AllChief InvestigatorsPartner InvestigatorsPostdoctoral ResearchersStudentsProfessional staffAdvisory Board
Director

Associate Professor Steven Pratt

Deputy Director

Professor Bronwyn Laycock

Theme Leader

Professor Paul Lant

Theme Leader

Professor Helen Ross

Theme Leader

Professor Ian O’Hara

Professor

Peter Halley

Dr Marguerite Renouf

Professor

Darren Martin

Dr Luigi Vandi

Associate Professor

Adrian Oehmen

Professor

Kevin Thomas

Associate Professor

Paul Jensen

Dr Lalehvash (Laleh) Moghaddam

Dr Anna Phelan

Professor

Kathryn Fairfull-Smith

Professor

William (Bill) Clarke

Dr Severine van Bommel

Professor

Peta Ashworth

Dr Lisa Pope

Mr Michael Burke

Adjunct Associate Professor

Nicholas McCaffrey

Mr Peter Brisbane

Mr Ethan He

Adjunct Professor

Alan Werker

Dr Katie Macintosh

Dr Manuel Brunner

Professor

Bronwyn Fox

Mr Mark Barthel

Dr Marcus Gover

Professor

Mathew Dargusch

Dr Clement Chan

Dr Céline Chaléat

Dr Emilie Gauthier

Dr Lisa Bai

Dr Ian Levett

Executive Committee

Dr Katrin Kockler

Dr Leela Dilkes-Hoffman

Executive Committee

Sam Lawless

Tracey Read

Mohammad Adib Ghazali Abdul Rahman

Aphra Agaba

Sumheda M. Amaraweera

Caitlin Welsh

Hannah Bennett

J. P. Sewwandi Rasanganie

Md Abir Uddin Talukdar

Ruoyu Chu

Vincent Mathel

Tien Nguyen

Marcos Pereira Morais

Tianlong Zhang

Lee Burns

Suleshi Niwarthana Abeysingha

Sita Bantha Magar

Cole Walchle

Alia Gallet–Pandellé

Mina Sharifi

No Results Found

Director

Associate Professor Steven Pratt

Associate Professor Steven Pratt is currently the Acting Head of School for the School of Chemical Engineering, known internationally for his work on the development of polyhdroxyalkanoate (PHA) bioplastics, and their associated wood-fibre composites, and nationally for his delivery of training courses to environmental professionals.

He has authored over 150 scientific publications, with his major contribution to the field of environmental biotechnology being the invention of the TOGA® Sensor for examination and control of biotech/bioprocess systems.

He leads the ARC Industrial Transformation Training Centre for Bioplastics and Biocomposites at UQ, and has won awards for his outstanding contribution to supervision and enhancing the research supervision culture.

Organisation:The University of Queensland

Subunit:School of Chemical Engineering

Position 1:Centre Director

Position 2:Chief Investigator

Position 3:Executive Committee

Deputy Director

Professor Bronwyn Laycock

Professor Bronwyn Laycock is a polymer scientist whose research seeks to address some of the challenges around global sustainability and planetary boundaries, such as plastics sustainability, nutrient recovery and efficiency, as well as plastics lifetime and impact estimation and end-of-life management.

She has a diverse background in translational research, working not only in academia but also in industry and as a consulting chemist, as well as at CSIRO. The application areas in her research program include biopolymers (particularly polyhydroxyalkanoates and other bioderived and biodegradable materials for packaging, film and other applications), polymer degradation and end-of-life management/conversion technologies, biocomposites, controlled release matrixes for pesticide and fertiliser applications, polyurethane chemistry, polymer foams, carbon nanofibre production and peptide based conducting nanowires.

She has a strong history of successful commercialisation and impact, being a co-inventor on CSIRO’s extended wear contact lens program (recognised as it fourth most significant invention) – for which she was awarded a joint CSIRO Medal for Research Achievement 2009. As a Project Leader and Deputy Program Leader within the CRC for Polymers, she also managed a project that delivered an oxodegradable thin film polyethylene that was commercially licenced by Integrated Packaging.

This work earned the team a Joint Chairman’s Award for research/commercialization (CRC for Polymers) and an Excellence in Innovation Award (CRC Association). She holds 14 patents, and has attracted more than $12.2M in grant funding since 2013.

Organisation:The University of Queensland

Subunit:School of Chemical Engineering

Position 1:Theme Leader

Position 2:Chief Investigator

Theme Leader

Professor Paul Lant

Paul Lant is a Professor in the School of Chemical Engineering at The University of Queensland. Paul has a long history of teaching, research, industry collaboration and commercialisation. He was the Head of the School from 2009-2013, during which time he led the establishment of many new teaching, research and engagement activities.

He has a history of successful start-up ventures across his portfolio of research, teaching and commercialisation. He has led many new teaching initiatives and been a key player in establishing UQ Chemical Engineering as a world leader in chemical engineering education innovation. Professor Lant has supervised more than 50 PhD students, for which he has received UQ and national teaching awards in recognition of his PhD student development approaches. He has started several commercial ventures and has been a Director of several companies.

Paul was a Founder and Director of Wastewater Futures Pty Ltd for 20 years. He also founded the UQ PHA group in 2004, which has attracted $25M in research funding. Paul is a Fellow of the IChemE and a Registered Professional Engineer Qld (RPEQ). Paul was a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors from 1998-2019.

Organisation:The University of Queensland

Subunit:School of Chemical Engineering

Position 1:Theme Leader

Position 2:Chief Investigator

Theme Leader

Professor Helen Ross

Emeritus Professor Helen Ross is an interdisciplinary social scientist (environmental psychologist and anthropologist) specialising in people-environment relationships in many contexts and cultures. In her research she focuses particularly on sustainability and resilience, and collaboration processes for natural resource management and rural development. Her many studies include research on ocean plastics, social aspects of water management, and climate change adaptation. Besides the ITTC, she is working with interdisciplinary teams studying Indigenous bushfoods, and co-designing online resources for beef producers.

