The Early Career Researchers (ECRs) in Decarbonisation Research event held jointly by the University of Sydney (USyd) and the University of New South Wales (UNSW) on October 31st was a resounding success, drawing over 130 registrants and featuring 30 compelling research poster submissions. Hosted at the University of Sydney, the event brought together a diverse group of emerging researchers to share insights and innovations in the critical field of decarbonisation.

The event boasted an impressive lineup of keynote speakers, including Professor Emma Johnston, the DVCR at USyd; Deanna D’Alessandro, Director of USyd’s Net Zero initiative (NZI); David Eyre, CEO of UNSW’s Institute for Industrial Decarbonisation; and Mark Lewis, a senior member at the NSW Decarbonisation Innovation Hub. These thought leaders provided valuable perspectives on the current state and future directions of decarbonisation efforts.

The ECR speakers further enriched the event with their expertise across various disciplines. Penelope Crossley from USyd Law School explored the crucial role of lawful policy in shaping the landscape of renewable energy. Patrick Burr, representing UNSW School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, delved into the potential contributions of nuclear energy to the decarbonisation agenda. Alison Ciesla, hailing from UNSW School of Photovoltaics and Renewable Energy Engineering, provided a comprehensive overview of the status quo and future prospects of solar energy. Shan Zhou, from USyd Business School, addressed the importance of renewable energy reporting and management in the broader context of sustainable business practices. Finally, Weibin Liang, a researcher at USyd School of Chemical Engineering, shared insights into the design of new materials for CO2 conversion, showcasing the innovative approaches being taken to tackle one of the central challenges in decarbonisation.

The event organised by Drs Emma Lovell (UNSW) and Eason (Yi-Sheng) Chen (USyd) received the support from the NZI, the ARC Training Centre for the Global Hydrogen Economy (GlobH2E), and both universities’ Faculty of Engineering. This event aims to serve as an annual platform for knowledge exchange, networking, and collaboration among early career researchers in the decarbonisation space. With a wealth of diverse perspectives and cutting-edge research showcased, the gathering at the University of Sydney and the University of New South Wales demonstrated the commitment of these institutions to advancing the crucial field of decarbonisation.