Keynote Speakers of ICFCM2017


Prof. Darren Martin

University of Queensland, Australia 

Biography: Professor Darren Martin is the Chief Scientific Officer for start-up company TenasiTech Pty Ltd, which is commercialising a polymer nanocomposites platform as applied to large polyurethane and acrylic polymer markets and applications. TenasiTech is the first Queensland start-up to receive Commercialisation Australia funding; has won the prestigious iLab Prize in the national Enterprize Competition; and received the 2010 UQ EAIT Commercialisation award. Professor Martin’s research operates at the nexus of three key themes; (1) Strong fundamental materials science with global benchmarking; (2) Safe biomaterials and nanomaterials; (3) Scalable advanced manufacturing. His efforts in these areas during the past two decades have contributed to two successful start-ups, numerous products and a strong platform for globally competitive nanocomposites innovation.  

Title of Speech: Case Study – TenasiTech Pty Ltd

“The challenges of advanced materials commercialisation and the associated management of translational academic teams” 

Abstract: TenasiTech ( was founded by Darren Martin in 2007 following 7 years of basic and applied research in the area of polymer-layered silicate nanocomposites at The University of Queensland. Today the company sells anti-scratch nano additives for hard plastics, even though the early corporate focus was on polyurethane thermoplastic elastomer reinforcement. In this presentation Darren will communicate how he managed to protect IP, attract investment, substantial research funding and customers, built scale-up capacity and translational skills within his team, trained many postgraduate students and research fellows, while still maintaining his substantive academic position at UQ. He will also cover the challenges and lessons learned for those interested in translational materials science, startup companies and industry engagement. 



Prof. Ramesh K. Agarwal

 Washington University in St. Louis, USA 

Biography: Professor Ramesh K. Agarwal is the William Palm Professor of Engineering in the department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science at Washington University in St. Louis. From 1994 to 2001, he was the Sam Bloomfield Distinguished Professor and Executive Director of the National Institute for Aviation Research at Wichita State University in Kansas. From 1978 to 1994, he was the Program Director and McDonnell Douglas Fellow at McDonnell Douglas Research Laboratories in St. Louis. Dr. Agarwal received Ph.D in Aeronautical Sciences from Stanford University in 1975, M.S. in Aeronautical Engineering from the University of Minnesota in 1969 and B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, India in 1968. Over a period of forty years, Professor Agarwal has worked in various areas of Computational Science and Engineering - Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), Computational Materials Science and Manufacturing, Computational Electromagnetics (CEM), Neuro-Computing, Control Theory and Systems, and Multidisciplinary Design and Optimization. He is the author and coauthor of over 500 journal and refereed conference publications. He has given many plenary, keynote and invited lectures at various national and international conferences worldwide in over fifty countries. Professor Agarwal continues to serve on many academic, government, and industrial advisory committees. Dr. Agarwal is a Fellow eighteen societies including the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), American Association for Advancement of Science (AAAS), American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), American Physical Society (APS), American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), Royal Aeronautical Society, Chinese Society of Aeronautics and Astronautics (CSAA), Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) and American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE). He has received many prestigious honors and national/international awards from various professional societies and organizations for his research contributions. 

Title of Speech: Non-Metallic Composites for High Temperature Aerospace Applications 

Abstract: Currently, metal matrix composites (MMCs) are used in high temperature aero-engine applications. MMCs have been under development since 1960s. Noteworthy among the MMCs are long fiber titanium matrix composites (TMCs) that were developed during the 1990s as part of the Integrated High Performance Turbine Engine Technology (IHPTET) program and the Titanium Matrix Composite Turbine Engine Component Consortium (TMCTECC) to substantially increase the aero-propulsion capability. These programs intensified the hunt for high temperature aero-engine materials beyond titanium alloys leading to the development of intermetallic matrix composites (IMCs). The selection of appropriate matrix material for aero-engine applications is primarily driven by consideration of lowering the density and maximizing the operating temperature. Currently Aluminum matrix composite materials are used for the colder part of the engine and IMCs are used for the hotter part where temperatures in excess of 650oC are experienced. However in recent years, non-metallic ceramic matrix composites (CMCs) for high temperature aerospace applications are receiving a great deal of attention because of increased emphasis on ‘Environmentally Responsible Aviation (ERA)’ with the dual aims of improving the engine efficiency and reducing the mass. In addition to various aerodynamic and propulsion technologies that are being researched to achieve the goals of ERA, reduction of aircraft mass has become one of the major drivers in developing new aircraft design concepts, novel materials and manufacturing processes. Composite materials have increasingly been used in recent conventional wing/tube type aircraft e.g. in B787 and A350-1000 aircraft. This paper first reviews the current status of metal matrix composites for aero-engine applications and then describes the recent developments in two widely used composite materials, namely the Polymer Matrix Composites (PMCs) and the Ceramic Matrix Composites (CMCs) for airframe and aero-engine applications, and the challenges they pose in manufacturing. The recent work in improving the mechanical properties of PMCs and CMCs by inclusion of clay nanoparticles and carbon nanotubes and the potential of additive manufacturing for such nanocomposites with nanoscale fillers will also be presented.  



