Dr Ka Wai Fan

Dr Ka Wai Fan

Consultancies and Vendor Staff
Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering

I am an early career researcher. I completed my PhD in Chemical Engineering (UNSW) in 2016, dedicated to the development of functional polymeric coating from dopamine and structurally similar heterocyclic monomers for nanoparticle and encapsulation applications.

Soon after graduation, I joined the Institute of Chemical and Engineering Sciences (A*STAR) in Singapore, giving me the opportunity to apply my skills and knowledge in the R&D industry. I was in charge of the development of a silica-based encapsulation technologies for phase change material and helped implement the technology to the products of a local manufacturer.

After my appointment in Singapore, I was offered my current role at UNSW as a research associate, working under an industry collaboration with Flame Security International (FSI) Australia to develop flame retardant technologies for various applications. Some of the research work involved developing flame retardant additives for polymer composites and intumescent paints. Early in 2020, I was appointed as a sub-division team leader, facilitating product development for bushfire situations. Our focus is to develop new phosphate-based retardants with better efficiency and less environmental impact. In doing so, nature-derived compounds and biopolymers have been employed to create synergistic effects. We also focus on employing simple and green manufacture techniques, ensuring that the developed products could be manufactured readily and launched in the market with high credibility.

Room 514, Lvl 5, F10, School of Chemical Engineering, UNSW
  • Journal articles | 2015
    Fan KW; Roberts JJ; Martens PJ; Stenzel MH; Granville AM, 2015, 'Copolymerization of an indazole ligand into the self-polymerization of dopamine for enhanced binding with metal ions', Journal of Materials Chemistry B, vol. 3, pp. 7457 - 7465, http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c5tb01150g

(1) UNSW Co-op Scholarship (2008-2012)

(2) UNSW Co-op/3M Australia PhD Career Development Scholarship (2014)

(3) UNSW Writing Scholarship (2016)

  • Dopamine and its analogous heterocyclic compounds as monomers used in preparation of polymer nanoparticles and coatings for encapsulation applications.
  • Silica-base Pickering emulsion for phase change material encapsulation and its application in temperature regulation of building materials.
  • Green organic-inorganic hybrid filler for enhancing performance of flame retardant systems used in polyester composites.
  • Formaldehyde-free, intumescent flame retardant wood adhesive which demonstrates significantly lower flammability when used in composite wood.
  • High weathering-resistant, flame retardant complex which acts as both blowing agent and charring promotor in intumescent undercoat paint formula.
  • Non-toxic polyelectrolyte-based intumescent flame retardant with high blowing efficiency.
  • Synergistic reaction between polyelectrolyte-based flame retardant and plant-derived charring promotor for the formulation of wooden structure protecting gel.
  • Enhanced effectiveness of commercial polyphosphate-based flame retardant by incorporating novel polyelectrolyte-based flame retardant.
  • Highly stable aqueous foam and its application in preventing ember attack [Preliminary Development].