Dr Bronwyn Laycock has a diverse background in translational research, working not only in academia but also in industry and as a consulting chemist, as well as at CSIRO. Her research activities have ranged from bio/degradable polymers, composites, organic and organometallic synthesis, waste conversion technologies, and pulp and paper chemistry, to general polymer chemistry. She is currently working across a range of projects with a focus on materials for circular economy applications and management of the transition to the new plastics economy. The application areas in her research program include biopolymers (particularly polyhydroxyalkanoates), polymer lifetime estimation and end-of-life management/conversion technologies, biocomposites, controlled release matrixes for pesticide and fertiliser applications, polyurethane chemistry, polymer foams, biodegradable packaging, carbon nanofibre production and peptide based conducting nanowires.
She has a strong history of successful commercialisation and impact, being a co-inventor on CSIRO’s extended wear contact lens program (recognised as it fourth most significant invention) – for which she was awarded a joint CSIRO Medal for Research Achievement 2009. As a Project Leader and Deputy Program Leader within the CRC for Polymers, she also managed a project that delivered an oxodegradable thin film polyethylene that was commercially licenced by Integrated Packaging. This work earned the team a Joint Chairman’s Award for research/commercialization (CRC for Polymers) and an Excellence in Innovation Award (CRC Association).