The Structure-Property Optimisation Group is focused on the characterisation of materials to understand the interplay between materials processing, materials microstructure and materials properties.
When materials are manufactured, variations in processing parameters or materials feedstocks will affect microstructure and chemistry. Changes in structure will, in turn, affect properties and behaviour, whether mechanical properties or functional behaviour. The focus of the group’s work is in characterisation of materials structure and correlation to both processing routes and behaviour.
Detailed characterisation of materials can be achieved through a range of analytical tools. Emphasis of the group’s work is based on analysis through methods such as electron microscopy, x-ray diffraction, vibrational spectroscopy and various form of spectroscopy used to determine sample structure, chemistry and crystallography. Students in the group will graduate with high levels of competency in these methods. In addition, emphasis of the group’s work is on the mechanical behaviour of surfaces and interfaces, which are investigated through methods such as nano-indentation, wear and scratch testing.
Professor Paul Munroe is currently Deputy Dean (Research) in the Faculty of Science. Prior to that he was the Head of School of Materials Science & Engineering and Director of the university’s Electron Microscope Unit. He has published over 500 research papers in structure-property relationships in materials and has received sustained supported from the Australian Research Council and industry for over 25 years. His research has attracted almost 20,000 citations and he has a current h-index of 69.
Dr Sara Tahery is currently a research fellow in the Structure-Property Optimisation Group. She has a PhD in Materials Science & Engineering from UNSW, which was awarded in 2016. She has significant experience in the characterisation and analysis of biochar-based materials by a range of spectroscopy and microscopy techniques.