Making sense of the unknown – researcher profile

Bodie Fuller is a PhD researcher, working with Prof. Drew Evans at the University of South Australia. His project focuses on the challenges of using batteries for remote sensing applications in agriculture.

Tell me about your research project and why it is important
Temperature is known to have significant impact on the performance, safety, and lifetime of batteries. The energy sources used in remote sensing applications today, especially agriculture, are typically commercialised lithium-ion batteries. Commercialised lithium-ion batteries are designed for use with consumer electronics such as mobile phones and laptops that are normally used indoors and in temperature-controlled environments. The ambient conditions of outdoor environments are not constant and the high power demands of wireless telemetries for remote locations lacking human traffic considerably changes the usage of the power source used. Therefore, an assessment of the performance and possible degradations of these and emerging battery chemistries is an important question in the safety and lifetime use within remote sensing.

What led you to do a PhD with storEnergy?
The people involved. In the beginning, I was unsure whether I wanted to spend another 3 years of studying to obtain a PhD due to a lack in initial confidence. It was the people involved in this research community that believed in me that I could succeed. I have rarely doubted myself since that point and I have always been assisted whenever I have reached any roadblocks whether they be mental health or physical impediment related. The compassion for its people and passion for science that this training centre possesses is the reason I will succeed.

What aspects of your work do you most enjoy?
The attempt to make sense of the unknown. As a physics and maths major, my initial instinct when I do not understand something is to model the behavior and make assumptions from that model. As we are all aware, experiments are rarely understood the first time we attempt them, I am glad that I have the solace in relying on my training that I have the tools to start that understanding. This style of thinking also bleeds into my daily life where I am confident I can tackle any challenge thrown my way.

And what do you like doing in your spare time?
My largest hobby is being a Dungeon Master for the tabletop roleplaying game Dungeons & Dragons. I have played for 7 years and in that time I have brought over 30 people of various countries, backgrounds and cultural differences together for problem solving and cooperation in order to succeed. Currently, I run a group of PhD and staff colleagues each fortnight that come from the fields of engineering, biology, physics and chemistry, who normally would have never interacted with each other, or at least would have been a rare “hello” by the coffee machine. It brings me great joy to bring these people together and to see how the minds of each contribute to problem solving and improvising solutions to fictional barriers.