China's Minister for Science and Technology, His Excellency Dr Wan Gang, has complimented Australia on its commitment to innovative technological research during a visit to UNSW.

Minister Wan visited the School of Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering (SPREE) and attended a NSW Government-organised Innovative Materials Roundtable, where he heard from leading Australian researchers, during his visit on Monday, March 21.

During his visit to SPREE, Minister Wan met with ARC Executive Research Director of the Photovoltaics Centre of Excellence, Scientia Professor Martin Green and Head of School Dr Richard Corkish. The Minister toured the lab where UNSW's world-record breaking 25 per cent efficient silicon solar cell was developed and spoke with Chinese postgraduate students about their work.

Professor Green said the Minister's visit was an important opportunity to showcase the work being done at UNSW and would hopefully build on the existing cooperation between China and Australia.

"There are great opportunities for Australia and China to work together at international level on solar energy research, technology transfer and training and I'm keen to further strengthen collaboration in this area in the future," he said.

Dr Corkish said it was "an honour to host one of the most important decision makers in science and technology in China - a country where so much of the world's development of solar technologies is taking place".

During the Roundtable, UNSW Scientia Professor Veena Sahajwalla, of the Centre for Sustainable Materials, Research and Technology, gave a presentation of her work on use of waste plastics in "green steelmaking". Researchers from the University of Sydney and the University of Wollongong gave presentations on nanomaterials characterisation and superconducting materials respectively.

Minister Wan said: "I am impressed by the commitment shown by Australian universities to these new technologies and that so many Chinese graduates have benefited from this expertise. In particular, I should point out that the pioneering Renewable Energy program set up by UNSW over 10 years ago and led by Professor Martin Green is an excellent example of Australian innovation and shows how Australia and China can work together to create new fields of technology and opportunity."

Also attending with Minister Wan was the newly appointed Chinese Consul-General to Sydney, Duan Jielong, on his first official visit to an Australian university.

Media Contact: Peter Trute, UNSW Media Office | 02 9385 1933 |