Dr Vanessa Lussini

Photo, Lussini Vanessa

Dr Vanessa Lussini

Research Scientist

Reserve Bank of Australia

In the last few years, plastics have developed a bad reputation with all the focus on the rubbish created through single use plastics. But not all plastics are bad!

Dr Vanessa Lussini has developed a love for improving everyday plastics. During her PhD at Queensland University of Technology (QUT), she developed a paint that fluoresces (glows) when it begins to degrade. This was used on Defence aircrafts to tell the engineers when to repaint, reducing oxidation (deterioration) on the metal structure. After witnessing first-hand the 2010 Brisbane Floods and the destruction of local property caused by this type of plastic, Vanessa began working with Cooperative Research Centre for Polymers. She developed an agriculture plastic that could be triggered to degrade when buried at the end of the crop season, which limits waste in farming. Her current role is as a Research Scientist at the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) in Melbourne, where her primary focus is ensuring the safety and security of Australian banknotes through the research, development and implementation of polymer security features.

From aircraft to banknotes, Vanessa is always excited to talk about great Australian scientific research. She was the first female to win the Aerospace Australia Defence Innovation Scholarship in 2015. This spring boarded her involvement with Australian media, speaking on Radio National, scientific magazine and in schools.  She has particularly enjoyed her involvement in rural outreach programs, where she talks to kids about science, and joins in their excitement for the unknown.

Electorate: Calwell
MP: Maria Vamvakinou