Adrianus ARIA, PhD in Aeronautics (Indonesia)

After obtaining his PhD from the California Institute of Technology in Aeronautics, Adrianus Aria decided to continue his specialization in nanostructure materials - his trump card to help make the world more sustainable.


Research focus: Developing robust nanostructured materials that can repel or attract fluids

Understanding the characteristics of nanomaterials could lead the charge in advancing sustainability in developed and developing countries. “Such an understanding is extremely critical to achieve the overarching goal of my research: to solve the world’s most pressing environmental challenges through the worldwide adoption of economical and environmentally friendly nanostructured materials”, Adrianus said.

More specifically, the young researcher is looking to develop nanostructure materials with extreme wetting properties. By making materials extremely hydrophobic water is repelled more effectively, making the materials self-cleaning, long-lasting and more efficient over time. In practice, these materials could be used for a sewage or drainage system. On the other side of the spectrum, by making materials extremely hydrophilic water is attracted more strongly. These materials could, for instance, be used for a moisture collector or water heating system. Adrianus is currently looking into two types of nanomaterials: graphene and carbon nanotubes (CNT) - two materials that have created quite a stir in the scientific community in the last couple of years. In fact, nanostructured materials were included in the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Emerging Technologies and ranked in the Top 10 Emerging Technologies of 2014.

Over his young career, Adrianus was awarded a Fulbright scholarship as well as the William F. Ballhaus Prize for an Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation in Aeronautics. Currently, he is working as a research associate at the University of Cambridge.

The jury was impressed by Adrianus’ already impressive achievements in this field as well as his forward-thinking and relevant plans for bringing nanomaterials into the fore as one of the Green Talents 2014.