PhD Intern, Mahjabeen Khan

Ultraviolet (UVC) photon light has long been known for its antimicrobial and disinfecting efficacy.

At the forefront of this UVC photon light technology is Melbourne-based medtech start-up, Mobile UV Innovations (MUVi) that designs and develops disinfection systems for hospitals, healthcare and medical sectors.

When COVID-19 led the healthcare sector to re-evaluate systems, MUVi started developing a new device that used UVC light to rapidly disinfect hospital and medical equipment, contaminated surfaces and minimise the spread of aerosol and surfaces from highly infectious multi-resistance microorganisms.

To fast-track testing, the team engaged a PhD intern through APR.Intern, with financial support from MTPConnect’s REDI Initiative, and was matched with Mahjabeen Khan from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) who specialised in microbiology.

Over a 6-month internship, with the guidance of her Academic Mentor, UNSW’s Professor Mark Willcox, Mahjabeen applied her expertise to design experiments, test and analyse the efficacy of MUVi’s new device.

Incredible results were reported, with the MUVi UVC photon light device killing approximately 99.99% of all tested microorganisms including bacteria, fungi and a COVID-19 surrogate.

“The internship was a chance to collaborate with people from different backgrounds and learn how to work in a multidisciplinary team. I also learnt how to develop reports per industry requirements, which differ from academia. I would highly recommend the APR.Intern program to others,”


Mahjabeen Khan, Former PhD Intern at MUVi

For MUVi’s Founder & CEO, Murray McDonald, the APR.Intern project was an opportunity to gain local Australian microbial research data and to build a strong pathway into Australia’s university research sector.

“APR.Intern, and the financial support we received from MTPConnect, allowed our start-up to access critical talent resources to undertake key testing data at a valued research institution [UNSW],” 


Murray McDonald, Founder & CEO of MUVi 

“The project results have the potential to create new job opportunities and bring greater benefits to sectors beyond just healthcare,” added Murray.

Following the successful internship, MUVi and UNSW have applied for two international grants to continue their innovative industry-university research.