Professor Kylie Catchpole is a research leader and educator in the School of Engineering at the Australian National University.
Her research is on improving solar cells and creating a more resilient energy system. Her group has achieved record efficiency perovskite solar cells, and their work on direct solar-to-hydrogen generation was listed as one of the top 10 innovations by the Innovation for Cool Earth Forum (ICEF) in 2020. She has been awarded several fellowships including a Future Fellowship from the Australian Research Council and she was awarded the inaugural John Booker Medal for Engineering Science from the Australian Academy of Science. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry.
Recently she has been working to enhance students’ sense of meaning and contribution through her interdisciplinary course “Optimism and Agency in Times of Change” (https://programsandcourses.anu.edu.au/course/scnc2201, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ufcsxaxHCAc), as well as through embedding such opportunities in courses throughout the university.
My research interests are modelling of energy systems and the broader energy transition.
We are currently recruiting for PhD students in this area. At ANU PhD scholarships are very competitive and are only awarded to the top few percent of students. If this applies to you and you have a relevant background in physics, mathematics, computing or engineering please email me with your CV.
There is now overwhelming agreement that the world needs to move away from fossil fuels to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. To achieve this requires a transition of a scale that is unprecedented since the industrial revolution, a transition that has already started. Solar energy is by far the most abundant clean energy source available, and now also the cheapest. As a result solar and wind are now being installed at a higher rate globally than any other electricity generation technology. In our work we are focusing on integration of solar and wind technologies into the broader energy system, as our current system was designed around fossil fuels. This requires high level systems thinking as well as being able to model the energy system in detail. The goal is to create new pathways that can lead to future energy systems that are resilient, zero-emissions, and low cost.