Assoc. Prof. Rico Tabor

Rico Tabor completed his undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at the University of Bristol, UK, under the supervision of the legendary surfactant chemist Julian Eastoe. In 2009, he moved to Australia for a post-doctoral position at the University of Melbourne, working in the colloid group of Profs Ray Dagastine, Franz Grieser and Derek Chan, using atomic force microscopy to explore fundamental forces in soft systems. In 2012, he was appointed to a lectureship at Monash University, where he started the Soft Materials and Colloids group, whose members research phenomena at the interface of self-assembly and responsive nanomaterials. Outside of work, he spends most of his time walking his dog and researching the best Australian red wines.

Dr Boon Teo

Boon Teo received her B.A.Sc from the University of Melbourne in 2005, majoring in Psychology and Chemistry. In 2006, she received her B.Sc (first class Hons) and Ph.D. (2010) in Physical Chemistry under the supervision of Prof. Muthupandian Ashokkumar and Prof. Franz Grieser. She loves travelling for work and has worked in the USA, Japan, Denmark and the UK. She returned to Melbourne in May 2017 having been appointed to a lectureship at Monash University. She is part of the SMaC group and leads a theme in particle, polymer and ultrasound chemistry.

Dr Shane Meaney

Shane joined the SMaC lab in February, 2016 having completed two years of his PhD program at the University of South Australia under the supervision of Professor Bart Follink. Prior to commencing his doctoral studies, he completed a double degree in Chemical Engineering and Chemistry at the University of Sydney. Shane's interest lies at a confluence of science and engineering, seeking to improve industrial processes by incorporating novel colloidal materials. His current research involves the development of encapsulation technologies which provide enhanced selectivity and efficiency to critical chemical processes in the mining industry. Outside his studies Shane is an avid traveller and an amateur sportsman.

Dr R. Bengü Karabacak

Bengü completed her Ph.D. degree (2011) in Physical Chemistry at the Anadolu University (Turkey) and then she continued as a post-doctoral researcher at the same university. Her research topics focused on the synthesis and characterization of functional polymer colloids and nanoparticles with different applications such as catalyst supports, antimicrobials, and pharmacy. Additionally, stimuli-responsive microgels, core/shell nanocomposites, and cryogels attracted her attention. She joined the SMaC Lab as a visiting researcher in August 2018. Her current research concentrates on acoustically active nanomaterials based on functional polymers and biomaterials for drug-delivery studies. Outside of work, she loves traveling, yoga, sculpting, and music as well as spending time at the seaside.

Matthew Pottage

Matt Pottage has been a member of the SMaC group since completing his honours year in the lab in 2013, and spending most of 2014 working as a research assistant. He started a PhD through the Monash Chemicals and Plastics Manufacturing Innovation Network, sponsored by 3M, in February 2015. His research interests include the structural investigation of fluorinated amphiphiles to facilitate design of their replacements, and the incorporation of graphene into smart, functional materials.

Muthana Ali

Muthana Ali was born in Babylon, Iraq and completed his bachelor and masters degree in Chemistry at Kerbala University, Iraq, specialising in the field of inorganic chemistry. At this time, he worked on the preparation, characterization and kinetic study of transition metals complexes as his primary research area. He worked as a lecturer in department of chemistry at Kerbala University for a couple of years. His current research interests are in exploring the synthesis and applications of graphene oxide nanosheets, and their role in micro/nano-fluidic encapsulation for a variety of fluidic applications. In his off time Muthana enjoys the outdoors and is a keen runner and swimmer.

Rajiv Thapa

Rajiv completed his Bachelors and Masters degrees in biochemistry from the State University of New York. He moved to Monash university in 2012 and joined SMaC Lab in 2015. Rajiv's interest lies in the bacterial membrane composition and their interactions. His current research in the lab involves the study of bacterial membranes and their interactions with nanomaterials using atomic force microscopy.

Jackson Moore

Jackson Moore graduated with a Master of Chemical and Materials Engineering degree at the University of Queensland. He has work experience in a wide variety of areas including collecting sterile samples for bacterial testing in the meat industry, studying the rheological properties of hydrated starchy foods, testing process variables that affect product quality in the alumina industry, and designing a membrane separation process for desalinating coal seam gas brine. Jackson's PhD research investigates the synthesis and characterisation of novel sugar-based surfactants with partner company Axieo.

Joshua Marlow

Josh Marlow completed his 'Bachelor of Advanced Science (with Honours)' in 2015, having completed his honours project under the joint supervision of Drs Rico Tabor and Brendan Wilkinson. After spending several months working in industry, Josh returned to begin his PhD in the second half of 2016, again as part of the SMaC group. His research is focused around the application of fluorescence imaging techniques to lyotropic liquid crystal systems, and the effects of the structure of these systems on the diffusion of particles inside them. His interests include comic books, movies and science communication.

Mark Vidallon

Mark completed his bachelor’s degree in Chemistry at the University of the Philippines Los Baños, where he also taught chemistry laboratory courses for almost three years. He joined SMaC Lab in January 2018, under the supervision of Dr. Boon Mian Teo. For his PhD research, Mark will be developing biopolymer-nanometal hybrid encapsulation and nanodelivery systems, and exploring their possible applications as antimicrobials and ultrasound contrast agents. His hobbies include watching horror films, reading and cooking.

