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
Centre staff and researchers
Working for University of Newcastle for over 7 years now, Alisha-jane is an experienced Administration and Events officer with a demonstrated history of working in the higher education industry, research and wider community engagements . Reporting directly to Prof. Ajayan Vinu she also offers support to current GICAN staff and students.
T: 02 49218901
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Dr. Kim Tran
Dr. Kim Tran received her PhD in Environmental Sciences from the University of Newcastle, Australia (2017). Kim begun her academic career as a lecturer at the School of Agriculture and Resources, Vinh University, Vietnam (2004). Kim’s previous and current research are interdisciplinary, utilising environmental science and molecular biology techniques to assess the impacts of environmental contaminants (EDCs, heavy metals, PAHs, PFAS and microplastics) on ecosystems and the development of bio-monitoring and remediation methods. Her expertise covers the bioaccumulation of heavy metals and EDCs in aquatic organisms and environments; risk assessment of contaminant transformation products and their metabolites; microplastics as vectors for microbes and environmental contaminants; as well as practical technologies for the remediation of perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) using carbon materials in aquaculture and wastewater applications.
Arun Vijay Baskar
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.
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.
Trung Hoang Trinh
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.
Harpreet Singh Gujral
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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".
Sujanya Maria Ruban
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.
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.
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.
Ahmad received a MS in Chemical Engineering in 2017 from The Petroleum Institute Research Center of ADNOC as an ADNOC fellow, Abu Dhabi, UAE where he worked on synthesis of self-healing anti corrosion coatings based on nano-materials for oil/gas industry. He holds a Bachelors degree (2014) in Chemical Engineering from the Aligarh Muslim University, India. He also visited as an undergrad Winter Research Scholar at The Sustainable Minerals Institute, The University of Queensland in 2013 on project related to risks in coal mining industry.
After his MS he worked at the Khalifa University's Research Center in UAE from 2017-2019 on projects related to metal recovery from wastes etc.
Presently he is pursuing his PhD at GICAN and working on finding novel pathways for synthesis of Mesoporous Silica.
Vaishwik Patel's research area is mainly focussed on the synthesis of bare and functionalized metal, metal oxide and lipid nanoparticles. His work also includes an assessment of the biological properties of synthesized nanoparticles as well as their application in drug delivery.
Nithinraj P.D. completed his integrated Bachelors & Masters from Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune, India. His research interest broadly lies in Material science and Electrochemistry. He has been working in the field of energy storage and conversion devices. Currently he is pursuing his doctoral studies under the guidance of Prof. Ajayan Vinu and Dr. Siddulu Naidu Talapaneni.
Jefrin Marykala Davidraj
Jefrin Marykala Davidraj completed her Master’s degree in organic chemistry from Vels University, India. She joined GICAN in 2019 as a visiting researcher and currently pursuing her Ph.D. in material science under the guidance of Prof. Jiabao Yi. Her current research interest is focused on the synthesis of mesoporous carbon nitride using SBA-1 as a template and administer it for energy storage and conversion applications.
Ajanya Maria Ruban
Ajanya Maria Ruban is a PhD candidate 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.
Nethaji “Subash” Chandra Bose Raju
Subash Raju is currently pursuing his final year PhD in Materials Science and Engineering under the guidance of Dr.Thava Palanisami and supported by the Hunter Water Corporation and The University of Newcastle, Australia through the Industry-University Engagement Scholarship (2017-21). His PhD research focuses on the emerging threat- fate and behaviour of microplastics in the wastewater treatment plants and its implications for wastewater reuse and biosolids for agriculture. The recognition of his research achievements, over the years, as well as his Ph.D. research led to the award of an Association Commonwealth Universities Blue Charter Fellowship in January 2019. He worked with Eminent Prof. Richard Thompson (renowned microplastics Researcher) at the University of Plymouth, UK and interacted with industry experts, research fellows and investigated effluent and biosolid microplastic profiles of wastewater plants.
