The winner of the $30,000 cash prize received the distinction following her work in using nanotechnology to predict the interaction of artificial nanoparticles with the natural environment. According to Mercedes, further research into this field may provide solutions to some of mankind’s biggest environmental problems.
"Dr. Barnard has developed a very important approach to the study of these risks that may enable modelling of specific risks for the expanding array of nano-materials. Perhaps more importantly her approach may provide a way to utilise the advantages of nano-materials in ways that avoid the risks," the jury motivated its decision.
"Dr. Barnard is a young scientist who has not been afraid to publicly discuss the potential risks as well as the advantages and to communicate her work to non-specialist audiences, engaging in an open dialogue that will be essential if the potential new industries from nano-materials are to gain market acceptance."
Mercedes' Environmetal Research program calls for a $20 million investment in research and development everyday, Daimler says. A large part of that investment is spent on technologies for clean and environmentally friendly vehicles.
“Locally in a partnership with Climate Positive we have developed an innovative program that incorporates 115% carbon offset with renewable energy and tree planting and an education program through Mercedes-Benz passenger car ownership,” David McCarthy, Mercedes Benz Australia Pacific manager said.