Her recent studies are in Indonesia, Bolivia and Australia. She is a Fellow of the Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand, and in 2013 won the Institute’s Simon Molesworth Award for contribution to Environmental Management at national level. She is a member of Healthy Land and Water’s Scientific Experts Panel, and chairs its Social Science Experts Panel. She is the Managing Co-editor of the Australasian Journal of Environmental Management, an editorial board member of Architectural Science Reviews and International Perspectives on Psychology, and a former editorial board member of Society and Natural Resources.

She has graduated 36 PhD students and has a further eight enrolled. Over half of these are international.

Organisation:The University of Queensland

Subunit:School of Agriculture and Food Sciences

Position 1:Theme Leader

Position 2:Chief Investigator

Theme Leader

Professor Ian O’Hara

Professor Ian O’Hara is Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and a member of the Centre for Agriculture and the Bioeconomy (CAB) at Queensland University of Technology (QUT). He is a leading expert in policies, technologies and systems for the development of the bioeconomy and bio-based products including biofuels, bioenergy and biomaterials. In addition to his academic role, Ian also represents the Queensland Government as the Biofutures Industry Envoy and acts as an ambassador for Queensland’s Biofutures industry and industrial biotechnology sector.

As the Envoy, Ian provides strategic advice to government and assists in securing domestic and international investment to grow the Biofutures sector. Ian is on the International Advisory Committee for Global Bioeconomy and is a Senior Editor of EFB Bioeconomy Journal. Ian led the development of the Mackay Renewable Biocommodities Pilot Plant (MRBPP) – a unique publicly accessible pilot scale research facility in Australia for the development and demonstration of processing technologies for the manufacture of biofuels and bioproducts. Ian is a Chemical Engineer with extensive experience in research, consulting, policy development, operations management, process design and engineering.

Recent research has focussed on the technical and economic development of biofuel and bioproduct production systems including feedstock supply, bioprocessing technologies, techno-economics and systems analysis.

Organisation:Queensland University of Technology

Subunit:Faculty of Engineering

Position 1:Theme Leader

Position 2:Chief Investigator

Professor

Peter Halley

Peter Halley is a Professor in polymer processing in Chemical Engineering, a chief investigator in Advanced Materials Processing and Manufacturing (AMPAM) centre and a founding member of UQ Plastics. He works at the translational research interface between universities and industry. Specifically his research involves rheology, processing and product design of bio-based materials, polymers and nanocomposite materials.

He has 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.

He is a fellow of the institute of chemical engineers (IChemE) and a fellow of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI). He has won the 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 has received the CRC Association Technology Transfer Award, twice, in 2002 and 2015.

Organisation:The University of Queensland

Subunit:School of Chemical Engineering

Position 1:Chief Investigator

Dr Marguerite Renouf

Dr Marguerite Renouf is a Senior Research Fellow (Circular Bioeconomy) and Deputy Director at QUT’s Centre for Agriculture and the Bioeconomy (CAB). Much of her research over the last 20 years has been directed to evaluating environmental impacts and eco-efficiency opportunities for agri-based production systems (bio-fuels, bio-materials, food and beverages) using environmental life cycle assessment (LCA). She explores the changing role of agriculture for producing feedstock for energy, chemicals, fuels, plastics as well as food and fibre, and the complex systems that need to be understood for sustainable innovation in bio-based production.

She also leads the development of LCA databases and guidelines to support the use of LCA in Australia for designing sustainable product supply chains, through the Australian Life Cycle Assessment Society (www.alcas.asn.au), of which Marguerite is a Board member.

In past roles, Marguerite has also examined urban systems and the role of water for facilitating productive and sustainable cities, as a lead researcher with the CRC for Water Sensitive Cities. Prior to that, she helped build the University of Queensland’s Working Group for Cleaner Production (now operating as the Eco-Efficiency Group), which developed eco-efficiency resources for manufacturing and service industries (food processing, metal industries, retail and tourism sectors).

Organisation:Queensland University of Technology

Subunit:Faculty of Engineering

Position 1:Chief Investigator

Professor

Darren Martin

Based in the School of Chemical Engineering at The University of Queensland, Professor Darren Martin is a global leader in research and commercialisation of polyurethanes, polymer nanocomposites and renewable, biomass-derived nanomaterials. His research has led to several licensed and granted patents, with a proven track record in “end-to-end innovation”.

The Martin Group takes fundamental discoveries and learnings in materials science and biology and advances the science, engineering, regulation and translation of these technologies for the benefit of Queensland and Australia.

Organisation:The University of Queensland

Subunit:School of Chemical Engineering

Position 2:Chief Investigator

Dr Luigi Vandi

Dr Luigi Vandi is a Research Fellow in the School of Chemical Engineering. He has a background in materials science, ranging from advanced manufacturing, to end-of-life considerations. Luigi is driven by solution-based research, and in particular bringing latest innovations in materials science to the benefits of a future circular economy.

His translational research activities have a strong focus on industry relevant projects, in the fields of biocomposites manufacturing, compounding, and product development. This includes the development of novel sustainable materials based on local Australian by-products and marine-degradable biopolymers.

Organisation:The University of Queensland

Subunit:School of Chemical Engineering

Position 2:Chief Investigator

Associate Professor

Adrian Oehmen

Adrian Oehmen is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Chemical Engineering at the University of Queensland. He leads research in the area of bioprocess engineering, particularly focussing on wastewater treatment and resource recovery. His research interests include enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR or BioP), metabolic modelling, biopolymer (polyhydroxyalkanoate – PHA) production, micropollutant removal and greenhouse gas (N2O) assessment and mitigation.

He also focusses on other aspects of bioprocess engineering, including microbial encapsulation, bioprocess modelling and food and beverage applications. He has published more than 100 papers in international scientific journals, led or collaborated on more than 30 research projects (many with industry). He is active within the International Water Association (IWA), serving on specialist group and conference committees and is an Associate Editor of Water Research.

Organisation:The University of Queensland

Subunit:School of Chemical Engineering

Position 2:Chief Investigator

Professor

Kevin Thomas

Professor Kevin Thomas is Director of the Queensland Alliance for Environmental Health Sciences (QAEHS). Kevin Thomas is an environmental health scientist with a particular interest in understanding the environmental fate, behaviour, effects and risks associated with contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) with the goal of protecting environmental and human health.

