HyTECH brings together an exceptional team of industry and academic scientists, with outstanding track records in delivering end-user driven research outcomes, a wide breadth of experience, and extensive histories of early career researcher mentoring and training.
Professor Brett Paull is a Professor of Analytical Chemistry in the School of Natural Sciences, within the College of Sciences and Engineering at the University of Tasmania. Brett was Director of the Australian Centre for Research on Separation Science from 2014–2019 and Director of the Australian Research Council (ARC) Training Centre for Portable Analytical Separation technologies (ASTech) from 2015–2020. His research sits at the interface of materials and analytical science, and he has been involved in research in both fundamental and applied aspects of the separation sciences for the past thirty years.
Professor Kevin Thomas is Director of the Queensland Alliance for Environmental Health Sciences (QAEHS) at The University of Queensland. Kevin is an environmental health scientist with a particular interest in understanding the environmental exposures associated with contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) with the goal of protecting environmental and human health. His current research is focused on understanding human exposure to plastics pollution and developing mass spectrometric analytical methods for characterising plastics and other CECs, assessing community-wide health status through analysing wastewater (wastewater-based epidemiology), establishing alternative approaches to exposure monitoring, for example explanted silicone prostheses and wristbands.
Professor Rob Shellie has 25 years of research experience developing hyphenated chromatographic techniques and hyphenated chromatographic analysers. Rob has worked across government, academia, and industry addressing wicked problems with multidimensional separations and multidimensional analyses. Although he describes himself as sample-impartial, Rob’s research largely centres on measurement science (analytical chemistry) of food, flavour, and fragrance.
Dr Cassandra Rauert is a Research Fellow at the Queensland Alliance for Environmental Health Sciences (QAEHS) at The University of Queensland. Cassandra’s career has focussed on developing new methods for monitoring human and environmental exposure to chemicals of emerging concern. At QAEHS she is the project lead for investigating human exposure to microplastics within the Minderoo Centre-Plastics and Human Health, which is focussing on developing new methods for detecting micro and nanoplastics in human matrices. Her other research interests include the impact of tyre road wear particle microplastics and their chemical additives on the environment, and developing novel biomonitoring methods for assessing human exposure to a wide range of chemicals of concern (e.g., silicone wristbands and silicone implants).
Dr Estrella Sanz Rodriguez is a senior research fellow in the School of Natural Sciences, within the College of Sciences and Engineering at the University of Tasmania. Estrella has 25 years’ experience as an analytical chemist working with hyphenated separation techniques with mass spectrometry, including gas chromatography, liquid chromatography and ion chromatography. She has also provided hands-on advanced training of post-graduate students and early career researchers in the use of this instrumentation.
Dr Vipul Gupta is an ARC Discovery Early Career Research (DECRA) Fellow and Lecturer in the School of Natural Sciences (Chemistry). His research is focused on 3D printing, chromatography, microfluidics, and material science. In addition to research and teaching, he also enjoys the role of an entrepreneur (co-founder of 3D MADe) and a book author (lead author of 3D Printing in Chemical Sciences).
Dr Fernando Maya is a Senior Lecturer in Chemistry at the University of Tasmania. His research expertise includes the synthesis of porous and hybrid materials, the development of supports for extraction and separation, and the development of novel methodologies for analytical sample preparation and their hyphenation with separation techniques.
Dr Paul Haddad is an Emeritus Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at the University of Tasmania. His research covers numerous aspects of separation science, including ion chromatography, liquid chromatography and capillary electrophoresis. He is interested in both the fundamentals and applications of these techniques, with a special focus on computerised methods for the prediction of retention. Within HyTECH his role will focus on providing a formal mentoring program for young scientists working within the Centre.
Dr Andrew Bowie is a Chemical Oceanographer at the Universtiy of Tasmania. His research investigates the biogeochemistry of trace elements in Southern Ocean and Antarctic sea ice environments, with projects addressing key research questions related to atmospheric dust deposition and solubilities, ocean iron fertilisation, physico-chemical speciation of trace elements and their isotopes, and the role of ocean dynamics on chemical and biological marine processes. His research outcomes are focused on assessment of trace element control of ocean productivity, ocean carbon sequestration and expanding our knowledge of marine geochemical processes.
Dr Snehal Jadhav is a lecturer in food safety and a member of the CASS Food Research Centre at Deakin University, Melbourne. Dr Jadhav is passionate about food safety and her research expertise is in solving issues related to microbial food safety using omics approaches. Her current interest is in using advanced separation science platforms to develop rapid pathogen detection workflows from food to ultimately reduce microbial food waste and promote food sustainability.
Dr Russell Keast is a Professor and Director of the CASS Food Research Centre at Deakin University, Melbourne. Russell is also a qualified Chef and completed his PhD in the flavour of beer at the University of Otago, New Zealand. He is a Food Scientist with specialisation in sensory science and understanding why the factors in why we overconsume certain foods.
Dr Jake O’Brien holds an NHMRC Emerging Leadership Fellowship at the Queensland Alliance for Environmental Health Sciences (QAEHS) at The University of Queensland. He is an environmental health scientist whose main research interests are in developing analytical techniques including high-resolution mass spectrometry coupled with chromatography to better characterise chemical threats in our environment, and developing wastewater-based epidemiology as a public health surveillance tool. He is a founder of the National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program and the SewAus Census project where wastewater derived data are triangulated with Census data to understand how communities are exposed to chemical and biological hazards, and how these chemicals/biological agents are released into the environment following wastewater treatment.
Des Richardson, Norske Skog’s Senior Scientist, obtained a PhD in analytical chemistry at the University of Tasmania and has worked in the pulp and paper industry for over 46 years in applied Research & Development in the fields of wood extractive chemistry, pulp and paper-making, wastewater treatment, and applied analytical chemistry. He has, throughout his career, co-supervised post graduate students at several universities in areas of relevance to the industry, some of whom now hold senior positions in industry. He has more recently been involved in Norske Skog’s investigations of technology associated with sustainable chemical and composite manufacture from biomass.
Nish Naidoo completed his PhD in biophysics at Macquarie University, NSW and followed this with diverse research projects around biotechnology. This academic experience utilising a range of chemical, biological and analytical techniques allowed for a smooth transition to industry, where he was involved in life sciences applications for 8 years through training and support. He then moved to analytical instrumentation and technology and has been part of Thermo Fisher Scientific for nearly 5 years, proudly supporting chromatography customers in Australia and New Zealand.
Dr Andrew Gooley is the Chief Scientific Officer with Trajan Scientific and Medical and leads a multidisciplinary team of scientists and engineers on a diverse range of projects from medical device development, separation science instrumentation prototyping, through to consumables for the global analytical science community. Andrew has been responsible for the execution of a range of collaborative programs with the Australian academic and medical research community focused on the translation of research outcomes into new product development. Andrew has led Trajan’s partner organisation activities with three previous Industrial Transformation Training Centres — ASTech (UTAS and UniSA), CPTT (University of Melbourne) and ATCI (University of Melbourne). Andrew holds a PhD in Biotechnology from Macquarie University.
Carl has worked in the scientific industry for the past 30 years. Carl has a diverse background as both a manager and technician with extensive knowledge in the fields of Chromatography and Mass Spectrometry. In 2002, Carl joined Shimadzu Scientific Instruments as a Service Engineer where he provided service and technical support to Shimadzu’s customer base and serviced a broad range of Shimadzu’s scientific instrumentation. In 2008, he became the Regional Manager and is currently responsible for the day-to-day management of the company’s Queensland regional office. Carl manages and provides leadership to Shimadzu’s Sales and Engineering staff including management decisions, problem-solving, and troubleshooting advice.
Dr Bernadette Proemse is a hydrologist and environmental chemist currently working in the field of water quality monitoring. After completing her PhD Bernadette’s academic research focussed on the development of novel analytical and isotopic tools and their application in the broad field of environmental biogeochemistry, e.g. related to pollution. Since 2019, Bernadette is the Catchment Scientist at the Derwent Estuary Program in Hobart, Tasmania, a non-for-profit organisation and regional partnership between local governments, the Tasmanian state government, commercial and industrial enterprises, scientists and the community. Her current work focusses on hydrochemistry, pollution tracing and nutrient cycling in coastal and freshwater systems.
Mark Albertson is the Portfolio Manager for the Chromatography Product line of Thermo Fisher Scientific ANZ. Mark has a strong interest in the Field of Ion Chromatography dating back 36 years’, with experience in both system sales and applications support. Mark has seen the evolution of Ion Chromatography from an obscure research tool to a technique in everyday use throughout Australasia. During this time Mark has had the privilege of actualizing many new and novel applications and it has been a great journey of discovery in the field of Ion Chromatography.
Dr Mark Curran leads the ice core research group at the Australian Antarctic Division, which he has been involved with since 1996. The overall theme of this research group is reconstruction of climate records from Antarctic ice cores. Dr Curran has 100+ peer reviewed publications and has been involved in 18 polar expeditions to both Antarctica and Greenland. He was the chief investigator of the Aurora Basin North Antarctic ice core project, which involved 17 institutions and more than 50 scientists across the world. Dr Curran supervises and mentors staff and students, and is involved in many outreach activities.
Thusi obtained her PhD in Analytical Chemistry at the La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia in 2003. She gained many years of experience in pharmaceutical and environmental industry before joining CDCO at Monash University, where she developed LC-MS based methodologies to analyse drug metabolite in biological fluids. In 2008, she joined Metabolomics Australia (MA), at the University of Melbourne. Thusi has been one of the main instrumental researchers, who developed analytical methodologies based on LC-MS for metabolomics and lipidomics at MA and has been recognised by a numerous number of publications. In 2020, Thusi has taken up a position as a Senior Field Application Specialist with SCIEX in Oceania region.
Stewart has worked at Queensland Health Forensic and Scientific Services (FSS) since 1992 after completing a MAppSc at QUT. Initially employed as a graduate chemist, he worked in several of the FSS laboratories analysing manufactured products, inorganics and metals, before finally moving into organic residues in 1998. Since 2012 he has been the team leader of the Organic Chemistry laboratory. The Organics laboratory employs 33 chemists, scientists and technicians and covers a range of analyses including phycology, toxins, food complaint and compliance, and trace organic residues in environmental water, soil, air and biological matrices.
Dr Sarah Hulme is the Centre Manager for HyTECH. Not an analytical chemist but she’s passionate about all things science, PhDs, professional development for researchers and generally supporting people to do research of the highest quality. And getting things done — Sarah likes to organise things so she is your first point of contact for all things HyTECH.
Dr Dan Dias is a Senior Lecturer in Analytical Biochemistry within CASS Food Research Centre at Deakin University. Dr Dias has focused on the application of hyphenated separation technologies to multidisciplinary fields. His current research focuses on producing indigo in heterologous model systems; identifying bioactive natural products from endophytes; applying metabolomics to assess the impact of Polyphenol Rich Sugarcane Extracts (PRSE) on inflammatory cell signalling pathways and identifying anti-diabetic natural products from evidence-based medicinal plants.
Dr Yada Nolvachai is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at CASS Food Research Centre, Deakin University. Her research expertise lies in the field of advanced analytical methods for food and natural product analysis, specialising in multidimensional gas chromatography and hyphenation techniques, as well as the utilisation of computer-assisted chromatography through molecular modelling and simulation approaches for experimental design and data analysis. Her current research interest is in the application of multidimensional gas chromatography for assessing food authenticity through chemical fingerprinting.
Dr Sonja Kukuljan is the Director of Science and Nutrition at Noumi, a pioneering Australian plant and dairy products company. Sonja has contributed to Noumi across technical domains, food and health, nutrition and science, research and development, innovation, and food regulation. She also holds an elected position on the Australian Food and Grocery Council’s Nutrition and Regulations Committee. Sonja’s career blends her academic experience, including a PhD that examined the clinical benefits of vitamin D and calcium enriched dairy milk on bone, muscle, and health in Australian adults, with dynamic academic and research partnerships. These collaborations continue to foster scientific excellence that translate into real-world solutions through research outcome commercialisation.
Simi is a project manager within the CASS Food Research Centre at Deakin University, Melbourne. With expertise in project management and consumer and sensory research, Simi plays a pivotal role in overseeing and coordinating various research endeavours within the centre. Her skills encompass project planning, execution, and monitoring, ensuring that research initiatives run smoothly and efficiently. Simi is adept at fostering collaboration among diverse teams, from researchers to industry partners.
Dr Elvis Okoffo is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Queensland Alliance for Environmental Health Sciences (QAEHS) at The University of Queensland. Elvis’s career has focussed on developing new analytical methods for characterising and monitoring environmental exposures associated with plastics and providing an understanding of plastics pollution in Australian environment. His current research is focused on developing novel sampling approaches and analytical techniques for rapid screening and monitoring of plastics (microplastics, nanoplastics, micro bioplastics, plastic additives) in environmental samples.
Dr Ibraam Mikhail is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Australian Centre for Research on Separation Science (ACROSS), University of Tasmania. He has extensive expertise in pharmaceutical analysis and bioanalysis with a focus on biological samples preparation for mass spectrometry. In addition, he is interested in developing green methodologies for the routine monitoring of complex samples. His recent research involves the hyphenation of high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with various portable detection systems for pharmaceutical, biological, and environmental analysis.
Dr Leo Lebanov is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Australian Centre for Research on Separation Science (ACROSS) at the University of Tasmania. His primary area of research expertise centres around the use of hyphenated analytical techniques, with a particular focus on gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, for the analysis of complex sample matrices, such as natural products and industrial process samples, among others. Furthermore, Dr Lebanov leverages advanced multivariate statistical approaches to extract valuable insights from complex and convoluted spectroscopic and chromatographic data. His most recent research involves the application of advanced data curation techniques to develop portable devices for process analytical technology.
Yuying Feng is a PhD candidate at the Deakin University investigating sustainability of post-consumer recycled plastic as a food contact material. Her PhD project is in collaboration with ARC HyTECH training centre. Prior to commencing her PhD, she worked as a management trainee in the Department of Health & Nutrition, SGS (a testing, inspection and certification company) from 2020 to 2023. Before joining the SGS, she obtained her master’s degree in food science from the University of Melbourne in 2019. Her research was focused on LC-ESI-QTOF/MS.
Mingxia commenced her PhD with HyTECH at the University of Tasmania (UTAS) in 2023. The objective of her project “Ice-Cores by IC-MS” is to employ hyphenated techniques, combining chromatographic technology with advanced mass spectrometric detection, to comprehensively examine ice-core samples. Before embarking on her PhD, Mingxia obtained a Bachelor of Polymer Materials and Engineering from Taiyuan Institute of Technology in China in 2011. After working for some time in industry in China Mingxia completed her Master’s in Chemistry at UTAS in 2022. During her master’s program, she gained experience in the development of new analytical methods based on chromatographic techniques coupled with mass spectrometry.
Ruvini got her Bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Sri Jayewardenepura in Sri Lanka. She then went on to pursue an MPhil degree in the same university. Her research there focused on the identification of chemicals toxicity and antifouling potential of some marine fouling organisms. She is now a PhD candidate at Queensland Alliance for Environmental Health Science (QAEHS). Her research aims to develop hyphenated methodologies for quantifying halogenated plastic materials.
Tobias got his Bachelor in Analytical Chemistry from the HZ University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands. His thesis focused on applications development for a portable mass spectrometer. He then went on to pursue a Master’s in Analytical Chemistry at the University of Amsterdam. His thesis there was focused on the use of chemometrics in analytical chemistry, computational mass spectrometry and on the better understanding of the number of chemicals of emerging concern that have been analysed so far in the environment. In 2024 he started his PhD at the University of Queensland with QAEHS within the HyTECH (Hyphenated Analytical Separation Technologies) project. He is working on developing methods for the non-targeted high-resolution mass spectrometric characterisation of highly mobile and highly persistent contaminants.