Maddison is currently researching the interaction of Microplastics (MPs) and chemical contaminants in the Australian marine environment to understand the impacts of plastic pollution on marine food webs and human health. Since 2017, she has been surveying the surface waters and sediments of multiple locations in NSW and QLD to build the knowledge base of the occurrence, spatial distribution and chemical fingerprint of MPs in Australian aquatic environments. Her research is supported by The City of Newcastle, NSW Fisheries, EPA Victoria and The University of Newcastle.
Geetika is currently investigating the role of plastic-associated microbial biofilms in altering the biological and physicochemical interactions of MPs in the marine environment and the possible implications to human health. She has employed a metagenomics approach to identify the structure and functions of plastic-associated microbial biofilms on various types of consumer plastics to investigate the possible environmental ramifications of the microbial genes enriched on plastics. Her future research seeks to investigate the leaching of contaminants from MPs in the human gut environment (in-vitro) and explore the associated cytotoxicity to understand the human health risks of MP ingestion. Geetika’s research is funded by The University of Newcastle.
Lakshmi Vandana Daggubati
Lakshmi Vandana Daggubati currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Material Sciences and Engineering, under the guidance of Dr. Thava Palanisami. Her current research focus on the Risk Assessment of Plastics. She completed her Bachelors in Environmental Management and Master’s degrees in Environmental Studies from Andhra University and also worked as a senior research associate in India
Aathira completed her Bachelors and Masters in chemistry from the University of Calicut. She just joined for the PhD programme at GICAN. Prior to joining for the PhD programme, she was working as a research assistant at the CSIR-Indian Institute of Petroleum at Dehradun, India. Her research project is on the design of advanced porous carbon nitrides for CO2 conversion through the photocatalytic approach
Jolitta obtained her Master of Philosophy from Manonmanium Sundarnar University, Trinelveli, India. She also completed her post graduate diploma in Criminology and forensic science from Annamalai University, Chidambaram. Her research is related on the design of advanced nanomaterials and the naturally available nanostructures for bio-sensing applications.
Vijayakumar completed his B.Tech and M.Tech from Pondicherry University, India. After spending a few years of research at the Center of Nanomaterials, International Advanced Research Centre for Powder Metallurgy and New Materials (ARCI), Hyberabad, India, he joined for the PhD in Materials Science and Engineering at GICAN. His research is focussed on the design and the development of MXene hybrids for the li-ion capacitors.
Sania is currently working to generate baseline data on the sorption behaviour of different sizes of MPs and NPs in freshwater environments. Her research will contribute towards the risk assessment of MPs and NPs in freshwater environments, including drinking water sources, which represent one of the most important routes of MPs and NPs to the human body. Her research is supported by NSW Fisheries and The University of Newcastle.
As an experienced water industry engineer, the significance of the provision of a safe water supply cycle underpins Kala’s research focus on the development of strategies to reduce and remove microplastics from the water supply (from catchment to discharge). The outcomes of Kala’s research will provide water utilities and other “microplastics waste generators” with a toolkit of management options to reduce and remove microplastics from various pathways and sources. Kala’s research is supported by Water Research Australia, Water Corporation of WA and The University of Newcastle, and she is in collaboration with Shinshu University and the National University of Singapore.
Malelili Naulivou Rokomatu
Malelili is currently investigating the occurrence and distribution of microplastic in the Fiji environment and its various sources. The proposed project will also include chemical analysis to observe the fate of these plastic pollutants and spatial patterns of aged microplastic in aquatic environments, to determine the direct and indirect implications to human health. WWF Pacific has partnered on this topic with UoN in the attempt to work together and investigate the extent of plastic impacts to the human health system in Fiji and the South Pacific.
Prof. Yoshihiro Sugi
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.
Dr. Premkumar Selvarajan
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.
Dr. Chhinder S Bilen
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.