His current research is focused on understanding human exposure to plastics pollution and developing analytical methods for characterizing plastics and other CECs, assessing community-wide health status through analysing wastewater (wastewater-based epidemiology), establishing alternative approaches to exposure monitoring, for example explanted silicone prostheses and wristbands.

Author of over 150 papers and book chapters and Associate Editor for the journal Science of the Total Environment, Professor Thomas is a strong collaborative researcher having co-founded the international SCORE network on sewer biomarker analysis for community health assessment (www.score-cost.eu) and as recently reported in Science is currently establishing a global emerging contaminant early warning network (http://science.sciencemag.org).

Organisation:The University of Queensland

Subunit:Queensland Alliance for Environmental Health Sciences

Position 2:Chief Investigator

Associate Professor

Paul Jensen

Paul Jensen is a research leader in the areas of anaerobic biotechnology and resource recovery at ACWEB; and leads projects in the areas of waste treatment with a focus on recovery of renewable energy resources, production of bio-fertilizers, bio-plastics and other high value products from wastes and other low value raw materials. Complex challenges require multi-disciplinary thinking and Paul’s team incorporates engineering, biological sciences, modelling and information processing approaches to research and technology development for a range of partners across municipal, agricultural, animal and industrial sectors.

Paul and ACWEB are recognised as both national and global experts on biogas and resource recovery technologies. They actively contribute to over 12 research and consulting projects per year with applications across the product development cycle. Importantly, the team are having real world impact, and have contributed to a range of major wastewater infrastructure projects in the last 5 years.

Organisation:The University of Queensland

Subunit:Australian Centre for Water and Environmental Biotechnology

Position 2:Chief Investigator

Dr Lalehvash (Laleh) Moghaddam

Dr Laleh Moghaddam is a polymer and industrial chemist and research fellow within QUT Centre for Agriculture and the Bioeconomy. Dr Moghaddam’s research background includes over 10 years of experience in supporting the agricultural industry to produce sustainable fuels, chemicals, plastics and composites from industry by-products.

Dr Moghaddam completed her PhD studies on the vibration spectroscopy analysis of polymer processing at QUT in 2009. Since 2010, Dr Moghaddam has worked in the Centre for Agriculture and the Bioeconomy on a range of projects aimed toward the efficient and sustainable production of biofuels from biomass, including red meat processing, water utilities, sugar cane bagasse, forestry and microalgae.

Dr Moghaddam is passionate about collaborating with industry for value-adding to agricultural by-products, including the production of biofuels, bioplastics, and biocomposites.

Organisation:Queensland University of Technology

Subunit:School of Chemistry and Physics

Position 2:Chief Investigator

Dr Anna Phelan

Dr Anna Phelan is a Lecturer within the Strategy and Entrepreneurship Discipline at the University of Queensland Business School. She teaches undergraduate and post-graduate courses in Social Entrepreneurship and Business Sustainability. Anna is also Entrepreneur in Residence with the CSIRO Plastics Innovation Hub. Anna’s ongoing research efforts are structured around the following streams: 1) circular economy and plastics 2) social entrepreneurship and small-scale enterprise development 3) decarbonisation and business sustainability.

Dr Phelan’s research portfolio includes working closely with stakeholders from government, industry, sustainability sector, not-for-profits, and community. She brings twenty-three years combined academic and industry experience in business development, technical consulting, and qualitative and quantitative research methods. Previously, Dr Phelan was a Research Fellow at UQ Business School and the Academic Coordinator for the Global Change Scholars Program with the UQ Graduate School, where she worked with high-performing PhD students from across UQ on issues of global change and research leadership.

In 2020 Anna led the Global Change Institute Flagship Project – Small Island Initiative for a Plastic Free Ocean – investigating factors contributing to ocean plastic pollution in Indonesia. Anna has designed and delivered research studies and was part of the Business Development team for the Capturing Coral Reef & Related Ecosystem Services (CCRES) project, focused on alternative sustainable livelihoods that protect and enhance coastal ecosystem services.

Organisation:The University of Queensland

Subunit:School of Business

Position 2:Chief Investigator

Professor

Kathryn Fairfull-Smith

Professor Kathryn Fairfull-Smith is an organic chemist with more than 15 years experience in the use of organic synthesis to design and build molecules or functionalise surfaces and polymers for various applications. She is Associate Dean Research in the Faculty of Science and Co-Director of the Centre for Materials Science, where she focuses on chemistry-driven research efforts with respect to Materials Science. Within the Centre, Kathryn contributes to the projects exploring the development of anti-fouling and anti-inflammatory materials and coatings which utilise nitroxides for applications ranging from biomedical implants to chronic wounds. She is also interested in the development of fluorescent probes to study materials degradation (particularly in extreme environments) and diseases involving oxidative stress. Kathryn’s research work has contributed greatly to the study of nitroxides in biological systems, polymer degradation and environmental pollution.

Organisation:Queensland University of Technology

Subunit:Faculty of Science, School of Chemistry and Physics

Position 2:Chief Investigator

Professor

William (Bill) Clarke

Organisation:The University of Queensland

Subunit:School of Civil Engineering

Position 2:Chief Investigator

Dr Severine van Bommel

Dr Severine van Bommel is an interdisciplinary social scientist working on the human side of agriculture and natural resource management. She is the leader of the Rural Development Group within the School of Agriculture and Food Sciences. She also coordinates the broader Social Science group within that school. She holds a PhD from Wageningen University (NL), where she worked as Associate Professor with the Communication Studies Group until 2018. Her research and teaching focus deliberative and participatory practices in agricultural extension and rural development. Taking an interpretive approach, she investigates what is meaningful to people, and how those meanings – often plural, at times clashing – are enacted. When possible she moves beyond explanation to co-design and social learning intended to improve the situation, such as for marginalised actors (both human and non-human). She has a track record of successful, innovative, social science research in this domain through international projects such as SLIM, LEARNing, and CADWAGO. Her research has led to insights on how to conduct and co-design processes that trigger social learning and sustain it. She has more than 15 years of experience of working in Africa, Latin America and Europe. She is currently mainly working in Australia and the Pacific.

