The University of Newcastle, Australia

People

Director

Professor Ajayan Vinu

Global Innovation Chair Professor and Director

Prof. Vinu is the Global Innovation Chair and Director of the Global Innovative Center for Advanced Nanomaterials at the University of Newcastle, a position he has held since October 2017.

T: +61 2 4921 8669

E: ajayan.vinu@newcastle.edu.au

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Centre staff and researchers

Alisha-Jane Laney

Executive Assistant

Working for the UON for nearly 7 years now, Alisha-jane is an experienced Administration and Events officer with a demonstrated history of working in the higher education industry and wider community.

T: 02 49218901

E: Alisha.Laney@newcastle.edu.au

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Associate Professor Jiabao Yi

A/P Jiabao Yi’s research is focusing on oxides and oxide based magnetic semiconductors, 2D materials and their magnetic properties, soft and hard magnetic materials, magnetic nanoparticles for bioapplications as well as advanced techniques, such as X-ray absorption spectroscopy, X-ray magnetic circular dichroism (XMCD), neutron scattering and neutron reflectometry as well as muon spin relaxation.

T: 02 4926 1625

E: Jiabao.yi@newcastle.edu.au

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Associate Professor Ajay Karakoti

Dr. Ajay Karakoti is a broad based materials researcher focused on the synthesis of novel bare and functionalized nanoparticles for applications in biology, catalysis and sensing. His research is focused on both the applications and detailed surface and bulk characterization of these materials. A significant portion of his research deals with developing a detailed understanding of the reaction of cerium oxide nanoparticles with reactive oxygen species and the consequence of size, structure, doping and surface functional groups on its enzyme like activity.

E: Ajay.Karakoti@newcastle.edu.au

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Dr Jae-Hun Yang

Coordinator

Dr Jae-Hun Yang’s research interests lie in nanoporous materials and 2D nanohybrids between layered inorganics and organics or bio-molecules or inorganics as heterogeneous catalysts (especially photocatalysts), drug delivery carriers, nano-filler in polymer nanocomposites for green energy and environmental application and bio-medical application.

T: +61 2 4033 9632

E: jaehun.yang@newcastle.edu.au

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Dr Inyoung Kim

ARC DECRA Fellow

Dr Inyoung Kim is conducting research on development of novel 2D nanohybrid materials for electrocatalytic hydrogen evolution reaction as part of her DECRA project funded by ARC in 2017. Her research interests are in exploring nanohybrid materials with unique physicochemical features and the analysis of their local atomic structure using X-ray absorption spectroscopic (XAS) techniques.

T: +61 2 4921 8932

E: inyoung.kim@newcastle.edu.au

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Dr Thava Palanisami

Senior Research Fellow

Dr. Thava Palanisami completed his PhD on the Risk assessment and Remediation of mixed contaminants in 2010, at the University of South Australia. Over the past ten years, Thava’s mixed contaminant (PAHs & metals) research has led him towards a new research theme - contaminant transformation products (CTPs). Recently, his research focus is on adding new dimensions in the risk assessment and remediation of emerging contaminants such as microplastics and Perfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS). With an emphasis on plastics as an emerging contaminant, Thava’s team initiated plastics research at The University of Newcastle in 2015. Their principal aim was to develop fundamental knowledge on the ageing and weathering of microplastics in the environment to improve the accuracy of ecological and human health risk assessment and develop solutions.

T: +61 2 4033 9411

E: thava.palanisami@newcastle.edu.au

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Dr Siddulu Naidu Talapaneni

ARC DECRA Fellow

Dr Siddulu Naidu Talapaneni’s research encompasses multifunctional nanoporous materials realised by innovative reticular chemistry to solve the grand challenges of energy and environmental related issues such as development of efficient energy storage systems. These include wearable Li-ion and post lithium batteries, capabatteries, sustainable hydrogen production, heterogeneous catalysis for organic transformations and simultaneous carbon capture and conversion. He is a recipient of the 2018 CAS Scifinder Future Leader Award and 2017 Lindau Nobel Laureate Young Scientist Award.

T: + 61 2 4033 960

E: siddulunaidu.talapaneni@newcastle.edu.au

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Dr Kavitha Ramadass

Dr Kavitha Ramadass received her PhD degree in 2011 from the Centre for Environmental Risk Assessment and Remediation at the University of South Australia. She worked as a postdoctoral research associate at the Future Industries Institute, University of South Australia. Her research interests focus on the design of multifunctional nanoporous materials for energy and environmental applications. She was awarded the International Postgraduate Scholarship (IPRS) award for PhD Studies, and the Research Encouragement award by IUMRS-ICAM held at Kyoto, Japan in 2017.

T: +61 2 4033 9604

E: kavitha.ramadass@newcastle.edu.au

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Dr Gopalakrishnan Kothandam

Dr. Gopalakrishnan’s current research interests include 2D carbon-based supercapacitors, oxygen reduction reaction catalyst for fuel cells, and batteries to tackle ongoing global energy demand.

E: gopalakrishnan.kothandam@newcastle.edu.au

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Dr Gurwinder Singh

Dr. Gurwinder’s research interest is mainly focused on converting waste products such as biomass, e-waste and industrial wastes into highly functional nanomaterials that can be used in different energy and environmental applications.

E: gurwinder.singh@newcastle.edu.au

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Dr Stalin Joseph

Dr. Stalin Joseph’s research interests are primarily focused on engineering of advanced nanomaterials for various applications. He is an expert in utilizing these novel nanomaterials in the field of supercapacitors, batteries and fuel cells.

E: stalin.joseph@newcastle.edu.au

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Dr. Jangmee Lee

Dr Jangmee Lee received her Ph. D. degree in 2018 from Department of Chemistry and Nanoscience at Ewha Womans University under the supervision of prof. Seong-Ju Hwang.  Dr Jangmee Lee is currently working on the synthesis and characterization of 2-dimensional inorganic nanosheet-based nanohybrid for diverse applications such as photocatalysis, secondary batteries, and electrocatalysis.  Especially, she is interested in the in-situ analyses to demonstrate the operating mechanism based on the local structure/symmetry alteration of nano crystalline materials.

E: jangmee.lee@newcastle.edu.au

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Dr. Sathish Clastinrusselraj Indirathankam

Dr Sathish’s research expertise is in the area of material science, nanomaterials, high-pressure studies, superconductivity and magnetism. He is interested mainly in the synthesis of novel materials, studying their structural, electronic, magnetic and superconducting properties. Recently he moved into design and development of multifunctional nanoporous materials such as mesoporous carbon nitrides, hybrid inorganic materials, metal carbonitrides for energy storage, sensors, CO2 capture and conversion, catalysis and environmental applications.

E: sathish.ci@newcastle.edu.au

Dr. Kannan Krishnan

Dr. Kannan Krishnan’s current research focus is on Nano-drug delivery for cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. During his PhD, Kannan has studied Profilin’s interaction with Phosphatidylinositol(4,5)-Bisphosphate using Giant Unilamellar Vesicles model and Number & Brightness analysis technique. Kannan has applied these techniques to understand the interaction of Benzo(a) pyrene with algae. He has used transcriptome analysis to understand the sub-lethal toxic effects of pollutants such as PFOS, PFOA, BaP and Pyrene. His research interest is to apply fluorescence fluctuation correlation spectroscopy techniques to understand molecular interaction mechanisms related to Nano-drug delivery.

T: +61 2 4913 8732

E: kannan.krishnan@newcastle.edu.au

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Dr. Venkata Dasireddy

Dr. Venkata D. B. C. Dasireddy received his Ph.D. in Applied Chemistry in 2013 at the University of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. He worked at the National Institute of Chemistry for 4 years (a member of the National Institute of Chemistry since May 2015). He is actively involved in projects like EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council) United Kingdom, Hydrogen South Africa, C Change South Africa, and National Research Foundation, South Africa during his tenure in South Africa. He worked as a researcher in the work package partner of Horizon 2020 Projects MefCO2, FResME, and ADREM. In addition to this, He is a principal investigator in two Slovenian Research Agency bilateral projects with the USA and China. He worked at various international institutes as an exchange student namely, Cardiff Catalysis Institute, UK, Politecho di Milano-Itlay and CERN, Switzerland and R and D departments at Johnson Matthey and SASOL. In 2018, he received an “Outstanding Contribution Award” from Applied Catalysis B; Environmental. His expertise lies mainly in Green Chemistry and Heterogeneous nanocatalysis. During his Ph.D. years, his research is focused on activating C-H bonds through heterogeneous catalysis. After Ph.D., his research is focused on heterogeneous catalysis for green chemistry applications, chemical (process) engineering and reactor design.

T: +61 2 4921 6196

E: venkata.dasireddy@newcastle.edu.au

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Research students

Arun Vijay Baskar

PhD candidate

Arun Vijay is originally from Tamilnadu, India where he completed his studies from schooling to post graduation. While doing his masters in Nanoscience and Technology, Arun received an internship opportunity to work under the supervision of Professor Ajayan Vinu at the University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia, where he developed his thirst for his research interests. Currently he is pursuing his PhD on functionalised nanoporous fullerene, materials mainly for energy applications, under the supervision of Professor Ajayan Vinu.

E: arunvijay.baskar@uon.edu.au

Steffi Tiburcius

PhD candidate

Steffi Tiburcius is currently pursuing her PhD in Engineering under the guidance of Professor Ajayan Vinu. Her current research focus includes developing new types of smart multifunctional drug delivery systems for prostate cancer. Before moving to Australia, Steffi completed her Bachelors and Master’s degrees in Biotechnology from Anna University, India and worked as a Research Fellow.

E: shiana.malhotra@uon.edu.au

Shiana Malhotra

PhD candidate

Shiana Malhotra’s research interests focus on the development of nanostructured chalcogenide hybrid materials and their use for energy and environmental applications.

E: shiana.malhotra@uon.edu.au

Trung Hoang Trinh

PhD candidate

Trung Hoang Trinh is interested in the application of nanomaterials in medical fields, especially the drug delivery carriers. Trung graduated from the Department of Biomedicine and Drug development at the University of Montpellier in France. He is currently completing his PhD in order to search for further achievement within nanomaterials and their application in combating against cancer diseases.

E: HoangTrung.Trinh@uon.edu.au

Dhanush Shanbhag

PhD candidate

Dhanush Shanbhag’s research interests are primarily focused on developing new electrode materials for Sodium Ion Batteries and supercapacitors. Apart from this, he is also interested in Electron Microscopy.

E: Dhanush.Shanbhag@uon.edu.au

Harpreet Singh Gujral

PhD candidate

Harpreet’s research interests are to develop photocatalysts that can decompose water into hydrogen and oxygen by sunlight. Apart from this, he is also interested in infrastructure and project management of the manufacturing industries

E: harpreetsingh.gujral@uon.edu.au

Anish Johns

PhD candidate

Anish Johns is an aspiring Chemical Engineer who graduated with a master’s degree from Columbia University, New York City. Research interests include but are not limited to Synthesis of Nanomaterials and Industrial Catalysis.

E: Anish.Johns@uon.edu.au

Deepika Radhakrishnan

PhD candidate

Deepika Radhakrishnan is a PhD Research Scholar, mainly researching in the field of drug delivery and nanotechnology. Her area of interests include development of innovative coreshell and layered double hydroxide nanoparticles as a drug carrier. In time, Deepika’s studies will extend to invitro and invivo carcinogenic studies. She completed her Bachelors and Master’s degrees in India, and has two years of experience in invivo carcinogenic studies in mice and rats using natural plant extracts.

E: Deepika.Radhakrishnan@uon.edu.au

Gautam E Unni

PhD Candidate

Gautam E Unni obtained his Master’s degree in Physics in 2014 from Amrita University, India. He has been working as a research student at the same university during 2014-2018 period. His research interests are electron transport properties of different nanostructures, optoelectronic properties of semiconductor thin films, defect engineering of nanostructures, and power-conversion enhancement techniques for optoelectronic devices.

E: Gautam.EaswaranUnni@uon.edu.au

Xueze Chu

PhD Candidate

Xueze CHu studied mechanical engineering at Beijing university of technology and electrical engineering at the university of Sydney. Now he is focusing on developing nanoporous metal oxide semiconductor materials for flammable and toxic gas detaction.

E: Xueze.Chu@uon.edu.au

Sungho Kim

PhD Candidate

Sungho Kim has previously worked on synthesis and characterisation of layered double hydroxide and the use of it as a stabilizing agent of plastics within industry. Currently, he is pursuing research at GICAN, with his research interests mainly focused on the hybridisation of nanomaterials and their applications in energy storage.

E: SKim4@uon.edu.au

Juan Jeffery

PhD Candidate

Juan Jeffery has extensive global Fintech, IIOT, mining, resources and oil & gas, M&A and management consulting expertise. Experienced in resources, investment, development, operations, corporate and board governance, Australian accredited finance advisor, KYC, AML. Juan is a PHD Scholar working on commercialising the sustainable manufacturing of Functionalised Porous Biocarbons from biomass at an industrial scale for Energy and Environmental Applications.  Juan’s research interests lie in utilising functionalised porous biocarbons as an industrial product for downstream integration into super capacitors, specialist filtration and hydrogen generation applications. Before entering the resources industry Juan was a research fellow working on digital optical identification of coal maserals in industrial applications such as carbon electrodes in furnaces.

E: juan.jeffery@aefin.com.au

Mohammed Fawaz

PhD Candidate

Fawas is a doctoral student under the guidance of Dr. Inyoung Kim and Prof. Ajayan Vinu.  Fawas completed an integrated Bachelors & Masters from Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Pune, India. His main research focus is on developing novel nanomaterials as electrode materials/electrocatalysts for electrochemical energy storage devices such as Batteries, Fuel cells and Supercapacitors.

E: MohammedFawaz.PalakkatAlihassan@uon.edu.au

Shan Mohanan

PhD Candidate

Shan Mohanan, joined GICAN in 2019 and pursuing his PhD in Engineering. His current research focussing on development of novel targeted theranostic nanomaterial systems for cancer. Before moving to Australia he was working as senior lecturer in India. He has completed his Bachelor of Pharmacy from University of Calicut and Master of Pharmacy (Pharmaceutics) from Mahatma Gandhi University, Kerala, India. He has done research works in Nano particulate drug delivery systems (Dendrimer drug delivery, Solid lipid or polymer based nanoparticles, Copper nanoparticle, PEG-PLGA nanoparticle), Transdermal and non-invasive drug delivery (Liposomes, Neosomes, Proneosomes), Drug delivery systems using isolated and characterized natural polymers.

Belinda Oliveira Fontinha

PhD Candidate

Belinda Oliveira Fontinha has a Master in Biological Engineering with leadership training and experience with academic training at University of Minho. She has industrial work experience where she has successfully delivered a number of highly complex projects to private customers and Governmental Institutions, as well as managing the implementation of a large number of complex organizational change programs. Some of her achievements are selling her company, winning Public Tenders, publishing a research paper and implementing environmental procedures in pollutant companies. Currently, she is enrolled in a High Degree by Research Program at the University of Newcastle. Supervised by Prof. Ajayan Vinu, her research is focused on the "Novel Design of Controlled Drug Delivery System Based on Nanoporous Materials for Cancer Therapy".

E: belinda.oliveirafontinha@uon.edu.au

Sujanya Maria Ruban

PhD Candidate

Sujanya Maria Ruban is a visiting research scholar at GICAN, under the guidance of Prof. Ajayan Vinu. In GICAN, Sujanya’s main research focus is on the utilisation and conversion of naturally occurring Halloysite into multi-functional nanomaterials.

E: sujanya.mariaruban@newcastle.edu.au

Zhihao Lei

PhD Candidate

Zhihao Lei obtained his dual bachelor degree in Mechanical engineering from Deakin University and Wuhan University of Science and Technology. Now, his research interests mainly focus on the ferromagnetism in 2D nanomaterials and synthesis of 2D transition metal oxides and dichalcogenides for electrocatalyst, next-generation rechargeable batteries and supercapacitors.

E: Zhihao.Lei@uon.edu.au

Rohan Bahadur

PhD Candidate

Rohan Bahadur completed his Master’s in Chemistry from Vellore Institute of Technology, Vellore in 2016. After his master’s he worked in Indian Institute of Technology Bombay on various 2D materials and their 0D derivatives such as graphene, MoS2 and MXene for cancer theranostics and biosensing application. Currently, he is pursuing Ph.D. and working on development of functionalised mesoporous carbon nitrides, under the guidance of Prof. Ajayan Vinu.

E: rohan.bahadur@uon.edu.au

Visiting researchers

Prof. Yoshihiro Sugi

Visiting professor

Prof Sugi focuses his research on the catalysis by solid catalysts. His interests are in solid acid and base catalyses for energy scenes. Particularly, he is interested in the rein zeolite catalysis for petrochemical and fine-chemical applications.

E: yoshihiro.sugi@newcastle.edu.au

Dr. Premkumar Selvarajan

Visiting Researcher

Dr. Premkumar’s expertise is in the area of first principal calculation and molecular dynamics on material science. He also has research interest in synthesis of  perovskite based materials for solar cell applications.

E: premkumar.selvarajan@newcastle.edu.au

Dr. Chhinder S Bilen

Visiting Researcher

Dr. Chhinder's current research in GICAN focuses on pelletizing various forms of nanoporous carbons and testing various properties of those pellets. Some of the other research intersts are CO2 adsorption, conversion of CO2 into value added hydrocarbon, degradation and stability testing of OPV devices.

Dipti Wagh

Visiting Student

Dipti Wagh is a visiting student at GICAN, University of Newcastle. She is currently pursuing Doctoral degree at Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai. Her area of research is synthesis of novel heterogeneous catalyst and its application in fine chemicals. She is also currently focusing on synthesis of mesoporous carbon nitrides (MCN) and metal nanoparticles over MCN as catalyst for various green processes.

E: Dipti.Wagh@newcastle.edu.au

Ajanya Maria Ruban

Visiting Student

Ajanya Maria Ruban is a visiting research scholar at GICAN, under the guidance of Prof. Ajayan Vinu. In GICAN, Ajanya’s main research focus is on the mesoporous super acid nano catalysts for non-oxidative cracking of paraffins.

E: ajanya.mariaruban@newcastle.edu.au

Jefrin Marykala Davidraj

Visiting Student

Jefrin marykala davidraj is a visiting research scholar at GICAN, under the guidance of Prof. Ajayan Vinu. In GICAN, jefrin’s main research focus is on the design and the development of nanoporous adsorbents for selective capture of CO2.

E: jefrin.marykaladavidraj@newcastle.edu.au