Mr Daniel Duke


Mr Daniel Duke
Mr Daniel Duke

2011 Fulbright Nuclear Science and Technology Scholar

 “Sprays are everywhere, but very little is understood about how they work. Sprays result from the disintegration of a flowing liquid due to turbulent hydrodynamic and surface tension forces and as such are extremely complex. They may be one of the most challenging problems facing scientists today.”

Daniel Duke, PhD candidate at Monash University has won the inaugural Fulbright Scholarship in Nuclear Science and Technology sponsored by the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO).

Through his Fulbright, Daniel will go to Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois to use pioneering Synchrotron X-ray techniques developed in the US in combination with the methods he has been developing during his PhD to attain a better understanding of the formation of sprays.

“As well as being an enticing intellectual challenge, I want to study sprays because they are important to so many areas. Sprays are employed to deliver drugs, coat surfaces with chemicals and paints, apply pesticides to crops, and to mix air and fuel in internal combustion engines and jet engines, to name just a few areas,” Daniel said.

“Ever-increasing demands for efficiency in delivering the appropriate dose of a chemical via spray are pushing the limits of our understanding. Consider the delivery of pesticides to agricultural crops. Limited supply of expensive chemicals is a huge factor in the cost of food production. Yet a large portion of the pesticide never reaches the crop and is blown away because the applicators cannot deliver an optimum droplet size.”

“An improved understanding of sprays will allow us to make a seismic shift in thinking; from design by chance to design for a purpose. This will lead to world-changing innovations in so many areas. We can reduce pollution and greenhouse emissions through the development of cleaner diesel engines. Millions of people in developing nations will also benefit directly from more affordable and available food and medicine. More than ever we need to make this shift, and it is now within our grasp.”

Daniel has a BE (Honours)/BTech (Aero) from Monash University, and is in his 3rd year of postgraduate study at the Laboratory for Turbulence Research in Aerospace & Combustion. He is a member of the Golden Key Academic Honour Society, and has won awards including Dux of School, School Captain of Music, an Outstanding Academic Achievement Award, and the Monash Prize. His interests include playing trumpet, writing jazz music, cooking, art and politics.

The prestigious Fulbright program is the largest educational scholarship of its kind, created by U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright and the U.S. Government in 1946. Aimed at promoting mutual understanding through educational exchange, it operates between the U.S. and 155 countries. In Australia, the scholarships are funded by the Australian and U.S. Governments and corporate partners and administered by the Australian-American Fulbright Commission in Canberra.

Daniel is one of 26 talented Australians to be recognised as a Fulbright Scholar in 2011. Applications for Fulbright Scholarships in 2012 open on 1 June, visit