Organisation:The University of Queensland

Subunit:School of Agriculture and Food Sciences

Position 1:Chief Investigator

Professor

Peta Ashworth

Professor Peta Ashworth OAM is the Director of the Andrew N. Liveris Academy for Innovation and Leadership, and Chair in Sustainable Energy Futures at The University of Queensland (UQ). Professor Ashworth brings over thirty years’ experience working in a range of senior management, consulting and research roles. Prior to joining UQ in 2016, Peta worked as a consultant to industry, as Research Group Leader at CSIRO, and in senior executive roles for the Body Shop. Professor Ashworth is a globally-recognised expert in the fields of energy, communication, stakeholder engagement, and technology assessment. For almost two decades, Peta has been researching public attitudes toward climate and energy technologies, including wind, carbon capture and storage (CCS), solar photovoltaic, storage and geothermal. An accomplished speaker and facilitator, Professor Ashworth is actively involved in building energy literacy more broadly both within Australian and globally, and regularly provides input to policy briefings, think tanks, as well as educational events for the benefit of the broader community. Professor Ashworth continues to lead multi-disciplinary research at The University of Queensland relating to public perceptions of climate and energy technologies and she is a Research Leader for the Future Fuels CRC Social Licence to Operate work package. Peta’s main research interests include how to deliver information to best effect, and how to facilitate dialogue across a broad range of stakeholders regarding complex and contested issues.

Organisation:The University of Queensland

Subunit:School of Chemical Engineering

Position 1:Chief Investigator

Dr Lisa Pope

Dr Lisa Pope has extensive experience in managing ARC Centres, having previously worked in an ARC Centre of Excellence where she was responsible for reporting, analysis and managing the capacity building training programs. She gained her PhD in conservation genetics and has postdoctoral research experience in population genetics of mammals, particularly dispersal.

Lisa is motivated by sustainability and is inspired by the potential to achieve positive environmental and economic impact through the increased use of bioplastics and biocomposite products in the Australian bioeconomy. She has a passion for providing capacity-building support for early career researchers and students.

Organisation:The University of Queensland

Subunit:School of Chemical Engineering

Position 1:Centre Manager

Position 2:Professional staff

Mr Michael Burke

Director, Biofutures Queensland, Department of State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning (DSDILGP)

 Michael Burke is the Director of DSDILGP’s Biofutures Queensland where he is responsible for delivering the $30 million Queensland Biofutures 10-Year Roadmap and Action Plan with a vision for Queensland to be an Asia-Pacific hub in biomanufacturing and biorefining, enabling global efforts to decarbonise and build diverse local industrial capabilities.

 Michael has overseen the successful deployment of multiple Biofutures Funding Programs including the $5 million Biofutures Industry Development Fund; the $4 million Biofutures Acceleration Program; and the $4 million Biofutures Commercialisation Program.

 He has also been involved in the implementation of two resource recovery funding programs aimed at diverting and reprocessing waste in Queensland: the $100 million Resource Recovery Industry Development Program and the $5 million Waste to Biofutures Fund.

Michael has previously held senior policy and industry development roles within the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries for the intensive animal and broad acre cropping industries. His background is in aquatic animal husbandry where he spent 15 years in a research capacity at the Bribie Island Aquaculture Research Centre. Michael has a Master of Aquaculture and post-graduate degree in aquatic animal health.

Organisation:Queensland Government

Subunit:Department of State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning.

Position 1:Partner Investigator

Adjunct Associate Professor

Nicholas McCaffrey

Nick McCaffrey is a materials and processing technology specialist with more than 30 years of practical experience in the development and commercialisation of complex, high technology, product and process development projects for a number of world leading Australian manufacturing businesses. During his career, Nick has worked in a number of areas within the plastics industry, including biodegradable materials, precision optical materials, protective and decorative coatings, injection molded part design and manufacturing process simulation. He is the author of 9 papers related to process and product development and is the inventor of 8 granted patent families and 9 published patent applications.

Qualifications;
B.App.Sci (Chem) – University of Melbourne
GradCertBusTech – University of NSW

Organisation:Plantic Technologies Ltd

Position 1:Chief Technology Officer

Position 2:Partner Investigator

Mr Peter Brisbane

Peter Brisbane has more than two decades experience in public policy and sustainability. As Government Partnership Officer for the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO), Peter manages APCO’s close working relationships with the Commonwealth and state territory governments, and helps guide industry’s efforts to implement government legislation and policy on packaging and plastic waste. Prior to joining APCO in 2018, Peter worked for the Australian Government across the Environment, Human Services and Agriculture portfolios. He was a key member of the Australian delegation to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change from 2002-2005, led the development and implementation of the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Act 2007, and oversaw the implementation of the Product Stewardship Act 2011 and the delivery of Australia’s product stewardship and waste programs.

 

Organisation:Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation Ltd

:Government Partnership Officer

Position 1:Partner Investigator

Mr Ethan He

Ethan He has more than 15 years experience working in the personal care hygiene business to boost brand development via sustainable product innovation. As a product innovator of Kimberly-Clark, Ethan is responsible for implementing serious actions to improve sustainability, and collaborates with research hubs and industries leaders to define the footpath towards ‘More Green, Better for Environment’.

During his career, Ethan has led various sustainable projects, including Materials & Finished Goods biodegradable methodology discussion, plant-based materials development, and a reusable product launch. He studied Polymer Material and Science at University, and believes that future polymer materials can be both better for the environment, and ease consumers’ life.

Organisation:Kimberly-Clark Australia Pty Ltd

Position 2:Product Innovator, Kimberly-Clark

Position 1:Partner Investigator

Adjunct Professor

Alan Werker

Alan is an environmental engineer with more than 30 years of experience in both academic and industrial research and development efforts. For 14 years, he drove the devil in the detail from fundamental know-how to bioprocess development in piloting proof of concept of producing biopolymers (polyhydroxyalkanoates) from wastewater. At that time, he led a trans-disciplinary team that peaked at 12 research engineers and scientists and engaged in national and international academic, corporate, and public/private collaborations in basic research, thesis supervision, EU Consortium Projects, and, as well, practical business development challenges for establishing bio-based value-added chains. Currently, he continues to work at the interface between bioprocess and the polymer material science developments as a co-owner and consultant with Promiko AB (www.promiko.se), a research theme leader with Wetsus (www.wetsus.nl), and an Adjunct Professor, School of Chemical Engineering, at the University of Queensland.

