AUSTRALIA’S NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY ORGANISATION
Research Field: Material Science
Every tissue, tendon and organ in your body is made up of one of nature’s very own building blocks –
collagen. Collagen is strong and elastic and its physical properties often determine the tissue’s
performance. Dr Katie Sizeland explores the nanostructure and physical properties of collagen in
materials such as replacement heart valves, medical scaffolds for burns and wound repair, and
leather. By understanding the complex hierarchical structure and biomechanical performance of
collagen in these medical and agricultural materials it is possible to work out what makes them
stronger. Katie’s research, in collaboration with industry partners, enables manufacturing processes
to be manipulated and in doing so, creates stronger, higher performing, higher quality products.
Katie’s extensive community engagement spans online and social media, outreach and science
communication with public audiences including numerous targeted events for secondary schools,
STA’s Superstars of STEM program, and media interactions including a recent live TV interview. Dr
Katie Sizeland was awarded her PhD in Engineering from Massey University in 2016 and is currently a
Research Program Manager and Scientist in Human Health at ANSTO.