100

Leela Dilkes-Hoffman

Class Year: 2016

Scholarship: Future Leaders

University: The University of Queensland

Connect: LinkedIn Profile

State: QLD

Position: PhD Candidate

Leela Dilkes-Hoffman

Class Year: 2016

Scholarship: Future Leaders

University: The University of Queensland

Connect: LinkedIn Profile

State: QLD

Position: PhD Candidate

Biography

I grew up in the beautiful bushlands of Margaret River and this instilled in me a love of Nature and an interest in trying to understand how we can develop an environmentally sustainable society that is compatible with our modern lifestyle. I am inspired by the concepts underpinning green chemistry, biomimicry and the circular economy.

 

In the interest of further exploring these topics, I started a PhD at the University of Queensland in 2016 and I am now in the final few months. In the PhD I focused on exploring the role of biodegradable plastics in improving the way we use and dispose of plastics. I used a multi-disciplinary approach because I believe it is important to explore such problems from multiple different perspectives. This means my research spanned from chemical engineering methodology (understanding the material properties of biodegradable plastics), through to a social science perspective (understanding the general Australian public’s attitudes towards plastics). During the PhD I also spent two periods of time working at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in the UK, a world-leading think-tank on circular economy principles and how they apply to the plastics system. This experience was made possible through my Westpac Future Leaders scholarship.

 

Before the PhD I worked as a science presenter traveling around regional Western Australia and prior to that obtained a BSc (Hons) in Chemistry and Biochemistry from the University of Western Australia, graduating as valedictorian. My favourite past-time is heading out on a meandering trail run, which always help me to think through whatever current problem I am tackling.

Skills & Expertise

  • Biodegradable polymers
  • Circular economy
  • Circular economy for plastics
  • Science communication
  • Working with children

I drove my electric car from Sydney to Brisbane (which was a challenge!) to raise awareness of the lack of infrastructure currently available to these vehicles.


Becoming a scholar

Which scholarship?

Inspired by our Westpac Scholars? Read on to find out more about our scholarship programs:

Scholarship enquiries and updates

For scholarship enquiries email: westpacscholars@westpac.com.au

 

To stay informed on all the latest scholarship activities visit news, or follow us on our dedicated social channels: