Research Fellow in Soft Matter and Product Engineering

Melbourne, Australia
16 Jun 2021
End of advertisement period
08 Jul 2021
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Work type: Fixed Term
Location: Parkville
Division/Faculty: Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology
Department/School: School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering
Salary: $75,289 - $102,163 (Level A)|
Role & Superannuation rate: Academic - Full time - 17% super

  • Opportunity to contribute to making personal care product formulations more sustainable through colloid and interfacial science
  • Be part of a team working on an ARC Linkage grant with multiple university collaboration and strong industry partnerships!
  • Full time, Level A fixed term, 1 year, offering a base salary of $75K - $102K p.a., plus a generous employer's contribution to superannuation

About the role:

In this role you will join a team responsible for developing the next evolution in soft matter research in structure function relationships for formulations in personal care product.

Supported through an Australian Research Council Linkage grant, working closely with an industry partner and researchers from two other major Australian Universities, this project endeavors to provide the underpinning colloid and interface science and novel methods which will drive formulations to more sustainable feedstocks.

The entire sector needs to understand the synergistic interactions in these multicomponent mixites with high surfactant concentrations, polymer-surfactant complexes, and emulsions, without the benefit of the last 50 years of formulation experience used in current formulations.

You will undertake research in the areas of soft matter interfaces, microfluidic flows, and the structure-function relationships in personal care product formulations. The position will be involved in measuring the rheology of surfactant and polymer mixtures as well as the interactions between droplets as a function of emulsifiers and surface-active additives through novel colloidal characterization methods and the development and operation of unique, scalable microfluidic platforms. The experimental approach will develop the underpinning fundamental science to link the interfacial and solution microstructure to the rheology and drop interaction behavior probed via high throughput measurement approaches using these microfluidic platforms.

The job responsibilities include:

  • explore drop interactions mediated by polymer-surfactant complexes
  • use microfluidic platforms to measure the rheology of surfactant and polymer mixtures
  • develop microfluidic devices to explore synergistic interactions in emulsion formulations
  • write scientific manuscripts and industry project progress reports
  • co-supervise research students in the group and assist in lab management

For more details on about our research, see the Dagastine group visit:

About You:

Naturally you will be capable of demonstrating your prior record of achievement should include:

  • PhD or near completion in Chemical or Materials Engineering, Physical Chemistry, Physics, or an associated discipline.
  • An understanding of the principles of colloid and surface chemistry or rheology in relation to soft matter systems such as emulsions and foams.
  • Experience in experimental research.
  • Experience with the microfluidic devices to manipulate drops, flow or particles.
  • Experience in interacting with industry-based project or a willingness to be involved working with industry in a research environment.
  • Outstanding communication skills, both oral and written.
  • Demonstrated ability to work co-operatively in a multi-disciplinary team environment and liaise with associates from diverse backgrounds.

The incumbent will be required to hold a current and valid Victorian Driver’s license as they may be required to travel to and work across multiple University campuses.

The University of Melbourne is consistently ranked among the leading universities in the world, we are globally engaged; comprehensive; research-intensive; and committed to responding to the major challenges of our time.

The Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology (FEIT) is strongly committed to supporting diversity and flexibility in the workplace. Improving the representation of women is necessary in our goal to innovate and to strengthen FEIT’s reputation as a best-in-class centre of research.

About the Department of Chemical Engineering

We are a large Department with approximately 25 teaching and research staff, 30 full time research staff and around 90 PhD students.

Academic staff have been elected as Fellows of the Royal Society, the world's oldest scientific society, the Australian Academy of Science, and the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering.

Industry Engagement is a key focus, and we carry out research projects based on deep collaborations with government and business and work with organisations that provide internship opportunities for our students.

You'll find smart people, big problems, and plenty of chances to create a real difference in the world!

What we offer you

We offer flexibility, whatever that may mean for you. Many of our benefit programs and onsite amenities are aimed at supporting you - including generous leave, childcare subsidies, discounted parking, medical and health care. We offer extensive opportunities for personal and professional development, and we’ll support you in doing what you love.

We seek to increase the diversity of our workforce and the representation of all members of our community that have been traditionally under-represented.

If you’re curious, motivated and ready to undertake a meaningful and rewarding role we’re ready to meet you.

How to Apply

Apply online, complete the application and upload your Cover Letter - addressing all selection criteria; and your Resume.

PLEASE NOTE: You must be currently located within Australia and able to commence immediately or as soon as your notice period has been served.

You will be an Australian Citizen; Permanent Resident or holder of an appropriate visa.

While we review your application, get to know us by visiting

Position Description

Applications close: 08 Jul 2021 11:55 PM AUS Eastern Standard Time