Organisation:The University of Queensland / Promiko AB

Subunit:School of Chemical Engineering

Position 1:Partner Investigator

Dr Katie Macintosh

Organisation:City of Gold Coast

Position 1:Partner Investigator

Dr Manuel Brunner

Manuel was born in Bavaria, Germany in 1990. He graduated the University of Regensburg with his BSc in Chemistry in 2014 and with his MSc in Chemistry in 2016 where he investigated anisotropic alginate hydrogels for the treatment of spinal cord injuries. In 2017, Manuel moved to Perth, Australia where he started his PhD at the School of Molecular Sciences at the University of Western Australia. He graduated with his PhD thesis titled “Ionic Liquids for Biomass Dissolution and Analysis of Their Solvent Properties” in 2021. During his PhD, he held a RTP scholarship (UWA) and the Postgraduate Research Award of the Australian Institute for Nuclear Science and Engineering and was awarded several conference awards and research funding valued ~AU$250,000. Manuel’s PhD work was inspired by his passion for sustainability, and it led him to work at world renowned research institutions including the Joint Bioenergy Institute (Berkeley), the ISIS Neutron and Muon Source (Oxford) and the ANSTO OPAL Nuclear Reactor (Sydney).

In 2021, Manuel started his position as Research Analyst within the Plastics and Human Health program at Minderoo Foundation, one of Australia’s biggest philanthropic organisations. Since 2022, Manuel is leading the projects “Redesigning Plastics” and “Advanced Recycling” at Minderoo Foundation with the goal to eliminate the harmful effects of plastic on people and the planet by enabling a safer plastic economy via research partnerships (ITTC Biopolymers and Biocomposites) and investments in tech startups.

Organisation:Minderoo Foundation

Position 1:Partner Investigator

Professor

Bronwyn Fox

Professor Bronwyn Fox joined CSIRO in October 2021 and became CSIRO’s fourth female Chief Scientist. She is known globally as a leader in advanced manufacturing, materials science, and industry 4.0 technologies, and is passionate about bringing together multidisciplinary teams for collaborative research.
She was formerly Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Enterprise) at Swinburne University of Technology and founding Director of Swinburne’s Manufacturing Futures Research Institute. During that time, she established of a world first Industry 4.0 Testlab for additive manufacturing of carbon fibre composites, in collaboration with CSIRO.

 

Organisation:CSIRO

:Chief Scientist

Position 1:Strategic Advisory Board

Mr Mark Barthel

Mark is an environmental scientist specialising in sustainable innovation in agri-food systems. As part of his work, he has spent nearly 20 years leading the fight against food waste and transforming wasted and surplus food into new upcycled food and feed ingredients and innovative new packaging and industrial bio-materials. As Chief Operating Officer at Stop Food Waste Australia, he is leading a public-private partnership to deliver Australia’s target to halve food loss and waste by 2030. Mark has worked with some of the world’s largest food and drink businesses, including Tesco, Sainsbury’s, ASDA, Cooperative Foods, ALDI, LIDL, Carrefour, M&S, Walmart, Woolworths, Coles, Compass Group, Simplot, Sodexo, McDonalds, Goodman Fielder, Mars, McCain Foods, Mondelez International, Unilever, Nestlé and Danone.

 

Organisation:Stop Food Waste Australia

:Chief Operating Officer

Position 1:Strategic Advisory Board

Dr Marcus Gover

Marcus leads our global plastics team, who are working towards eliminating the harmful effects of plastic on people and our planet. Former CEO of the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP), Marcus spent nearly 15 years partnering with industry, government, and communities on plastic waste reduction and circularity. He has a chemical engineering background and a strong track record of driving tangible change in corporate behaviour and public policy.

 

Organisation:Minderoo Foundation

:Leader of the No Plastic Waste initiative

Position 1:Strategic Advisory Board

Professor

Mathew Dargusch

Prof Matthew Dargusch’s research interests are in advanced materials and manufacturing and the design and development of medical devices. He is the Associate Dean (Research) within the Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology at the University of Queensland and Professor in Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering within the School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering. He is also the Director of the ARC Industry Transformation Research Hub for Advanced Manufacturing of Medical Devices and the Chief Technology Officer for the Defence Materials Technology Centre.

Prof. Dargusch has a strong background in working on industry-outcome focussed research. After completing his PhD, he worked in manufacturing and product development in industry before moving being appointed as a Senior Research Fellow at UQ and Program Manager for both the Aerospace and Industry Best Practice Program Manager with the CAST CRC. Professor Dargusch’s work has been recognised by a number of awards including the TMS Technology Award in 2017, the Thatcher Brother’s Prize from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in the UK and the Star award from the CRC Association. Prof. Dargusch’s primary research interests are associated with addressing the major technical challenges facing Australian metal manufacturers in order to assist them to participate more effectively in global supply chains. His aim is to use his research to impact the ability of Australian companies, to develop and integrate advanced manufacturing technologies particularly in the production of high value components for Aircraft, Maritime and Medical Device applications.

 

Organisation:The University of Queensland

Position 1:Strategic Advisory Board

Dr Clement Chan

Clement Chan is an early career researcher in the field of biopolymers (particularly polyhydroxyalkanaotes) and biocomposites. He obtained his PhD on biocomposites from the University of Queensland in 2019, and his BChE in Chemical Engineering from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, U.S.A. His background stretched across the full spectrum of materials development, from polymer chemistry, process optimisation to in-service performance evaluations and end-of-life assessments. His research experience has a strong focus on market-driven, solution-based research activities delivering scientific and commercial outcomes.

