that changes shape when you fire electrons at it. These are used in lightweight space-based telescope mirrors.
We also use a new vaccine delivery technology for animals, which can be implanted into the skin to deliver booster shots. The animal only needs to be caught once!
3) What drew you to science originally?
It was a year 12 experiment making nylon – I loved the idea that you could join molecules too small to see together to create something you could touch, and had a use and value. My first job was with David Solomon (plastic banknote inventor), who was a great inspiration.
4) When you’re not wearing your science superhero cape, what do you get up to?
By far my greatest experiment is a tissue engineering one – that of my daughter! When not doing science I love to spend time with her and the family.