Liam Burt holding a hLiam Burt holding a handful of multicoloured chemicals in NMR tubesandful of multicoloured chemicals

Liam Burt

Chemist and Periodic Explorer

PhD Candidate, Organometallic Chemistry and Catalysis
Research School of Chemistry,
Australian National University

Young Tassie Scientists 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021

Having always been obsessed with learning, attending university was my dream. Growing up in North-West Tasmania, my family has always been my biggest influence by always answering the thousands of questions I had. Some of my teachers inspired me by extending and nurturing my passion for science. One of my science teachers shared his stories about his former career as an industrial chemist and that provided the greatest inspiration. This story is dedicated every year to him.

Currently, my research is working on rare and exciting molecules for the emerging field of molecular electronics. I join two different metal atoms together by a single carbon atom. I then explore their structure using X-rays, their properties using giant magnets and most importantly their electronic properties. Ultimately, I want to see ‘can two metals talk to one another through a single carbon?’.

Science is everywhere and is becoming significant part of our lives and this will extend further in the future. I want to show the next generation how cool science really is and how innovation can solve the problems of the future! Most importantly, I want to demonstrate the importance of diversity and accessibility to science. It takes all kinds of people from all over the world and that is what I love most about being a scientist, being involved in the big picture and essentially being a part of a big team.

In my spare time I enjoy heading out to the track to compete in my race car (which I largely built with some help from Dad). Just goes to show that not all scientists wear white coats, we all have alter egos.

In the spirit of #StayAtHome for COVID-19, I produced a few short online videos (below) to locate some of my favourite elements around your house! Lumps of gold in the living room? Iridium and Rhodium sitting in the garage? Radioactive actinides in your roof? Precious indium in your pocket!? No way you say! We can all be treasure hunters without leaving our at-home-lab-coat (dressing gown). Join me in the GREATEST online treasure hunting expedition (around my apartment) ever conducted!


Follow Liam on Twitter: @LiamInTheLab

Follow Liam on Instagram: @Burtasaurus


Watch Liam’s videos below!

Introducing Liam Burt: (suitable for all ages)

A day in the life of a Organometallic Chemist: (suitable for all ages)

Treasure @ Home Episode 1: (suitable for all ages)

Treasure @ Home Episode 2: (suitable for all ages)

Treasure @ Home Episode 3: (suitable for all ages)

Treasure @ Home Episode 4: (suitable for all ages)