Australasian Colloid and Interface Society

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ACIS Newsletter – Issue 28, March 2022



Dear Esteemed Members,

Welcome to our 28th issue of ACIS News! We produce a quarterly newsletter - sent around in February, May, August, and November (approximately) - to keep the wonderful members of ACIS informed of our initiatives and for members to directly communicate with our Society. We publish job announcements, meetings of interests to our society, career development opportunities, any exciting research that you would like to share with us and much more. To everyone up to date with the on-goings in our colloids society, please send your suggestions and items for the next newsletter to or Stuart Brown at


President’s Corner

Welcome to the first ‘President’s Corner’ of 2022. I would like to welcome Geoff Willmott of Auckland University to the ACIS Board of Directors for the period 2022-2024. Geoff is a long-term supporter of ACIS events and we’re very pleased to have him aboard. Continuing director portfolios are as follows: Tam Greaves is our Vice President, Deborah Wakeham is our Honorary Treasurer, Michael Higgins is our new Membership officer and Christine Browne is our ongoing Communications officer. Frank Sainsbury is our Equity Officer and Joe Berry chairs the Awards subcommittee. Last, but not least, Grant Webber will continue to keep an eye on us all as the society’s Honorary Secretary. A huge vote of thanks to the very outgoing Arlene McDowell for keeping our membership database functioning throughout the past two years of COVID and consequent online events.


Another massive vote of thanks goes to Marta Krasowska, Stephanie MacWilliams and Amir Beheshti for delivering the 33ACSSSC online rather than at UniSA. Those with experience in organising events will certainly appreciate the last-minute hassles and dare I say, pivoting, that this required. ACIS is keen to assess the possibility of running the 34ACSSSC in early 2023. If you’d like to host/help, please email ACIS via to express your interest to the Board.


With the academic year now in full swing, those who are research & teaching academics are likely wondering how on earth we will meet the ARC’s 2022 discovery grant deadlines during semester? For all our student members, I would like to encourage HDR candidates to consider the Three Minute Thesis competition in which you get to hone your oral presentation skills and convince broad audiences of the wonders of your research in a very short three-minute timeslot. Please check out the history of this event at ACIS plans to run its very own heat to help students prepare for their university heats, so if you’d like to be involved in organising this, please let me know sooner rather than later via I encourage strong participation and competition to break the stranglehold that RMIT appears to have on this event!


Let’s hope that our next conference, the fabulous IACIS2022 goes off without a hitch! The stalwart organising committee is certainly doing their utmost to make sure it does. While abstracts for oral presentations have now closed, poster abstracts can still be submitted. You will find an update on IACIS2022 below. I am looking forward to catching up with as many of you as possible in Brisbane in June.


In closing I would just like to wish everyone a fabulous 2022 with lots of face-to-face collaboration and great colloid and interfacial science and engineering.


Erica Wanless (President)



Newest Board Member

A big welcome to the newest member of the ACIS Board: Geoff Willmot

I am an Associate Professor with a joint appointment between the Department of Physics and the School of Chemical Sciences at the University of Auckland, where I have been since 2013. My research mainly involves nano- and microfluidics, an interest that was kindled during a postdoc with the Nano and Micro Fluidics team at Industrial Research Limited (now Callaghan Innovation) in Lower Hutt, New Zealand, following a PhD at the University of Cambridge (UK). Since 2018 I have been Deputy Director for Commercialization and Industry Engagement in the MacDiarmid Institute, and in 2021 I was appointed co-Deputy Head of Department (Research) in Physics.





IACIS Brisbane 2022

With the relaxing of travel restrictions we are looking forward to welcoming colleagues from all over the world to Brisbane from June 26-30 for IACIS 2022. Don't miss the chance to register for IACIS 2022 by the early-bird deadline of 28th March. The abstract submission for poster presentations is still open and the oral program is currently being finalised.

We are putting together a packed program of oral and poster presentations, both in-person and online. Our plenary speakers are Prof Stephen Hyde, The University of Sydney, the A.E. Alexander Lecturer; Prof Kazue Kurihara Tohoku University, the IACIS Lifetime Achievement Award recipient and Distinguished Prof Lidia Morawska, QUT. There are also several world-leading keynote speakers from around the world listed on the website, with more to be added.

The website also has information for those who require child minding during the conference, or who are interested in making the most of their visit to Queensland with pre- and post-conference options in Brisbane and beyond.

