Enterprising and enthusiastic students are attracted to AIBN, with AIBN graduates demonstrating the value of their experience here through rapid career development in areas of research, academia, and commercialisation. AIBN Students work in world-class facilities, alongside renowned researchers. We look for the best, and provide the best in return.

Dr Yap Pang Chuan - AIBN graduate and post-doctoral research fellow

Working in a new state-of-the-art building with scientists from all over the world was an attractive proposition for Dr Yap Pang Chuan. Since completing a PhD at AIBN, Dr Chuan has worked in research as a post-doctoral research fellow and in industry as a senior process development engineer at Lonza Biologics in Singapore. He takes time to look back on his AIBN studies...

When I finished my Chemical Engineering degree I decided to pursue a Research Higher Degree in the area of nanotechnology. A simple search on Google immediately brought up AIBN, which (at that time) was to be housed in a $75 million world-class research facility for scientists from all over the world. AIBN provides unique opportunities for researchers to interact easily with scientists from different, but related, fields. Such close multi-disciplinary interactions are the key to modern research and help young AIBN researchers in developing new and exciting ideas.

I was able to easily obtain expert advice on problems I encountered in my project, which significantly shortened any delays and allowed me to complete my PhD in good time. During my PhD, I published my results on virus-like particle research in international journals such asBiotechnology and BioengineeringProtein Expression and Purification, Journal of the Royal Society Interfaceand Archives of Virology. I was also given the opportunity to present my work at international conferences in New Zealand, Malaysia and the US while studying. 

The institute provided me the training and experience which are valuable for a successful research career. They included experimental skills and other important qualities such as the abilities to think critically and communicate my ideas clearly and effectively.

Dr Joe Codamo - AIBN graduate and DSM Biologics bioprocess engineer

Joe Codamo credits his time at AIBN with giving him the skills needed to take on a challenging role with as a a senior bioprocess engineer with international biopharmaceutical manufacturer DSM Biologics. There he designs large-scale biopharmaceutical production processes and co-ordinate process transfers from the Netherlands, while ensuring compliance with Good Manufacturing Practices. Dr Codamo took this chance to look back...

There were several reasons why I chose the AIBN. It was (and still is) the first institute of its kind in Australia, having a strong focus in biotechnology and commercialisation which suited my aspirations of moving into a biotechnology-related industry position after completing my PhD.  Having access to state-of-the-art laboratories and equipment located all in the one building is most impressive – and not a common feature of many other institutes or faculties in Australia.

AIBN offers all the key requirements and incentives for young researchers when commencing their studies. Excellent and efficient support staff to get your degree under way and to ensure it stays on track, the ability to work with well-trained and experienced researchers, access to state-of-the-art equipment and facilities and an excellent social network to ensure you have some fun along the way!

A critical benefit is the ability to work and collaborate with experienced researchers from diverse backgrounds, which contributed significantly towards me successfully completing my PhD and in my training as a research scientist. Since commencing my PhD, I have been a first or co-author on four articles published in biotechnology-themed journals. I was also extremely fortunate to have been able to attend five international conferences in Europe and the US. 

By completing a PhD at the AIBN, you are trained in an environment which prepares you for a career in industry or academia whether it be in Australia or overseas. I have had access to facilities which are state of the art and up there with first-class research institutes and industry labs around the world.

Holly Corbett - AIBN PhD student

Holly Corbett arrived at AIBN with plan to enjoy the Queensland sun while deciding her future. She stayed because of the passion, global impact and technical expertise found here. Now Holly is a PhD student with AIBN group leader Professor Mark Kendall, is branching out into different areas of science, getting to travel and enjoying the relaxed lifestyle.

My first degree at the University of Auckland was in Biomedical Engineering, I originally came over as a summer student. I didn’t feel compelled to do research. In fact, I wanted to avoid it, since it is important to me to see potential concrete outcomes from what I am working on. While I was here, AIBN group leader Professor Mark Kendall totally sold me on the project with his passion for it, the technical potential of it, and the possibility of how many lives it could affect. That is what kept me.

Seeing our research group get closer and closer to human trials has been very motivating. It is clear that this is not just lip service to get funding, and that my group leader, Professor Mark Kendall, not only has previous experience commercialising a medical device, but is still open to ideas and feedback from committed PhD students.

The community here is also a very strong one. I came over here by myself and knowing nobody here. The vibrant AIBN student community made it very easy to make new friends and I’m still doing so after three years here. Not only that, but the staff-student interaction is also great. For the most part, everyone from group leaders down is approachable and easy to chat with in social situations. And there are events every year where all of us mix.

The PhD itself has significantly improved my critical thinking skills and ability to lay complex problems out in a communicable and logical way for people over a spread of disciplines. It also means, that – in particular through group leader Professor Mark Kendall – I have met many interesting people in interesting jobs in industry, academia and all through the spectrum in-between.

