After completing her PhD in 2002 at the Silesian University of Technology in Poland, Dr Wagner moved to Massey University in New Zealand to complete postdoctoral research. From there, Dr Wagner then joined UOW in 2007 where she has continued her research under the direction of Distinguished Professor Gordon Wallace and Professor David Officer.
“My research from the last 15 years is purely related to energy. Within this sector I have worked on different projects from solar cells and fuel cells to different types of electrolysers. Currently I am working on electrochemical CO2 reduction and electrolysers for hydrogen generation”, Dr Wagner said.
UOW spin-out company Hysata has been working in collaboration with university researchers to commercialise and accelerate the world’s shift away from fossil fuels to green hydrogen by delivering the world’s most efficient, simple and reliable electrolyser.
Working with the IPRI and Hysata teams, Dr Wagner has been using the process of electrochemical water splitting to produce hydrogen with the intention of transitioning lab work into an evidence-based practicality.
“In this new design, the production of hydrogen is much cheaper as this process is very efficient and the system is simplified, lowering the cost of the hydrogen.”
“This is the first time in my life where I can see a real translation of research from the lab bench into the real world”, Dr Wagner said.
The project originated in 2021 at UOW, in the research led by Professor Gerry Swiegers, which produced a breakthrough design of a new electrolysis cell with exceptional efficiency of water splitting.
The collaborative nature of this project between the university and Hysata has enabled researchers to engage with industry experts to create a device that has the ability to impact change within the green energy sector in a cost-effective way.
As a woman working in STEM, Dr Wagner has experienced immense support from the university and institute Directors over the years, allowing her flexible work arrangements to accommodate her specific needs.
“The goodwill and the support over those years has been extremely helpful”, Dr Wagner said.
Although there are extensive opportunities for collaboration and engagement between AIIM, IPRI and other projects, Dr Wagner remains passionate about the energy sector and sees her foreseeable future continuing in this line of work, but she is open to new projects in the future.
“I will probably continue to work with energy because that is my field, but I am open to change”, Dr Wagner said.
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