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Patrick Burr | Nuclear Materials

Patrick Burr

Nuclear power needs comparatively few resources. That means less mining, less processing, less transport, less land use, and less waste - far less in fact than any other energy technology.

Patrick Burr

Nuclear fusion promises to provide humankind with abundant, carbon-free, reliable energy for millennia. But harnessing the power of the sun right here on earth is no easy feat. While scientists have managed to achieve fusion reactions, they’ve only lasted milliseconds and produced just enough energy to boil a kettle. The problem? The materials needed to withstand the extreme temperatures of the fusion process don’t exist.  

Patrick Burr is working to solve this problem by designing new materials that will not only enable sustained fusion reactions, but will help make the current generation of nuclear fission reactors more efficient. Understanding how the world around us is built on an atomic level, is the first step.  

In 10 minutes, Patrick will outline how much a difference the right materials could make, resulting in better utilisation of the incredible energy density of uranium, more nuclear power, and less nuclear waste. 

Patrick Burr

Patrick Burr

Patrick Burr is an Associate Professor in the UNSW Sydney Faculty of Engineering. The aim of his research is to discover the degradation mechanisms of materials used in energy applications, to aid the design of new materials with improved resilience to degradation processes. 

His focus is on nuclear materials (fusion and fission) as these are subject to the most extreme conditions and therefore pose the greatest challenge, but he continually transfer the knowledge to solar cells, solid electrolyte fuel cells, electrochemical capacitor and batteries. 

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