A $1.5 million gift from the Trevor and Judith St Baker Family Foundation will help electrify green technology research at The University of Queensland (UQ).
The gift will establish a visiting fellowship that will bring a world-leading expert to UQ to advance environmentally friendly transport options – known as ‘e-mobility’.
UQ Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Peter Høj said the gift would accelerate Brisbane’s position as a hub of electric vehicle charging technology and manufacturing.
“Thanks to the generosity of Trevor and Judith St Baker, UQ will continue to develop promising green energy technology here in Brisbane,” he said.
“The visiting fellow will contribute to the global research initiative Rapid Switch Project, finding solutions to help reduce global reliance on carbon-based fuels and products.
“This partnership exemplifies the cross-disciplinary nature of the green technology research that UQ is involved in alongside our partners in education, industry and philanthropy.”
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said green energy investment was electrifying the Queensland economy.
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“As a result of investment in green energy Brisbane has become a global leader in e-mobility technology and manufacturing,” Mr Bailey said.
“Brisbane-based e-mobility firm Tritium currently produces the world’s smallest DC fast charger for electric vehicles and has captured eight per cent of the global electric vehicle charger market.
“Investment in green technology – like this gift from the St Bakers – will help Brisbane develop further into a thriving centre for sustainable energy research, development and production.”
Mr St Baker is renowned for his investments in innovative technologies that are environmentally sustainable and economically beneficial.
Since founding one of Australia’s largest energy retail and generation companies, ERM Power Limited from an energy consulting practice and family-owned enterprise, Mr St Baker has gone on to fund innovative companies that are moulding the future of power in Australia.
Mr St Baker said he believed Australia’s transition to a sustainable low-emission electronically driven energy industry required a wider range of research, development and technological leadership.
“The electrification of the transport sector has the potential to radically change how people procure and manage energy resources for all their needs.”
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“We want to continue to ensure the best and brightest minds in Australia are given optimal opportunity to be part of the global knowledge economy in the transport sector, and to shape a sustainable future.”
“My wife Judith and I are proud to support an initiative that will promote international collaboration and growth in a sustainable energy industry in Australia.” he said.
The Tritium e-Mobility Visiting Fellowship will be named after Tritium, a Brisbane-based e-mobility company and manufacturer of electric vehicle chargers, of which Mr St Baker is the chairman.
Tritium employs more than 200 staff and exports to 24 countries.
Tritium’s manufacturing has remained in Brisbane, providing opportunities for a wide range of professionals developing technologies for the uptake of e-mobility.
The fellowship is a collaboration between the St Baker Energy Innovation Fund, UQ, Tritium, and The University of New South Wales (UNSW) Energy Institute, where the visiting fellow and researchers will spend part of their time in Australia.