For June 2016 we shine the Student Success Story spotlight on Sujith Kalluri – a PhD researcher at the Institute for Superconducting and Electronic Materials at the University of Wollongong.
Sujith’s research focuses on preparing low-cost, safe and industrial-scale electrode materials for lithium-ion and sodium-ion batteries. He has a special research interest in examining structure-electrochemistry relationships using advanced in-situ crystallographic techniques at the Australian Synchrotron and Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO). His expertise also covers designing and implementing prototypes of lithium-ion and sodium-ion pouch-type full cells.
What 3 secrets of success can you share with other students?
Planning: It’s important to have a clear understanding of the current situation and map out your future research plan. Successful planning is the bridge between problems and solutions, and it keeps me on track to do the right things, the right way. Whether you’re writing a research proposal or planning a holiday, proper planning means you get to enjoy the fruits of your labour. Plan well and be pleasant at it.
Timely execution: Timely execution is the combined skill of time management and successful execution strategy. By coordinating both, you can reach the outcome you desire. Timely execution and smartness is critical in addressing various research problems. Be attentive and smart in your execution.
Professional networking and collaboration: Regardless of where you work, you will constantly be looking for tools and resources to help improve your skills. Constant learning is a crucial part of your professional development. Professional networking through events or LinkedIn are great ways to interact with experts in your field and helps in propelling your professional and interpersonal skills. I have volunteered at various research events and industry conferences both in Australia and overseas, and can vouch for the networking opportunities it presents. Be a professional team mate.
What was your highlight of the Excellerate student program?
Firstly, I am deeply grateful to the team at Excellerate Australia for their continuous support during my PhD under the supervision of Professors Zaiping Guo and Shi Xue Dou at the University of Wollongong.
One of my highlights is Excellerate Australia’s PhD professional development program. Under this program, I was fortunate enough to spend 9 months in South Korea on an internship at Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) under the mentorship of Prof. Jaephil Cho. Whilst there, I was lucky to work with leading scientists in the field of rechargeable lithium-ion batteries from UNIST and industry giants Samsung and LG, working on developing high energy density lithium-ion cells. This opportunity shifted my research standards from laboratory-scale to industrial standards and helped me develop into an independent researcher.
Furthermore, it is my pleasure to volunteer as member-secretary in Excellerate Australia’s PhD Professional Development Committee, which organises professional development events for industry PhD students. Lastly, my suggestion to other students is to be in regular contact with Excellerate Australia and grab any opportunity that comes your way.
What do you hope to achieve in 5 years?
In 5 years’ time, I would like to work with automobile or battery manufacturing firms and establish high voltage and high energy density lithium-based battery technology for future smart and efficient electric vehicles.
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Find out more about Excellerate Australia.