Liam's Notable career moments
First Research Project (Yr. 9 High School) and inspiration to become a scientist
Started chemical research at UTAS and YTS followed soon after
Worked as a Summer Scholar in chemistry at both UTAS and Australian National University
for unique dual-training
Nominated for First National Leadership Prize (TAS) for unique YTS presentations and
contribution in schools
Commenced PhD at Australian National University
About Liam Burt
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. My YTS story is always dedicated 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?’.
During my time in chemistry I have worked with over half of elements on the periodic table. My
laboratory time has produced: species that change colour in different solutions, gels from sunlight,
rings that break symmetry rules found in nature, drug precursors from Tasmanian plants using a coffee
machine, and molecules that have electrons distributed in regions that look like DNA (Like what?!).
Wonderous sights are common place in my lab, everyday we make the extraordinary become ordinary,
and I love chasing my primary goal of (literally) Mastering the Elements. They all have different
personalities—Palladium is the dynamic athlete, while Osmium is a wise-old-owl, and Cobalt just
wants to hang out with its buddies! I love getting to know their likes/dislikes and how I can harness
each of their unique abilities.
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