Dr Ka Wai Fan
Consultancies and Vendor Staff

Dr Ka Wai Fan

Engineering
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.

Location
Room 514, Lvl 5, F10, School of Chemical Engineering, UNSW
  • Journal articles | 2021
    Oliver S; Lei L; Fan KW; Wang C; Baena JC; Pham P; Lin Q; Kabir II; Wong EHH; Yuen ACY; Boyer C; Yeoh GH, 2021, 'Wet or dry multifunctional coating prepared by visible light polymerisation with fire retardant, thermal protective, and antimicrobial properties', Cellulose, vol. 28, pp. 8821 - 8840, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10570-021-04095-z
    Journal articles | 2021
    Wong EHH; Fan KW; Lei L; Wang C; Baena JC; Okoye H; Fam W; Zhou D; Oliver S; Khalid A; Yeoh GH; Wang CH; Boyer C, 2021, 'Fire-Resistant Flexible Polyurethane Foams via Nature-Inspired Chitosan-Expandable Graphite Coatings', ACS Applied Polymer Materials, vol. 3, pp. 4079 - 4087, http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsapm.1c00580
    Journal articles | 2016
    Fan KW; Granville AM, 2016, 'Surface property modification of silver nanoparticles with dopamine-functionalized poly(pentafluorostyrene) via RAFT polymerization', Polymers, vol. 8, http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/polym8030081
    Journal articles | 2016
    Fan KW; Peterson MB; Ellersdorfer P; Granville AM, 2016, 'Expanding the aqueous-based redox-facilitated self-polymerization chemistry of catecholamines to 5,6-dihydroxy-1H-benzimidazole and its 2-substituted derivatives', RSC Advances, vol. 6, pp. 25203 - 25214, http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c5ra25590b
    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
  • Conference Abstracts | 2015
    FAN KW; Roberts JJ; Martens PJ; Stenzel MH; Granville AM, 2015, 'Incorporation of an indazole ligand into the mussel-inspired self-polymerization system for enhanced drug loading', in Incorporation of an indazole ligand into the mussel-inspired self-polymerization system for enhanced drug loading, 35th Australasian Polymer Symposium, Gold Coast, presented at 35th Australasian Polymer Symposium, Gold Coast, 12 July 2015 - 15 July 2015
    Conference Papers | 2015
    Fan KW; Roberts JJ; Martens PJ; Stenzel MH; Granville AM, 2015, 'Functionalization of poly(dopamine) through incorporation of an indazole-based catecholic ligand into the structure as comonomer to enhance binding with metal ions', in Functionalization of poly(dopamine) through incorporation of an indazole-based catecholic ligand into the structure as comonomer to enhance binding with metal ions, Polymer Research in NSW Symposium, University of New South Wales, presented at Polymer Research in NSW Symposium, University of New South Wales, 20 November 2015 - 20 November 2015
    Conference Papers | 2014
    Fan KW; Stenzel MH; Granville AM, 2014, 'Expanding the Spectrum of Monomers for the Redox-Facilitated Self-Polymerization beyond Dopamine and the Catecholamine Family', in Expanding the Spectrum of Monomers for the Redox-Facilitated Self-Polymerization beyond Dopamine and the Catecholamine Family, The 10th SPSJ International Polymer Conference, presented at The 10th SPSJ International Polymer Conference, 02 December 2014 - 05 December 2014
    Conference Papers | 2014
    Fan KW; Stenzel MH; Granville AM, 2014, 'The mussel-inspired, redox-facilitated self-polymerization of 5,6-dihydroxy-1H-indazole and dopamine', in The mussel-inspired, redox-facilitated self-polymerization of 5,6-dihydroxy-1H-indazole and dopamine, The 5th International NanoMedicine Conference, Coogee, Sydney, presented at The 5th International NanoMedicine Conference, Coogee, Sydney, 30 June 2014 - 02 July 2014

(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].