More details are being added about the Workshop on Advanced Characterization of Colloids and Interfaces at UQ, to be held in partnership with the ANSTO Australian Centre for Neutron Scattering and the Australian Synchrotron. Day 1 (30th June) will comprise talks and practical sessions introducing X-ray and neutron techniques, electron microscopy, surface analysis and particle characterization methods and their applications to interfaces and colloids, as well as lab tours. The second day (1st July) will be more intensive hands-on sessions covering experiment, theory, and data analysis. You can register for the workshop as part of the conference registration, for a small additional cost.

Keep an eye on for all the essential information and follow the social media links also on the website for the latest news.


Australian Colloid and Surface Science Student Conference

The 33rd Australian Colloid and Surface Science Student Conference was held virtually from the 31st January to 2 February 2022. The event was attended by 160 delegates from both domestic and international institutions. We congratulate all the student presenters on the high caliber of Australian and international science presented at the conference. We had 4 fantastic plenary speakers:

Prof. Wuge Briscoe (University of Bristol)

A nano-vision to nano-invasion

A/Prof István Szilágyi (University of Szeged)

Nanoparticle-based biocatalytic systems to combat oxidative stress

Prof. Xuehua Zhang (University of Alberta)

Accelerated chemical reactions with surface nanodroplets

Prof. Rosa Espinosa (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign)

Interfacial Behavior of copolymer hydrogels undergoing microphase separation

We extend a big thank you to the organisers of the conference Marta Krasowska, Stephanie MacWilliams and Amir Beheshti from the University of South Australia for their hard work and flexibility in putting together a fantastic event!

Congratulations are extended to our student poster and oral presentation winners:

Student Talk Awards

Healy Hunter Medal – Linda Rozenberga, University of South Australia

ACIS/ECIS Award – Daniel Morris, University of New South Wales

Student Poster Awards

Abigail Goff - RMIT

Samantma Zaman – The University of Melbourne

Bradley Kirk – Flinders University

Maxwell Coney – University of New South Wales

Patjaree Aukarasereenont – RMIT






ACIS Equity and Diversity Update

Committee members: Frank Sainsbury, Livia Salvati Manni, Jiali (Maggie) Zhai, Saffron Bryant, Aaron Elbourne, Stephanie MacWilliams, Zo Shaw

We are delighted to launch the ACIS Equity and Diversity Update in the ACIS Newsletter to present our initiatives and activities to our members. We aim to improve representation and recognition of our diverse and inclusive community, and to continually reflect on what we can do to make a positive difference to Equity and Diversity within ACIS and the research community at large.

We are currently looking at a number of initiatives to address equity and diversity within ACIS. These include devising a set of best practice guidelines for awarding prizes and awards at ACIS conferences, and consulting with our members on their experience and expectations for Equity and Diversity within the society – look out for our member survey later this year!

The Equity and Diversity committee are always open to thoughts and suggestions from our members. Feel free to get in touch with Frank Sainsbury (, Equity and Diversity committee chair.



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Description automatically generatedACIS Lectureship Award

The Australasian Colloid and Interface Society has established an annual Lectureship to allow outstanding, recently appointed, colloid and interface research scientists to travel around Australia and New Zealand to present the results of their research work. We are excited to announce that the 2022 ACIS ECR Lectureship Award goes to Dr Maggie Zhai from RMIT.





ANSTO Future Now Scholarship

Congratulations to PhD student Jonathan Caukwell who won a highly competitive ANSTO Future Now scholarship top up to enhance his project titled, “Investigating the interactions between the human microbiome and lipid-based drug delivery systems” under the supervision of Dr Khay Fong, Dr Livia Salvati Manni, Prof Brett Neilan, Dr Karl Hassan at the University of Newcastle and Dr Andrew Clulow (Australian Synchrotron).




Collaborative PhD Opportunity

Dr Khay Fong has an open PhD position in collaboration with UWA (A/Prof Talitha Santini) and industry partner Alcoa, entitled “New microbial inocula and carriers for fast tailings remediation (microbial biotechnology)”. Students can be based at University of Newcastle, UWA or UQ and will have the opportunity to travel between the sites throughout their candidature. Follow the link above for more details or to apply.






