School of Chemical Engineering

Professor Peter Halley

Professor, Head of School
Office: 74-301:1
Phone: +61 7 3365 1291

Peter is a Professor in Chemical Engineering, a Group Leader in the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology(AIBN), the Director of the Centre for High Performance Polymers (CHPP), a chief investigator in Advanced Materials Processing and Manufacturing (AMPAM) centre and the Director of Research in the School of Chemical Engineering.

Peter works at the translational research interface between universities and industry. He has worked in industry (SRI international, Sola Optical, Moldflow), has worked in three cooperative research centres (CRCs), has acquired and managed continuous government and industry research projects since 1994, was heavily involved in the spinoff of Plantic Technologies from the CRC food packaging in 2002, and was involved in the research that led to the TenasiTech (TPU nanocomposite) spinoff from UQ in 2007.

Peter leads the CHPP - a virtual cluster of over 80 academics, researchers and students across UQ. In the CHPP he leads a processing research group (CHPP-processing) of 40 academics, researchers and industry partners focusing on the rheology, processing and product design of biopolymers, nanostructured polymers and high value engineering polymers.

Peter is a fellow of the institute of chemical engineers (IChemE) and a fellow of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI). He is also an active member of the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE), the Polymer Processing Society (PPS) and the Society of Rheology (SOR). Peter is on the editorial board of the plastics, Rubbers and Composites, Starch and Journal of Renewable Materials.


Current projects are focused on developing new sustainable and bio-based polymers and biochemicals from formulation through to degradation/disposal, understanding processing of nanostructured polymers, developing smarter biopolymers and materials for biomedical, drug delivery, food and high value applications and understanding rheology and processing of a range of polymer, foods and liquids.

Teaching and Learning: 

Current teaching is in Engineering Thermodynamics and Polymer Engineering. Previous experience in teaching engineering economics, chemical product design, engineering design, polymer rheology and processing, engineering management and fluid mechanics. My overall teaching goal is to be a relevant, well organised, enthusiastic and responsive teacher able to integrate into a variety of team teaching roles in the Engineering program.

  1. High value sustainable agricultural films (CRCP, Integrated Packaging)
  2. Smart biopolymer films (Plantic)
  3. Novel starch-IL-nanocomposites (QUB, UAlab)
  4. Low cost PHA polymers from mixed solid waste (Anoxkaldnes, Veolia)
  5. Novel amylose-blends
  6. Nanostructured polymers (TenasiTech)
  7. Online rheology and simulation (RheoSolutions)
  8. Predicting coating lifetimes for aircraft (DMTC)
  9. Model starch extrusion (CNAFS)
  10. Novel biopolymers for drug coatings (PACE)
  11. Novel monomers and polymers from bioresources (CSIRO, UNT)
  12. Rheology of swallowing fluids and foods (Nestle, RSLCare)
Key Publications: 
  1. Laycock B, P Halley, S Pratt, A Werker, P Lant, The chemomechanical properties of microbial polyhydroxyalkanoates, (2012)
  2. Xie F, P. J. Halley, L.Avérous, Rheology to understand and optimize processibility, structures and properties of starch polymeric materials, Progress in Polymer Science, 37, p595–623 (2012)
  3. Hsu, Y-C., Weir, M. P., Truss, R. W., Garvey, C. J., Nicholson, T. M. & Halley, P. J. (2012).  A fundamental study on photo-oxidative degradation of linear low density polyethylene films at embrittlement, Polymer, 53 (12), (2012) 2385–2393.
  4. Liu WC, Halley PJ, Gilbert RG, Mechanism of Degradation of Starch, a Highly Branched Polymer, during Extrusion, Macromolecules, 43  6  p2855-2864,    (2010)
  5. Halley, P. and George G., Chemorheology of Polymers: from fundamental principles to reactive processing, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, May 2009.
  6. McNally T, Pötschke P, Halley P, Murphy M, Martin D, Bell SEJ, Brennan GP, Bein D, Lemoine P, Quinn JP. Polyethylene multiwalled carbon nanotube composites, Polymer, 46 19 p8222-8232, (2005)