He is currently working on projects with a focus on delivering more sustainable alternatives to reduce the accumulation of persistent plastic wastes. This includes the development of sustainable high-performance materials based on marine-degradable polymers and natural fibres with close collaboration with industry partners, tailoring biopolymer properties through the manipulation of polymer physics and chemistry, and the evaluation of their lifetimes and environmental impacts with a view to infer on end-of-life management guidelines for these emerging materials. With a view to address the global challenge of minimising waste, Clement is determined to translate latest innovations to generate benefits broadly to industry and community as part of a move towards a ‘zero waste’ and sustainable future.

Organisation:The University of Queensland

Subunit:School of Chemical Engineering

Position 1:Postoctoral Researcher

Dr Céline Chaléat

Céline Chaléat is an emerging mid-career researcher at the School of Chemical Engineering. She is a materials engineer with a strong background in materials development, process development, and optimisation to end-product performance. Her research thematically involves the translation of biopolymers, biomass-derived nanomaterials, and polymer composites into scalable and sustainable solutions with improved processability and performance. Her work strongly emphasises industrially relevant research on developing new formulations and applications in direct collaboration with industry partners contributing to new IP, industrial knowledge, and commercialisation. Céline is currently researching the development of a novel biopolymer bolus for the controlled release of active agents into cattle’s rumen to reduce greenhouse gas emissions for application in both extensive and intensive cattle production systems.

Organisation:The University of Queensland

Subunit:School of Chemical Engineering

Position 1:Postdoctoral Researcher

Dr Emilie Gauthier

Dr Emilie Gauthier is an experienced research engineer in polymer, biopolymer material and nano/micro cellulose fibres. She has skills in polymer processing, degradation and recycling. She has extensive knowledges in research and development in material sciences. Her research focuses on delivering novel and sustainable materials.

Emilie’s main interests are in developing biodegradable polymers from sustainable sources. She strives to find product solutions to improve everyday quality of life and reduce environmental impact of plastic.

Organisation:The University of Queensland

Subunit:School of Chemical Engineering

Position 1:Postdoctoral Researcher

Dr Lisa Bai

Lisa Bai is currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Australian Centre for Water and Environmental Biotechnology (ACWEB) at the University of Queensland. Her research focuses on sustainable and cost-effective waste and wastewater treatment, in particular using biotechnology. Lisa works in the Resource Recovery group within the centre, where she has been an activity lead and CI for multiple projects that focus on recovery of renewable energy and nutrients from low-value feedstocks (i.e. FOGO). These projects are in collaboration with a range of partners across municipal, agricultural and animal sectors. Lisa is passionate about supporting industry for sustainable waste and wastewater management, renewable energy (i.e. biogas) production and value-adding bioproducts including organic fertilizers and bioplastics.

Lisa obtained her PhD studies on the energy and resource recovery from algae mass cultivation at UQ in 2015. Since then, Lisa worked in environmental consultancy industry in North Queensland for four years, focusing on process design and development for aquaculture wastewater bioremediation using macroalgae biotechnologies.

Organisation:The University of Queensland

Subunit:School of Chemical Engineering

Position 1:Postdoctoral Researcher

Dr Ian Levett

In 2014 Ian worked on the conceptual design and techno-economic assessment of PHA bioplastic production from methane, from which he built a case for thermophilic methanotrophic PHA production. This work led into his PhD thesis, which looked at developing biodegradable matrices for the controlled delivery of fertilisers, with a particular focus on PHA, and blends thereof, as the matrix. A key research focus here was the development of extrusion processing techniques for producing such materials, tracking and modelling the release kinetics for the active ingredient, and the determining the rate of biodegradation of the matrix itself. After graduating, Ian spent 2 years working for a process consulting company, developing high purity aluminium-based products for application in batteries, LEDS, CMP polishing and sapphire glass production, among others. His core interest lies in process development in the green fields space, with a particular interest in bioplastics production and downstream product development.

Organisation:The University of Queensland

Subunit:School of Chemical Engineering

Position 1:Postdoctoral Researcher

Executive Committee

Dr Katrin Kockler

Katrin obtained her PhD in polymer chemistry at the KIT in Germany. In collaboration with BASF, she studied the reaction kinetics of industrially important monomers to determine datasets for planning of space-time yields, reactor setups, or polymer properties in large scale production. Before joining the centre, she investigated photochemical transformations in the Soft Matter Materials labs at QUT and worked at AIBN together with the Sydney based company Aegros on developing customised membrane materials for blood plasma separation. At the Centre for Bioplastics she will be using her chemistry background to develop new pathways to improve the performance of biodegradable materials.

Organisation:The University of Queensland

Subunit:School of Chemical Engineering

Position 1:Postdoctoral Researcher

Dr Leela Dilkes-Hoffman

Leela recently returned to Australia from the UK where she was working as the plastics research and innovation programme manager for the Ellen MacArthur Foundation (a leading voice on what the circular economy can look like for plastics). She now works as a part-time researcher for the ARC Training Centre focusing on understanding public attitudes towards plastics and bioplastics. This work builds on research that she undertook as part of her multi-faceted PhD at UQ which looked at the role biodegradable polymers could play in a circular economy through the complementary lenses of materials engineering, life-cycle impact assessment and social science research.

Organisation:The University of Queensland

Subunit:School of Chemical Engineering

Position 1:Postdoctoral Researcher

Executive Committee

Sam Lawless

Sam completed a Bachelor of Advanced Science (Honours) with a major in Chemistry at The University of Queensland in 2020. He began his PhD shortly after in April of 2021 and started developing his project. His research focuses on producing a biodegradable blown film from polyhydroxyalkanoates. His passion lies in applying his chemistry background to help solve real world problems and aims to create a biodegradable alternative to the currently utilized commercial plastic films for food and industrial packaging.

At the end of his PhD, Samuel would like to work in the bioplastic industry to further advance his knowledge and apply his expertise in what he believes is a rapidly growing and key industry in the circular economy.