Alexandra Depelsenaire - AIBN Graduate and Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Alexandra Depelsenaire may have started her studies in Germany, but is now enjoying the global impact, skills and network of contacts offered at AIBN. She is also loving the relaxed Australian way of life while working in a multicultural and multi-disciplinary environment. Here are Alexandra’s thoughts...

AIBN combines research and commercialisation and actively encourages researchers and students to publish as well as file for patents, if applicable. Vast numbers of interdisciplinary projects are available. There is also the ability to create your own project, in consultation with your supervisor, rather than being given a project.

At AIBN, the only restriction is yourself. AIBN supports and enables you to fully delve into your interests. The many senior researchers have valuable expertise, knowledge and contacts – and they are great mentors. They are keen to help and provide support with writing grants, giving workshops and teaching. AIBN is a state-of-the-art facility which enables students to access top-line equipment through the collaborations between research groups. 

Even though it is a large institute, students all know each other, giving the feeling of a large family. It is such a multicultural institute. The AIBN Student Association organises various events throughout the year for the wider AIBN community. The annual AIBN Symposium provides a broad spectrum of research areas that other research groups are working on. 

AIBN has a tight – yet manageable – program to complete your PhD by having three milestones to complete within a timely manner. You are encouraged to publish in high-impact journals and file for patents, if applicable. Students are able to participate in many valuable courses and workshops, covering grant writing, thesis writing, time management and soft skills. 

Dr Anthony Musumeci - AIBN graduate and commercialisation analyst

Access to a network of world leaders in research and cutting-edge facilities attracted Dr Anthony Musumeci to AIBN. Once he arrived to start his PhD, he also found a spirit of collaboration, plenty of support and a chance to travel around the world. Now, Dr Musumeci has graduated and is a Commercial Manager at qutbluebox. Dr Musumeci takes this chance to look back....

AIBN offers young researchers the opportunity to work in a truly collaborative work place with world-leading researchers and opportunities to travel and experience other research laboratories around the world through AIBN’s extensive contacts.

What most impressed me about the AIBN was the quality of facilities available. My laboratory experiments were not carried out within a single lab in the AIBN, but rather within multiple labs in the AIBN, Chemistry and Pharmacology to ensure the best outcomes could be achieved. Whilst at the AIBN, I published five articles in international peer reviewed journals. I also published in the Royal Australian Chemical Institute magazine and a large number of conference proceedings.

I had the chance to travel extensively at the AIBN. In fact, I would have spent more than a year working in different laboratories nationally or internationally and attending conferences. During my PhD, I had the chance to travel to the USA twice, to attend international conferences in Switzerland and Amsterdam and also visited work colleagues at Cambridge University.  At a national level, I spent six months working at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, I attended six national conferences in Brisbane, an international conference in Sydney, two international conferences in Melbourne and a national conference in Adelaide.

During my PhD, I was fortunate enough to be involved in the AIBN Student Association (ASA). The ASA is the “social club” of the AIBN. They host many fun and informative events throughout the year supported financially by the AIBN Executive Committee and other kind donations. Additionally, most of the large research groups often have a good social culture with numerous barbecues and other events held throughout the year.

AIBN has set me up for a successful career by allowing me to complete a PhD at a respected institution, under the guidance of world-class researchers. The wealth of contacts made within the AIBN and the research community more broadly will greatly benefit me in my future career endeavours.

Dr Yunyi Wong - AIBN graduate and Singapore Polytechnic lecturer

Attending conferences around Australia, meeting researchers from a host of disciples and having access to different labs were among the highlights of Dr Yunyi Wong’s time as a PhD student at AIBN. Dr Wong also fondly remembers her colleagues and the cinnamon toast from in-house Cafe Nano. The time at AIBN set her up for a successful career in academia, taking her to the highly-regarded Singapore Polytechnic. Now she takes time to look back...

I chose AIBN because the ARC Centre of Excellence for Functional Nanomaterials was part of the Institute. I undertook a research project during my undergraduate studies and was very much impressed by the quality of the researchers and research done at the centre.

AIBN offers lots of interaction with experienced researchers to discuss ideas, share techniques and easy access to equipment in all laboratories at AIBN – and also at other institutions such as Queensland Brain Institute and Institute for Molecular Bioscience. There is also support to attend conferences to network, share and discuss ideas.

While doing my PhD, I went to an international conference in Singapore, annual ARC Centre of Excellence for Functional Nanomaterials conferences within Australia and to various primary schools at Mount Isa as the Young Nanotechnology Ambassador. I also took frequent holidays within Australia during periods of leave.

AIBN had a lot of great social aspects: gatherings such as the Christmas lunch and morning teas at Cafe Nano. The cinnamon toast is unforgettable.

Time at AIBN had enabled me to work easily with people of different disciplines and different nationalities. The in-house seminars enabled me to have some understanding of different disciplines. I am able to work in multi-disciplinary projects. The bi-annual seminars by postgraduate students arranged by my centre also enabled me to practise my presentation skills.