Pradeep is a third-year chemical engineering PhD candidate based at the University of Sydney researching into the application of reaction nanocatalysts to convert CO2 into more useful fuels and chemicals to address the urgent climate challenge as quickly as possible. His supervisor is Professor Jun Huang. After recently completing several laboratory experiments involving the use of low-cost and highly active Ruthenium-Carbon catalysts to convert CO2 into CH4 and CO, he is currently working as well with Professor Catherine Stampfl from the School of Physics in simulating the reaction processes to understand in more detail how this catalyst behaves at nano-level. This way, the catalytic behaviour can both be well-understood and further optimized to ensure more CO2 conversion and higher amounts of desired product. From this, this project is also hoped to be industrially viable and economically feasible, which will therefore require further consideration as part of this research project.
Pradeep has held various internships to help him shape his understanding of the engineering realm that constantly surrounds him, which has also been beneficial to how he sees the gaps in his PhD research. Outside of the computer/lab, he enjoys various co-curricular activities, such as teaching, STEM outreach, humanitarian work (e.g., in Timor-Leste), writing (for iChemE), music (bass guitar), chess, languages (some proficiency in German and Swedish) and the outdoors. Pradeep is passionate about resolving the climate crisis and hopes that a globally collaborative effort can be made in improving awareness about the current climate situation to thereby ensure a more positive and environmentally-friendly future. He also hopes that his involvement within the IMNIS mentoring program will widen his professional network and potential future opportunities in this field.
Interview with Pradeep: https://omny.fm/shows/pitch-your-phd/converting-co2-with-pradeep-murthy