Organisation:The University of Queensland

Subunit:School of Chemical Engineering

Position 1:PhD student

Tracey Read

Tracey’s interest in biodegradable plastics stems from 10+ years working in the NGO sector In Hong Kong for the charity she co-founded Plastic Free Seas. She delivered solution-focused, research-based education programs, promoting waste reduction action and dispelling greenwashing myths in schools, companies and in the community. Her PhD is an 18-month aquatic field trial analysing 3 different biodegradable plastics of varying thickness in 4 locations. The research objectives include understanding the impacts of different processing methods and the effects of a plasticiser and filler on the rates of biodegradation of biodegradable plastics in aquatic environments.

:The University of Queensland

:School of Chemical Engineering

:PhD student

Mohammad Adib Ghazali Abdul Rahman

Prior to commencing his PhD, Adib graduated from The University of Queensland in 2019 with a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) majoring in Chemical Engineering before working at a polymer production company in Malaysia. He is currently based at the Australian Centre for Water and Environmental Biotechnology (ACWEB), with his PhD focussing on PHA production from C1 substrates using purple phototrophic bacteria. While still in the early stages of his career in research, Adib hopes his work will contribute to a greater mission of seeking sustainable alternatives for fossil fuel-derived plastics and paving ways for efficient, large-scale production of biopolymers.

:The University of Queensland

:School of Chemical Engineering

:PhD student

Aphra Agaba

Aphra Agaba focuses her research on the lifetimes of bioplastics in both natural and engineered environments. She has a passion for global sustainability and commitment to a clean, healthy environment for all. Aphra earned her Masters degree in Chemical Engineering and Technology from Donghua University, China, where she specialized in developing cellulose-based nanomaterials for environmental remediation. Additionally, she holds a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science Technology and Management from Kyambogo University, Uganda.

Prior to beginning her PhD, Aphra gained valuable experience as a Health Safety and Environment Officer at a medical gloves manufacturing facility, and as an Environmental Impact Assessor for three years. After completing her bachelor’s degree, she volunteered as a Graduate Trainee at Uganda’s National Environment Management Authority (NEMA). During her time at NEMA, Aphra collaborated with development partners, NGOs, and conservation agencies on a variety of projects before pursuing her master’s degree in China. Her experiences in conducting Environmental and Social Impact Assessments in Uganda have significantly influenced her research ideas and fuelled her dedication to promoting sustainable development. Upon completing her PhD, Aphra plans to work in industry, leveraging her expertise in plastic pollution control, remediation, life cycle assessments, and evaluation of relevant legal frameworks to make a lasting impact.

:The University of Queensland

:School of Chemical Engineering

:PhD student

Sumheda M. Amaraweera

Sumedha holds a Master of Philosophy degree in Engineering from the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. She graduated from the Uva Wellassa University of Sri Lanka in 2019 with a Bachelor of Technology in Science and Technology; specialised in Materials Science and Technology. Her PhD is based on the controlled release application of PHA, and she plans to apply the material science knowledge to create the controlled release application based on PHA.

:The University of Queensland

:School of Chemical Engineering

:PhD student

Caitlin Welsh

Caitlin’s research centres around Environmentally Benign Bioplastics with a focus on PHA. Prior to commencing her PhD, Caitlin graduated from the University of Queensland in 2020 with a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) majoring in Chemical and Materials Engineering. She then worked as a Graduate Engineer at a Fibre Packaging company in Brisbane before returning to UQ for further study. Caitlin began her PhD in the beginning of April 2023 and is still in the early stages of development. She hopes that her research will help in the journey to understanding and implementing sustainable packaging and plastic solutions.

:The University of Queensland

:School of Chemical Engineering

:PhD student

Hannah Bennett

Hannah holds an MSc in Culture & Society from the London School of Economics and a BA (Hons) in Culture, Criticism, and Curation from Central Saint Martins. Her interests span social and cultural theory, design, sustainability, entrepreneurship, and innovation. In her PhD, “Bioplastics & Responsible Innovation”, Hannah is investigating the systems and stakeholders making up the bioplastics landscape, and identifying potential sticking points for the mainstream adoption, proper integration, and sustainable development of bioplastics.

:The University of Queensland

:School of Food and Agricultural Science

:PhD student

J. P. Sewwandi Rasanganie

Sewwandi is currently pursuing her PhD at QUT after completing a BSc, specializing in chemistry, from University of Colombo, Sri Lanka. Prior to starting her PhD, she gained valuable experience by working as a research scientist at John Keells Research (JKR) in Sri Lanka. During her time at JKR, she actively participated in research projects focused on nanotechnology and material development, often in collaboration with industry. Some of her notable contributions include bioplastic synthesis from natural polymers, green and chemical synthesis of silver nanoparticles for antibacterial applications, development of wound dressing creams and sprays incorporated with silver nanoparticles, chemical synthesis of collagen-exfoliated graphene-based hydroxyapatite composites for supercapacitor materials. She also supervised interns researching microbial pigment extraction, characterization, and application to fabric dyeing. Her passion is to work with both natural and synthetic substances, utilizing chemical modifications to design novel materials that exhibit properties desired for specific applications. Currently, her PhD focuses on developing waterborne polyurethane nanocomposites reinforced with biomaterials, which are designed for antibacterial applications.

:Queensland University of Technology

:School of Chemistry and Physics

:PhD student

Md Abir Uddin Talukdar

Abir’s work focuses on developing and analysing biocomposites, produced with PHA polymers that will be benign to the environment. His research area is to identify eligible fillers and additives to produce environmentally friendly polymer composites. He completed his BSc in Leather Engineering from KUET, Bangladesh. For his Bachelor’s thesis, he worked with polymer composites produced with bio fillers. He completed his MSc in Polymer Materials Science from MLU Halle-Wittenberg, Germany. For his Master’s thesis, he worked with additive manufacturing technology of polymer and polymer composites. He has experience working in the footwear industry. He has also worked for a renowned R&D organization Fraunhofer IMWS, Germany as a teacher assistant.

