Professor Andrew Whittaker specialises in polymer chemistry for health and energy applications. 

Professor Andrew Whittaker's research aims to develop innovative solutions to major health and nanotechnology challenges. He is a scientific leader, is currently President of the Pacific Polymer Federation (2019-2022), Past-Chair of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute Polymer Division and has served on the Australian Research Council College of Experts. Professor Whittaker’s work in synthesis and characterisation of polymeric materials has underpinned major development programs in several key areas. In the field of materials for photolithography this has been supported by funding from leading semiconductor companies Intel, Sematech and the Dow Chemical Company. Outcomes include novel high-index resists for 193nm immersion lithography, new concepts for design of non-chemically amplified resists for EUV lithography and development of the use of block copolymers for manufacture. In the field of biomaterials science, Professor Whittaker is most active in developing novel imaging agents for MRI, and introduced a new class of 19F polymeric agents. He has an interest in anti-fouling materials for medical devices. He is an expert in the fundamentals of diffusion process in complex solids. He also has an international reputation in the field of NMR and MRI of polymeric systems.

Professor Whittaker has been plenary, keynote or invited speaker at many international conferences including within the past three years plenary speaker at the International Conference on Innovation in Polymer Science and Technology 2019 in Bali and the 16th Pacific Polymer Conference, in Singapore. Professor Whittaker has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the RACI Polymer Division Citation (1998), the RACI Polymer Division Polymer Science and Technology Achievement Award (2000), an ARC Australian Professorial Fellowship (2011), the World Famous Scientists Lecturing in Hubei Project (2013), the National High-end Foreign Experts Recruitment Project of the PRC (twice, in 2013 and 2014), the Paul J. Florey Polymer Research Prize for excellence in polymer research by the Polychar World Forum (2014), and the President’s International Fellowship (Visiting Scientist) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (2015), State High-end Foreign Expert Recruitment Project, Shanghai University (2018), The University of Queensland Excellence in Higher Degree by Research Supervision Award (2019), The University of Queensland Partner in Research Excellence Award (2019) and the Indonesian Polymer Association Achievement Award (2019).

Industry Engagement & Collaborations

  • Dow Chemical Company - Development of novel polymeric resists
  • Intel Corporation – Block copolymers for IC manufacture
  • Sematech – Numerous projects on critical components in IC manufacture
  • Anteo Diagnostics – novel approaches to surface functionalisation
  • Dairy Innovation Australia – The nano-scale structure and ageing of milk powder

Professor Whittaker is a member of numerous international committees of governing bodies in polymer science and technology, and is involved in organising major international conferences. He is past-president of the Pacific Polymer Federation and remains the national representative of the PPF. He has active collaborations with scientists at CSIRO; Monash University; Nagoya Institute of Technology (NIT), Japan; Hubei University, Shanghai University, National Center for Nanoscience and Technology, China; The University of Nottingham, UK; Auckland University, NZ; and Dow Electronic Materials, US. He is currently a visiting professor at Hubei University, and has held visiting professor positions at INSA Lyon and NIT and was DICE Chair at University of Nottingham.

Key Publications

Xu, X.;  Huang, X.;  Chang, Y.;  Yu, Y.;  Zhao, J.;  Isahak, N.;  Teng, J.;  Qiao, R.;  Peng, H.;  Zhao, C.-X.;  Davis, T. P.;  Fu, C.; Whittaker, A. K., Antifouling Surfaces Enabled by Surface Grafting of Highly Hydrophilic Sulfoxide Polymer Brushes. Biomacromolecules 2021, 22 (2), 330-339.

Tan, X.;  Zhong, J.;  Fu, C.;  Dang, H.;  Han, Y.;  Kral, P.;  Guo, J.;  Yuan, Z.;  Peng, H.;  Zhang, C.; Whittaker, A. K., Amphiphilic Perfluoropolyether Copolymers for the Effective Removal of Polyfluoroalkyl Substances from Aqueous Environments. Macromolecules 2021, 54 (7), 3447-3457.

Low-Fouling Fluoropolymers for Bioconjugation and In Vivo Tracking. Fu, C.; Demir, B.; Alcantara, S.; Kumar, V.; Han, F.; Kelly, H.G.; Tan, X.; Yu, Y.; Xu, W.; Zhao, J.; Zhang, C.; Peng, H.; Boyer, C.; Woodruff, T.M.; Kent, S.J.; Searles, D.J.; Whittaker, A.K. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. Engl. 2020, 59, 4729-4735.

Brighi, C.;  White, A. L.;  Whittaker, A. K.;  Brighi, C.;  White, A. L.;  Whittaker, A. K.;  Reid, L.;  Rose, S.;  Puttick, S.;  Genovesi, L. A.;  Kojic, M.;  Millar, A.;  Bruce, Z.;  Day, B. W.;  Day, B. W.; Day, B. W., MR-guided focused ultrasound increases antibody delivery to nonenhancing high-grade glioma. Neurooncol Adv 2020, 2 (1), vdaa030.

Yu, Y.;  Xu, W.;  Huang, X.;  Xu, X.;  Qiao, R.;  Li, Y.;  Han, F.;  Peng, H.;  Davis, T. P.;  Fu, C.; Whittaker, A. K., Proteins Conjugated with Sulfoxide-Containing Polymers Show Reduced Macrophage Cellular Uptake and Improved Pharmacokinetics. ACS Macro Letters 2020, 9, 799-805.

Full list of publications available at UQ eSpace


Professor Andrew Whittaker directs research funded through more than $62.8 million in competitive grants since 2002. He currently has active funding from the ARC, NHMRC and from industry.