Processing and structure-property performance of novel materials, renewable-based polymers and nanocomposites

​Dr Nasim Amiralian is a UQ Amplify Fellow in the area of nanomaterials engineering. During her PhD, she discovered and patented a unique high-quality cellulose nanofibre from spinifex, an Australian native arid grass, using simpler and more environmentally friendly methods. The outcome of her PhD project has resulted in substantial new research thrust at UQ, three patent applications, several commercial opportunities, and most importantly establishment of Australia’s first nanocellulose pilot production plant.

Building on her innovations in spinifex nanocellulose, at her UQ Amplify position, she is combining her expertise in materials engineering, nanotechnology and textile engineering and utilising the unique properties of nanocellulose to produce novel conductive hydrogel systems which could lead to improved conductive hydrogel technology.

Her research has afforded unique opportunities to drive collaborations with Indigenous Australians and industry partners. She has forged collaborations with both groups of partners, and built trust in these relationships through positive outcomes and considerate navigation of complex landscapes that bridge the academic-industrial divide. Over time, these collaborations have given her experience in conducting and validating successful production trials, and through this process, she has honed skills in negotiation and commercialisation. Furthermore, her leadership capabilities extend to extensive experience in training new staff in the technical aspects of nanocellulose production and nanocomposite processing methods.

In recognition of her contribution to the field of nanomaterials engineering and research excellence she has received a number of awards including; one of Australia’s Top 5 Scientists (ABC/UNSW, 2018), Queensland Women in STEM Prize- judges choice award (2017), Women in Technology Life Sciences and/or Infotech Rising Star Award (2016), AIBN Research Excellence Award (2016), a Class of 2014 Future Leader award and Best poster prize at the Australian Nanotechnology Network ECR Entrepreneurship workshop(2015).

Dr Amiralian has been instrumental in the development of a culture of collaboration and career support for the next generation of research leaders, in particular women in science. She has been engaged in communities such as Early Career Researcher committee, Women in Technology (WiT) Life science committee, and conferences committee and also play role as a Queensland Flying Scientist.  Dr Amiralian also has been an invited committee member of Standards Australia and Joint Standards Australia/Standards New Zealand, contributing to the preliminary work item for ISO/TC229 JWG2 on the characterisation of nanoparticles, and serving as the treasurer of the RACI Queensland polymer division.

Funding

To date her research has been supported by an Australian Research Council, an Advance Queensland, a University of Queensland Fellowship, UniQuest Pathfinder and the Australian Opal Neutron Beam Facility And National Deuteration Facility grants.

Key Publications

  1. Nasim Amiralian, Pratheep K. Annamalai, Christopher J. Garvey, Edward Jiang, Paul Memmott, Darren J. Martin. High aspect ratio nanocellulose from an extremophile spinifex grass by controlled acid hydrolysis. Cellulose, 2017, DOI 10.1007/s10570-017-1379-6
  2. Alireza Hosseinmardi, Pratheep K. Annamalai, Lianzhou Wang, Darren Martin, Nasim Amiralian. Reinforcement of natural rubber latex using lignocellulosic nanofibres isolated from spinifex grass. Nanoscale, 2017,9, 9510-9519
  3. Edward Jiang, Nasim Amiralian , Maxime Maghe , Bronwyn Laycock , Eric McFarland , Bronwyn Fox , Darren J. Martin, Pratheep K. Annamalai. Cellulose nanofibres as rheology modifiers and enhancers of carbonization efficiency in polyacrylonitrile. ACS Sustainable Chem. Eng., 2017, 5 (4), pp 3296–3304
  4. Nasim Amiralian, Pratheep K. Annamalai, Paul Memmott, Darren J. Martin. Isolation of cellulose nanofibrils from Triodia pungens via different mechanical methods. Cellulose, 2015, 22 (4) 2483-2498
  5. Nasim Amiralian, Pratheep K. Annamalai, Paul Memmott, Elena Taran, Susanne Schmidt, Darren J. Martin. Easily deconstructed, high aspect ratio cellulose nanofibres from Triodia pungens; an abundant grass of Australia's arid zone. RSC Advances, 2015, 5 (41) 32124-32132