PhD & Research Fellow Positions at Monash on the “Circular Economy of Plastics”

Prof. Matthew Hill and Dr Leonie van 't Hag have a PhD or MSc by research scholarship available to work in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Monash University in collaboration with CSIRO to work on nanoporous membranes to advance the circular economy. Single use plastics could be made recyclable if they could be easily broken down back into their starting components.  Catalysts can break the polymers apart, and if a membrane could be developed to find the monomers, then the whole process could be made sustainable.  Please contact us directly to discuss further.  Students with a BSc, honours or MSc degree in chemistry, chemical engineering, materials science or related fields are encouraged to get in touch.  International students will need to attract a fee waiver scholarship in addition.


A 2-year Research Fellow position to work on an exciting interdisciplinary project which aims to produce circular polymer products from food waste streams is also available. The project will be based within the faculty of Engineering at Monash University and is in collaboration with our partners at Deakin University and RMIT, and with colleagues in the School of Chemistry at Monash University. You will explore the conversion of biorefined food waste streams into various materials including polymer packaging and composites. The project is part of a joint departmental research collaboration that engages Prof. Mark Banaszak Holl, Prof. Neil Cameron, Dr. Kristian Kempe, and Dr. Leonie van ‘t Hag.


Reach out to if you are interested in one of these positions.



Biophysics Research Fellow at University of New South Wales - Sydney

There is a fantastic 2 year, biophysics Post-Doctoral research fellow opportunity to work on a growing and dividing artificial cell at UNSW Sydney.

For more details click here or if you have any questions, please contact Anna Wang at

Applications close March 21st 2022.




Research Fellow Opportunities at University of Sydney

A three-year postdoc position is available at the University of Sydney with Prof Chiara Neto to work on paint additives. You will be studying the assembly of polymer particles and nanofibres, to create superior paints with our industry partner Dulux. Suited to high quality PhD graduates (or near completion) in Physical Chemistry, Interface Physics, Chemical Engineering or closely related disciplines

Closes March 21 Details here:



Postgraduate Research Scholarship in Colloid and Emulsion Science

A fully funded PhD scholarship is available for an outstanding PhD scholar to research the structure and stability of nanoparticle-stabilised emulsions at Massey University under the supervision of Associate Professor Catherine Whitby.

This PhD project is part of a newly funded MacDiarmid Institute research programme on ‘Reconfigurable Systems - Towards Zero Waste’. The successful candidate will join the School of Natural Sciences on the Palmerston North campus of Massey University in New Zealand.


The ideal PhD candidate will have strong background in colloid and surface chemistry, and excellent understanding of fundamental physical chemistry. The candidate will have a BScHon or MSc degree in physical/surface/materials chemistry with outstanding grades and a keen interest in multidisciplinary research. You should satisfy the requirements for admission as a PhD candidate at Massey University.

Total value and tenure of scholarship

NZD$35,000 per annum (not taxed) and includes all student fees for three (3) years.

How to apply

To apply, please send a copy of your CV and academic transcripts, and the names and contact details of two referees to: Associate Professor Catherine Whitby ( with “PhD Scholarship in Colloid and Emulsion Science” in the subject line.



Join our Awards, Communications, Conferences and Events Committees

ACIS needs its members to be actively engaged. Please let us know if you would like to be involved in the committees that will run the activities of the Society: Awards; Communications; Conferences and Events. Or if you would like to propose other activities we should be running. We especially invite students and early-career researchers to become involved. Please email your interest to

Visiting Scientist Register

Are you planning to host a visit by an outstanding scientist in the colloid and interface field? Why not let ACIS members know about the visit? We aim to keep track of visiting scientists, to facilitate their introduction to the Australasian scientific community. Please email details of the visit to

ACIS Membership

Please encourage your colleagues, students and industrial partners working in the field of colloids and interface to join us. General membership is $100 per annum. The membership year is from 1st March each year. Memberships paid after this date are valid until 28th February of the following year. More information is available on our website


LinkedIn LogoUse Our LinkedIn Group to Tell People Your News

ACIS is now present on LinkedIn. Please join our LinkedIn group and post discussion items on job ads, conference calls, and interesting facts about the wonderful world of colloid and surface science.


Or Tag your Friends and Colleagues

Share your next big breakthrough, job opportunity or beautiful science with the ACIS community by using @AusColloids.



The Newsletter team signing off,


Christine Browne –


Stuart Brown –