:The University of Queensland

:School of Chemical Engineering

:PhD student

Ruoyu Chu

Ruoyu’s PhD project focuses on how to make it easier to biodegrade bioplastics using microbial-based technology. He has more than four years of research experience working with environmental microorganisms, mainly involving waste reutilization and biofuel production. Ruoyu takes an interdisciplinary perspective for his research, particularly in the field of environmental economics, using the simulation of economic models at an industrial scale to consider actual production costs. After obtaining his master’s degree in Environmental Engineering from Wuhan University, Ruoyu began to work as research assistant until commencing his PhD in July 2023. This work experience makes him more determined to continue doing research to better understand our world, and improve efforts towards environmental protection.

:The University of Queensland

:School of Chemical Engineering

:PhD student

Vincent Mathel

:The University of Queensland

:School of Chemical Engineering

:PhD student

Tien Nguyen

Tien completed her undergraduate studies at Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology (HCMUT), earning a Bachelor of Engineering degree. Subsequently, she pursued her academic journey in Korea, where she obtained a Master of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) in 2022. Building upon her strong foundation in wastewater treatment using biological technology, her doctoral research centers on the development and sustainability of halophilic PHA-producing strains for industrial-scale applications.

:The University of Queensland

:School of Chemical Engineering

:PhD student

Marcos Pereira Morais

Marcos holds an MSc in Chemical Engineering, specialising in engineering biochemical and chemical processes, from the Federal University of Pernambuco (Brazil) and a Bachelor (Honours) in Chemical Engineering from the Federal University of Paraiba (Brazil). In parallel, he was an exchange student at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics (Hungary) and the University of Toronto (Canada) during his master’s and bachelor’s studies, respectively, where he broadened his knowledge regarding the production and characterization of bioplastics. In his PhD at the University of Queensland, titled “Development of thin barrier sustainable packaging films”,  Marcos will investigate the processing parameters and physical properties of films composed of starch.

:The University of Queensland

:School of Chemical Engineering

:PhD student

Tianlong Zhang

Tianlong’s research interest focus on the biodegradability and sustainability of biopolymers. His PhD project is about the fermentation and anaerobic degradation of PHAs. Tianlong obtained his MSc in biotechnology from The University of Queensland in 2015, and has extensive work experience in polymer degradation, involving composting, weathering and microplastic formation. Currently, he is investigating the anaerobic digestion behaviour of different processed biopolymers by biomethane potential (BMP) assays and trying to understand the factors that affect the degradation rates. Tianlong hopes his research can help people determine the life-cycle approach of disposable plastic products in realistic, thus contribute to their waste management strategies for environmental sustainability.

:The University of Queensland

:School of Chemical Engineering

:PhD student

Lee Burns

Lee holds a BE (Hons) in Chemical and Materials Engineering from the University of Queensland. He is currently in the final stretch of a PhD investigating the oxidation of wheat starch using reactive extrusion technologies. He is also a passionate teacher, having taught into a variety of courses throughout the Chemical Engineering curriculum. After submitting his thesis, Lee hopes to obtain a teaching-focused role within the University.

:The University of Queensland

:School of Chemical Engineering

:PhD student

Suleshi Niwarthana Abeysingha

Suleshi’s work focuses on the synthesis of novel bio-plasticizers for bio-polymers out of waste sources. Prior to beginning her PhD, she earned a Master of Philosophy degree in chemical science from the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, and graduated from the University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka. She is currently pursuing her PhD at QUT.

:Queensland University of Technology

:School of Chemistry and Physics

:PhD student

Sita Bantha Magar

Sita holds a Master’s degree in Agribusiness from The University of Queensland, Australia (2018), where her research focused on collaborative supply chains in the cut flower industry in Kathmandu, Nepal. Prior to this, she earned a Master’s in Plant Science from Wageningen University & Research Center, the Netherlands (2012). She co-founded Moms Store Nepal in 2020, an initiative focused on sustainable business strategies and promoting the benefits of reusing clothes. Her commitment to community development and environmental sustainability is evident in her roles as a Project Manager at United Mission to Nepal and a Micro Enterprise Development Officer for the United Nations Development Program. In these positions, she implemented initiatives related to climate-smart technologies, natural resource conservation, and micro-enterprises. Her PhD project is about entrepreneurial ecosystems in bioplastics.

:The University of Queensland

:Business School

:PhD student

Cole Walchle

Cole completed his undergraduate studies at Purdue University (USA) where he obtained a Bachelor of Engineering in chemical engineering and a Bachelor of Science in chemistry in May 2022. During this period, he worked at the Purdue Institute for Drug Discovery conducting research on the tumour microenvironment and gained valuable experience in the laboratory synthesis of novel pharmaceuticals. After graduating from Purdue, Cole spent nearly two years in industry at Battelle Memorial Institute (USA) in their Advanced Materials and Energetics research department. In this role, Cole’s research focused on the development of mechanically interlocked polymers with unique thermal properties. Continuing with the theme of developing novel solutions, Cole’s PhD at The University of Queensland focuses on the development of novel properties and applications for polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) in the circular economy.

:The University of Queensland

:School of Chemical Engineering

:PhD student

Alia Gallet–Pandellé

Alia completed a double degree master program between the National Institute of Applied Science (INSA) of Lyon in France and Tohoku University in Japan in September 2023. She earned a Master of Science in Material Science and Engineering and a Master’s degree in Environmental Studies respectively. During her studies in Japan, she worked on biodegradation experiments in a simulated industrial compost environment. Alia began her PhD in January 2024 and will focus on the development of sustainable biodegradable products based on polyhydroxyalkanoates. She is concerned about the environmental issues in her daily life and hopes that her research will help in the transition to environmentally friendly plastic solutions.

:The University of Queensland

:School of Chemical Engineering

:PhD student

Mina Sharifi

Mina graduated from Sharif University of Technology (Iran), where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Materials Science and master’s degree in Nanomaterials. Throughout her time there, she was actively involved with the Polymeric Material Research Group, focusing on the development of biobased and biodegradable plastics for the packaging industry. This experience provided her with valuable insights into processing and characterizing starch-based polymer compounds. Currently, Mina is pursuing her Ph.D. at The University of Queensland, where her research focuses on the development of thin high-barrier biopolymer films and she is aiming to contribute to sustainable packaging solutions.

:The University of Queensland

:School of Chemical Engineering

:PhD student