Hana Shiraz

Hana Shiraz started her Bachelors in Science majoring in Chemical Engineering at Texas A&M University in 2009 and transferred to Monash University in 2013 to complete her undergraduate degree. In 2015, she then went on to accepting a PhD offer at Monash University in Materials Science and Engineering to work on a project in collaboration with Dulux Australia in surface coatings. Her PhD work is focused around polymer chemistry and surface chemistry, mainly in the field of colloidal science, where she synthesises novel latexes for use in paint. In her spare time, Hana enjoys teaching math to kids, travelling, working out, exploring restaurants and cafes in Melbourne (ask her where to go for brunch/dinner), social media, partying and water sports activities.

Shahinur Acter

Shahinur Acter completed her Bachelor of Science (with Honours) in Chemistry from National University, Bangladesh. She graduated with Master’s degree from Graduate School of Bio- nanotechnology at Hanyang University, South Korea. She has work experience in synthesis of soft polymeric material including hydrogel, surface modified polystyrene micro-particles and dimple shaped micro particles. She also worked as a lecturer in Chemistry at World University of Bangladesh after completing her Master’s degree. Shahinur started her PhD as a part of the SMaC group from February 2018. Her PhD research mainly focused on synthesis and characterisation of nanomaterials and encapsulate contrast agents and grow them with cells, also see the uptake of the cells with ultrasound. Her main supervisor is Dr. Boon Mian Teo and co supervisor Prof. Bayden Wood. Her hobbies include photography, cooking, shopping and exploring new places.

Zhenzhen Lu

Zhenzhen comes from China, and joined the SMaC lab in March 2018. Before that, she gained her bachelor degree from Central South University (China), Master degree from University of Ottawa (Canada) and 2 years working experience in the personal care industry. Her main research interest lies in transdermal cosmetic/drug delivery using liposome and ultrasound chemistry. In her leisure time she loves travelling around, swimming and reading.

Luke Giles

Luke completed his Honours year in 2017, investigating structural control of coordination polymer morphologies using soft matter templates (co-supervised by Prof. Stuart Batten). Returning to the SMaC group to start his PhD in 2018, his research now aims to develop azobenzene-based liquid crystals towards responsive optical and optoelectronic materials.

Calum Butler

Calum completed his Honours year in 2016 with Dr Kellie Tuck, developing new synthesis methods for ion-sensitive organic molecules. In 2017, he worked on an industrial project, developing new methods for analysing and treating wastewater. Calum started his PhD in 2018, and is developing new, responsive surfactant molecules for smart self-assembly.

Josh King

Josh undertook his Honours year in 2017 in the SMaCLab, researching the spatiotemporal evolution of complex fluid films. He spent the following year travelling and learning about the rheology of non-Newtonian systems as a research assistant in the Chemistry and Materials Science and Engineering. In 2019, Josh returned to the SMaCLab to commence his PhD, exploring the relationship between nanostructure and properties for self-assembled fluids.

Ashley Williams

Ash Williams completed his Bachelor of Science with Chemistry and Applied Mathematics Majors in 2018 at Monash University. Ash joined the SMaC team in 2018, in an undergraduate research project, to investigate the rheological properties and stability of cellulose nanofibers in the presence of surfactants. Ash has returned in 2019 to tackle Honours under the supervision of Associate Professor Rico Tabor. The project looks at remodeling small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) data for worm-like micellar systems.

Michaela Wawryk

Michaela Wawryk is in her final year of a Bachelor of Science Advanced – Research degree, doing her Honours project with Assoc. Prof. Rico Tabor. She has previously undertaken research projects in materials and physical chemistry, and this year is looking into the fabrication of unique surfaces using particle self-alignment.

Alumni and Visitors

  • Dr Thomas McCoy (Honours 2014, PhD 2015–2018). Now post-doctoral fellow at the University of Cambridge.
  • Dr Ragesh Prathapan (PhD 2015–2018)
  • Steven Chung (Honours 2018). Now working in business development at PPG.
  • Alex McCart (Honours 2018)
  • Michaela Wawryk (Undergraduate project student 2018)
  • Rui Woon (Undergraduate project student 2018)
  • Ashley Williams (Undergraduate project student 2018)
  • Huw C. W. Parks (Visiting Scholar, 2017–2018)
  • Dr Sumit Tripathi (PhD 2013-17, Post-doctoral Research Fellow 2017–2018). Now Assistant Professor at College of Engineering Pune.
  • Dr JJ Hamon (visiting PhD student from University of Oklahoma, 2016–17)
  • Joshua King (Honours 2017)
  • Dr Yingxue (Hillary) Hu (co-supervised with Dr Brendan Wilkinson, PhD 2014–17). Now development chemist at StarPharma.
  • Veena Kelleppan (Honours 2016). Now formulation chemist with Axieo.
  • Jesse Givens-Lamb (Undergraduate project student)
  • Gene Looi (Nanyang exchange student, Singapore)
  • Nikolas Matovinovic (Undergraduate project student)
  • Andrew Rayner (Undergraduate project student)
  • Shirleen Kirsten (Undergraduate project student)
  • Terrence Ho (Nanyang exchange student, Singapore)
  • Aurore Weissert (International Internship student, France)
  • Ludivine Nouvelle (International Internship student, France)
  • Imdad Ullah (International HEC IRSIP scholar, Pakistan)
  • Sean Siwen Han (Nanyang exchange student, Singapore)
  • Alsu Valiakhmetova (Endeavour scholar, Russia)