School of Chemical Engineering

The Polymer Translational Research Group undertakes research and development into the design, synthesis, characterisation, rheology, processing and flow simulation of biopolymers and polymer nanocomposites.

Core Skills and Research Areas

CHPP Diagram

Research benefits for UQ:
  • an interdisciplinary research focus into new polymer systems
  • a vehicle for commercialisation of polymer research project by linking polymer chemists, engineers and practitioners
  • a vehicle for the development and marketing of polymer research as a key university strength both nationally and internationally
  • strong involvement in Engineering, AIBN, CAI and AMPAM
  • strengthen further national and international involvement in key research centres such as CRCs and international consortia
Operational Objectives
  1. Pursue excellence in research and development in the field of fundamental polymer science and engineering, with particular emphasis on the drivers of application in polymer nanocomposites, biopolymers and high value manufacturing polymers.
  2. Be a major catalyst for cross-disciplinary research and development with UQ, and in particular play a strong role in the proposed Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN).
  3. Educate postgraduate students and industrial partners in the fundamental sciences that underpin the polymeric development of new products and technologies.
  4. Assist in the commercialisation of new products and technologies for the national and international markets through effective consultancies and interactions.
  5. Promote greater external interaction with the University of Queensland through continuing collaborative arrangements and participation in the professional bodies representing polymer scientists and engineers within Australia.
Academic Staff

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Research Staff

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Adjunct Staff
  • Dr Stewart McGlashan (Innovation intermediary)
  • Nick McCaffrey (CTO Plantic Technologies)
  • Dr Geoff Covey (Chemical engineering consulting)
  • Professor Graeme George (CRC Polymers/QUT)

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Postgraduate Students
  • Ms Emilie Gauthier

Polymer Translational Research Group has established a proven record of problem solving and consulting services for many Australian companies including  Nestle, Cadbury Schweppes, Capilano, Penford, Sola Optical, EGR Plastics, Aortech, Brisbane City Council, Colgate Palmolive, Steggall Nutrition, H-C Marketing, RSL care, Integrated Packaging, Plantic Technologies, RheoSolutions and many other industry partners.

In addition to the centre’s state-of-the-art facilities, staff can access equipment in the Brisbane Surface Analysis Facility, Nanomaterials Centre, Centre for Advanced Imaging and the Centre for Microscopy & Microanalysis at the University to increase our research and consulting capabilities.  We also work on projects with partners across UQ, including UQMaterials Performance and AMCP.



Nicolet 5700 ATR-FTIR
Nicolet 5700 FTIR-NIR
Dispersive Raman Microscope
FT-SPR module
Grazing angle accessory
Grazing angle ATR
High Pressure ATR cell
Diamond ATR accessory


Solid State
Solutions Chemistry
Solution CMR


Waters HPLC




157 nm F2
193 nm ArF


Hermule Z323


Trace GCMS


JA Woolam VUV Vase


GPC x 2
Waters GPC with inline Wyatt MAL


Waters LCMS/MS


Cary 4000
UV/Vis Plate Reader (Tecan)


Horiba Fluoromax-4
Fluorescence Scanner (Tecan)

UV Exposure

Runray 600
Sematech Exposure Tool

Spin Coaters

POLOS Coater
Chemat Coater

Glove Box Station

M-Braun Station

Parallel Synthesis

MT Multimax

Flash Chromatography

Buchi Sepacore


Low poser plasma deposition




Various - CMM + BnDF








QUV Weatherometer

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Small Scale Processing & Formulation


Drum Granulator


Haake Mini-extruder
Haake Polylab twin screw extruder system (19mm) x 2
DSM mini injection molder
Axon single screw extruder
Prism twin screw extruder


Ultrasonic mixer
Brabender batch mixer (Partec)

Sample Preparation

Compression molders x 2


Particle Grinder

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Rheometrics Low shear RDSII and ARES rheometers x 2
Rheometrics DMTA
Slit die rheometers
Capillary rheometer
Haake Rheoscope
Multipass Rheometer


Brookfield viscometer
Low Viscosity Ubelodhe viscometers
Rapid Visco Analyser

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Instron tensile testers x 3


Optical Microscope


KF Moisture Analyser


MOCON O2 and H20 barrier property testers
Custome made specialty gas barrier cells

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Entek twinscrew extruder (27 mm)
Haake coextruder steup (19 mm)
Supercritical C02 extruder
Axon single screw extruder
Prism twin screw extruder (16 mm diameter)

Film Blowing

Axon Film blowing tower

Injection Molding

Demag 80t injection moulder


Uniaxial rotational moulder

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Flowsolve flow simulation software
Atomistic modelling software
Polyflow software

This page contains essential information to enable you to work safely and profitably in our labs. It includes information on safety inductions, where to find information about our equipment, and how to book the equipment.

Safety inductions

Everyone who works at UQ is required to complete the UQ online safety induction available here

Those intending to work in the Chemical Engineering labs need to attend a building induction with the building manager (contact

Those intending to work in the AIBN labs (our facilities are located on level 4 East) need to need to contact Maria Somodevilla Torres who is in charge of AIBN lab inductions.

In addition you will need to have a basic introduction to the special features and hazards in our labs from the appropriate person in charge (see below).

Equipment training, booking and use

Links to all our equipment is currently on the CHPP group file share (G:/chpp), available to those based in the EAIT faculty. This site contains a list of those responsible for the various pieces of equipment, together with Standard Operating procedures and outline Risk Assessments. Key contacts, if you are unable to access the more detailed information on this server, are:

Before using a particular piece of equipment you need to contact the person in charge who will take you through the Standard Operating procedure for the equipment and also as necessary arrange or provide hands on training. Once they are satisfied that you are competent to use the equipment you will become an authorised user and be able to book the equipment.

Bookings are made via the web at You will only be able to book equipment that you have been authorised to use, and only up to one week in advance. You will be supplied with login details once you become an authorised user of our equipment. Any queries about the booking system should be addressed to Timothy Nicholson. If you need special features or resources (e.g. Liquid Nitrogen ordering) make sure you contact the equipment manager in advance.

Prior to your experiment you need to conduct a Risk Assessment (RA) and show it to the responsible person. At UQ these are now conducted online via the OHS website. To help you do this, refer to the outline RAs on our server. You might also need to refer to the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) of any chemicals and materials you will be using (use Chemwatch, also available from the OHS website).

Many pieces of equipment have a log book. This helps check for maintenance issues and can also suggest appropriate parameters for other users. Please fill in these books.

Team Location

School of Chemical Engineering
The University of Queensland

Group Leader

Professor Peter Halley
Telephone Icon (+61) 7 3365 1291
Email icon

Postal Address

School of Chemical Engineering
Building 74, Don Nicklin Building
College Road
The University of Queensland
St Lucia QLD 4072 Australia.