Devi Dwijayanthi Liana

(1st Year PhD Nano.)

BSc. Nanotechnology Hons class 1 (2012) – University Medallist in Nanotechnology 2012 

It is always a tough question when someone ask me why I chose to study science /nanotechnology. During high school I always knew that I was going to take on a science degree because science can provide many opportunities and being a science student is very awesome. But I never thought I was going to study nanotechnology, simply because I never knew such a major existed at the time; no university back in my home country (Indonesia) offered this major. I remembered one of my teachers during foundation year introduced me to nanotechnology, and he told me that nanotechnology is the future science. At that time I thought this was very interesting since you are dealing with very small sized molecules that you cannot see with the naked eye. UNSW is my first choice because it is recognised as a pioneer of nanotechnology and it offers a full 4 years degree including honours years.

So here I am in my first year PhD after finishing my undergraduate studies in nanotechnology at UNSW. As an undergraduate nanotechnology student, it was never easy since nanotechnology is a multidisciplinary field. We learnt 4 different subjects (chemistry, biology, material science and physics) and we always had the most number of exams compared to other students from different majors. But in the third and fourth year, the study became more specialised so we could focus on the field that we were most interested in.  I feel so lucky that I learnt nanotechnology because I have a much broader knowledge and understanding in science and it helps me a lot in my current PhD studies since my project involves these four disciplines. Within nanotechnology, my main interest is developing a low-cost biosensor using cheap materials such as paper and using nanotechnology to fabricate the sensing system such that it can provide a fast and accurate diagnostics for health care and environmental monitoring. I strongly believe that nanotechnology will bring a huge impact to the world and quality of human life. In the future, I am hoping to be one of the great scientists who can develop innovative sensors at the small scale which can lead to significant improvements in health related applications.