Researcher biography

I am a Professor in polymer processing in Chemical Engineering, an Adjunct Group Leader in the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN), a chief investigator in Advanced Materials Processing and Manufacturing (AMPAM) centre and a founding member of UQ Plastics.

I work at the translational research interface between universities and industry. Specifically my research involves rheology, processing and product design of bio-based materials, polymers and nanocomposite materials. I have worked in industry (SRI international, Sola Optical, Moldflow), have worked in four cooperative research centres (CRCs -Food Packaging, Sugar Innovation, Polymers and Fighting Food Waste), have acquired and managed continuous government and industry research projects since 1994, was heavily involved in the spinoff of Plantic Technologies from the CRC food packaging in 2002 (and ongoing research support with them until 2016), and was involved in the research that led to the TenasiTech (TPU nanocomposite) spinoff from UQ in 2007. I have led translational research projects in biopolymers and biofluid platforms for agrifood, biomedical and high-value manufacturing sectors which have attracted more than $14 million in government and industry funding; and produced patents, licences and new industrial know-how.

I am a fellow of the institute of chemical engineers (IChemE) and a fellow of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI). I am on the editorial board of the Plastics, Rubbers and Composites, Starch, the Journal of Renewable Materials, Green Materials and Functional Composite Materials-Springer-Nature. I have experience on the boards of the UQ Dow Centre, the UQ RTA Centre, and the UQ-HBIS Sustainable Steel Innovation Centre. I won IChemE Shedden Uhde Award and Prize for excellence in Chemical Engineering (2004), the CRC Sugar innovation award (2008), the CRCPolymers Chairman's award for research and commercialisation (2011), and have received the CRC Association Technology Transfer Award, twice, in 2002 and 2015.

Research:

Current projects are focused on developing new sustainable and bio-based polymers and biochemicals from formulation through to degradation/disposal, understanding processing of nanostructured polymers, developing smarter biopolymers and materials for biomedical, drug delivery, food and high value applications, understanding rheology and processing of a range of polymer, foods and liquids and is involved in new initiatives in circular plastics.

Teaching and Learning:

My teaching has spanned Introduction to Engineering Design, Engineering Thermodynamics, Polymer Engineering, Process Economics, Research Thesis and Engineering Management. I am developing courses in Sustainability and the Circular Economy. My overall teaching goal is to be a relevant, well organised, enthusiastic and empathetic enabler of learning using multiple teaching and learning modes, and be highly connected to current industrial practices and cutting edge research.

International links

I have been a visiting or invited professor at ENSICAEN-University Normandy, University of Nottingham, Queen's University Belfast, the University of Strasbourg and Institut national des sciences appliquées (INSA) de Lyon in France. I have strong international collaborations with the US Department of Agriculture, Albany, USA; Colorado School of Mines, USA; AnoxKaldnes, Sweden; University of Bradford, University of Warwick, University of Nottingham, University of Sheffield, UK, SCION, NZ; Michigan State University, USA, and many Australian universities.