PhD Opportunities

Course Contacts

Prof Jun Chen:

Thinking about WHAT’S NEXT in your studies?

Have you considered a PhD with the Intelligent Polymer Research Institute (IPRI) at the University of Wollongong (UOW)?


Internationally recognised as a leader in electromaterials research, IPRI is situated at the state-of-the-art Australian Institute for Innovative Materials (AIIM) facility at the University of Wollongong’s (UOW) Innovation Campus. Established in 1990 by Director Professor Gordon Wallace, IPRI is a key research strength at UOW.



IPRI has been the lead node of the Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science (ACES) since 2004. ACES received Federal Government funding to translate materials science knowledge into practical, game-changing devices that will have a significant impact in the areas of diagnostics, energy, health and soft robotics. This has also seen IPRI become the head of the Materials Node of the Australian National Fabrication Facility (ANFF), enabling the creation of a national capability for the 2D and 3D printing of functional electromaterials.


Dr Amy Gelmi, Vice Chancellor’s Research Fellow at RMIT and PhD graduate


PhD Opportunities

When completing a PhD with IPRI, you have the opportunity to work alongside prestigious researchers and access to state-of-the-art facilities. We also offer PhD scholarships.


IPRI offers research opportunities in:


Advanced Materials, including the design and development of 2D materials

Following the discovery of graphene, a range of 2D materials have become of interest for their ability to impart strength, electrical properties and catalytic activity in structures containing them (need to insert link to graphene paper)


Advanced Fabrication

3D printing has emerged as the most exciting advance in fabrication in decades. At IPRI, we use the motto ‘printing printers’ to describe our activities in this area, as we are at the forefront of building new approaches to 3D printing. To achieve this we are recognised as a national facility with state-of-the-art printing capabilities in the areas of polymers, metals and ceramics. Projects include the development of customised printers ( to tackle specific medical challenges (such as corneal and cartilage regeneration as well as wound healing) in collaboration with our clinical partners.


Dr Cameron Ferris, COO at Inventia Life Sceince and PhD graduate


Advanced Characterisation

Our ability to create sophisticated 3D structures via additive fabrication has outstripped the ability to see what we have made. New non-destructive characterisation tools capable of producing 3d images based on composition, mechanical or electrical properties and even bioactivity are required.


These activities are underpinned by our extensive national and international research partnerships including an extensive clinical collaboration network and our links to a diverse array of commercial entities.


Energy – Chemical Fuels/Thermal Energy Harvesting/New Battery Technology

The transportation of green energy around the globe from places that can produce vast amounts (e.g. Australia) to countries that consume vast amounts (e.g. Japan) is a challenge. We have embarked on a program that will see the use of solar energy to transform low value reactants such as CO2 into transportable chemical fuels such as methanol.


Dr Lilith Caballero Aguilar, Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Swinburne University of Technology and PhD graduate


Thermal energy harvesting through the development of new electrochemical technologies can turn waste industrial heat into a useful energy form or provide energy for wearable devices. The development of safer environmentally friendly higher capacity battery technologies is essential as we transfer to renewable energy technologies.


Health – Electrical Stimulation of Biological Systems/3D Bioprinting

It has emerged that electrical stimulation can facilitate tissue regeneration and can be used to treat disease (electroceuticals). We have embarked on a program that involves the development of new electromaterials and stimulation systems to further advance this fascinating area.


3D bioprinting is enabling us to tackle a myriad of clinical challenges including cartilage regeneration, would healing and production of 3D printed structures to enhance islet cell transplantation to treat diabetes.


Dr Cathal O’Connell, VC Postdoctoral Fellow at RMIT University and PhD graduate



If you are interested in learning more about PhD opportunities with IPRI, register your interest by emailing Prof Jun Chen.


Hear more from our former PhD students and listen to all episodes of on The ACES Podcast

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