Prof. Wenlong Cheng

 Monash University, Australia  

Biography: Wenlong Cheng is a full professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Monash University, Australia, and the Ambassador Technology Fellow in Melbourne Centre for Nanofabrication. He earned his PhD from Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2005 and his BS from Jilin University, China in 1999. He held positions in the Max Planck Institute of Microstructure Physics and the Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering of Cornell University before joining the Monash University in 2010. His research interest lies at the Nano-Bio Interface, particularly addressing plasmonic nanomaterials, DNA nanotechnology, nanoparticle anticancer theranostics and electronic skins. He has published >90 papers including 3 in Nature Nanotech, 1 in Nature Mater and 1 in Nature Comm. 

Title of Speech: Ultrathin Gold Nanowires for Wearable E-skin Sensors and Soft Energy Devices 



Plenary Speaker 


Prof. Maya Kiskinova

 Elettra-Sincrotrone, Italy 

Biography: Maya Kiskinova was born in Sofia (Bulgaria). She graduated from Sofia State University “Kliment Ohridski” in 1972 with Master in Chemistry She received her Ph.D in 1977 and Sc. D. Habilitation in 1989 in Physical Chemistry. She had joint appointment in Bulgarian Academy of Science and Sofia State University before moving to Elettra Laboratory in 1990 to coordinate the microspectroscopy and imaging programs. Presently she is the Elettra Research Coordinator, teaches a PhD Course in the University of Trieste and lectures at international schools. She was a visiting scientist at the National Bureau of Standards, now NIST (USA) in 1980, IGF-KFA, now FZJ (Germany) in 1982-1984 and University of Pittsburgh (USA) in 1987-1988. In 2002 she received Italian citizenship for scientific merits and in 2005 was awarded Distinguished Humboldt Research Grant.
Maya Kiskinova is member of many scientific and review panels in Europe, USA and Asia, has chaired and co-chaired a number of international conferences, workshops and schools and is a member of numerous steering and program committees.
Her research interests and achievements cover different aspects of nano-structured organic and inorganic materials, thin films, interfaces, surface reactions, mass transport, electronic and magnetic properties, chemical reactivity, fuel and solar cells, nano-toxicology and transient states of matter. Last two decades her research activities have been focused on exploring the properties and transient states of matter at sub-micrometer length scales and development of relevant synchrotron and FEL-based experimental set-ups.
She authored and co-authored over 300 articles in reviewed journals, 14 invited reviews, one book, three book chapters and 2 U.S. Patents and has over 100 invited, keynote and plenary lectures at International Congresses, Conferences, Symposia and Workshops. H-index 43 (SCOPUS). 

Title of Speech: Insights on properties of morphologically complex functional materials using advanced methods at synchrotrons and free electron lasers 

Abstract: The trend of modern nano-technology to invent complex nano-structured and composite materials with improved structural, chemical, electric, magnetic and optical properties has pushed the development and implementation of appropriate characterization methods exploring their structure, dynamics and function at proper spatial, temporal and energy scales. In this respect the complementary capabilities in terms of imaging, spectroscopy, spatial and time resolution of the tools operated at synchrotron and free electron laser facilities have opened unique opportunities to explore the properties of complex functional materials as a function of their size, morphology, composition and operation conditions. Ongoing developments are pushing the lateral and temporal resolution and set-ups allowing for in-situ measurements under realistic operational conditions. The most recent achievements will be illustrated by using selected results from studies of the properties of technologically relevant multicomponent materials following the effects of the chemical ambient, temperature, electomagnetic fields and radiation. The talk will include (i) properties of free-standing nanostructures as a function of composition, dimensions and ambient; (ii) variations in morphology and chemical state of key functional constituents in electrochemical devices as a function of growth or operating conditions; (iii) tracking the ultrafast dynamics triggered by external stimuli with access to elemental and/or magnetic structure of the specimen. 



