Engineering, Study, Thailand

Creating energy from waste

October 20, 2023 - 3 min read

A Deakin PhD graduate plans to use what she learned in Australia to address environmental issues in her home country of Thailand.

‘Processing waste and creating energy are two of the world’s biggest challenges as we work towards a more sustainable future,’ Dr Apinya Chanthakett said. ‘My research looks at how we can divert household waste from landfill and use it to generate energy.’

Dr Chanthakett said moving alone to Australia was ‘very strange and scary.’ She had never heard of Geelong, where she would be studying. She credits her supervisor, engineering lecturer Dr Mohammad Taufiqul Arif, with helping her adapt. Now, she says, ‘I love Geelong. I found lovely local people. It was peaceful, and I could focus on my study. In Australia I can be myself. I can be confident and independent and present my ideas.’

‘The best part has been collaborating with others and building professional skills.’  – Dr Chanthaket

‘I didn’t want to just get the certificate but to learn how I can apply these skills in the future to find better solutions.’

‘My research involved collecting domestic waste and then analysing exactly what the waste contains,’ she said. ‘Then I used a simulation model to work out how much energy could be produced from these components. I determined the best process to generate energy with the lowest emissions and lowest price.’

‘I would like to contribute my new knowledge to my country. We still use traditional landfill. Waste-to-energy could be a very good alternative solution.’

Deakin University Vice-Chancellor Professor Iain Martin said he is proud to see students such as Dr Chanthakett make a positive impact in their local communities.

’Our graduates leave with not only the knowledge they need but also a creative mindset, ready to tackle the world’s challenges,’ Professor Martin said. ’Deakin’s commitment to innovation ensures our graduates are equipped to make a difference and help create a better future.’

Dr Chanthakett’s work is an ideal example of Deakin’s focus on sustainability. Through environmental education, innovative research and climate-ready campuses, Deakin is committed to building a sustainable, wonderful world.

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