Toxic gases are released in industrial applications, and are a big contributor
to industrial pollution. At high concentrations, they can cause severe illness,
damage to living tissue, and even death. Since many toxic gases are invisible
and odourless, sensing instruments are required to detect leaks and direct
personnel to evacuate the area.
A/Prof Silvester is selectively designing functionality of electrolyte materials
and electrode surfaces to target and respond to specific gases below their
permissible exposure levels. Her research can be used to help design improved
gas sensing devices that are low cost, miniaturized, portable, sensitive and
selective, resulting in improved workplace safety for personnel who may be
exposed to toxic gases.
Debbie actively communicates and promotes science to wide audiences,
discussing her research and general science to primary and high school
children, as well as participating on women in STEM panels. A/Prof Silvester
received her DPhil from the University of Oxford in 2008, and is currently ARC
Future Fellow at Curtin University.