Assoc. Prof. Rongkun Zheng

 The University of Sydney, Australia 

Biography: Rongkun Zheng obtained his BSc in Physics from Shandong University in China in 1999 and his PhD in Physics from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology in 2004. He joined the University of Sydney in late 2004. He currently is an Associate Professor at the School of Physics. His research interest span from Condensed Matter and Materials Phyiscs, Microscopy and Microanalysis, Nanomagnetism and Spintronics, to 1D and 2D Nanostructures, with focus on the Structure-Property relationships in functional materials. Ha has published more than 130 papers and has received over 5000 citations. He has received a number of awards, including an ARC fellowship, and has been invited to national and international conferences in his field. 

Title of Speech: Atomic-scale tomography of semiconductors and superconductors 

Abstract: Atom Probe tomography have been applied to solve the critical questions in semiconductor and superconductor materials. We have demonstrated that, in the analysis of semiconductor nanowires epitaxially grown from a substrate, the presence of the flat substrate positioned only micrometers away from the analyzed tip apex alters the field distribution and ion trajectories, which provides extra image compression that allows for the analysis of the entire specimen. In InGaAs nanowires, we have revealed and explained: (1) Ga-rich core and In-rich shell structure was grown via different mechanisms; (2) the decomposition rate of the group III precursors determines the In/Ga ratio in the core; (3) The dimension of core increases from 45 to 65 nm and the shape of the core changes from a hexagon to a rounded triangle from the top to the base of the nanowire; (4) The In/Ga ratio and inhomogeneous distributions of group III atoms in the {112}. In order to unravel the magnetism of Co doped ZnO films, we have performed rigorous experiments on Co doped ZnO grown on α-Al2O3 and O-polar ZnO (0001) substrates. In both cases, atom probe tomography confirms a random distribution of Co ion even at the interface region. In the ZnO:Co on α-Al2O3 substrate, the interaction between high density of threading dislocation, dopants, native point defects holds the key to understand the hitherto puzzling ferromagnetism observed in wide variety of doped and undoped semiconductors. However, in the ZnO on the O-polar ZnO (0001) substrate, hydrogen plays a key role in mediating magnetic ordering. Local fluctuations in the distribution of dopant atoms are thought to cause the nanoscale electronic disorder or phase separation in pnictide superconductors. Atom probe tomography has enabled the first direct observations of dopant species clustering in a K-doped 122-phase pnictide. First-principles calculations suggest the coexistence of static magnetism and superconductivity on a lattice parameter length scale over a wide range of dopant concentrations. Our results provide evidence for a mixed scenario of phase coexistence and phase separation, depending on local dopant atom distributions. 



Dr. Warren Batchelor

 Monash University, Australia 

Biography: Dr Warren Batchelor works in the Australian Pulp and Paper Institute within the Department of Chemical Engineering at Monash University as a Senior Lecturer. He is an expert on paper as a nonwoven cellulose fibre material, including the relationships between sheet properties and internal structure and is the past Chairman of the Tappi Paper Physics Committee, the peak committee for the field. Dr Batchelor’s qualifications include a BSc (Physics), BSc (Hons) (Physics), PhD (Physics). Following completion of his PhD he undertook postdoctoral work at the Pulp and Paper Research Institute of Canada working at the Pulp and Paper Centre, University of British Columbia. He joined Monash University in 1996. 

Title of Speech: Inorganic Nanoparticle-Cellulose Nanofibre Composites: a new generation of flexible, functional materials 

Abstract: Nanocellulose fibres are a new class of material that has received a remarkable attention over the past decade. Nanocellulose is biodegradable, renewable, and sustainable and has many other attractive properties of technological interest. Such properties include excellent strength and stiffness, high thermal stability, low moisture adsorption, superior oxygen barrier properties and high optical transparency.
This paper focuses on the production of nanocellulose-inorganic nanoparticle (NP) composites to extend the property range achievable with nanocellulose alone by combining the strengths of both individual components together to extend the properties. Composites of three different NPs with nanocellulose will be discussed.
• Silicon dioxide NPs were used to make model composite. The composite structure was controlled by the amount of NPs present in the composite. The highest loading achieved of 77 wt% narrowed the pore size range from 100-1000 nm to 10-60 nm.
• Nano-montmorillonite (MMT) was used to produce composites targeted towards water barrier applications. Preparation method of nanocellulose-MMT composites was controlled to maximise the available surface area by reducing the MMT stack size, thereby achieved the lowest water vapour permeability for nanocellulose-clay composites ever published.
• Nanocellulose – TiO2 nanoparticle composites were prepared with polyamide-amine-epichlorohydrin (PAE) as a wet strengthening binder. The nanocellulose network combined with PAE strongly retains NPs and hinders their release in the environment. The composites are reusable and reproducible and gave remarkable photocatalytic activity by degrading methyl orange to 95% of its original value in under 150 minutes of UV light irradiation.
All composites produced were flexible, recyclable, portable, cheap, simple to produce and with an easy path to industrial scale up.