Dr Tim Kirkman

Dr Tim Kirkman


School of Environmental and Life Sciences (Chemistry)

Career Summary


I completed my Bachelor of Science (Forensics) at the University of Newcastle in 2005. This was followed by both honours and PhD with projects investigating novel methods for the detection of illicit drugs (cocaine and amphetamines). I have worked as a tutor, lab demonstrator, lecturer and technical officer across the University of Newcastle. I was appointed to my current role as lecturer at the Central Coast campus in 2018.

Research Expertise
I trained principally as an analytical chemist, with a particular focus on the analysis and identification of compounds of forensic interest including illicit drugs and explosives. I have also worked in the area of food and nutrient analysis. I have broad experience across a range of analytical and instrumental techniques including spectroscopy (FTIR, UV-VIS, NMR, MS) and chromatography (HPLC, GC). 

One of my research interests is in polymer synthesis and functionalisation particularly in the areas of molecular imprinted polymers (MIPs) and conductive polymers. The development of these function polymeric materials in sensing applications formed the basis of my honours and PhD research.

Teaching Expertise
I have been involved in undergraduate teaching as a tutor, lab demonstrator, technical officer, lecturer and course coordinator. I  currently have teaching responsibilities in Chemistry (CHEM1110 & CHEM1120), Food Science and Human Nutrition (FSHN1010 and FSHN3230), Science (SCIE1002) and Biochemistry (BIOL2011).   

I am a strong proponent of blended and active learning strategies, and believe these flexible teaching methods enhance personal and course engagement with students.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Newcastle
  • Bachelor of Science (Forensic), University of Newcastle
  • Bachelor of Science (Forensic) (Honours), University of Newcastle


  • analytical chemistry
  • chemistry
  • drug analysis
  • food analysis
  • polymers

Fields of Research

Code Description Percentage
090899 Food Sciences not elsewhere classified 30
039902 Forensic Chemistry 30
030199 Analytical Chemistry not elsewhere classified 40

Professional Experience

UON Appointment

Title Organisation / Department
Lecturer University of Newcastle
School of Environmental and Life Sciences


Code Course Role Duration
CHEM1110 Chemistry for the Life Sciences I
Universtiy of Newcastle

Focuses on the foundation concepts of chemistry in the context of the life sciences. Environmental aspects are developed when they illustrate key concepts in chemistry.

The subject examines basic atomic and molecular structure, introduces the chemistry of carbon compounds, and illustrates basic physical concepts central to an understanding in the discipline.

Course Coordinator / Lecturer 1/1/2018 - 31/12/2019
CHEM1120 Chemistry for the Life Sciences II
University of Newcastle

Focuses on the foundation concepts of chemistry central to an understanding of the discipline and underpinning concepts in life and environmental sciences. It examines basic chemistry of carbon compounds, illustrates basic physical concepts and explores the periodic table and introduces inorganic compounds and their structures.

This is one of two foundation subjects in the key central scientific discipline of chemistry, providing core knowledge in science (including marine science and sustainable resource management), human nutrition and food technology.

Course Coordinator / Lecturer 1/1/2018 - 31/12/2019
FSHN3230 Food Analysis
University of Newcastle
To provide knowledge and skills in the applications, principles and practices of the analysis of foods for purposes of trade, compliance, quality assurance, authentication, complaint investigation, nutritional attributes and scientific research.
Course Coordinator / Lab Demonstrator / Lecturer 1/7/2017 - 31/12/2019

Dr Tim Kirkman


School of Environmental and Life Sciences
Faculty of Science

Focus area


Contact Details

Email timothy.kirkman@newcastle.edu.au
Phone (02) 4913 8760


Room SO-108
Building Science Offices
Location Ourimbah
10 Chittaway Road
Ourimbah, NSW 2258