Alicia Prithiraj | Material-life Science Award | Women Researcher Award

Mrs. Alicia Prithiraj | Material-life Science Award | Women Researcher Award

Mrs. Alicia Prithiraj, University of Pretoria, South Africa

Alicia Prithiraj is a seasoned Senior Reliability Engineer and PhD candidate with expertise in chemical engineering, particularly in reliability engineering, data analysis, and risk management. πŸ› οΈ With a background in materials science and environmental engineering, she has made significant contributions to industry, notably in combating biofilm-related corrosion. Alicia’s dedication to solving complex industry challenges is evident in her extensive research, academic publications, and presentations at global conferences. 🌐 Her dynamic approach, coupled with hands-on experience at Sasol Chemicals, reflects her commitment to driving innovation and efficiency in plant operations. πŸŒ±πŸ”¬


Publication Profile


Alicia Prithiraj’s educational journey is marked by a relentless pursuit of knowledge and expertise in chemical engineering. πŸ“š Starting from her secondary education at Hoerskool Secunda, where she excelled academically while actively participating in extramural activities like tennis and science expos. She further honed her skills at Vaal University of Technology, completing a Chemical Engineering Diploma with in-service training. πŸŽ“ Subsequently, she earned a Bachelor’s in Technology and a Master’s degree, graduating with distinction, focusing on materials science, water systems, and microbial corrosion. Currently, she is on the cusp of completing her PhD at the University of Pretoria, specializing in industrial water systems and biofilm-related corrosion. πŸŒ±πŸ”¬


Professional Experience

Alicia Prithiraj served as a dedicated Reliability Engineer, demonstrating exceptional proficiency and leadership. 🏭 Her responsibilities encompassed a wide array of critical tasks, including the use of monitoring tools to devise effective strategies, managing spares studies, and preparing comprehensive monthly reports on reliability engineering. πŸ“Š Alicia’s expertise extended to asset management, risk-based inspections, and root cause failure analysis, contributing significantly to enhancing plant reliability and operational efficiency. πŸ’Ό Additionally, her involvement in chemical engineering tasks, project management, and her groundbreaking PhD work showcases her multifaceted capabilities and commitment to excellence. 🌟

Research Focus

Alicia Prithiraj’s research focus primarily revolves around the intricate interplay between microbiology and materials science in industrial settings, particularly in the context of heat exchangers. πŸ”¬ Her studies delve into multispecies colonization and surface erosion on industry-finished steel, such as A106 GB steel, shedding light on the corrosion mechanisms and metabolic effects of bacterial consortia commonly found in petrochemical processing plants. 🌱 Through her investigations, she aims to develop kinetic growth models, understand corrosion behaviors of various steel types, and propose mitigation strategies to combat biofouling and corrosion, ultimately contributing to the advancement of materials engineering in challenging environments. πŸ› οΈ



Cheng-FeiCao | Functional Composite Materials | Best Researcher Award

Dr. Cheng-FeiCao | Functional Composite Materials | Best Researcher Award

Dr. Cheng-FeiCao, University of Southern Queensland, Australia

πŸŽ“ Cheng-Fei Cao, a research fellow at USQ’s Centre for Future Materials, earned his PhD in Materials Engineering in Jan. 2024 under Prof. Hao Wang’s mentorship. Specializing in functional polymeric nanocomposites, bio-inspired film materials, and flame-retardant coatings, he’s a prolific author with 25 publications in top-tier journals like ACS Nano. With 1,600+ citations and an H-index of 17, his research on smart fire alarm sensors has made a significant impact. πŸ“šπŸ”¬

Publication Profile:



Google Scholar


Cheng-Fei Cao earned his PhD in Materials Engineering from the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) in January 2024. His doctoral research focused on functional polymeric nanocomposites, bio-inspired film materials, multifunctional flame-retardant coatings, and smart fire alarm sensors.


Currently, Cheng-Fei Cao serves as a research fellow at the Centre for Future Materials, USQ, Australia. Under the guidance of Prof. Hao Wang, Editor-in-Chief of Composites Part B: Engineering, he conducts research in advanced materials science, particularly in the aforementioned areas of expertise.

Academic Achievements:

Throughout his academic journey, Cheng-Fei Cao has co-authored 25 peer-reviewed publications in esteemed international journals like ACS Nano, Adv. Funct. Mater., and Adv. Sci. His research has garnered significant attention, accumulating over 1,600 citations and boasting an H-index of 17 according to Google Scholar. These achievements underscore his contributions to the advancement of materials engineering and his standing within the academic community.

Research Focus:

Cheng-Fei Cao’s research focus lies in the development of innovative materials for fire detection and prevention. 🧯 His work primarily revolves around creating efficient flame detection and early warning sensors using advanced coatings and nanomaterials. Through his studies, he explores the design and fabrication of flame-retardant materials with enhanced functionalities, such as temperature responsiveness and mechanical flexibility. Cao’s contributions extend to bio-inspired approaches for sustainable fire protection and warning systems. With a keen interest in functional polymeric nanocomposites and smart sensor technology, he endeavors to advance fire safety measures with cutting-edge solutions. πŸ”₯πŸ”¬

Publication Top Notes:

  1. Efficient flame detection and early warning sensors on combustible materials using hierarchical graphene oxide/silicone coatings πŸ“ Published in ACS nano in 2018, cited 231 times.
  2. Facile and green fabrication of flame-retardant Ti3C2Tx MXene networks for ultrafast, reusable and weather-resistant fire warning πŸ“ Published in Chemical Engineering Journal in 2022, cited 158 times.
  3. Temperature-responsive resistance sensitivity controlled by L-ascorbic acid and silane co-functionalization in flame-retardant GO network for efficient fire early-warning response πŸ“ Published in Chemical Engineering Journal in 2020, cited 137 times.
  4. Silane grafted graphene oxide papers for improved flame resistance and fast fire alarm responseπŸ“ Published in Composites Part B: Engineering in 2019, cited 137 times.
  5. Facile and green synthesis of mechanically flexible and flame-retardant clay/graphene oxide nanoribbon interconnected networks for fire safety and prevention πŸ“ Published in Chemical Engineering Journal in 2021, cited 124 times.
  6. Design of mechanically stable, electrically conductive and highly hydrophobic three-dimensional graphene nanoribbon composites by modulating the interconnected network on … πŸ“ Published in Composites Science and Technology in 2019, cited 97 times.
  7. Fire intumescent, high-temperature resistant, mechanically flexible graphene oxide network for exceptional fire shielding and ultra-fast fire warning πŸ“ Published in Nano-Micro Letters in 2022, cited 92 times.
  8. Smart fire-warning materials and sensors: Design principle, performances, and applications πŸ“ Published in Materials Science and Engineering: R: Reports in 2022, cited 90 times.
  9. One-step and green synthesis of lightweight, mechanically flexible and flame-retardant polydimethylsiloxane foam nanocomposites via surface-assembling ultralow content of … πŸ“ Published in Chemical Engineering Journal in 2020, cited 89 times.
  10. Bio-inspired, sustainable and mechanically robust graphene oxide-based hybrid networks for efficient fire protection and warning πŸ“ Published in Chemical Engineering Journal in 2022, cited 86 times.