Nuclear physicist and engineer Dr Stefania Peracchi on the University of Wollongong campus.

UOW graduate a finalist in 2023 Global Australian Awards

UOW graduate a finalist in 2023 Global Australian Awards

Dr Stefania Peracchi recognised for her space radiation research

University of Wollongong (UOW) graduate Dr Stefania Peracchi has been named as a finalist in the Global Talent category of the 2023 Global Australian Awards.

The 2023 award winners will be announced at a ceremony on Wednesday night (13 September 2023) at UOW’s Sydney CDB Campus and livestreamed.

The Global Australian Awards, presented by Advance, celebrate Australians making an impact on the global stage. They recognise “global Australians” – including those living and working overseas, international alumni of Australian universities, and recent migrants to the country – who are innovating in their field and shaping the world.

Dr Peracchi, a nuclear physicist and engineer, was awarded a PhD from UOW’s Centre for Medical Radiation Physics and now works as an Accelerator Beamline Scientist at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, conducting research that is helping put Australia on the frontline of space innovation.

“I work with the particle accelerator to investigate the space radiation effects on anything that needs to be sent to space, from electronics device to shielding materials and also biological samples, because everything that needs to be sent to space can be affected by space radiation,” she said.

“When we go to space, we are facing a very different and challenging environment, therefore trying to understand on earth and reproduced on earth this scenario – bring space to this planet – to be sure that once we go there, we know exactly what's going on.”

Dr Peracchi is also translating her knowledge of accelerator operation to deliver unique instruments and technologies to researchers and industry in the field of particle therapy, aiming to combat cancer.

An Italian by birth, Dr Peracchi completed undergraduate and post-graduate studies at Milan’s scientific-technological university, Politecnico di Milano. She then worked in France as a nuclear engineer and researcher at the French Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety.

In 2017, Dr Peracchi moved to Australia to completed her PhD at UOW, investigating the development and implementation of innovative radiation detectors for safety purposes in space and avionics.

In 2020, she won UOW’s Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition in which PhD candidates have three minutes to give a presentation explaining their thesis in an informative and entertaining way. Competing against students from 53 universities across Asia-Pacific region, she was selected as one of eight finalists for the Asia-Pacific 3MT Competition, where she won the People’s Choice Award.