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APEC-Australia Women in Research
Fellowship 2022
Dr. Bidhari Pidhatika
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Economy: Republic of Indonesia

Host Institution: Flinders University

Project Title: Plasma treatments for strong adhesion between bioplastics and natural colourants

Project Outline:

According to a critical literature overview on the role of plastics concerning the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, it was clear that plastics play important roles in modern society, sustainable development, and the success of the 2030 Agenda. Research and development of new solutions/ materials were one of the future scenarios outlined in decreasing the negative impacts of plastics on the environment. Indonesia's imports from Australia of Plastics

and articles was US$61.94 Million during 2019, according to the United Nations COMTRADE database. It is the responsibility of both countries to take part in the research and development of new solutions/materials to minimize the negative impact of plastics. In the proposed project, the effect of surface modification of the starch-based plastics with natural colourants on the multifunctionality of the surface of the plastics (non-fouling, antibacterial properties, etc) will be assessed. While the substrates (starch) and natural colourants (surface modifier) are abundant in Indonesia, we lack experts and laboratory facilities in plasma technology, which is a highly interesting emerging technology for surface modifications of various substrates. A successful project in this direction will foster ongoing collaboration and cooperation between Australia and Indonesia, which can be initially started from this APEC-Australia Women in Research Fellowship.


Reasons for applying for fellowship:

My ambition upon return is to become a world-known Professor in polymer technology and surface science that contributes to the exploration of the mega biodiversity in Indonesia, the world’s SDGs, and the success of the 2030 Agenda. Local and international collaborative networks are keys to achieving sustainable goals, as well as to recovering together and recovering stronger (in line with the G20 Presidency theme 2022). Performing the international research project in Australia is one of my efforts in building the international network and aligning forces internationally.


Past Achievements:

Bidhari graduated from Universitas Gadjah Mada (Indonesia) in 2003 and from Chalmers University of Technology (Sweden) in 2006. She then joined the Laboratory for Surface Science and Technology at ETH Zürich (Switzerland) for a PhD program. ETH Zürich is one of the top universities in the world with high-quality scientific atmosphere. Prof. Marcus Textor is a well-known scientist in surface science and technology, and biointerfaces. Graduating from Prof. Textor’s group and ETH Zürich can be considered as a high achievement in this context. Bidhari has never stopped developing and strengthening her expertise and academic carrier since then. In 2011 just after her graduation from PhD program, she received the L’Oreal-UNESCO For Women in Science Fellowship with a research topic: Antimicrobial Surfaces. In 2016- 2018 she had the opportunity to carry out a prestigious (long-term) research fellowship funded by the Alexander von Humboldt (AvH) Foundation. During the AvH fellowship she was supervised by a world-class Professor in the field, that is Prof. Jürgen Rühe, in developing dual-functional (biopassive-bioactive) coatings for biomaterials. She has published numerous international publications in renowned journals with high impact factors. The author lists in her publications demonstrate that she has experience in international working atmospheres and diverse expertise with world well-known experts such as Prof. Viola Vogel (biologically oriented materials), Prof. Carsten Werner (polymer research), Prof. Henk Buscher (biomedical engineering), Dr. Rupert Konradi (Head of BASF's Joint Research Network on Advanced Materials and Systems), apart from Prof. Textor and Prof. Rühe. During the last 5 years, she has been collaborating with other

researchers, both locally and internationally. Bidhari worked for the Ministry of Industry, the Republic of Indonesia from 2003 to April 2022. In May 2022 she joined the newly formed National Research and Innovation Agency, Republic of Indonesia (BRIN Indonesia) as a senior researcher in the Research Center for Polymer Technology.

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